The Next Chapter

September 2, 2015

I’ve just begun work at Ritual Development Group, Inc.. Ritual is a product-oriented software company. I’m serving as the CTO and will share more about what we’re building as time goes on. For now, suffice it to say that this is a huge step for me; It is the realization of a dream I’ve had for quite some time.

As wonderful as this is, it has meant making the very difficult decision to leave Big Nerd Ranch, where I have proudly worked for the past five years. I joined BNR in 2010, just as the original iPad was being released. Since that time, BNR has experienced tremendous growth.

At BNR I worked as an independent engineer, a team lead, an author, a teacher, and as the VP of Engineering. I was able to work with startup companies, government contractors, and billion-dollar multinational conglomerates. I feel fortunate to have learned a tremendous amount in that time, and quickly.

Teaching was one of the best parts of my time at BNR. As much as I love writing software, it’s really hard to beat a week spent teaching a group of nerds about platforms you love, especially when every student is excited to be there. The days for an instructor are long, but it’s a truly rewarding experience, even (or especially) when you’re sitting in the lab at 10:00 PM sketching out an app architecture with a student. BNR’s bootcamps are an exceptional experience. If you are serious about advancing as a software developer, I wholeheartedly recommend taking a class.

Co-authoring the fourth and fifth editions of Cocoa Programming for OS X was a remarkable experience. I couldn’t be more thankful to Aaron for the trust he placed in me. I am especially proud of the fifth edition, which my friend and colleague Nate co-authored with me. While the fourth edition was an important update, but the fifth edition was truly an overhaul, a major version release with substantial refactoring. We focused on demonstrating modern app architecture and style while also transitioning from Objective-C to Swift.

All of my prior work has stretched me, but the opportunity to work as the VP of Engineering stretched me in a whole new dimension (or two). Looking back on it, I believe we accomplished a lot. But it’s also challenging to fully take stock of it. I owe many thanks to my team of engineering directors: Brandy, Brian, the Chrises, and Steven. Working with them and all of the Nerds was a truly rewarding experience. It’s hard to part ways with such a fine group of people.

Looking back over my time at BNR, it’s almost unreal how much I grew there, even in some of the simplest ways. I’m a fairly quiet person and the fact that I can happily deliver a talk on a chapter from the Cocoa book feels very incongruous. I also drink coffee now. I owe a great deal to all of the people at BNR who gave me so many chances to grow over the years.

So here we are. This chapter has come to a close. I’m grateful for all that’s past, and I look with great anticipation to what’s next.