Well, here I am again. I find myself back at Exsilio after a 3 year hiatus to see what else is out there in the professional world of software development. I’m lucky enough to live in Irvine, CA.
It’s what some people might call a hub for tech. Not as well known as Silicon Valley but still quite active. I’ve been a developer for 10 years and in that decade, I’ve worked at several companies. Some of them were short term contract positions and others spanned years. In Irvine, if you’re a .NET developer worth half your salt, you should have no trouble finding work. But making it past the interviews is just half the struggle.
Only a month ago, I was part of a team at a large company. I’ve only been there for a few months but was already feeling empty as I sat down in my cubicle every morning. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a great company that takes care of their employees and the people there are top notch. But what I was doing there wasn’t fulfilling. I started to think about my career and what I wanted from it. I had thought I wanted to work at an enterprise size company with an enterprise level system and all the niceties that came with it…predictable hours, long standing established software frameworks, and clearly defined teams and roles. It turns out the projects, pace and culture wasn’t for me. I thought back to all the places I had been and where I had thrived…not just worked or succeeded, but thrived as a developer and person.
Now I’m going to try to not make this sound like I’m marketing Exsilio. Because let’s face it, developers usually do not make good marketers. But the truth is, working at Exsilio 3 years ago was the most challenging and rewarding position I’ve held. Sure there were time when the hours were crazy and the deadlines were crazier. When the system spec was non-existent but the product was due anyways. Through all the insanity, the gluing force that made it manageable, nay, that made it even fun, was the team. If you’ve been a working professional long enough, you’d know that the people you work with make an enormous impact on your level of satisfaction in the workplace. The reason I asked to come back to Exsilio were two fold; the types of projects and more importantly the culture and people. It’s refreshing to work in an environment with people that are passionate about what they do. How do I know they they’re passionate? It’s not that they talk code all day or wear gear from ThinkGeek. It’s because when things get tough, when things aren’t fun anymore, they still work their butts off to get the best product possible out there. Again, I don’t want to sound like I’m drinking the Kool-Aid but the people here are exceptional. This is why Bryan mentions it and Anthony mentions it. And I’m glad they acknowledge it because they are our bosses…and if they didn’t then…well…the great people would not stay and I probably would not be writing this entry.
So, what have we learned here? Probably nothing from this blog. But I’ve learned a ton from working at Exsilio, then leaving, then coming back. I’m now excited again to come to work, to see what challenges lie ahead, and to see what we accomplish as a team.