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A fond farewell to PixelMEDIA

Posted on in Ramblings by Kyle Heon

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Praesent dictum diam

After 5,168 days (that's 14 years, 1 month and 27 days), today is my last day at PixelMEDIA. I don't regret, for one second, joining them way back on May 1st, 2000. At that time I was employee 27 (or 28), two of us started on the same day. Now they hover around 70 incredibly talented individuals.

A trip down memory lane

In this period of time I have seen the company and the industry grow, shrink, and grow again. I remember when I started they were a Cold Fusion shop. I was, at the time an ASP (wasn't called Classic ASP back then) programmer which I helped bring into the company. The Hosting & Support Group at PixelMEDIA still maintains a lot of that code to this day. Next up was ASP.NET 1.0, followed quickly by 1.1, we are now pushing applications live on ASP.NET 4.5.

Early on, my niche was what we called Content Management Tools (CMT's). For me that quickly grew into a passion for Content Management Systems (CMS's). In the past 8 or so years we have implemented Ektron, Kentico and most recently, Sitecore. On the open source side there was Word Press (some consider this a CMS, I never have) and Drupal with some really basic Umbraco sites sprinkled in for good measure.

Why the departure?

14 years is an incredibly long time, but truthfully it comes down to two things:

  • I'm ready for a new challenge, agency work is hard, and quite frankly I'm pretty sure my health has suffered as a result of all the stress. Being the lead developer on massive projects has started to take it's toll.
  • An opportunity presented itself that I couldn't dismiss, one that is both great for me personally and professionally while also giving me flexibility to support my family better.

I can honestly say that I wasn't looking, however after the announcement that I was a 2014 Sitecore MVP the offers came in fast and furious (weekly, no kidding). I declined them all, most without even looking into them. Then it happened, I spotted a Tweet from someone I am friends with. I inquired and things progressed quickly from there.

My transition out was much longer then the default two weeks; it was closer to seven. In that time the Software Engineering group has seen three new hires, one of them a new Director (in Derek Correia). I'm confident that the team will continue to expand and succeed after my departure. I wish both Derek and Jeff Leombruno (Director of Interface Development) the best of luck.

If you are looking to work for a fantastic company with an incredibly talented group of individuals (across the board) head over here and apply. If you do, tell them I sent you.

Where am I going?

Sitecore. Sitecore Corporate to be exact. I'm going to be joining Dan Brown's Technical Consulting group as a Technical Consulting Engineer. What does that mean? Good question, I'll let you know when I do. I'm pretty confident that my near future will involve coming up to speed with Sitecore Azure and the forthcoming 7.5 platfom.

I'm also hoping that I'll be able to spend some time working on processes to ease developer onboarding. Coming from an agency I'm all to familiar with the overhead associated with onboarding new developers on large Sitecore implementations. I hope to be able to blog about this in the very near future.

The best part? I get to work from home!

A job change? Nope, a life change!

In the hustle and bustle that has been my life for the past 14 years I've let a few things go that I shouldn't, like my health and fitness. With this new role the entire family is making a change. We signed up at a local Health & Fitness Club The Works) and I plan on heading to the gym before I start my day. During the summer my son will be joining me.

My goals are ambitious, I want to lose 20 pounds by early September, just in time for two things: Sitecore Symposium AND PixelMEDIA's 20th Anniversary Party (which I'm hoping to be able to attend). By the end of the year I'd like to be down 40 pounds from where I am right now. My doctor would be thrilled. Wish me luck.

Goodbye and thank you!

I want to thank both of the PixelMEDIA founders, Erik Dodier and Thomas Obrey for taking a chance on me. I want to thank you for giving me a multitude of training opportunities early on (which paved the way for a Microsoft Certified Professional certification). I'm grateful for the opportunities I've been given while under your employment and for the generosity you've extended during this time. I only wish you the best.

PixelMEDIA Founders, Erik & TJ

Both Erik and TJ would say that PixelMEDIA isn't just about the two of them, and they are right. You will be hard pressed to find a more well rounded, professional group of individuals. I will miss everyone of you.

It has been an amazing adventure that I have enjoyed so much more then these words are capable of conveying. I might be moving on to a new adventure but I will always remember you and your company.

I won't be that far away so don't hesitate to reach out if you want to grab a beer. Thanks and good luck!

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Dust Collected was founded in 2014 by Kyle Heon and is a play on a series of words that have meaning in both software engineering and woodworking.