Ben Scofield

me. still on a blog.

On Taking Time to Think

I’ve gotten into a really bad habit when it comes to my work: every job in software development I’ve ever had has essentially been an (extremely fortunate) accident:

  1. My first gig (nearly 14 years ago) was just something to occupy my time after my first year of graduate school in philosophy.
  2. From there, one of my volleyball buddies needed a web developer for his team at Nextel, and I thought it sounded fun.
  3. Once I decided to leave Nextel, I found my next job at Viget through Craigslist. I had a competing offer for that move, though, so I did make at least one decision about what I wanted to be doing.
  4. As I prepared to leave Viget, I started looking for my next move under the radar. I talked to a few companies, but only got into real depth with two, and once I visited Heroku in San Francisco I was convinced – they seemed like the best match for the direction my career was moving.
  5. After some time at Heroku, I realized that I’d misunderstood my ideal mix of evangelism and building-things; I chatted with some friends at conferences, and ended up responsible for email at LivingSocial.

I should be clear: every one of these jobs was wonderful. I made great friends, learned tons, and solved difficult problems at each one. Beyond the actual work I did, however, I also learned more about myself at each position – the things I like and dislike in companies, how I’m most productive, how to work with other people, etc. Each move was largely an accident, but they all resulted in fantastic experiences that I wouldn’t trade for anything.

So, for my next trick – as of April 5th, I’m leaving LivingSocial. I’ve been there for nearly a year and a half, worked with brilliant people, written systems that operated on a scale few people see, and gained a pretty substantial range of startup experience.

Unlike my previous moves, however, I’m leaving LivingSocial without my next job lined up. Instead, I’m joining the ranks of the funemployed for a bit, specifically to think about what I want to work on next. I’m really looking forward to talking to people and finding out what amazing things are happening in the world that I would otherwise never have known about – so, if you’re doing something awesome and looking for a senior developer with a wide range of experience, let me know!