One thing I’ve learned in life is that the only constant thing is change. I know tons of people have said that, but we all like to get comfortable in our little areas and not venture out. I’m as guilty of that as the next person.
I used to work for an internet service provider called Hubris Communications in Wichita. If you are in Kansas and want more personal attention to your business than the big guys can give you, check them out. They know their stuff. Good place, good people, and I knew my job there inside and out. But I lost my work ethic somewhere along the way, and knew I needed to make a change for the good of the company and myself and look for another job.
I found a position with Ascend Integrated Media. They do custom content and communications products, and if you need something along those lines you should really check them out. Great people, great place to work, and very happy there. Oh, and we win awards too!
The position was an eMedia Developer – basically, someone with enough HTML and CSS chops to load content into a custom built CMS, style the sites to get the right look, and also build HTML emails. As a former jack-of-all-trades web designer, right up my alley, something easy enough that I could get my head buried into it and rebuild my work ethic.
In the last year though, we ran into a problem. The content management system was a custom built solution by in house .net developers. Only one problem…all the .net developers left! And, as I’m sure some of you have found out, the good ones are sought after and can command nice salaries.
The position I was hired for didn’t include knowing much of anything about servers (I come from a LAMP background, and they
are were a Microsoft shop), or much of anything about programming. And we needed to find something quickly that could fill the gap in knowledge.
I had played around with WordPress before, helped my wife setup her site on it and create a custom theme…but nothing too advanced. I’d also created a couple of sites using CodeIgniter (a PHP framework) and been hacking at other people PHP code for a while. The huge community and plethora of plugins are an added feature. My boss was like a little kid for a while there playing around with plugins and trying to see how we could replace our custom built solution with one built on WordPress.
So, fast forward to today – we run everything new on WordPress and are 80-85% of the way converting old sites off of the custom CMS. We’ve been able, through the use of plugins with some minimal modifications, to replace the majority of the features in the old system or handle things in a slightly different way.
There’s still a long way to go to get everything we want. But I play around with a server all day, run through code on a regular basis, and am excited about the possibilities.
The point? All of this has been massive change, both personal and professional. Some of it was sought after, some of it wasn’t, and none of it fit perfectly the path I wanted to take when I started looking for a new job. But I like where it’s going.