Looking back at my previous jobs it's interesting to look at both what skills I gained while working there and how they shaped the direction of my career. At Michigan Technological University I learned about databases and priority management. SparkNET taught my about object-orientated programming, advanced PHP programming, and different team development practices. A variety of freelance projects game me client skills and a full picture view of web development. DealerFire, though, has not taught me as much in the last two years.
When I was first hired at DealerFire I thought my role was going to be a PHP programmer. I didn't know much about the business practices of the company or the types of projects I'd be working on right away. My first few weeks were spent with Google Translate and the next few months were doing frontend development. This wasn't exactly what I had hoped my role would be but did give me a much deeper understanding of the DOM, CSS3 tricks, and cross-browser capabilities. After six months I was promoted to the director of my department.
Now, almost two years later, I'm starting to realize that even with promotions and titles there was no real gained value. I have learned less in the last two years than I did in several months at previous jobs. Web development and programming is advancing at crazy speeds with new technologies, processes, and methodologies being introduced at breakneck speeds. It's time for me to catch up, time for me get re-involved in my industry.
Of course, there are other reasons for moving away from DealerFire. I won't be going into them here in a public arena but a few drinks at a bar could bring some stories out. Last week I started working at Blue Door Consulting, a company that not only promises to utilize my current skills but also force me to move forward and start learning again. After a few years at DealerFire that is one thing that I could use at this point in my career: a challenge. I'm still wearing an odd combination of DealerFire graduation goggles and Blue Door new-guy spectacles, but I'll post more about my new role in the coming weeks.