I used to think twitter was useless. My take was something like: “unless you’re going to share it with me I don’t care what you’re having for lunch.” Turns out that was a very limited perspective. When I took my first real developer job at ESRI I met Josh Highland (@joshhighland). Josh is a special kind of crazy, and I mean that in a good way. He’s a straight edge, christian, heavy-metal loving, pomade-selling, muy-thai fighting, iphone/web developer, nerd-meets-rockstar kind of guy. He’s completely addicted to twitter and all things web. He’s even promised to get a huge fail-whale tattoo when he gets to 20,000 followers. I have him to thank for getting me into twitter again (I already had an account). But also, as a developer I whipped up a little python script on a cronjob that followed anyone who mentioned django. This was few years ago before everyone and their mother’s developer (no that’s not a typo) started using django. Before long I went from following 20 some peeps to about 500 developers. That’s when the magic unicorns starting drinking from the celestial well of far-away galaxies.
Fast forward a few months and the wife and I were in Palm Desert for a little weekend getaway. I’m just chillin’ and reading twitter, ya know… like ya do, and I was unfollowing people that my script had followed who mainly seemed to ramble on about nonsense. If you follow my boss-turned-friend-who-I-can-therefore-make-fun-of @adambrault on twitter you know that he totally fits into that category. His tweets are quite clever, but really random at times, especially if you don’t know him. So I was finger-over the ‘unfollow’ button in Tweetie and I noticed that he was in the Tri-cities Washington. Now, Holly and I were going to go up to Spokane just a few weeks after that and I had been asking around about potential job options in the Northwest. So rather than unfollowing, I DM'ed him and asked if he knew of anything and to my surprise, got quite coherent and friendly responses. After a few messages back and forth we decided to meet for lunch when I came up there.
At the time, his company &yet consisted of just him, Amy and Angela. We met for lunch had a good talk and I soon realized that this guy knew his stuff, was really sharp and had a strong vision for where he wanted to take his company. We didn’t talk about employment or anything, but about a week later, I got a phone call from him asking if I had any interest in a job. It was a huge gamble for us to leave our friends and family, leave my job, despite the suddenly-willing-to-negotiate everything boss at ESRI. But a few months later we’re happily getting settled in the TC.
&yet has turned into a strong team of 6 awesome developers and a “team mom”/admin Lisa in a sweet new custom office, rockin’ new iMacs and iPads working on amazing projects like this awesome still-in-progress app: Recon Dynamics. We’re also releasing a couple projects of our own. Turns out this “huge gamble” (according to my ESRI boss) of moving to the tri-cities was one of the best choices Holly and I have made in a long time.
All because of twitter. You know, that worthless social tool for sharing pictures of breakfast:
(I’d give credit to where this came from, but I can’t locate the original source, here’s a place I saw it).