Chicago 2014 - Proposal

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How (not) to pull a Nathen Harvey [Quitting your job and devop-ing the wrong way]


Recently (after attending my first DevOpsDays in PGH), I pulled a semi-successful Nathen Harvey by quitting my small-town job. I was over-worked, under-paid, and under-appreciated. I had no mentor, no leader, and no room to grow. Following Nathen Harvey's suggestion to “Become an DevOp”, I set out to quit my job and gain a level up.

Being that my job wasn't paying me anything, I submitted a proposal to the organizers of DoDPGH for them to fund my attendance at the conference. They paid for my hotel room and ticket to the conference; provided that I supplied my own transportation to the conference. The first morning of the conference was a huge eye-opener for me. This was the first time that I was ever surrounded by any large amount of technology focused people, aside the fact that there were developers and operators sitting together. While eating breakfast and talking to a few other attendees, they were shocked to find out just how little I was being paid, how little experience I was gaining, and how unhappy I was with the position. Almost immediately they started asking for my resume to pass around and started my whole process of looking for a job.

I immediately had several emails, tweets, and people talking to me about a possible position. I was shocked. However, from there is where things went wrong. There was a job-board posted in the lobby of DoDPGH, upon which I placed the only post-it under the “People Looking for a Job” category. While this was an amazing way for me to make more and more connections, Pete Cheslock took a picture of the job board and tweeted it. While this was because of a joke that Jason Dixon had placed next to mine, it still got a lot of traffic ( Luckily my current employer didn't see the tweet.

Due to my own stupidity on Twitter over the next month and a half, I didn't make it all too private that I was looking for a job. Massive updates to my LinkedIn profile, cleaning up my GitHub account, and creating a profile on definitely didn't help any matters.

Things got worse when companies were interested in me and wanted to fly me out to their locations for in-person interviews. Not being too bright, I posted pictures to Twitter while on and off the planes after taking vacation days from my current job.

One of my co-workers having seen the Tweets, confronted me about my current job search. Ignorantly I told him the truth about everything. How I was so excited to be leaving and all the great opportunities I was getting, and how awesome everything was going to be in the future. As luck would have it, that coworker was also my manager.

A few weeks later, I was in a conference room with the president of the company, having me sign a letter of resignation, effectively terminating my employment at the company. I had no job and no salary, but a lot of different job leads. Had I been more responsible about the whole process, I would have escaped a period of funemployment and have been able to still receive a paycheck.

Luckily, the first week after I quit, I was offered an amazing position at Minted, of which I accepted virtually immediately.

I could have gone about the whole process a lot better, and should have been more patient with the whole job search. In the end though, I did pull a Nathen Harvey, and I quit my job. It was one of the best things I have ever done.

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