Ben Scheirman


Greener Pastures

Last week I gave my two weeks notice to my employer, Sogeti.  I’ve been working there since 2006 (when we were Software Architects, or Sark) and have many fond memories.  I’ve grown considerably as a software developer these past 4 years, and I’ve had the opportunity to work in many cool fields such as:

  • Offshore Drilling
  • Call out systems for after-hours emergency response
  • Smart Electric Metering Systems

I think Sogeti is a great place to work and I would encourage anyone coming into this field to consider them.

So why am I leaving?

There are a few reasons.  Mostly it is just time for me.

  • Vendor-slavery.  I am not at all interested in latching myself to SharePoint, PerformancePoint, BizTalk, any of Oracle’s army of tools, IBM WebSphere whatever, or anything of the sort.  It seems like this is a huge focus for the company and I couldn’t be less enthusiastic about such products. 
  • Agile?  I’m keenly interested in agile software development, specifically Scrum and XP.  Every project I’ve worked on I’ve met friction trying to introduce these things.  It’s not like agile isn’t welcomed, it’s just really only considered if a client is clamoring for it.
  • TFS TFS TFS.  Seriously.  This is a real reason.  It might be good for some folks, but in my mind, life’s too short to learn to cope with the barrage of mini-frustrations that TFS brings.
  • Cubicle-land is taxing on my soul.  I’ve spent a long time in a gray carpeted building and it really weakens the morale.  I’m looking forward to having a place (that isn’t temporary) that I can call my own and hang pictures of my awesome family up.
  • I’m becoming more and more interested in rails, Git, iPhone development, etc.  This stuff isn’t really on the radar at my current employer.

So where am I going?

I’m joining ChaiONE, a local web/iPhone firm here in Houston.  I’ll be joining as Director of Development, leading the web & iPhone teams.  My role will be focused on choosing the technology direction for the company, leading the design & architecture of our products, and spending a lot of time in code.  It’s a much smaller company, where I’ll have a lot of responsibility and a lot of freedom to build out some excellent software using tools and technique that I know to work well.

I’ll be using a range of platforms and languages, such as .NET (Monorail / MVC, NHibernate, etc), Ruby (Rails), and iPhone (obj-c / MonoTouch).  They currently use SVN, but I think I’ll start planting the Git seed.  Either way, I’m happy to be off TFS.

Oh yeah, did I mention?  I’ll be using a Mac.  :)

I start on February 1, and I’m very excited to turn this page in my life.