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Posted by: jsonmez | February 2, 2013

Leaving the Safety of a Regular Job

My routine is pretty crazy.

I get up in the morning, make my strict bodybuilding diet breakfast, and get to work at my first job by around 8:00 AM.

I’ll take a few short breaks before lunch to cook usually some fish or chicken in order to fit in my 6 to 7 meals a day.  (I eat the same exact thing every single day.)

At lunch time I’ll either head to the gym or out on the road for a run.

Around 5:00 I’ll be done with my work for the day at TrackAbout, and take about a 2 hour break to eat dinner and spend some time with the family before heading back to my office to start recording.

Most nights I spend from 7:30ish till 11:00-12:00 planning course work, recording, or editing videos for my Pluralsight courses.

On weekends I usually spend one day finishing up whatever I didn’t get done during the week and writing a blog post.

I’ve been doing this for just about 2 years.

But, that is about to change.

Leaving TrackAbout

February 13th will be my last day working at one of the best companies I have ever worked for, TrackAbout.

trackabout-lockup

It is really difficult to leave a company that is full of so many good people.  In the two and a half years I was at TrackAbout, I cannot recall one heated argument that I have ever been in with any person at that company.  I don’t even know of anyone else having a quarrel either.  That really says a lot about the values and temperance of the employees and owners of the company.

Here are some of the awesome things I liked about working for TrackAbout:

  • Completely remote development team.  Everyone works from home.
  • No bureaucracy!  One layer of management, developers report directly to our CTO.
  • Our CTO, Larry Silverman, is highly technical.  You can’t BS him!  He knows software development and is able to make good choices that are highly relevant to the work being done.  (No death marches, no mandates from on high.)
  • Autonomy.  As long as you are doing your job, how you do it is mostly up to you.  Even what we do to some extent is decided by our teams.
  • Respect.  In the whole time I was at TrackAbout, I never was pushed to lower an estimate or questioned about how I did my job.  TrackAbout empowers its employees by trusting them and believing they are competent.
  • Flexibility.  I always found that if I thought we were doing something the wrong way at TrackAbout, I could say why and how to make it better and things would actually change.
  • Developer free time.  Every 2 weeks we get 4 hours to work on whatever project we want.

I don’t intend to make this an advertisement, but they are hiring an entry level position.  (Web and Mobile .NET Developer – Entry Level – TELECOMMUTE)

So why am I leaving then?

You might be wondering if I enjoyed working at TrackAbout so much, why I would leave.

As I said, it was not an easy decision, but my true passion—the basis of this blog—has always been to make things that seem complicated simple.  I really enjoy being able to take a complex thing and break it down so anyone can understand it.

Pluralsight got $27.5 million in funding this year with the goal of expanding their course catalog by a large amount this year.

I realized that I needed to do everything I can to help with that goal, and that this kind of opportunity would not likely come again in my life.  For me, this represents an opportunity to independently support myself and to devote full time to doing the thing I am most passionate about, taking the complex and making it simple.

Come February 14th of this year, I’ll be devoting almost all my time to producing Pluralsight courses.

Stepping away from stability

 

MH900059410

I have to admit, it is a bit scary to not have a regular paycheck coming in.

I’ll be a completely independent author making a living off of the courses I produce.  Both exciting, and scary.

I’ve been used to getting that steady two week paycheck and having benefits provided for me, but now my fate is entirely in my own hands.

It is a step I know that I had to take, I just had not planned on taking it so soon.

Where to from here?

This year will primarily be focused on Pluralsight course development and possibly a small amount of consulting.

After that, the road is unwritten.  I’ll be keeping this blog going, and I definitely plan to have a redesign this year.

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Responses

  1. Good luck on this new stage of your life! I hope you can accomplish every goal that you propose. I really enjoy the topics of your blog.
    I was wondering about which categories your Pluralsight courses will be focused on this year.

    • Thanks! Actually it will be quite a wide variety of topics. I have about 50 course ideas in a list and I’ll have time to do many of them. I’ll be doing some non-mainstream topics about technologies that are interesting, but not widely used as well.

  2. Congrats and good luck!

  3. When I found out you’d be leaving TrackAbout, it pretty much bummed me out for the rest of the day. I’ll miss having the opportunity to learn from you, and I’ll miss your leadership.

    You’re going to crush it with Pluralsight!

  4. Good luck. Enjoy your Pluralsight courses and looking forward to more. Good job on keeping consistent workouts in the afternoon. If I leave my workouts for the afternoon or evening I always start missing some, so I’m at the gym 6am M-F.

    • Thanks. I used to do the morning workouts, but I found that I needed something to break up my day or I would just sit at my desk all day. I may change it up again, now that my schedule will be different.

  5. Just watched your ServiceStack videos on Pluralsight this week-end. They are outstanding. I will definitely be recommending them. I wish you well with this new direction you’re taking.

    • Thanks! 🙂

  6. Good Luck in pluralsight courses :), I admit that you are awesome teacher who able to make the complex simple ^_^

  7. You will certainly be missed. It was quite a privilege and an honor to work with you. I don’t see much of a need for you to be nervous about giving up the stable job. From what I know of you, I’m pretty sure you’ll have no problem finding income for as long as you want. Take care and well wishes to you!

    • Thank you. It was an honor to work with you as well.

  8. Your blog has been inspiring my team for the last two years. I’ve never commented, but this post is immediately relevant: just last week, I left my stable job to start a microISV. Good luck! Let’s hope we don’t miss the regular paycheck too much =)

    • Good luck to you as well. Keep me updated. And what is your new company?

      • Thanks for asking, John! I’m selling a release management tool to aid product-based software development (currently targeting .NET teams). http://www.eisenhartsoftware.com I’m a programmer turned marketer, so the site is still a bit rough. If you think you’d find it useful, I’d be happy to send you a license next week.

  9. John,
    Once in a while, if you’re lucky, you cross paths with unique and inspiring people. You’ve been an inspiration to our team here at TrackAbout and you’ll be greatly missed. You made a huge impact.

    This new chapter in your life sounds amazing and I wish you the best. I was about to wish you luck, but you’re a guy who makes his own luck.

    Thanks for the nice words about TrackAbout and me in particular. Now if I can just find the “post” button around here somewhere…

  10. Congrats, Jon! Your courses have always left me inspired!

  11. Congratulations! I’m working on your (excellent) Intro to Android course right now. I plan to watch other courses from you and it’s great to know that there are more on the way.

  12. […] at the beginning of this year was I able to finally quit my regular job working for someone else and start working completely for […]

  13. You mentioned it effectively.


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