This past Tuesday, I resigned from my job of three and a half years, and my last day is May 2nd. This wasn’t caused by any real dissatisfaction with my job. Though not perfect, I enjoyed my work and liked my co-workers. My wife and I had decided shortly after our daughter was born that we wanted to be closer to family. A five hour drive may not seem like a long way to some of you, but it meant that our parents only got to see Molly once every couple of months, which is huge when you’re talking about a seven-month-old.
In a lot of ways, it feels like a graduation. It began recently enough that I can still remember my first couple of weeks vividly, but long enough ago that it feels extremely odd to think about not going there and seeing the same people every day.
I wonder if it might also be like a graduation in that I feel like where I’m going is more like the “real” world. Even though my old shop makes use of the .NET platform, it really doesn’t feel like a .NET shop. It’s an IBM mainframe shop that dabbles in .NET. The place I’m going has been using the .NET platform since its inception, and uses it as their primary development environment. There a little bit of RoR going on (which I take as a good sign; they’re open to new and non-MS things), but mostly ASP.NET in C#.
Also, rather than being an in-house IT provider, my new employer is a consulting firm. This will be a bit of a change for me. I’m used to dealing with one particular business (transportation), but now I’ll have exposure to all different kinds of industries. My customers used to be just a flight of stairs away, and were almost always willing to sit down with you to discuss a feature that you were working on. I have no idea now how accessible my new customers will be, or how much interaction I’ll have with them.
Another thing that will be new is certifications. I’m not sure which (if any) devs at my old employer have MS certifications. Since they have their own training department, it’s assumed that everything necessary will be covered in training classes. The new place doesn’t have it’s own training department, and besides, they want to give outside customers the warm fuzzy feeling that all the developers are “Microsoft Certified.” I’ve been told that when I start, I’ll have a goal set for a certain number of certifications by the end of my first six months. The company will pay for the books, plus my first attempt at the test. Fail, and I’ll have to pay for the next test myself. :-/
Related to that, I’ll also have a training budget for books, conferences, etc., which ought to be cool. Something like $3k a year, plus about three weeks per year of dedicated training time. Not sure exactly how I’ll use it yet, but I’m sure I’ll figure out something. 😉
I’ve made a lot of friends in Fort Smith, and I’m going to miss them all a lot. I’m not sure how I’m going to be able to work without getting Travis Ebert’s weekend updates, and without being able to run over to David Mohundro’s cube when I have a design question. Not living next door to Josh and Jennifer Pense (our best friends and carbon-copies) will feel so strange, and we will miss them terribly.
On top of everything, our house was recently damaged by hail, so we have to get all of the siding and windows on the front of the house replaced and get a new roof before we can put it on the market.
I apologize if I’ve rambled a bit. My brain has been a bit addled since Tuesday, but I knew I had to get this post done soon, or I would never do it. I’ll be able to post more descriptive updates regarding the new job once I start on the 7th.
It’s a huge decision, and kind of scary, but I know God will guide our family in the direction He wants us to go. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”