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:
- My first gig (nearly 14 years ago) was just something to occupy my time after my first year of graduate school in philosophy.
- From there, one of my volleyball buddies needed a web developer for his team at Nextel, and I thought it sounded fun.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!