When I left Mozilla in February of 2012, a friend told me that at Mozilla you find your challenges and at Pinterest your challenges will find you. He was correct and having challenges find me is what I needed.
When I decided to leave Pinterest in July of 2014 a lot of my friends asked me what it is I wanted to do. I honestly didn’t know. I got a lot of advice: “Go work at another startup”, “Go get a stable job, we’re in a bubble.”, “Working at a company is probably a bad fit for most people.”
The only thing that was clear is I did not know what I wanted. When you deal with challenges day in and day out sometimes there’s no time for self-reflection. There’s no time to think about the bigger picture.
I did know two things:
- I wanted more time with my family—I spend about 12 hours a week on a fairly unproductive commute.
- I do know that I like software engineering and the technical operations space, so I want to stay there for now.
Working at a company is probably a bad fit for most people.
In some ways, I am just not ready for another committed relationship with a company. Finding a company that fits well is difficult. Maybe the last piece of advice is right. Working for a company is probably not a good fit for me now, but I do want to keep working (and feed, clothe and shelter my family).
So I’ll be doing “DevOps” consulting. I want to take the lessons I learned at Pinterest, and apply them to other companies. I wrote some awesome tools to help engineers deploy software safely and quickly with minimal fuss.
Most engineers can deploy something at Pinterest, and that accessibility wasn’t by accident. That same friend from Mozilla got me interested in continuous delivery and I took that idea and ran with it at Pinterest.
I want to keep doing that for more organizations. Ensuring that new code is safe and enabling new features to land faster benefits engineers and end-users alike. We’ll see where this takes me. Along the way I might find the right company and reconsider what it is I want to do.
Onward and upward.