This month marks my 5th anniversary as a soapboxer. Five years is the longest I have held the same job. The US financial crisis is 5 years old. So is Evernote. In 2008, Lady Gaga's first studio album was blasting up the charts. Barack Obama was elected and Microsoft was trying to take over Yahoo. OK, well now this is all sounding like very recent history. But in the web world, 5 years is on an exponential curve. I remember looking in the phone book for web design agencies in Boise and reading ActionScript books. But it was a chance encounter that delivered me to the doorstep of Creative Soapbox.
I am forever grateful that Justin took a chance on me. My web skills were budding, but largely untested. During the interview I had to admit that I had not heard of jQuery. And went directly to Barnes and Noble to buy the book. Creative Soapbox and I have matured together. We have gone from a mostly web and print design shop to a full-on web application laboratory. Five years ago, my business card read "Web Designer", now I am comfortable with the title "Front-End Developer". And although the term seems to mean different things to different people, and new skills are being added to its definition everyday, developing front-end web applications is what I love. I am proud of my evolving role at Creative Soapbox.
Web developers are in high demand, you can get a job pretty easily in most markets. But I haven't swayed from the Soapbox. That isn't to say I haven't had other opportunities come my way, but each time I look at our (Creative Soapbox's) culture and products, and I stick around. Justin is an inspiring and steady force of strategies and ideas. He has my back (and the rest of the soapboxers) and we have his. I know how rare this environment of mutual respect is. Justin gives us the space to grow and make decisions while providing the tools and collaboration to get things done. Together we are building things that make a difference in people's lives.
I didn't buy myself the traditional 5-year anniversary gift of a nice set of silverware, but I did order an Arduino Starter Kit. Let the curiosity and learning never stop. Here's to five years!