New Beginnings: Starting with IntrideaVote on HN Tweet
Three weeks ago, I started as a full time software developer at Intridea. It's been an absolute blast so far, but it happened so quickly that I'm still somewhat dazed at how I got here. Just two month ago, I was in Israel and Egypt visiting Wendy and working on Outspokes, and now I'm working with energetic and talented individuals; all of whom I've never seen in real life before, but many of whom I've heard of in the Ruby community.
Back in September, I quit my full time gig at Coupa to start Outspokes with Arthur and Sean. The first month was like a morale roller coaster ride. We had many ups and downs. We learned a lot of things. We coded at superhuman speeds, and treated ourselves like crap to execute more and to execute faster. I'm proud of what we accomplished, but I'm ashamed at myself for prioritizing Outspokes before everything and everyone. Friends who kept me company late nights with baked pasta at Shooting Star Cafe, my supportive family, and most of all Wendy - Thank you.
Flash forward to last February, Wendy got a scholarship and was doing chemical engineering research in Israel before she started grad school. I decided to visit her to make up for neglecting our relationship. Spending time away from the Silicon Valley and the constant startup buzz cleared up a lot for me. I realized my dreams of making useful software and building a business weren't mutually exclusive with all the wonderful things I loved in my life. I don't have to choose just one goal; I can have my cake and eat it too. The ghost of myself a year ago would've laughed that I'd grown soft. But I'm not making any compromises on my dreams. I feel that I've actually dispersed a lot of unnecessary pressure and am in a better place to tackle my goals.
Clearing my head was like tipping over a line of dominos, and everything started falling in place during that trip. I decided to put Outspokes on hold because I didn't understand the freelance/consulting market I'm trying to help (more on this in another post). Wendy and I were having a great time traveling the Middle East and making plans for when she returned to the states. I reconnected with a lot of old friends, made some new ones, and was having a great time doing everything I enjoyed.
When I got home, I started to look at jobs near Pasadena, where Wendy's starting grad school next September. At first I was filled with dread when I looked at the startup scene in southern California. I couldn't find a business I felt passionate about. The commute would also sap any remaining soul in my body. Meanwhile, my friends in SF were offering to interview me, and tech companies I believed in were recruiting. I stuck to my guns and kept looking.
One day while I was reading my RSS feeds, I got the crazy idea to ask some of the Ruby consultancies I respected for a job. It was a spur of the moment thing, and I thought it'd be kind of cool to talk to these people whose posts I read everyday, even if they weren't in the area or hiring. I emailed Dave not knowing what to say, other than to say hi and introduce myself. Surprisingly, Dave and Chris got back to me on the phone. I don't remember exactly what we talked about, but I do remember that they didn't ask me any trick programming puzzles or BS interview questions. At the end of the call, they offered me a part-time contracting position.
I was stoked to work with these guys. It wasn't only because they had a strong team who regularly contributes back to the open source community and engages their audience. I liked their enthusiasm for technology and their professionalism towards their clients. They made fantastic looking and useful products. They had a great sense of humor even though I've only heard them on Skype or through chat. My mom had to ask me why I was chuckling to myself when I read co-workers' updates through Presently and on Campfire. When they offered me a full-time position a week later, I said "I'll talk it over with people and sleep on it", but really I was thinking "Score!"
And that's the long-winded version of where I am and how I got to be an Intridean.