In my Absence

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Sparkmasterflex Hawaii

Hello all. I know I haven’t posted anything in a while and I apologize. I’ve gone through a bit of a transition recently, both personally and professionally, all for the best I assure you.

I had been toying with the idea of looking for another job for the past year or so, but a sense of loyalty mixed with comfort prevented me from pursuing the notion. Then about three months ago, the company where I got my start took a different direction and it no longer matched my long-term career goals. I had become the only Rails developer on a web team that totaled three full time employees and a part-time intern. I was responsible for building and/or managing 10+ applications. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the variety and the challenges they provided, but as time went on, all these projects began to require more and more attention and time. And as one developer trying to keep so much moving forward, I became stressed with having to move from project to project on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis, leaving features unfinished and tests in the red. My work was suffering and I was becoming disappointed in myself for it. It was the best first job a developer fresh out of school could have had, but the company had changed and I was ready to branch out.

So where was that silver lining? Well I began looking for a new job and the market for remote positions in the Rails, JavaScript, and web world in general was looking good. So I dusted off that ole’ resume and began applying. Very early on, I came across an ad for a Rails position in Hawaii, but here was the catch… It wasn’t a remote position.

I believe my exact words to myself were: “Why not?” and later mentioned it to my wife, who replied with pretty much the same response. It sounded like a good company, they had a really nice website and an interesting product with what looked like a good client list. And I got even more excited about the possibility after the first call with one of the developers. I would be one of at least three Ruby on Rails developers and there was a whole other team of Python developers. I would be part of the development team, not THE development team.

After a phone call, take home Rails exercise and a video chat/peer programing session, they offered me the job. I asked my wife one final time… “Are you sure you’re up for this?” and she was. It all suddenly became real.

So in less than two months, my wife and I got our house ready for the market, organized getting our stuff (including our cat Eeyore) to Hawaii and got together with everyone we could to say “goodbye.” We barely survived, but as I write this, we are driving to Scottsbluff, Nebraska to visit my grandmothers and then head to California, where my car will be shipped and we will board a plane to Hawaii. My wife and I will be stepping off a plane, on an island we’ve never been to and we will say, “This is where we’re going to live.”

So what’s coming up for the Sparkmasterflex blog? Well before all this started, I was building an app to use as an example for using Backbone.js with Ruby on Rails. It’ll most likely be a three-part post. The first post will be online towards the end of May, (need to let things settle down after the move) and will probably be about setting up the project. Following that we’ll dive into the Rails structure and setup our API system for the data, then we’ll integrate our Backbone.js to handle that data and render our views and handle user triggered events.

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