Saturday, January 15, 2011

Will the Last One Out Please Turn Out the Lights?

Closing time - every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end...

I'm happy to say that I had a really great six years with Tracker Corp. I watched a company that I was employee #10 with triple in size and expand into new markets. I got a chance to meet a lot of our clients over the years and help them out of jams. I had kinda' soured on being a tester after several years, so I didn't even come into the company as a tester at first, I came in to do Technical Support. As in most small companies, though, it's rare that anyone does just one thing, and when word got around that I did testing, well, it wasn't long until I was back on the testing horse again :).

I had a chance to see how a Windows/.NET shop worked. I got to see some of the quirks related to testing a site built on DotNetNuke. I got to experience the joy of trying to see how legacy parts written in Visual Basic came to mesh with newer components written in C#. I still didn't become much of a Windows coder, but that wasn't really necessary for what I was doing. I learned to test government forms that needed to get revamped regularly, and turned around just as fast.

I'll remember a company that took its employees to Puerto Vallarta in 2007 for an extended weekend as a way of saying thanks for what had been an amazing year in sales and product. Hanging with my team and running down zip lines in the jungle makes for a pretty awesome memory! I'll remember many Christmas parties and competitive Halloween competitions, where I either won the costume contest or finished in 2nd place every year that I was there. I'll remember talking video games with L., code geekery and craft beer with W. (I don't drink, but W. is passionate about it, and his passion is infectious :) ). I'll miss the gym trips with D., G. & M. I'll miss talking about philosophy and Shakespeare with D., comparing spicy food with K., and talking about music and shows with B.

In short, for many of us, we are happy to do the work that we are trained to do and enjoy doing, but it's the people that we work with that make those jobs either great fun or unbearable. While I've certainly experienced ups and downs over the past six years, I absolutely can count much more of the former than I can the latter. Often I would be the last one out of the building some nights (and earlier in my stint here I was often the first one in as well), so the joke always went "hey Michael, if you're the last one out, please turn out the lights". I'm glad that, for my last day, I was given the privilege of doing that one last time, to be the last one to leave, to close things up and put an end to them as best I could, and take one final walk around the area and say goodbye in my own way.

Monday morning I will start a whole new adventure with many brand new and some familiar faces. It'll be a different focus, a different approach, a different attitude and a different market. Tuesday morning, Tracker will pick up and go on its way. I think overall we'll both be fine :).

Closing time - every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end...

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