One thing that’s been eating up my time (and energy, and attention) lately has been a hunt for a new job. I had intended to look around passively for a while because I wasn’t in any big hurry. However, once the recruiters got word that I was looking, things started to move much more quickly. Suddenly I’m getting dozens of phone calls every day, and dozens of emails. I was doing phone screens and going on interviews. All of this and I was trying to not impact my current job so much.

First thing’s first: I’m not leaving WebLinc because I’m unhappy with it. Also, I don’t think they’re unhappy with me. WebLinc is a great place to work, and I’m thankful for the time I’ve spent there. If you’re in the Philadelphia area and you know ColdFusion, Ruby on Rails, and/or have solid web fundamentals (JS/CSS/HTML) or graphic design experience (or sales, or project management, etc) you should consider applying. It’s a very hip young organization with great talent, a rapidly growing and diverse clientele, and some real opportunity to do cool things. Also, there’s a cool bar/restaurant on premises, and the company has a good (and growing) relationship with open-source and the developer community at large. If you’re young and talented and care about the craft of web development, definitely consider WebLinc in your job search. You won’t be disappointed.

So why am I leaving? WebLinc historically has had two main platforms: ColdFusion and ASP.NET. Between the two, the ColdFusion team has had some of the biggest project successes and the more demonstrated ability to scale up the size of it’s team. When you’re a company that’s growing as fast as WebLinc, the ability to scale up your team quickly, to meet deadlines and to keep to budgets are all very important. The ColdFusion team was doing these things better than .NET (for a variety of reasons, not the least of which were endemic to the platform itself). This lead to more sales for the ColdFusion team, and a larger, steadier stream of work. At some point the decision was made to devote resources going forward into ColdFusion (and a small, but growing, Ruby on Rails team) and not devote new resources to .NET. This has nothing to do with the relative theoretical merits of ASP.NET vs ColdFusion and, in my opinion, has nothing to do with the quality of developers they had working on those platforms. The reasons why one team was doing better than the other team aren’t really worth exploring at this point, but from a business perspective it was clear where effort and resources needed to be devoted going forward.

I started looking around for a variety of reasons. I could have stayed for a while in my current position, riding the waves of boom and bust that are inherent in any job that bills hourly for maintenance. I could have started transitioning over towards the Ruby on Rails team but chose not to go in that direction, yet. Instead of sitting around and hoping things went well, I wanted to take a little bit more control of my situation. I started looking passively at first, but once the recruiters got involved things started moving quickly and the rest is history. I’ve written a few notes up about my job hunt and my dealings with various recruiters. These notes may turn into additional blog posts (now that I have time and energy to try blogging more).

In early December I’ll be starting at Halfpenny Technologies, a small but growing company involved with electronic medical records and related areas. The team is small, the company is growing rapidly, and they have some very real and very interesting technical challenges bubbling to the forefront. At the interview they were throwing around words like “ownership” and “leadership”, and were talking about some very interesting new technologies. Combine that with a few other factors, and the decision was actually an easy one for me to make.

I have a good idea about what kinds of work I’m going to be doing there but I don’t want to talk about it quite yet. In reality, you don’t know anything until you start working and get knee-deep in code. I also don’t know what their policies and attitudes are on blogging and public commentary, but I’ll say what I can when I’m confident enough to say it.

So starts a new chapter in my career, one that I’m hoping lasts quite a while and takes me in some cool new directions. Again, I’ll post more when I have more to say.