I love what I do for a living. I mean, I really love it. Not a lot of people can say that, I don't think. There have been a lot of lows to go with the highs but I wouldn't take one without the other. In 2009 I gave up the w-2 office life to try consulting. I was already working on a bootstrapped startup idea with a colleague and I was ready to take on even more challenges in the world of Software Engineering.
With a couple of short stint exceptions I've been working on some amazing projects from the comfort of my home office. Sure there was the occasional on-site requirement or meeting. But I'd estimate that about 90% of the last 6 years has been working from home.
It takes a certain discipline to work from home. Not everyone can do it. I know that I had days where all I wanted to do was be outside playing with my kids. And truthfully, sometimes I did because, with the discipline, comes a fair amount of freedom. So it is a matter of striking the balance.
All of my consulting gigs have primarily been remote. In fact, only one contract was even in Kansas and I barely count that because I had to actually be in the office 3 days of the week which required me to travel to and from Kansas City every week. Although the status quo seems to be changing, Wichita historically has not been a mecka of budding technology. That means that working remote contracts from home was technically my only real option.
Last year, 2015, brought about some major changes career wise for me. I left my startup that I co-founded which also included a couple of other contracts and a damaged relationship with a dear friend, mentor and colleague that is just now beginning to repair. I have absolutely no regrets but it was one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make.
I found a new contract pretty quickly and have been working steadily for the last 6 months for a company out of Omaha, NE. After working 12-16 hour days, 6 days a week for about the last 3 years this new contract was a breath of fresh air. It has been consistently an 8-5 job with no real weekend requirements. In the beginning I didn't really know what to do with myself. My work day would end, I would leave my home office, and I wouldn't really know what to do.
With my new found spare time I was able to do some of the things that I love which was spend more time with my family, play more board games, and play around with new technology or technology I wasn't familiar with. During all that time what I realized is that I had a desire to do something in Wichita. I wanted to lend my skill set to a company in Wichita that would help build and drive the tech industry here, locally. And I realized I had no idea where to start.
I've been somewhat involved in a local tech community here called DevICT. Man, what a terrific group of people. They really have been striving to build the tech community here and they are doing some amazing things and are some of the most helpful people I've come across. There are also some amazingly talented entrepreneurs here; Carlos Fernandez, Brandon Shuey, Jonathan George and Devin Walker just to name a few. These guys are all amazing, wicket smart and just overall good people.
Through networking with the above mentioned folks and DevICT I learned about an opportunity here in Wichita. A four year old Silicon Valley tech company moved here to take advantage of our local talent and midwest style of living. Long story short, January 4th, 2016 I begin my adventure with SNT Media. I'll be leaving the comfort of my home office. I'll take part in the daily commute, downtown parking, shared workspaces, in person meetings, uncontrollable office climate and I couldn't be more excited.
My family has been super supportive and although I'm giving up a certain level of freedom that comes with working from home I'm so ready for this new challenge. I'm ready to try to make SNT Media better. I'm ready to try to make Wichita better.