A brief announcement

Now that it’s official at work, I can announce it here: after almost twelve years with my current employer, I have resigned.

Next steps? Not really sure, although there are a few things out there percolating…

The real question to the panel: as a senior developer with a few years under my belt (I’m nearly thirty-five) do I even attempt to continue working with web / Lotus / IBM technologies (I’m well-versed in Websphere, Eclipse, Java, relational databases, web development, Sametime, etc., etc. and very experienced with Notes & Domino), or is it time for a complete change??

Exciting / scary times!


  1. Change is good and congrats to you for taking it on!
    It's my hope that you do stick with Lotus Collaborative technologies, because you 'get' it and well.
    However, you have to do what please you in the end and it sounds like you are on your way. Kudos!Mac Guidera#
  2. Hey Mac, thanks. Oh there’s no question that collaborative technology “pleases me”, no question at all. It’s just whether I can carry on working with Lotus stuff and pay the bills ;-) Ben Poole#
  3. Wow, congrats on the new wind of change. You'll do great!

    Leverage what you know … unless *you* want to change direction, and in which case, build from what you know.
    M.Michael Sampson#
  4. Congrats on the change. I know how scary that can be, I just did it myself. :-) As for which direction to take, that largely depends on your interests and the job market.

    Good luck, and thanks for all the help and support so far.Charles Robinson#
  5. Congratulations Ben,

    From my own experience when I went through the same tough decision, a year later I couldn't imagine why I hadn't done it earlier.

    Good luck with the big decisions.

    MattMatt White#
  6. Best of luck, Ben… with your skills and insight, I know you'll be just fine, no matter what direction you take.Tim Tripcony#
  7. I'm sure this is anxiety-inducing, but I think it's great news given how much grief you were going through at work.

    Whatever you choose to do, you'll do well. I expect there to be some job offers coming your way as this percolates through the RSS readers…Rob McDonagh#
  8. Six months ago I resigned from 6.5 years at a big corporate (I was only 28 at the time, so it was a fair chunk of my early work life!) as a Senior Domino Web Developer. I found an employer that could appreciate that I had the ability to pick up any technology I needed to and now I'm in the "hot" area of Flash / Flex Rich Internet Application development, as well as Coldfusion (we're an Adobe partner). Not only that I am now working in an 18 person web agency, instead of a massive corporation - shorts and t-shirts in summer!

    It has been a good challenge to have to pick up and be productive in these technologies I had practically no experience with, but now six months later I am very comfortable. Not to mention I haven't had to use the torture device that is Domino Designer in the last 6 months! :)

    So while a total change is a big risk, it paid off for me and I'm glad I did it.Marcin Szczepanski#
  9. Why did you leave without having something else lined up? Lotus/Domino is starting to get a little old for me and it doesn't seem to be in high demand like it once was. I'm sure that now my company is using SharePoint I'll be out of a job soon.

    Good luck!Chris#
  10. Thanks one and all—particularly liked your story Marcin!
    Why did you leave without having something else lined up?
    Where did I say that Chris? I have some options lined up, but the bottom line is that the length of my notice period means I can’t really move on new opportunities until I know when I’m going to be free. But yes, I’m still feeling my way a little, why not?

    On another point, why will you be out of a job once Sharepoint comes in? Will they not let you work on that? I’d hate to limit myself just to Notes and Domino…Ben Poole#
  11. I think Chris was referring to this line

    "Next steps? Not really sure, although there are a few things out there percolating…"

    which is normally used in place of "I don't know what's I'll do" or if someone hit the lottery.

    I just found our my agency has a Sharepoint group that is part of our department. Little silos all over the place. The trouble is getting into them and having the people trust you enough to teach you.

  12. wow congrats ben! that is awesome! i'm feeling kinda itchy myself. to be honest i'd like to go live on an island somewhere and forget computers completely. just chop coconuts all day and talk to my best friend wilson. i can hear the sea crashing on the beach already… or was that the server crashing? oops gotta go… ;-)jonvon#
  13. Good on you Ben - best of luck with whatever road you travel!

    Re: Long notice period - I hear ya! :(Colin Williams#
  14. Good luck, Ben. Follow your heart.

    I did the same at the beginning of this year after 10 years, and am now starting to follow a totally different path. No more programming for me, I'll be making sausages and biltong full time soon.

    It's a big step, but I know I've got 100% job security if I'm working for myself. Dunno what the pay will be like, though…Dave#
  15. Ouch. Well, no doubt a man of your talents will be snapped up in seconds.

    If not shout - there's an informal network of folks who keep each other posted on stuff.

    Good luck - its a little scary, but I do know a man of your talents will do well!

    ---* BillWild Bill#
  16. Good Luck Ben!

    How about something stateside??? In for a penny, in for a pound! Make sure you bring some HP over if you do!Simon Barratt#
  17. Good luck Ben - use what you have and what you know! There could be gold in those wiki's hills. Not so much in the value of the code but in the value of the consult around it - oh and do not write any documentation ;)

    Seriously - for someone who's been there (self employed for years and years) - your wiki stuff could be a big key to get into some companies for work.Steve Castledine#
  18. Ben…you rock! Congratulations…you'll do great out there!

    I've been having many of the same thoughts lately and I'm pretty sure I'm not to stay at my current job much longer. I understand the exact feelings you are going through, but I have no doubts you'll come out on top!

    Best of luck…keep us posted.

    I was considering putting a big "HEY…WANT TO HIRE ME" sign on my blog, but I thought my current employer might not appreciate that too much! ;-) You should try it though…what could it hurt?

    Cheers…ChrisChris Blatnick#
  19. Thanks again everyone, I need all the boost I can get! LOL
    The trouble is getting into them [silos] and having the people trust you enough to teach you.

    Eric / Chris: I don't know you chaps at all, so forgive me if I get this wrong, but without coming all ‘career counsellor’ on you, it seems clear that there are issues at your place of work, and that you’re not overly pleased about the options you have. Piece of advice (for what it’s worth): don’t wait for people to deign to teach you stuff. Grab the bull by the horns and teach yourselves.

    With regards Lotus-related jobs, I’d say that developers in the US are laughing: even a cursory look at the usual job boards show up hundreds of positions. You won’t get anywhere near that here in the UK, even accounting for the much lower population.Ben Poole#
  20. It's always a scary step leaping out in to the great unknown ;-) ….but that's half the fun! Life's too short. Do what makes you happy.Brendon Upson#
  21. Being a freelancer, I can state that Lotus Notes development does pay the bills. Here in Montreal, Canada, Lotus Notes work is slowly disappearing (to .Net and Java) but I can still get decent contracts fairly easily.

    With the name you have made for yourself through the forum, work at OpenNTF, I'm sure you will be able to make a really decent living out of Notes development.

    It's up to you, but I'm not scrared a bit…Benoit Dubuc#
  22. Good luck Ben.

    With your talent, six months from now you'll be kicking yourself for not making the move sooner.

    Henry Ferlauto#
  23. Brave move, Ben, congrats! A man with your determination, work ethic and skill set should have no trouble finding a proper job.

    - FerdyFerdy#
  24. It's about time ;-) There's a big wide world out there and we all know can put his hand to just about anything, so be it Developer, Consultant, Author, or anything else you may fancy, don't fear - you'll fly !

    I've heard about a small remote community 100 miles from Cusco in need of a new member for their village band - applications to ! If not, try the west end street named after an 80s coat.

    You're quite merrily…
    NRead and meMarc#
  25. Hurrah! Well done for making the big decision. The world will beat a path to your door. Well, maybe not quite that, but I'm confident you'll have no difficulty finding what you want.
    Speak soon …
    JulianJulian Woodward#
  26. Yeah, good for you.

    Although switching to another platform seems interesting now, consider the impact on your day to day work.
    If you like 'designing' over 'programming' it might be wise to stick with Lotus.

    Plenty of new stuff to explore now ND8 is out :)
    Vince Schuurman#
  27. P.S.

    LOLVince Schuurman#
  28. Hey I think there's stacks of mileage in the Lotus world… I don't intend switching to anything just for the sake of it; your link did make me laugh Vince :-) Ben Poole#
  29. Ben, Lookie here, a wiki user!
    Brian Green#
  30. First a Macbook
    Then some Lotus negativity
    Now a possible move away from Notes…

    The transformation is almost complete. You have a free Sonos yet?Jeffrey Franchetti#
  31. Brian, thanks for the link: duly blogged!Ben Poole#
  32. Belated congratulations Ben. I'm sure that you'll have no trouble finding something that makes you happy AND pays the bills! Good Luck!Frank#
  33. Go Ben!!! Having done a similar thing about a year and a half ago (leaving a stable corporate job for work unknown -- while supporting my family), I can tell you it's a lot of work but can be very satisfying.

    And when people tell you "good luck", just remember this quote:

    The harder I work, the luckier I am.

    You've already laid a lot of groundwork over the past several years with this site and the public projects you've worked on. Now it's time to capitalize. Ge get 'em.Julian Robichaux#
  34. Hi Ben, I've been doing freelance Lotus Notes work (in the UK) for about 6 years now. So far (touch wood) I've had back to back contracts since I started. It means a lot of calls to lots of companies, old contacts and of course agencies. The Lotus Notes work has varied, the rates have varied and the locations have varied. I like to think I'm doing OK sticking with Notes and I reckon Notes 8 is going to mean there's plenty of more work to come. I cannot see you having a problem getting freelance work, if that's what you were looking for. I'm happy to help if I can, just drop me an email. Best of luck.Ed Lee#
  35. Was a freelancer / contractor for over 10 years, I enjoyed it the majority of the time and really enjoyed it the rest. Good luck to you young fella. Hope you remember all those contractor tips I gave you, if you dont we can have a refresher over a pint.
    Just very thankfull that your one of those developers who dont leave a mess behind for me clean up after.

    Good job , good luck.

    John Z Marshall#

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