Just over three years ago, I was doing a little freelancing and working on an idea for a fantasy football site I had. I’d spent the year applying to jobs, occasionally landing interviews, and always getting turned down. I saw the “We’re Hiring” link on my ESPN Fantasy Football clubhouse, and figured why not?
A month later I was sitting next to Jerry Rice on a bus to get my rental car for my interview. Within a week, I was hired at ESPN as a web developer in the League Manager group. I moved across the country to Seattle and immediately got to work helping to build Fantasy Football for iPad.
ESPN was the first company to actually give me the chance to show what I’m capable of. And I like to think they don’t regret it. I’ve been able to contribute to some incredible projects in my time here, and in the process I’ve learned a shit ton about what it takes to develop a large scale web application.
Now the time has come for me to leave ESPN. My wife and I have been looking for a while at moving home to Knoxville, Tennessee and we’re finally able to make that happen. While we’re incredibly excited about it, we’re a bit melancholy about having to leave the company that has given me so much.
I’m so thankful for the opportunity to get to work here. I’m thankful for the incredible and talented group of people I got to work with. I got to experience the other side of the interview table, and I got to experience not being excited about a candidate, only to realize once they were hired how fucking wrong I was (This is why I’m incredibly sympathetic to the many “no’s” I’ve received).
When my then fiancée started grad school in Orlando, my manager and superiors were awesome and worked hard to make it possible for me to move and work from Florida while staying in my current role. When I told them I wanted to move to Knoxville, they did everything they could to make it happen but it just wasn’t in the cards. I’m so thankful for all of those efforts and the appreciation they showed.
ESPN and Disney are fantastic organizations that appreciate their employees and reward them for good work. I will certainly miss the magic that both provide. More than that I will miss the many people I’ve worked with that make that magic possible. I have no doubt that my team will continue to do awesome work without me. I like to think part of me will stick around there (and not just a few poorly named variables and accidentally committed debugger statements). I’m positive that a part of ESPN and Disney will always be with me.
My only regret is that my coworkers will no longer have someone around to constantly remind them that the SEC is superior to all other forms of sport.
I don’t yet know what my next thing will be. I’m pondering a few options. I will keep sending my newsletter. I hope to launch Outshape in the coming months. And I'm really dying to get into a little podcasting. If you want to work together on something, let me know!