A New Chapter

After 16 years, it is time to make a change. With that change, a bit of self reflection never hurts.

Getting here

At this point, I have spent more time in corporate full time employment than any other aspect of my life. I started my first full-time, salaried role in November of 2002, which I suppose means that my corporate life is approaching its 21st birthday. Thankfully, drinking laws do not apply to corporate life.

My time in software was marked by a relatively tumultuous start: I was at three different companies in my first 5 years. I grew quickly in those roles and quickly grew out of them. The summer of 2007, however, brought me to Four Rivers, which I really believe is where my career began.

Why there? My previous positions taught me a lot about the basics of software engineering. I learned about the practical applications for the algorithms and patterns that I learned in school, as well as the realization that nothing I ever write will be good enough, even for me, and this idea of constant evolution and improvement must be baked in to software.

Four Rivers, however, took the time to invest in me. They worked to teach me what it means to be a good manager, a good leader, and to be knowledgeable about the business side of software. The 7 years I spent with the leaders there taught me so much, and I am forever grateful for their mentorship and guidance.

In 2014, Four Rivers was acquired by Accruent. I spent the next 9 years honing my skills across different platforms. I learned many new skills and worked for a number of different leaders. From each of those leaders, I gained new perspectives into how things can be done, and sometimes, things that don’t work.

Time for a change

At some point, I started to feel like I had stagnated, both in my own career growth as well as what I could contribute to the company. While my seniority said 16 years, the change at Accruent definitely made me feel as though I had been working for different companies.

However, as Snake Plissken famously quotes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Yes, it was Alphonse Karr who wrote it first, but it is more memorable to me when Kurt Russell grumbles it before (#spoileralert) shutting down the world. So I started to look around for opportunities for a change.

Reaching for more

I had several interviews over the span of a few months. The market is very weird right now, as it is very much a “hirers” market. There are a lot of folks applying for relatively few positions, so companies can be more selective in their process. In a few instances, I made it through some initial phase interviews only to be ghosted or simply sent a form email thanking me for my time.

A short rant: your candidate’s time is just as valuable as your own. Please try to remember that as you go through your hiring process, as it speaks volumes about your attitude towards your employees.

I had an opportunity to interview for a position at Aspire for a software architect role. I must say, I was very impressed from the initial meeting. Every interview or screening was not an interrogation, but rather, a discussion about what I have done in the past, the things the company was seeking, and whether my skills and experience aligned with their needs and goals. It reminded me of my own style of interview, and was a refreshing change of pace from some recent experiences.

I ended up receiving and accepting an offer for the position at Aspire, and started earlier this week. Sure, I’ve only been here a week, but the culture and atmosphere is a refreshing change. The company and the team are actively growing, and I look forward to digging in and starting to contribute.

Am I scared? Absolutely. I have spent the last 16 years building up knowledge, experience, and reputation with the team at Four Rivers/Accruent. Now, I am basically the new guy, something I haven’t been for a very long time. However, with that clean slate comes the opportunity to learn from a new group and contribute what I know to their success.