Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Year As A Rocketeer

Today marks my one year anniversary at Hashrocket. It was almost 18 months ago when I met Jon Larkowski and Jim "Big Tiger" Remsik at a RubyJax user group meeting. At the time I was working for a fortune 500 company as a consultant on a lot of enterprisey .NET and Sharepoint applications. As it is in most of those environments I spent most of my time sitting through meetings and squeezed as much work as I could in between. The work itself was mostly fighting through the bureaucratic quagmire to try and deliver some modicum of value. Insult to injury, this was all while wearing the usual corporate get up required in a cube farm. It was taking a toll on me. I realized that this was not a long term solution for my family and I to enjoy our life.

After some soul searching I decided I wanted to switch platforms, switch venues and build Rails applications. I started spending my lunches and nights for the next few months working to learn Rails and get back up to speed on Linux. I took advantage of every opportunity to go to the Hashrocket offices to cowork and spend time on open source projects. The more time I spent with the Rocketeers the clearer it became that I wanted to be a part of this amazing group of people who share such a passion for craftsmanship and delivering valuable, working, tested applications all within in the context of a sustainable pace. I had a long way to go. For those of you not familiar with Hashrocket's hiring process we have applicants pair with our team for a week to audition rather than a traditional interview. I was an exception to that rule. I had to take a step back in life from consulting on multimillion dollar engagements to be an intern for 8 weeks. It was a big decision for us as a family. Thankfully I have an extremely understanding wife. She allowed me to take an indefinite break from lucrative consulting work in the middle of one of the biggest recessions in our nation's history for an unpaid internship. At that point there wasn't even a discussion about a job at the other end. It was the best decision of my professional career. I spent 8 weeks pairing with my fellow Rocketeers and was blessed to be surrounded by people like Stephen Caudill who took additional time out of their evenings to get me up to speed. At the end of the internship I managed to snag a spot among the Rocketeers.

Working here has been the best year of my professional career. My fellow Rocketeers are more family than coworkers. I am challenged every day. I learn new things constantly. I work on really cool projects. I get paid to do something I love and its at the beach! Sometimes you have to take a step back or switch paths all together to get where you really want to be. If you don't like what you are doing then follow your passion and don't settle for anything less. I found a home for my passion at Hashrocket.