While I'm a writer, not a programmer, there are things I've taken from the open source philosophy. And the main one is: be open to good ideas coming from the people around you. And give them a try.
I study improv comedy - performing on stage, with a group, without a script. It's also responsible for my employment at SilverStripe.
In early April, I had a job in Tauranga that was, for various reasons, a poor fit. So, I accepted that I would have to move back to the U.S., something I didn't want to do, and decided to spend a couple of weeks in the more urban Wellington.
I had headed down to Wellington partially because Wellington had the largest improv community in New Zealand. My friend Andy from my hometown of Austin, sent an e-mail to his contacts in Wellington, and the Wellington improvisers invited me down to rehearse with them - a goodwill gesture of hospitality for a fellow performer.
It was at that rehearsal, though, that I met someone who worked in the tech industry in Wellington, and was also an immigrant from the United States. He suggested that before giving up, I try going to an event known as "Thursday Night Curry" here in Wellington, a sort of networking group for the tech-savvy in Wellington.
I went ahead and printed up a copy of my C.V. for Thursday Night Curry, and showed it around. One attendee, Johnathan Brewer, noted that I might be a good fit for a number of companies - SilverStripe being on the top of the list. That night, I sent off my C.V. to those companies.
I was surprised to hear back the next day from SilverStripe - and they asked me to come in for an interview on Tuesday. A second interview on Wednesday led to a job offer on Wednesday afternoon, and I accepted on Thursday, after following advice my parents gave me to sleep on any job offer.
As fortune had it, I turned out to be a good fit for SilverStripe. They were looking for a writer for a while, plus my previous experience at NetQoS writing about enterprise IT network monitoring translated very well to their new initiative in web environment monitoring - which would become known as Dawn.
This all happened over the course of about a week.
Now, there's no doubt that getting the job that quickly was a matter of serendipity and luck. Especially in this job market. But the thing about it was that I remained open to the possibilities and didn't shut down good ideas when I heard them.
Printing up resumes and attending networking events less than two weeks before my flight out of the country smacked of a last-ditch, desperate effort. But I very well could have just not made that effort and I'd be writing this to you from Austin. Or, actually, I wouldn't be writing this to you because I wouldn't be working for SilverStripe... I think you know what I mean though.
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