Hardest decision of my career

The most difficult decision of my career #

Last week, I resigned from my position as an engineer at one of the fastest unicorns in the industry; a company last valued at 7.4 billion dollars. A place that has revolutionised the outdated ideas we cling to about communication, offices, and the imaginary lines that define where and how we work. It’s a place that exists in cyberspace, (albeit not as cool as the one in Neuromancer), where I honed my craft and was applauded not only for my achievements, but for being authentically, unapologetically, me.

I made friends with people I had never met, and worked alongside them at breakneck speed, providing a service that was invaluable in bringing people closer together when it was most needed. Alongside some of the most brilliant minds in our industry, I was exposed to a cornucopia of new perspectives, new models of thinking, new ways of working, soaking it all up like a sponge in a fish tank.

My identity as an engineer is entwined with that of Hopin to a large extent, something I am both proud and grateful for. Like a mirror, it showed me aspects of my self I was unaware of, in particular my interests in the nature of collaboration, culture and compassion in the practice of software development. The immense and rapid growth Hopin experienced, from 80 employees when I joined to 1000, gave me a front seat view to study these things in “production” so to speak, to tweak and adjust even the most minute details in my own pod, finding that much of the industry (as I have experienced it), ignore one of the most crucial aspects of a successful group, team, or company.

Inspired by many at Hopin, I have found the courage to let go of what is safe and run head first into a new adventure; one where I can begin to share the things I’ve learnt that work, and validate new ideas around how to effectively and easily help people scale their engineering teams. Unfortunately (well fortunately really), Hopin has matured to a point where I can’t have the type of impact which I desire; it has grown to be stable and laser focused, with a strongly defined culture that aligns with its objectives.

And so with a heavy heart, I left the first job that I really, truly, deeply loved with every ounce of my being. The first place I felt I unequivocally belonged, where my voice was heard and respected, in order to chase a new challenge that has become a burning desire that consumes my thoughts constantly. I want to be as revolutionary as Johnny when he decided to go against the norm and make a fully remote company; I want to change the way the industry values qualities that are as essential as practical and technical skills.

So that’s that; the hardest decision of my career, to leave a company that I love, where I felt like I belonged, in order to try and expose the true nature of ‘culture’ to the world of tech. I aim to continue to be an engineer, however to all recruiters; its 2022, please do not approach me with anything not fully remote. Let’s leave offices and daily commuting in the past where it belongs.

I have written a short piece on the easiest decision of my career; joining Hopin, which will be followed by more personal moments that I feel demonstrate why the Hopin Rocketship is as fast as it is; (hint; it wasn’t just because of covid). I hope I can distill the essence of what it felt like to work at Hopin, and the how and why behind why it was simultaneously exhilarating and engaging.