My Last Day Before Starting A New Career

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Today is my last day of work as a VelocIT employee, a company I helped start and had (and still have) high hopes for as employee #1.

No, I’m not being fired for blogging too much or embezzling funds. No, there wasn’t a big falling out with partners in the company throwing books at each other and screaming expletives. Unfortunately, nothing dramatic and tabloid-worthy like that happened at all.

I simply lost interest in being a consultant and I blameSubtext. Micah Dylan, the CEO and Founder of VelocIT and my good friend, and I often talked about the idea that there are two general types of developers (I’m sure there are many more).

  1. Developers who are easily bored and love to learn about new businesses and business models. Staying on one project forever would cause these devs to go insane. They love the excitement of jumping from client to client and project to project.
  2. Developers who love to craft and hone a single code-base through multiple versions. These devs are fine sticking with a project for a long time and get enjoyment in watching the application take form over the years.

For a long time, I’ve been more firmly in camp #1 with tendencies towards #2. But over the past couple of years working on Subtext, I’ve never gotten bored with working on the same code and realized I have been in Camp #2 for a good while now.

Sure, I do get excited about learning new technologies all the time, but now it is in the context of how they will help me make Subtext a better blog engine.

Not only that, I found that what I most love about the Subtext project is not just the craft of developing an application over multiple versions, but the joy in building a community around that project.

Maybe this is because with Subtext, my “clients” are other developers. I understand developers better than I do other clients because their pain is often my pain. I just don’t have the same pains that a Director of Marketing does (well actually I kind of do with Subtext, but I don’t have any budget to address those pains so I ignore the pain).

My heart just hasn’t been in consulting for a good while now, but I couldn’t leave while we were struggling along at the brink of going out of business. So I pushed on, helped land a big client, and now it looks like VelocIT is close to having more projects on its hands than employees! So if you love consulting and software development, send Jon Galloway your resume.

I will still be involved with VelocIT in a limited capacity. Discussions are still underway, but I hope to remain on as a Board Member and shareholder. The team we’ve assembled at VelocIT are among the best and brightest I have ever worked with. I love working with them and working from home. I willl certainly miss all of that.

So where am I going next?

I’ll be taking a position with Koders Inc. as the Product Manager of the Koders.com website, an Open Source code search engine. I think this will be a good fit for me due to my passion for open source software.

My goal is to as much as possible help developers become more productive via search driven development and the services that naturally extend from that.

Naturally, the best way to do that is to provide relevant search results. But beyond that, I believe that building an active community around the site via tools, widgets, and APIs that developers can use in their own projects will also be very important in being a useful resource for developers. Koders is for coders and developers.

I’ll be relying on your feedback regarding the site’s usability and how well it helps you to be more productive to help me do my job. In other words, I’m going to take my lazy butt and try and ride your coattails in order to do my job well. Is that genius or what? ;)

One thing I really like about the site so far is the project browser. Check out the browser for the MbUnit project. Wouldn’t it be nice to integrate that into your project homepage, your CruiseControl.NET build, or even replace the the CodePlex code browser with that? (hint hint Codeplex).

In any case, wish me luck. This is probably the most difficult job change ever for me since it’s not just a job that I’m leaving, and not just a job that I’m joining.

One funny part of this I won’t tell you yet. But you’ll laugh when you hear the name we chose for our son, which we chose before all this happened.

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Comments

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28 responses

  1. Avatar for Ben McDonald
    Ben McDonald May 11th, 2007

    I think I speak for the whole company (Koders) when I say that we are very excited to have you join us. Now let's just hope you can live up to the hype :)

  2. Avatar for Darren Neimke
    Darren Neimke May 11th, 2007

    All the best Phil!

  3. Avatar for Simone Chiaretta
    Simone Chiaretta May 11th, 2007

    Good luck...
    PS: why can't I find subtext in Koders? :)

  4. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked May 11th, 2007

    @Simone - That was my first question! That'll be one of the first things I do on Monday. ;) It turns out that they were upgrading the system, so it should be in the site on Monday.

  5. Avatar for Josh
    Josh May 11th, 2007

    Congratulations! I'll be keeping an eye on the Koders site to see what new stuff pops up.

  6. Avatar for Jeremy
    Jeremy May 11th, 2007

    Good luck, Phil!
    Koders is an awesome product and is in the position to play an very important role in the community. I have total confidence that you can help it reach that goal.
    Ironically, I also had my 'last day' today and will start a company in a completely new domain next week so I'm feeling a bit of where you're coming from :)
    Best of luck!
    Jeremy

  7. Avatar for Julie
    Julie May 11th, 2007

    Phil, we're really going to miss you over here at VelocIT. But we wish you the best of luck!

  8. Avatar for Rob Conery
    Rob Conery May 11th, 2007

    Good Luck homey! Does this mean Skype's going to chirp at me less??? It better not!
    Have a great summer and see you next year!

  9. Avatar for Jon Galloway
    Jon Galloway May 11th, 2007

    Your problem is that you do an excellent job as both types of developer!
    I'm really excited to see what you can do with this new challenge. As I told you before, I'm sorry to see you go, but I'd be mad at you if you didn't take this opportunity!

  10. Avatar for StevenHarman.net
    StevenHarman.net May 11th, 2007

    Koders Gets Haacked

  11. Avatar for Steven Harman
    Steven Harman May 11th, 2007

    I think my post says it all... but I'll reiterate here just b/c I can.
    I'm sad to see you leave, but I'm happy that you've found such a great opportunity. Best of luck buddy!

  12. Avatar for Jayson Knight
    Jayson Knight May 11th, 2007

    You named your son Koder? Hmm, Koder Haack...has a nice ring to it ;-). I keed.
    Seems like new careers are abounding lately...nothing like the smell of a new career in the morning. I haven't officially started over at MS yet (background check is still pending), I understand the anticipation though.
    Koder's has scored a knockout IMO, and no doubt the benefits reaped will be twofold: Obviously for Koders, but even moreso for the community itself. Huge congrats, and looking forward to hearing more about the gig!

  13. Avatar for Mark Wisecarver
    Mark Wisecarver May 11th, 2007

    Could it be...Kody?

  14. Avatar for Gurkan Yeniceri
    Gurkan Yeniceri May 11th, 2007

    All the best Phil. I am sure you will do good.

  15. Avatar for Damien Guard
    Damien Guard May 11th, 2007

    Guy Kawasaki (Art of the Start) agrees on you with the concept of these two types of people and not just restricted to programmers.
    I believe programmers have it better in that those new excitement types can work on a single project if they have the ideas, enthusiasm and ability to be able to take the project to new places.
    I look forward to where you'll be taking us with Subtext.
    [)amien

  16. Avatar for Scott
    Scott May 11th, 2007

    Best luck, Phil! I'll be sure to watch for when the Koders Blog upgrades to Subtext. :)

  17. Avatar for Keyvan Nayyeri
    Keyvan Nayyeri May 11th, 2007

    I hope you can be success there as well as (or even better than) what you did in VelocIT.
    I think new position is something that fits to your abilities and am sure that you can help Koders to be very very better.

  18. Avatar for Karthik
    Karthik May 12th, 2007

    Phil,
    You took a big step and I applaud your courage in doing so. It's always difficult to walk away from something you helped build. But I'm glad you recognized where you were going with your career and found something more in tune with your current direction. Good luck and I wish you all the best in your new position with Koders!

  19. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked May 12th, 2007

    @Thanks for the well wishes everyone!
    @Mark - very close! Not with a "K".

  20. Avatar for Scott
    Scott May 13th, 2007

    Grats and good luck Phil. It's hard enough for people to understand their career strengths, let alone act on them.

  21. Avatar for Andu Stopford
    Andu Stopford May 13th, 2007

    Many congrats Phil, can you ask them to spider the google-code repos for MbUnit though (the tigris repros is now very, very out of date).
    Andy

  22. Avatar for Rydal
    Rydal May 13th, 2007

    All the best Phil! I'll keep an eye on koders.

  23. Avatar for Travis Illig
    Travis Illig May 14th, 2007

    I used to think I was a type one hop-from-project-to-project sort of person, but I've realized I need a lot in the way of closure and seeing the project I worked on actually be consumed and used, which you don't get as much if you've already moved on to the Next Big Thing. There's definitely something to be said about type two development. It's where I'm at, and I like it.
    Good luck at Koders. I'm sure you'll have a blast!

  24. Avatar for Vic
    Vic May 14th, 2007

    Wow - I'm half in shock and I half expected something like this. I thought you would head off to Microsoft next. Still time for that I guess - haha.
    After working the small business front, you'll get to chalk up another unique experience - congrats and good luck!
    BTW: I think I also had something to do with that "big client" - j/k - you earned it. :)

  25. Avatar for Jeff Atwood
    Jeff Atwood May 14th, 2007

    Congrats you Krazy Koding Kook!
    Karry on.

  26. Avatar for lb
    lb May 15th, 2007

    best of luck. glad to see jon isn't cryin about it!

  27. Avatar for you've been HAACKED
    you've been HAACKED June 4th, 2007

    Finding Code On Your Machine

  28. Avatar for Community Blogs
    Community Blogs December 30th, 2007

    You’ve been forewarned, this is yet another end-of-year slightly self-inflating retrospective blog posts