Dan Denney

Turning the Page

I use a :tombstone: in Slack and say RIP a lot, so this was my going away message :)

A short while ago, I was joking with Fabio Carneiro about writing a post when you leave your position with a company, and now I find myself doing it. The past five years have been the best of my life, and a lot of that is due to the people I've worked with at Envy Labs, Code School, and Pluralsight. I can't name everyone because this would just be a long list of the people that I've directly worked with.

Throughout those years, I have learned so much about building the web, growing a digital product, adjusting the size and scope of teams, and the challenges involved with shifting markets. The most important part is that I had so much fun doing it. I've made friendships that I will cherish forever and had countless incredible moments with awesome people. Thank you to each and every one of you for the laughs, the camaraderie, and for teaching me.

There's no way that I could write this without a specific "Thank You" to Gregg Pollack for creating things that have had a hugely positive impact on all the people that I've worked with and millions around the world. Gregg is one of the kindest and most generous people that I have ever met, and my whole family has benefitted from the companies that he created.

"Comfort Wants You Dead"

I bought this t-shirt from Nathan Yoder as soon as I saw it and it's the best explanation that I can give for how I could leave this role with all these people who I care about. I've been comfortable. I have a good salary, generous benefits, an insanely flexible schedule, and I work from home.

I was comfortable in my position when an unfortunate scenario led to a fantastic person (who hired me) losing his job. I was comfortable when our founder left, our team structures changed, and for the past few months after two friends (and two of the three front-end people I worked with directly for years) left.

Recently, I realized that I have been viewing things through the lens of my comfort level and forgetting a bit of what's important to me. There's this fantastic song by Passenger, "All The Little Lights", with this hook:

We're born with millions
Of little lights shining in the dark
And they show us the way
One lights up, every time you feel love in your heart
One dies when it moves away

I hadn't been recognizing (or maybe prioritizing) that a lot of my little lights had burned out in the last couple of years. I was comfortable, and it was slowly killing me. So, I decided to change it.

"What's Next?"

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
I truly don't know. I talked with my manager (another person that I'll miss) and gave notice without a plan.

I know what makes me come alive: working with good people towards a goal, building things for the web that benefit people, and sharing knowledge.

I know that the industry has shifted a lot in the time that I've been working on Code School and that I need to deepen my JS knowledge to stay competitive.

I know that I'm going to spend a little time learning, sharing, and shipping a few small things that I've been tinkering on.

I hope that will lead me to what's next...

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