A year ago, I left a fast-paced, non-profit organization to work from home for Art & Logic, a software development company based in Pasadena, California. It was a much-needed change of pace for me, and allowed me the chance to rediscover PHP and work a lot more with PHP 5, sort through some personal things, cast off some excess weight (both physical and metaphorical), and spend time with my wife through her pregnancy up until now, seven weeks after my son’s birth.
I’ve really enjoyed this time, and I’ve enjoyed my home office. In fact, I’ve had numerous inquiries for my resume over the last year – many of them excellent opportunities – and every time, I’ve responded the same: “How do you feel about a remote employee in Atlanta?” That usually stops the hiring process dead in its tracks. So, while my new job is in the City of Atlanta, it isn’t a telecommuting position from my home forty miles outside the city. In fact, this is a job I must drive to everyday. So, why the change?
I’ve decided to accept a Software Architect position at Schematic, who has an office in Atlanta. This wasn’t a flippant decision, and there are several key reasons I chose to work for Schematic:
Schematic is very community-oriented.
One of the main “filtering” questions I ask of prospective employers is how they feel about speaking at conferences, my involvement with Atlanta PHP and other PHP community activities, and writing articles/books. Believe it or not, most companies I’ve spoken to are very hesitant to touch these issues and prefer a “we’ll discuss that after you start working with us” policy. Schematic encourages these activities, and they hired me because of my community involvement rather than in spite of it. Schematic is already very active in the Flash developer community, and they appear to be positioning themselves as a leader in the PHP community.
Schematic is dedicated to open source
I’ll be working in Schematic’s Open Source Platforms Group. This group develops software using the LAMP stack and other open source technologies. The OSPG also has plans to contribute and give back to the open source technologies it uses. I should be able to post more about this in the future.
I needed a promotion
Since I left Eureka Interactive in 2004, I feel like I’ve taken a few steps backwards on my career path. I started at Eureka in an intro-level position and quickly worked my way up to a decision-making position of responsibility. I was not just another programmer, but I had responsibilities to our clients and small team of junior developers. Leaving Eureka placed me in a role where I was just another programmer with few responsibilities. Leaving Hands On Network further complicated this by placing me on my own. While I worked with teams at both Hands On Network and Art & Logic, I felt that I was not moving forward but, rather, stagnating in my career path. I feel that Schematic’s Software Architect position is the culmination of the past ten years of professional experience for me. It is a step forward, and will help grow and advance my career.