Geeks With Blogs
Jason Townsend

So almost 2 years ago I left my job of 7 years because of some issues with senior management.  I loved the technology we were creating, I had climbed the ladder to be the Manager of Technical Services, and I had made close relationships with the people who worked with me.  What I learned through leaving I find very valuable.  Don't become stagnant!  When I was looking for my next job, a recruited told me that by being at one company for 7 years was a red flag.  This confused me.  I thought being at one company would show that I was a company man putting my company before my aspirations.  Now through hindsight I know that recruited was right.  By staying at one company that long I had become stagnant.  I had become the go to guy, the guy that solved the impossible and the guy everyone looked to for mentoring.  I was at the top of my game, but I was going to stay there.  I was not challenging myself to become better, to view different ways of getting things done, I had become stagnant.  When I got to my next job I had to prove myself again.  I had to push myself harder.  I had to learn some one else's System Development Life Cycle.  I had to advance!  I was not allowed to stay on the top of the plateau.  It was refreshing to once again be challenged.  Not that the technologies I was working with were more difficult, in fact in many ways they are much more routine.  But instead I had to challenge myself to learn their processes, the way they code, and the way they think.  I also had to make sure my language was much more precise and to the book.  They did not know the lingo I spoke.  It was refreshing!  Looking back I see that making that move has made me a better developer.  It has made me question things in more detail.  It has made me once again prove my metal.  From this I have formed the following rule.  If you stay somewhere more than 4 years without a drastic change of responsibilities and tasks, then you need to leave.  You need to make sure that you are not stagnant and are being challenged.  In this industry, if you become stagnant you die.  Your skills deteriorate and you become unmarketable.  I am thankful I made that decision 2 years ago, and thankful for my rebirth as a developer.

Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2008 8:12 PM | Back to top

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