I have been blessed in that every time I leave a job, I always have a hard time writing the resignation letter. Even my most frustrating jobs cause me to look back and remember why I stayed with the jobs for so long. On average, I kept a job anywhere between three and four years, which I feel is an eternity in our industry.
My first IT job was working for a dialup ISP. I spent many years working the phones, doing bench support, and eventually a bit of programming in PHP. I learned what has proven to be one of the best skills anyone can have - dealing with people. While I learned how to debug and troubleshoot, after years of waiting for people to stop being angry at you for their own problems, I gained valuable skills for deescalating situations and sussing out problems.
My first full-time programming job after doing helpdesk for an ISP was doing internal work for an insurance company. I got to work on my server admin chops as well as programming. I got my first taste of project management, software architecture, and as well as office politics. While I could handle angry customers, learning to compromise and solve problems with both technical and human issues became very important.
This was also the first time I went to a conference. I met a bunch of awesome people, many of who are still friends today. I got to learn what community was, and why and how we help each other. I decided I wanted to speak, and those failed talk ideas turned into writing opportunities. Those eventually turned into speaking slots.
I left the insurance industry to go do client work, all because of the networking I made at conferences. The company that I went to work for was awesome enough to continue to let me travel and speak, as well as work from home. I got to learn how to work, unsupervised, and still get my projects done. Despite being client work, it was still one of my favorite places to work. I got to work on Drupal and Wordpress, and expand my knowledge.
From there, I moved onto working for a startup with a SaaS product. I took the job because it was a new opportunity. I wanted to work with more cloud technologies, and I got to do just that. I expanded my project management and team skills and got to work helping solve a challenging problem. We had to solve all sorts of problems with large data, and incredibly interesting deployment and business problems. It was, by far, the most demanding job I ever had. I loved working with my team and loved the challenge.
That job was my shortest, at two years. I only left due to cash flow issues with the startup and started working at my current job, at InQuest. It was a bit of a mixture of everything I had dealt with up until that point - working in the security field, but building a product and working with large data sets. By the end of my tenure there, I have helped do the project management across multiple products, helped rework our CI and deployment workflows, and modernized our code.
The last three years there have been great. I have a great team, and I am proud of the work we have done there. A new opportunity popped up for me though, and it was one where I feel like it gets me back to some of the things I have been missing in the last few years.
Starting in July of 2019, I will be moving on from InQuest and joining the team over at Nexmo as a PHP Developer Advocate. For me, the job will let me do a few of the things that I love to do - help and teach developers to solve their problems, continue to write, and travel and speak at various conferences. While InQuest has never had a problem with me speaking, my last year has been very conference-light.
I am looking forward to a change of pace for my development career. I have known a good amount of people that have and still work at Nexmo, and I will be joining a great team. I will get to go back and work with the language that I love and miss since I have been doing a lot of Python lately. I will get to work with people that I already consider friends and some of the best parts of the PHP community.
I was sad writing my resignation letter to InQuest, as I always am. I was lucky to end up there, and I feel like I did a lot of good with my time there. It is time to move on.
Here's me crossing my fingers, and stepping into something new.