A Season of New Beginnings: Joining Carbon Five


Probably the most significant constant in the entire history of this blog has been where I have spent several hours of my day each work-day. For a great many years, I have been an employee of Cisco Inc. As of the 19th of this month, that will end.

I will commence employment at Carbon Five, a consulting and application development firm in San Francisco, on the 24th of this month. I am elated about joining Carbon Five’s team of energetic and innnovative developers. I will be doing Ruby and Rails development and I hope to learn more about mobile development, async server technologies, and sexy Javascript front-ends.

Since last Winter Carbon Five has hosted a fortnightly “hack night.” Through the winter and spring they saw me struggle and batter my way through the rewrite of my LatinVerb library and my metaprogramming presentation. Ultimately this co-working session facilitated a relationship which is about to turn into a working relationship. Here are the things I like about them:

  1. Team
  2. Management: Friendly but clearly with a sense of standards and high expectations but with great trust in the developers to do what’s right, well
  3. Staff: Excited, energetic, motivated, funny on Twitter
  4. Size: Forty-ish or souls with whom I can have actual relationships
  5. Culture
  6. Standardized hours (exceptions allowed)
  7. Fancy coffee machine that scares me
  8. Developer-sensitive culture: don’t burn out, do good work on good equipment in a nice place
  9. Agile Methodologies: Paired programming (flexibly), User Stories
  10. Client Engatement: I’ve never worked whith a money-paying customer, I think that’s an experience to have!
  11. Technology: The team there is trying out new ideas and tools all the time.
  12. Proximity: They’re a 3 block walk from my home. Granted, two of those are SoMa wide north-east/south-west blocks, but it beats the heck out of driving or taking the train anywhere. They’re also surrounded by several gyms so I can get some fitness work in.
  13. Type of Work
  14. Application development (including “heavy lifting” of the back end)
  15. Startup / Idea bootstrapping
  16. Design

When the door opened, I felt that the time was right for me to make a change.

I will miss my friends and contacts from Cisco terribly. The people at Cisco and my experiences there defined many of my friends and many years of great memories. Nevertheless I am so excited about my future with Carbon Five. I find so much peace in Ovid these days that I’ll repeat the quote I gave in my “sign off” email:

“As pliable wax, stamped with new designs, it is no longer what it was; does not keep the same form; but is still one and the same;”

Quoque mutabo