A few days ago I made a very difficult decision. I decided to move on from DockYard. I've changed jobs quite a few times at this point, and in all of those cases I felt like there were at least a few negative aspects of the company that made me decide to leave. At DockYard, however, everybody and every project was stellar.
Leadership at DockYard, more so than any other place I've worked before, places an impressively high priority on the well-being and personal growth of their employees. Through setting aside a day each week for personal growth and development, an aversion to employees working outside of working hours, being a fully remote company and a million other things, they made their priorities extremely clear. Beyond that, the leadership has illustrated a strong ethical backbone both in actions and in words.
I think DockYard is somewhere I could have comfortably stayed for 20 more years. Working alongside the best of the best, the very foundation of the Elixir community, has been a rare privilege. Not a single person at DockYard failed to inspire me. The people are what really made it hard to decide to leave. At DockYard, I was able to wear many hats. I was given work time to contribute more to the open source community, and had the opportunity to tackle a wide array of problems I would never have encountered otherwise. Some of the smartest and most passionate people were just a chat message away (a privilege I most definitely abused), and everyone was a team player.
On the other hand, I learned how important "ownership" is to me. Not necessarily that I need to be the factual owner of what I'm working on, but that I feel compelled to have a big picture understanding, and subsequently a strong hand in, the development of what I'm helping to build. I need to feel like I'm creating something big, and that I have a stake in the success or failure of it.
As a contractor I've felt surprisingly detached from the things I've been building. There is always a stakeholder on the other end who, invariably, needs to manage the big picture and act as a gatekeeper of sorts. I find myself wishing that I had that role, and not the other way around. I can still architect and innovate, but what I'm lacking is the thrill and excitement of putting my name and effort behind a product. Perhaps a more disciplined mind could see that we're always putting our name behind anything we build but to me, unfortunately, it just doesn't feel as real.
Through all of this, I've confirmed that what I really need to drive me forward is personal investment. That is when I do my best work, and that is when I feel the most fulfilled by my job. To that end, I've joined the small but growing team at Variance. The founders there have an amazing track record, and I believe that this will be a great opportunity for me to take an important role in something that will someday be a game changer for the modern company.
To my fellow DockYarders, thank you for being excellent. To Variance, thank you for giving me the chance to help you build something special. To the Elixir community, keep your eyes peeled because something big is on its way. To the world, listen up, you'll be hearing more of me from now on.