Red Squirrel Reflections
Dave Hoover explores the psychology of software development

Dave Hoover
dave.hoover@gmail.com

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Sun, 24 Jun 2007

The Vehicle

This post was going to be an email to a friend who is interested in joining Obtiva, but most of what I was going to tell him were things I've been wanting to blog about, so I figured I'd make it a public-facing message...

After I had been with Obtiva for six months, I experienced a change in perspective that has changed my career, and hopefully, the careers of many other future Obtivians. At that point I had already delivered my first training course, and with the help of my fellow Obtivians, I had introduced Ruby and Rails at the J2EE shop of one of our main clients. I was excited to make an impact, but it began to occur to me that a company as small and as financially stable as Obtiva is more than just a place to work hard and make an impact, it is a vehicle that can be driven. The way that the company is structured provides us with incentive to not only do great work, but to go and create the work we want to do. And that is exactly what I did. I subscribed to a bunch of feeds like the 37signals Gig Board and started winning business. These wins allowed us to hire 4 of our 11 employees and provided us with the first wave of apprentices for our Craftsmanship Studio in Wheaton.

Nine months later, I am living a dream. I am riding my bike to work and spending my days with Brian Tatnall, Victoria Wang, and Joseph Leddy in the Studio, helping them along their paths toward mastery as we deliver Rails projects to a variety of customers using whatever tools we want. While I certainly cannot take all of the credit for my good fortune, I can say that I have maximized the situation, and we have room for others to do the same: Gareth sees the same potential and Obtiva has become a vehicle for him to grow our consulting business into the world of business and finance.

Friend, you will likely have many opportunities to join Obtiva in the coming years, but I am uncertain whether the company will be as malleable as it is today. You are a multi-talented person, a world-class software developer, to be sure, but you have many other talents that could be leveraged to allow you to use this opportunity as a vehicle to drive you toward exactly the sort of work that you want to be doing, and where you want to be doing it.

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