Tomorrow is my last day at Quick Solutions, Inc. Over the last nearly two years I've had an amazing time working in QSI's Solutions group with some of the brightest, bestest folks in the Heartland region.
Why am I leaving? One reason, and one reason only: I live in Beavercreek, a 'burb of Dayton. QSI is in Westerville, a 'burb of Columbus. This map explains it visually:
That's 166 miles round trip, which is three hours of wearing my car every day if weather and traffic cooperate. At the height of the gas price crunch my monthly gas bill was over $500. That hurt, but the worse hurt was the loss of three hours a day from family time.
My family and I spent a significant amount of time looking for a place to relocate to in Columbus to cut the commute, but the end result was five months of frustration. We just had too many moving parts in our lives to make a relocation feasible, and there was no way I could continue spending three hours a day driving back and forth to QSI.
QSI's been an amazing place to dock my laptop over the last year and a half. As an aspiring crusty old fart (I've been in the workforce for a loooong time), I can easily and confidently say that QSI is the second best job I've ever had. (First place goes to my 11 years fixing radar and computers while flying on AWACS radar planes.)
My peers at QSI's Solutions group are unparalleled for their involvement in the developer community, which was the main reason I went to work with them. Members of the QSI Solutions group have spoken at EVERY .NET code camp or conference in the Ohio and Michigan area for three years straight, and they've been involved in a large number of events outside that area. QSI Solutions folks presented at six of the 24 sessions at the last Central Ohio Day of .NET; that's 25% of the sessions with a QSI dude or dudette up front showing their great technical chops. QSI's Solutions folks have presented at nearly every .NET user group in the Heartland district at least once, and in many cases multiple times, over the last several years.
Simply put, if you're at a .NET event of any sort in the region, you're very likely to see a QSI Solutions member attending or presenting. There's no other company, consulting or otherwise, that comes even close to this amount of passionate community involvement and the technical chops to be recognized as thought leaders.
I am awed by the skills and accomplishments of my peers at QSI. Simply awed. I was fortunate enough to work on several ground-breaking projects with a few of the Solutions folks, and there are a bunch of other folks I wish I'd had the opportunity to work with. I learned many things from many people in Solutions, and I'll greatly miss that interaction.
My managers at QSI earned my respect time and time again on issues I count as fundamental deal-breakers. Empower your people to learn. Give them the confidence to say "I don't know" because that builds credibility with your clients. Encourage them to say "That's wrong" as long as you're helping them to follow that up with "Here's a realistic alternative." I left a company previously because management didn't live up to these kinds of values; QSI exceeded those expectations in every way.
Sure, there are some rough spots at QSI. Every company or group has warts and you're deluded if you think otherwise. None of those rough spots at QSI was a reason for me leaving. Not one. Every issue that I had at QSI was a challenge I felt could be overcome because I worked for, and with, amazing folks. As I said at the top of this blog, the sole reason for me leaving is the commute.
I'm moving on to a position with another great company, and I'll be starting on Monday, 11/17. I'll leave news of that for another post because I really want this post to focus on Quick Solutions.
Be clear on one thing: If I lived in Columbus I'd be staying at Quick for a long, long time. Many companies profess to value their employees. Many companies profess to be smart about business. Very few actually live up to those promises -- and Quick is certainly one that does.
If you're looking for a great place to work, I can't recommend Quick enough, either on the Staffing side or in Solutions. The bar to get in to the Solutions group is high, but they're an amazing, elite group of folks I'm awfully proud to have worked with. I'll miss 'em all.
Thankfully they're all community groupies so I'll see them all over the place anyway.
(PS: Actually, this whole blog post is a complete lie. I'm leaving Quick Solutions because they use Lotus Notes and Notes sucks.)