On Changes

All my life's a circle, sunrise and sundown.

It’s amazing how quickly time can fly when you are having fun.

Almost fifteen years ago I started working at DealNews as a Junior Developer. I was in my mid 20s, less than two years out of Auburn. I even remember it was mid November because I left my previous job on a Wednesday, went to the Auburn-Georgia Game, then started at DealNews the following Monday. It was just before Black Friday even. I still even remember what that first day was like: I didn’t have SVN access yet and I had to email my code to my boss!

To give you an idea of how long ago this was: when I was hired on at DealNews, I announced it to my friends on my MySpace page and my LiveJournal blog. Neither of which exist anymore.

Fifteen years is a long time in tech, where changing jobs rapidly is the norm and staying in a position for three years can be seen as a serious commitment to a company. But the only constant in the universe is change. Which is why it is definitely very bittersweet for me to announce that I will be leaving DealNews on September 16, 2022.

Even just typing that feels weird, that’s how comfortable I have been.

Over the last fifteen years I have happily stayed with DealNews, because I enjoyed the work! I was learning a lot and progressing up the ladder to the level of team leader, and I definitely enjoyed the people I worked with. I was privileged to work on one of the best teams with some of the most exceptional people I have ever encountered. Folks like Brian Moon and Daniel Beckham (who are two of the most intelligent people I have ever met), Keith Ford, Chris Cornelius, Amberly Kline, Jeremey Earle, Nick Roth, and Sawyer Green, among many others, became like part of my extended family.

The entire DealNews dev team in Las Vegas, April 2007. Wow, we were so young!
The entire DealNews dev team in Las Vegas, April 2007. Wow, we were so young!

And as I moved from a single, almost fresh out of college developer living in a run down apartment in a bad area of Huntsville to married, with a kid and a nice house in the suburbs, DealNews was with me all the way. DealNews folks were at my wedding and gifted us all manner of things when our daughter was born. DealNews provided for us during the 2011 Super Outbreak by putting us up in hotels in Nashville until everything in Huntsville had recovered. We rode out the Great Recession, the tumultuous mid 2010s and the COVID-19 pandemic together. We worked through multiple redesigns and re-architectures and saw the rise of mobile web and mobile apps.

I can’t even begin to describe what a difficult decision this was for me - it was, in fact, one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make. I agonized over it because this is the first time in my life that I have left a job that I wasn’t, at some level, unhappy in. I wish I could say there was some big reason or juicy drama for me leaving, but … there isn’t! I was actually super happy at DealNews and I would have been completely content to retire there. I cannot say enough about what a great experience working there has been. I got to work with smart people solving interesting problems. If you have the option to work for Dan and company, you should definitely take it! You will be hard pressed to find a more awesome group of people to work with.

So What’s Next, Then?

But sometimes an opportunity falls into your lap that you would be an absolute fool to walk away from. When a recruiter reaches out to me with an opportunity, I usually politely decline. But this time was different. This one looked interesting and was in a field that I have developed a passionate belief over the last few years desperately needs to be disrupted.

Which is why I am just so super excited to announce that I will be joining the team at Aledade as a Technical Lead on September 23, 2022 to revolutionize how quality healthcare is delivered. This is a chance to work on products that will make a positive impact in the lives of millions of people, and that’s not something you get to say very often.

Again, I was to emphasize how just unbelievably grateful I am to DealNews for all the opportunities they have provided for my family and I over the years. They took a very real gamble on me fifteen years ago, and I like to think it’s been a good bet. I have learned so much working around the other very smart people here, and the lessons I have learned and the friendships I have made will stay with me for the rest of my life. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for everything.

In the meantime, my schedule the next few weeks will be full of all of those fun things I haven’t had to do in fifteen years. Documenting things, exit interviews and paperwork. So, so much paperwork. But I am super excited to get started at Aledade making a difference in peoples’ healthcare experiences, and I hope you will stay with me as I move on to the next chapter of my professional life.

About the Author

Hi, I'm Rob! I'm a blogger and software developer. I wrote petfeedd, dystill, and various other projects and libraries. I'm into electronics, general hackery, and model trains and airplanes. I am based in Huntsville, Alabama, USA.

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