The Next Chapter
March 31, 2011
All men dream but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes to make it possible. - T.E. Lawrence
After 10 years, 3 months, and 27 days (or 325,641,600 seconds for you geeks), today was my last day as a full-time developer for Concord. I resigned my position as Lead Developer to focus more on SideBox.
I feel like a lucky guy. Over the past 10 years I’ve had the privilege to work for a great company in Scottsdale, AZ. A bootstrapped company, with no debt, and a stronghold on it’s industry. I started my job at Concord as a green know-it-all punk fresh out of high-school. Within a few years, I was quickly climbing the ranks, bouncing around departments and consuming knowledge from everyone who’s path I crossed.
In 2005 I found my passion… Programming. I had just come off a stint as a project coordinator for one of Concord’s biggest projects. We were working with GE Money Bank (GE Capital Financial at the time) and I was exposed to what I consider mind blowing concepts (Six Sigma, optimization, efficiency). It was the combination of the amazing people we worked with at GE, and the awesome programmers at Concord, that made me realize how little I actually knew about business and the real-world. I was humbled. My boss at the time was awesome. She guided me through the murky waters of tight delivery dates, aggressive personalities, and showed me the importance of outside perception.
I transitioned into a Quality Assurance role at Concord; a position that was new to the company and was the result of the rapid development Concord was doing with GE and some other clients. As a QA Analyst, I had a blast. My responsibility ranged from testing the output of 15 developers, to writing business requirements and test plans, to implementing a new software concept for bug tracking and issue management. I was instantly fascinated with software development and started self-teaching. Within a few months I was writing apps, testing concepts, and having the time of my life. My boss at the time (Barry Harkness) saw what I was doing and the passion I had for programming. Barry and Concord went out on a limb and offered me a job as a very green junior programmer. I took the offer and went to town…
Since 2005, I quickly grew. Each and every day I was learning something new and each and every day I was getting better at developing software. Not just the code writing aspect, but everything else that goes with it (design, testing, working with users, etc). I became a stickler for details, minimalism, and productivity. I loved learning new techniques and technologies, running new concepts by everyone who would listen. I worked, on average, 60 hour weeks since 2005, not because I had to, but because I was obsessed with programming.
In 2009, we adopted Agile and it changed me. I worked on a project with three excellent programmers for three months. It was a sprint and it was the most fun I’ve had as a programmer. We worked crazy hours, sometimes pulling all-nighters. It was a sort of hack-a-thon that really brought us together as a team. The end result was that we came away with an award-winning product. I realized that building new products is my passion and working in an Agile team is the best way to develop software. I did not want to stop.
In late 2010, I partnered up with Barry, my mentor and someone who I highly respect, on a little side-project. Barry and I share a similar passion. We love technology, and building kick-ass products. We are technology evangelists and like to talk the ear off anyone who will listen. Our fit was natural. Barry is a DB guy and understands application architecture like no one I have ever met before. I’m a web guy and got Barry excited about the web again by showing him the power of MVC and jQuery. We worked nights and weekends, building a product framework, until we realized that we had developed something that had real legs.
So here we are, the next chapter. I have startup fever and want to build a successful business. But I’m not going to stop there. At 29 years old, today is the day I act on my dreams.
I will never forget where I came from. How can I? It was through Concord that I met my wife Crystal and we now have three beautiful children together. I’ve worked with people are Concord that are much smarter than I am and am humbled by the experience. Thank you Concord.