Light sculpture

I start a new job today.

I make my living in software development (and blog about it occasionally over here). This is all I’ve wanted to do since I taught myself to code in the early 1980s. I’ve written a little code, written a lot of user instructions, and tested a lot of broken software. But mostly I’ve led teams and projects. I’ve done that for the last 20 years and I love it.

If you’ve read this blog for a while you might remember that my employer couldn’t afford to pay me anymore in 2015 and I spent the summer looking for work. I had been Director of Quality Assurance, and pretty quickly I found a position with the same title and was back to work. I was enormously fortunate.

The new company was a good place to work, and I liked the people there. I’ll miss being there every day! But to my surprise, I wasn’t finding great satisfaction in the role. Slowly it dawned on me that after 16 years in QA I’d done everything I could do in the field. It was time for a new adventure.

I’m not leaving the software world. I’m just shifting to a new role: Director of Engineering, leading the coders. Long story short, I decided that to do what I still want to do in my career, I would need to shift to engineering leadership.

My new company isn’t entirely new to me — they hired me as a consultant the summer I looked for permanent work. Since then, they hired my brother to be their Director of QA. When they needed a new Director of Engineering, they easily recruited me to the role. The company is a startup, with all the risk that implies: iterating on a product idea and trying to find market fit, all the while trying not to run out of investment capital.

But in my career I’ve been driven by adventure, and this is just the kind of adventure I like. So off I go!

I shot this photograph inside the company’s building while there for one of my interviews. I used my Olympus Stylus Epic Zoom 80 on Kodak Tri-X 400 film. I’ll get to see this light sculpture every weekday now!

Personal, Photography

Beginning a new adventure

Thoughts on starting a new job, as Director of Engineering at a software startup.


27 thoughts on “Beginning a new adventure

  1. Congratulations! It is good that you have developed the ability to determine when change is necessary and then to make that change. It sounds like a great opportunity.

  2. Jason Shafer says:

    This is great news! Best of luck during the transition and with the new position. Adventure in one’s career is a great thing, no matter what form it may take.

  3. Andy Umbo says:

    Congrats, I envy you! I’d love to start something new, but a “lost” number of years working with extended family needs sort of makes income more precious than opportunity. I do have to say, tho, “ditto” with your feelings. I am managing the type of department I used to manage a decade ago, but find no joy in it (especially since my bosses want me to do less than my last employer). Sometimes we mentally move beyond the job, sometimes the job technically moves beyond us (as in “it changes so much whatever interested you at first is no longer even there”), and sometimes both happens (which is where I’m at).

    Onward and upward!

    • Andy, I’m very sorry that this is the situation you find yourself in. For what it’s worth, I had my own lost years about 15 years ago that were a giant setback in every aspect of my life. So I feel you.

  4. Bib says:

    Taste in music must have an effect on careers. I’m a Sr IT Compliance Coordinator. Some psychologist would have the answer im sure

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  6. Leading organization of software makers is an amazing and fulfilling experience. I am the Senior Director of Engineering and I have about 40 people in my organization, including all Dev and all QA. When I started at this company 10 years ago we had 3 devs (I was one of them) and a couple of QA engineers. It is an amazing ride to see a company grow from an idea to a business. Stay strong and keep us posted on how it goes.

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