Where Has the Time Gone?

I pulled up my own blog over Christmas break and was a bit surprised by the fact that it had been so long since my last post.    Reading through those final few posts I had written I see what was the start of a journey that I had no indication of what had been lying ahead for me and my career, yet looking back I find that I am very thankful for the process.

After working almost solely with .NET for 10 years, 2016-2017 brought opportunities to expand to a broader tech stack.   Node, Ruby, Firebase, and React to name a few.   All of that was new to me at the time, and yet I found the shift to cloud freeing and the solution we needed to pursue even faster towards as an organization. I started to frantically migrate systems away from legacy code-bases and towards more cloud-based options.  Looking back, I would say that some of the code I wrote for Athletes In Action in 2019, not only was the most solid code I wrote, but also some that I am the most proud of.

However, expanding my technical stack feels like such a minor piece of a much larger journey.   While some areas of the job were indeed good, and there was some clear growth happening both personally and professionally, my overall time with AIA was really becoming very tough.   The responsibilities had grown to an unmaintainable amount and we had no clear path forward.   By late 2019, I had gotten clarity that the path forward was not the one I wanted, and for the first time in 14 years, it was clear that it was time to leave a job that I had stayed at for so long.   This all took me by surprise, yet for me it was very easy because of how clearly the doors there were closing and new doors were opening.

As decisions were being made at AIA, friendships were forming outside of AIA that led to new opportunities.   After updating my resume and cleaning up my LinkedIn page, the next thing I knew I was interviewing at Mile Two in early January ‘20 and landed a job offer the next day.   It was exciting, even though I was equally nervous.   Having started my career in a spot where I was doing nearly all the development on my own, joining a software-shop where I was going to be one of dozens of developers also had some fears of imposter syndrome.   Did I have the chops to cut it as a senior software engineer, let alone a technical lead?

And now, nearly two years later, I look back at the past 5 years and find myself really grateful for it all.  And that’s not just because Mile Two is a great place to be.  Yes, I couldn’t have asked for a better spot to land and continue to grow and contribute, but even the hard moments of those final few years prior to leaving were transformative for me as a person, and a leader.