Today was my two year anniversary at ThoughtWorks. I started in our Sydney office on 27 April 2010. In the two years since I’ve worked for ThoughtWorks in eleven cities (Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Columbus, Raleigh, Atlanta, Pune and Bangalore), across three countries (Australia, the USA and India) and three continents.
And, entirely coincidentally, I found myself on the morning of my second anniversary writing a long email to a good friend encouraging her to accept the job that we were about to offer her rather than the offer I expect she’ll shortly receive from Google.
After two years, and far too much travel I still feel very comfortable recommending a friend come work here. That alone felt pretty good to me. Why do I still fee like this?
Just look at that list in the first paragraph. There aren’t many companies where I would have the opportunity to work in so many places in such a short amount of time. As well as seeing the world though, I feel like I’m surrounded by opportunities to work on problems that I simply wouldn’t get to see at a smaller, or larger, company.
I continue to be surprised by the impact of projects I’ve worked on, and the influence my teams and I have been able to have on some surprisingly large projects and companies. Even if no one can ever know we were there.
The people I’ve worked with, or talked to over a beer, make it pretty hard to imagine leaving. They’re smart, passionate and, most importantly, a great bunch of people — at least to me.
And because of our non-hierarchical nature, the access you have to people like Martin Fowler has really surprised me. The lack of hierarchy and our distributed offices has also created really active internal mailing lists. It feels like Usenet before the eternal September. Unfortunately, the tools have taken a step backward though.
But the biggest attraction is that I think ThoughtWorks is making me a better person. I know I’m a better programmer now than when I joined. But I’m also growing in all sorts of other ways and I can see more potential to grow.
And then there’s what we’re doing by contributing our time and talent to programs to make the world outside of software a better place.
Sure, there are downsides. The travel has been very rough at times. The non-hierarchical nature can be hard to navigate for someone who is as conflict-averse as I can be.
But, I’m learning, I’m growing, I’m enjoying what I’m working on and I’m liking the people who I get to work with. What’s not to love?