Thursday, March 31, 2016

Seven year navel gazing...

The first post of this blog documented that I was preparing to start a new job. That was December of 2008. Seven years seems like a long ago.

On Monday I start another new job.

So I feel like this is a good opportunity to reflect on what these past seven years has meant to me and my career. A chance to thank the universe for what I've experienced, to thank the folks I've met, and to recognize where I think I'm going.

The month after that initial post I started working at MyWebGrocer. I had been hired to work on the eCommerce product and introduce some improvements to the development processes. I had played a similar role at my prior employer by implementing an automated build system and a few other bits of tooling. At MyWebGrocer, however, I was able to expand on that prior work. I led the introduction of a continuous integration server, static code analysis, automated unit testing, some scrum practices, and more. The team I was on kicked ass; our product was pretty stable, we were delivering new functionality, refactoring to reduce complexity and lines of code, and enjoying each others' company. After a few years I took a management position. While I eventually resumed my technical career - for those two years I had the privilege of managing the best team with whom I've had the pleasure of working. When I decided to leave management the MWG executive team was supportive; allowing me to resume my technical career without leaving the company. Not every employer would have done that; I'm appreciative.

My tenure at MWG coincides with my increased participation in the development community around Burlington, VT. I increased my involved with the VT .NET user group which led to co-founding the VT Code Camp. When MyWebGrocer founded the HackVT event they invited me to be on the planning team. I've continued to serve on the organizing team for HackVT. I've met amazing members of our technical community, too. Organizers of other local user groups, students, presenters, sponsors, employers, journalists, writers, etc. My participation in this community will continue regardless of where I work, and I'm confident that MWG's support of the local development community will continue, too. They've been reliable sponsors for VT Code Camp, HackVT, and other local development events.

As I transition into my next role MWG is six times larger than on my first day. I look at how the development team works and I see my fingerprints on a lot of it. It's not been a perfect experience. I've made mistakes and there are elements of what I would have like to have contributed to the MWG experience which are unfulfilled. This is the real world, after all. But these past seven years have (so far) been the highlight of my professional career.

Come Monday, when I start at Renewable NRG Systems I will be a significantly better, and more well rounded, developer than I was seven years ago. I'm eager to dive into a different industry for an organization which has a different corporate culture. New people, new knowledge - it's going to be great!

So thank you to the MWG team for helping me grow professionally. And for your friendships. Thank you to RNRG for the opportunity to challenge myself in an industry I feel is important.

Thanks universe.