I came across this post today by way of HackerNews. It explains some of my feelings lately as I chomp at the bit wanting the challenge of a new job. I promised my wife we would not move until we had our kids, so I have a couple more years, but I’ve been straining against the reigns.
That post also explains why I think about documentation differently than my peers. I joke about being raised in the military, I wasn’t, however, the Air Force was my first real job. In the military it is known that you will change jobs every three years and so the documentation you write is not for yourself, it is for the person you know will come behind you. In the military you do not quit, you are moved. If you stay in one place too long or “homestead” you are looked down upon and it can actually threaten your career. As a result documentation is taken seriously and my time in the Air Force shaped my understanding of documentation.
Thinking about past employees as alumni is also the same way veterans think about themselves. I am proud to have served and there have been times I felt guilty I left, other times I have wanted to return. Whenever I leave my current position I will view myself as an alumnist, I just hope my current employer does too.
In the future I would like to find an employer that shares my interest in personal development and also has the room for me to grow. I first hired on as a Programmer Analyst and was promoted three years later to Senior Network Engineer. That is the extent of advancement with my current employer, there is no Super Senior Network Engineer. I don’t mind taking a step back with a new employer as long as there is the ability for future growth as I develop.