Around the same time of me busting ass and taking names, I began having serious sleeping issues. I was tired all the time, and coming into late for work, or outright missing work entirely.
Initially, Pillar was supportive and Don and I came up with a plan to get these medical issues fixed. After months of doctors appointments I learned that I had severe sleep apnea, most likely related to my years of smoking.
No!! *I* am your father!
I dont know if it was the lack of sleep that contributed to my depression, or that the stress of coming in every day so completely de-motivated me with the constant battles both with clients and within Pillar, or a combination of all of it.
But I was done.
Nearly 6 months after I was told by Don Abney and John Huston they would move me to another project, and after 3 developers cycled out of the project and another quitting (for similar complaints), I was at the end of my rope. I had no choice but to call it quits.
I gave them 4 weeks notice.
2 weeks before I left Pillar I got my CPAP machine, and the difference in my productivity and well being was night and day. Too late to the party for Pillar, but a heck of a head start for the next chapter in my life.
Shortly after leaving Pillar, I started a company, called Blueshift Technology Group, with two friends of mine. We had a simple plan. Instead of focusing on innovation and speed 2 value in the enterprise, we would try to bring craftsmanship and TDD to early stage startups.
Initially things were rough, but we garnered some great allies in the Columbus startup community and earned us some respectable clients. We successfully delivered software on 2 different projects, and we were actively working on several others. Within the span of 3 months we did over $75k in revenue. Not bad for a brand new consulting firm. Not bad at all.
This continued for a few months before the new year, when we had a downturn of events. Two of our clients ran into cashflow issues, which are all too common in the startup world, and had to stop work. In addition to that nearly every proposal we put out on the market, either through private bid, or through referrals fell through. We went through some tough times.
Out of stress and convenience I became a regular customer of Pizza places all around Dublin, and Hilliard where I live. Im pretty sure I have a plaque in at least 3 different locations. I ate so much pizza I began to hate it. I was completely and totally unhappy with my life. And worse yet, I started smoking again.
Despite all the trouble I had at Pillar I kept a very healthy and professional relationship with them. So when things went south and I had little recourse, I contacted them asking for work.
Despite all the trouble I had at Pillar I kept a very healthy and professional relationship with them.
A few days later, I got a response back from Meri Brace, and Don Abney, that there was a new project to redesign the mobile experience for a large non-profit hospital system here in Central Ohio, and that they wanted me on it. So I met with Don and the Tech Lead, and lo and behold its the same guy who quit before me on the previous project; My good friend and colleague Jim McClure.
They were going to do things differently this time! They were going to do things right, and better yet, my good friend (and total powerhouse dev) Guy Royce was going to be on the project! It was going to be gold!
I initially held many reservations about going back into business with Pillar. But after I learned that both Guy and Jim were going to be on the project, I just couldnt resist the temptation of working with them. Here was my chance to work with two brilliant developers, one of which Ive only had the pleasure of working with at conferences and events. It was a dream team.
So, I was in! A 3 month contract was drafted that would run through my company, Blueshift. That way if anything went south, either of us could walk away, no harm, no foul. Luckily everything started off great