I’ve loved working at Zeal. The people are great, the projects are interesting, and I’ve learned a ton. They’re hiring and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend working there if it seems like a good fit for you.
As I transitioned from the industrial automation world to the web world, I intentionally chose to work for a consulting company. I felt that it would provide the opportunity to experience many different projects, teams, and environments and give me the breadth to get a sense of which parts of web development I enjoyed most.
Zeal delivered on that goal in a big way. I worked on a dozen client projects and shipped production code in at least eight different languages during that time, several of which I didn’t really know when I started there.
Last year, I heard an interview with Whitney Johnson on the EntreLeadership podcast where she talked about the idea of “S-curves” as it relates to personal growth and learning.
The basic idea is that when you’re first learning something, you don’t know much; you’re at the bottom of the “S”. As you learn, you start moving up the curve of the “S”. This is where you grow the most. As you reach the top of the “S”, it’s time to use what you’ve learned to help bring others along the curve as well. But if you stay there too long, you start getting bored because there’s not as much learning happening any more. Once you reach that point, you need to start looking for the next “S” curve to move to so you can keep growing and challenging yourself.
This metaphor describes my last five years really well. At Zeal, I came in knowing something about web development, but not a lot. I went through a period of rapid learning and growth as I climbed the “S” curve. And now I feel like I’ve been near the top of the “S” for the last year or so. I’ve decided to make a move so that I can jump to the bottom of the next “S”.
As I thought about what I wanted to do next, I had a few guiding thoughts:
I want to stay technical. While I enjoy working with people, I’m not currently interested in moving into the people-management side of things.
I want to be able to get above the day-to-day process of developing features sometimes. My most fulfilling work has been when I’ve been able to work on the bigger picture: system architecture, design and structure of the codebase, and integrating the various pieces of a complex system together.
I really enjoy teaching and mentoring, especially as it relates to technical skills.
I want the opportunity to continue growing and to expand the impact I’m able to have on a team and a company.
I want to get back to working at a product company again, but this time in the web world. I like the feedback cycle that results from living in the same codebase for a long time. I get to see the payoff from the investments I make in code quality. I also get to learn from the mistakes I make and shortcuts I take.
Believe it or not, I heard about the opportunity when I received a random e-mail from a recruiter on LinkedIn about it. After looking things over, it seemed interesting enough to pursue, so I responded.
Through the interview process, I met my manager and future teammates and became more and more excited about the opportunity and the people.
It’s a growing company (and also hiring!) with lots of interesting challenges to address and opportunity for growth on a technical career path.
It looks like it’s going to tick all of the boxes I listed above and I can’t wait to get started!