10 years ago, I joined a small company that, at the time, had just been acquired into a larger company. At the time, it was still very much opereating on its own, and it still felt quite a lot like an startup. It felt small. And it was growing fast. This brought about a bit of intensity and a bit of a cowboy way of doing things. Other than working for a shitty manager who was likely certifiably a sociopath, it was fun.
A year later, I became a DBA at this company. We were integrating with the larger company and doing new things. When I was transitioning to the DBA team, I was looking forward to the management that I would be working for. Unfortunately, the director left and a new one was hired, who was a terrible person to work for. Jeez, the bad luck.
Some questionable decisions were made pertaining to the databases. More questionable decisions were made. But I went with the flow. I wasn’t responsible for the platform we were migrating to and struggling with. We hired other people for that. One of the really tough things going on, though, was the stuff I was responsible for were viewed as “toys” and not worth throwing people at nor paying them a lot to manage it. I had almost no support from my leadership. I was ready to leave.
The parent company looked to be acquired and found a buyer. However, the part of the company I primarily worked with was required to be divested for the acquisition to go through. I went with the divestment.
The following year was hell. That platform we decided to use that I wasn’t responsible for? It became a massive pain point during our separation from the former owners. The admin we brought with us for that platform was incompetent. Many months of failures later, he quit and everything fell on me. I elected to migrate the data to something I was actually strong with, the former platform the data lived on, one which we still had the code for. I had the full support of leadership on this decision and engineering kicked ass getting their code updated. The heterogenesous data migration was difficult and expensive, and we had to make compromises to make it work, but we ultimately got it done before the DOJ had to intervene. I think we still had to pay some fines, but not only was it a hard year for me, it was hard for the new owners.
It was an expensive year of failures where we made no movement forward on technology and we were at risk of falling behind the industry. They had to make hard decisions to get back into the black. Some good people were laid off. Some reorganization was done. What followed, though, were years of success.
Dealersocket was a good company with good leaders. I had always heard about the idea that one could work for good leaders who know how to lead and make work life good and still be successful, but it wasn’t until we got out of that dark period that I realized not only does it really exist, I got to experience it. Those leaders are the reason I didn’t leave.
This company is where I started my DBA career and it’s where I learned about leadership and trust. They trusted me with a team as I was promoted to a leadership role. One of those leaders played a huge role in helping me learn how to be a leader, giving me tools and resources to be successful. I built a team and lead it in such a way that those under me didn’t dread being there. On call didn’t suck. We had a lot of agency in how our services were managed and the direction we took with our technology. Learning and growing were encouraged, and I would like to believe that I was a successful leader.
Last year, we got acquired again. The new owners were very different from the culture and the environment I’d grown to love. I felt like there was a regression and I didn’t see it resolving to my liking. The new company direction was one I strongly disagreed with. It was time for me to leave.
As I put it to my new director, “I don’t agree with where we’re headed and I suspect you probably don’t want someone in my position feeling that way.”
A former colleague of mine reached out to me for a role he wanted to hire for. This wasn’t the first role I’d be interviewing for in this time, as I had many going on at the time, but it’s the role I accepted. After 10 years at the same place, the longest tenure I’ve had, I committed to the change.
I’ve been in my new role a few weeks now. So far, I feel like I’ve made the right choice. The company is growing and there’s a lot of change happening. I’ve seen enough of the technology direction to know that I feel good about it, and it’s been indicated I will likely drive some of that direction for the platform I was hired to support. And so far, they are happy with me.
So this is what’s been going on lately. I know I mentioned in a previous post that I wouldn’t commit to any kind of blogging frequency, but things have been super quiet here because I’ve been focused on this massive change. I have some things I want to write about, but for now I’m focused on this, and likely will be for a few months.