Sunday, April 20, 2008

Engine Yard

As I mentioned on Twitter, Friday was my last day at
Engine Yard. Since several people have asked, I wanted to say a little bit about why I decided to leave and about what’s next.

First off, I can’t say enough times how much EY rocks. They’re an awesome company to work with (I’ve been a customer) and an awesome company to work for. I had a great time working with some very talented people.

What it really came down to was time. I used to laugh when political figures would resign to “spend more time with their family,” but that’s basically what happened for me. I realized that the most valuable thing I have in my business life is the flexibility to wrap it around my family life, not just after dinner or over lunch, but all day. As a fulltime employee, I couldn’t take off the afternoon because Ellie was feeling cranky and needed extra attention, or because she was being silly and I wanted to spend a few hours being charmed. It wouldn’t be fair to my co-workers, or the customers. Being self-employed gives me control over my time and how I assign it to projects, and I really missed having that control.

What’s next? I’m back to consulting with Ivey & Brown (that website is sorely in need of a makeover). If you need some contract Merb or Rails development or Scrum training, give us a call. I’m working on some internal projects in May (see website above) and will have serious time for client work June 1.

A couple of people asked me, “Aren’t you scared, not knowing where your paycheck will come from?” and the answer is, “Yes!” Sometimes being self-employed is a real nail-biter. It takes a fair amount of ego self-confidence and a willingness to take risks. For me, the risks are worth it, but it’s definitely not for everyone.

Yes, I’m still involved with Merb and hope to actually be more involved in the coming weeks. I’ll have more time to focus on getting 1.0 ready, and on the Merb book I’m co-authoring for Manning. I think my editor will be happy about that aspect of my flexibility, for sure!

Thanks to everyone at Engine Yard for being awesome. It was a blast, and I can’t wait to have some new apps for you to manage.


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