I don't know about you, but for me change flat-out sucks. I hate it with every bone in my body. Consistency, routine, and familiarity are my security blankets. When work or life gets tough they are what I lean on to pull myself through. That's why when DEV approached me about a job I was interested but also hesitant.
Honestly, my first thought was, "Oh no, not now! I am supposed to come to you in a year or so when I hate Kenna and want a change." I literally confessed this to Ben who just chuckled because that is not how life works. It doesn't go along with your plans no matter how much you will it to.
I always expected when I left Kenna it would be because I hated it or that I hated what I was working on. I never imagined I would be asked to leave before I was actually ready, but that's what happened. It was the hardest decision I have ever made in my career. How do you leave a company you have truly enjoyed working for for the past 4 years? How do you leave coworkers that have literally become part of your family?
One of the big reasons I decided the opportunity at DEV was worth it was because it was a chance to continue to learn and grow. I have done some open source work in the past, but working on an open source project comes with a whole new set of challenges. No longer is my code being viewed by just a few people, it can be viewed by everyone. I know that this kind of scrutiny is going to push me to code better, cleaner, and in general, just up my game.
DEV has given me the opportunity to take my skills and put them to good use for a platform whose mission I wholeheartedly feel is necessary in our industry. DEV is not a company used by big flashy fortune 500 companies. It is a platform used by myself and my peers, by those who might not have any other way to reach out and speak to the rest of the dev world. It is a place people can go to learn and find support in this often punishing world. Getting a chance to work on technology that is changing the world for the better is not something that many get a chance to do. This is why when the opportunity came my way there was no way I could say no.
While at DEV I will be working with many of the same technologies I worked with at Kenna, but I will be using them in slightly different ways. Even though I may be coming in to implement some of the same technologies we used at Kenna, I guarantee how I implement them will be different. The codebase, the data, it is all different and will bring new challenges that I will learn from. Working at DEV is also going to give me an opportunity to work with a lot of new technologies that I have never used! When you are at a company for a while, in order to use a new technology you have to create something new or take the time to switch from an existing solution to it. With a new company, you are exposed to new technologies right from the get-go!
At DEV I will be working with an entirely new team and on an entirely different codebase. Sure, I will be doing the same general job as I was before, but now I will be surrounded by people who will offer me new views and outlooks and solutions. They will give me new ideas and perspectives that will only help me learn and grow as a software engineer. When you work at the same company for a while surrounded by the same people you can get set in your ways and it can be hard to force yourself to seek out new perspectives and ideas. Not to mention, maintaining the status quo is always the path of least resistance. At a new company, you get thrown in the new perspective deep end and it forces you to explore new things and reevaluate your previous views.
The next time an opportunity comes your way that grabs your attention and makes you pause, don't let your fear of the unknown deter you. Don't let your cushy job at your big stable company prevent you from seeing that there might be more out there for you, there might be more things you are meant to accomplish. Whatever you do, don't let the fear of change cause you to miss out on what could be an opportunity of a lifetime. In the end, the only thing that is for certain is change.