Monday, December 17, 2012

Goodbye, Hello

I'm happy to share that I've begun an entirely new volume in my career. Today is my first day at OverDrive, Inc.

The New

OverDrive does management and distribution of digital media like audio books and ebooks. If you've ever borrowed an ebook from your library, the chances are very good you've touched their technology.

They're headquartered in an amazing new office in Garfield Heights, Ohio, where I'll be working as a developer.

The Old

I am leaving behind an incredible team at RoviSys. I worked there for nearly eight years and had the pleasure of building some great software and great relationships.

If you're looking for a fun, dynamic environment with some clever, passionate people give them a shout. If you like variety in your work or love to travel why are you still here? Go call them (they're hiring all the time)!

What?! Why?

I had a pretty sweet setup at RoviSys, it's true. So why would I step out into the unknown like this? It really boiled down to the differences between consulting work and product work.

For me, consulting meant that I got to work on a variety of different things. The projects were numerous. That's good.

Product work is different. Pretty much all your effort goes to support the products of your company. Of course products are complex things with lots of moving parts, but it's a far cry from the diversity you see in consulting.

I appreciate the variety of the consulting world but I crave the razor focus of the products world. I want to polish the application until it shines. I want the user experience to be so smooth that I'm not tortured watching a new user stumble through it. Consulting doesn't work that way because it's rarely needed there.

In the consulting world things usually just need to be good enough. That's not a bad thing; the goals are just different. If a customer wants to manage some data with a mobile app, they're satisfied when they can do that. They typically are not willing to pay more to make sure it has a nice icon, comprehensive support documentation, clean URLs, good performance, etc.

Why Now?

I don't like to coast through things and I didn't like where inertia was taking me. To continue growing as an engineer I felt that I needed to travel a different path. So that's what I'm doing. I won't be using radically different tools or tackling alien problems, but I'll be building things that help millions of people. And these things I help to build will be really, really shiny.

Thank you to everyone who helped me work through this difficult decision!