The Weird Winds of Change

This is sort of an announcement post and sort of a meandering jaunt into my own personal journey. Also thrown in will be bits of apology, opportunity, and regret. So, let’s get right down to brass tacks.

A few weeks back, I gave notice at my job. I had come on board with a consulting firm to do heavy architectural work with object-oriented design, mainly in the .NET space, but fate had other ideas. I did a good bit of .NET work at first, but the vagaries of the local market and demand for software work were such that the business was pivoting increasingly toward customizing third party software installations such as Sharepoint, Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, etc. Doing simple, run-of-the-mill customization of these pieces of software is certainly good work for someone, but that someone isn’t me, so after biding my time and hoping for more compatible work, I decided to pull up anchor and chart my own course.

Actually, I more decided to shove off in a lifeboat without any oars, sails, or motor because I defied all career advice that I’ve ever received from saner people and just gave notice without lining up another job. There was a method, of sorts, to this madness. I’ve never really liked the way you get another job by slinking around behind your current employer’s back, and I was getting a lot of emails from recruiters, and well, just lots of things in general. In fact, I had reached a bit of a crossroads. I had various opportunities to generate passive income, a good number of requests to do freelance work in a variety of languages and frameworks under the DaedTech LLC umbrella, a lot of different interview opportunities. (I actually got an email about a job opportunity literally as I was typing this sentence.) The one thing I lacked was time. So I shoved off from the mothership, adrift in the night-sea, but with good intelligence that various islands were nearby with bananas and fresh water and friendly, helpful island monkeys and whatever else you see in fantasies where castaways build island paradises.

My intention was to do a bit of gonzo work-seeking. I’d tie up some loose ends and serve out the remainder of my notice time, and then I’d sit back, take inventory, and start the process of deciding what to do next, blogging all the while about my adventures while listening to people heckle me justifiably for being reckless with my career. I thought that would give me some time to deliberate between potentially working for a major tech player, relocating, casting my lot with a start-up, taking a stable local job, or just being the Founder and Principal of DaedTech LLC full time. Maybe I’d turn it into some kind of book and try to trade on the fact that pretty much anyone can get lucky at being a writer these days.

But fate, it would seem, had other plans. Interestingly, on the day that I gave notice, John Atten submitted the first Expert Beginner post to Reddit where it got enough love to rocket to the top for a day or so and drive a lot of traffic to the blog. This resulted in a surprising and awesome variety of invitations that I alluded to above, and it also occupied a good bit of my time keeping up while I wrapped things up at work. Add to this the fact that sending out a few actual resumes to some interesting companies and informing a few recruiters that I knew of my situation generated a good bit of interview activity right away, and I have been insanely busy for the last couple of weeks. Busy in a good way, but busy. Really, really busy.

I kept meaning to get around to announcing my job search with some grand blog post and to follow it up with tales of interviews, applications, and whatever else happens during a developer job search. I figured that I’d use this as a staging point to kick off a heavily networking-based, developer-community-oriented search for my next venture, but I actually wound up taking a job before I had time for any of that (I had actually left the post about job descriptions in my drafts folder for a couple of months–that wasn’t inspired by my situation these past couple of weeks). I got a great offer that was basically impossible to pass up, so I accepted and will be running a modestly-sized software development group starting on Monday, May 6th, doing double duty managing and serving as architect.

With this change, I’m hoping that the dust will settle a bit and my life will resume some sort of relatively normal pace instead of the break-neck speed it’s been at of late. Beside the change of jobs, here are some other new things in the pipeline that may be of interest to those reading:

  1. I am going to be authoring courses for Pluralsight–stay tuned for my first course to come out later this month.
  2. I mentioned it as a quick edit to the first Expert Beginner post, but look for that posting series to be wrapped up and published as an E-Book.
  3. Time to start reading others’ blogs and listening to podcasts again. I haven’t had time in the last several weeks, and I feel so out of touch that it’s a little icky.
  4. Looking to be better about responding to everyone’s comments. I really try to give thoughtful responses to everyone that takes the time to leave a comment, but I’ve definitely been a little lax about this lately, and I’m planning to be better about it.
  5. For those of you who have emailed me or otherwise contacted me about freelance work or joint programming ventures, you won’t be competing with interviews and recruiters and such, so I’ll be better about responsiveness.
  6. Normal posting cadence is Monday, Wednesday, Friday, though I’ve struggled at that pace recently. Planning to get back on track.
  7. Also, look for more programming-oriented posts as I’ll have my hands back in code with a lot more frequency
  8. And, most likely, look for most of this in earnest after Memorial Day. After my first week of work, I’ll be out of the country for a couple of weeks. When I come back, hopefully rested, I also plan to do some non-programming-related reading lest I become too one dimensional.

Thanks for your patience with the jerky post cadence and more rant-oriented, less code-heavy content of late, and most of all, thanks for reading.

Cheers!

  • http://genehughson.wordpress.com/ Gene Hughson

    Congratulations!

  • http://twitter.com/DMartin_3 Dan Martin

    Congrats. I’m especially looking forward to your Pluralsight courses.

  • http://www.daedtech.com/blog Erik Dietrich

    Thanks, guys!

  • Andy Bailey

    I recently made the same decision for pretty much the same reasons as you and have not regretted it.
    I feel much more in control over my own situation and perversely the worries about finding a suitable placement have faded away. So much more relaxed.

  • http://www.daedtech.com/blog Erik Dietrich

    I experienced the same thing! Even though I was ceding control over my situation from a career perspective — giving up continuous employment for the first time in my adult life — I actually felt more relaxed and less worried once it was done. Weird, but true.

  • http://Typecastexception.com John Atten

    I somehow missed this post – Congratulations! Awesome to see the winds of change blowing favorably, and I look forward to your Pluralsite courses.

  • http://www.daedtech.com/blog Erik Dietrich

    Thanks! I’m enjoying the new role so far, though it’s more hands off the keyboard than I’m used to. Have to keep blogging and making pluralsight courses so I don’t lose my edge :)

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