We’ve been going about the process of hiring developers lately, and speaking with them has reminded me of why I came to work at Apprenda in the first place.
A Little History
Upon starting my career, I found myself working for the government. To my family, this was a great job: “You must have great benefits!” “The work you guys do is so important!” “It’s great having such good job security!” All of those things were true. While perhaps not as good as people think, the benefits were good; I can say I was a part of things important to our country both now and in the future, and I had virtually no concerns about my job going away.
The problem was that job security is a two way street. I found myself in an environment where my sub-stellar GPA (that I was a little embarrassed about) was impressively high to my coworkers. In less than a year, I had reached the conclusion that if a task looked remotely difficult I needed to make sure that I got it done because otherwise I would end up fixing it later. For a while it was nice being the big fish, but really, I was in a small, undesirable pond.
Worse yet were the politics involved. Getting anything accomplished required coordination between at least three teams (if we were lucky and only had to deal with the teams inside our branch) all of whom had different agendas. Obscuring and stone-walling were the normality, and while things did get done in the end it was never what you would call easy.
Fast Forward To Apprenda
One day as I was answering questions on Stack Overflow, I saw a link to their old jobs board and took a look. I was surprised to find a job that looked cool in the same town that my brother-in-law and his family lived. That was all the incentive I needed to submit my resume and stop in for an interview while we were visiting for Thanksgiving. Long story short, I left the interview certain that I wanted to work at Apprenda. What struck me most about the developers I interviewed with was how passionate and intelligent they all were! I was extremely impressed with the way they conducted themselves, and fortunately for me, the feeling was mutual. For my birthday that year I received a job offer.
In the time since, things have only improved. As Apprenda has grown, we have continued to hire more and more top caliber developers – developers who care deeply about doing a good job and who consistently deliver on all fronts. I never feel that there’s a task that only I am capable of accompishing, nor do I find myself having to worry about political problems instead of technical ones. When I’m not sure how to implement something or what the best way to fix a bug is, I can approach any of my coworkers and know that they will be able to help me. I could go on and on, but this is a blog post and I don’t want you to start comparing me to Steve Yegge. Suffice it to say, my pond is no longer small and undesirable.
Is everything perfect? Is Apprenda some sort of programmers’ nirvana? Of course not! But for me and every other developer I’ve talked to, it’s worlds better than most jobs. If my experience has taught me anything, it’s that the most important thing about a job is who you work with. The team at Apprenda is far and away the best I’ve ever worked with, and I don’t know where I would ever find one better. The emphasis they place on the right cultural fit when hiring only further establishes that sense of comfort and commonality. If the first part of my story is painfully familiar and you want yours to end up like mine, send us your resume. What’s the worst that could happen?