Thursday, February 16, 2006 Effective March 1, 2006, Jeremiah Small (that's me) will no longer be providing technical consulting services under the banner of Small Solutions, Inc. In December of 2005, I entered an employment agreement with Soliant Consulting, as a "Senior Technical Lead" (aka Project Manager). I am utterly pleased and gratified that I was able to make this connection with Soliant. They first came onto my radar when I read Roger Jaques' article on anchor/buoy last summer just before DevCon in Phoenix. I went and found him there with the sole intent of comparing notes on a case I was making at the time for a hybrid approach to A/B (which is a remains a cool idea, but which I have since abandoned in favor of the rote simplicity of strict A/B; perhaps more another post.)
I was impressed with his approach, articulation and attitude, and then was further impressed with Scott Love's presentation on A/B and other topics in his session presentations. I came away from DevCon 05 thinking "Soliant is cool".
If you talk to Bob Shockey, Caleb Ruth and others about DevCon 05, they will most likely recall that I was bouncing ideas around about how to join up with or start a bigger firm so I could get my hands on some meatier projects. I was yearning for "collaboration" despite the fact that all my independent buddies were kind of looking at me sideways and counseling that I would never be happy if I "sold out to the man". Soliant was not on my mind, as they are headquartered in other cities. I was floating ideas about joining up with established SoCal firms, and toying seriously with taking part in a formalized affiliate network of independents. There seems to be perennial interest in that, even going back to my post grad-school design studio days. However, tempting as the concept is, from what I have seen, it proves to be a lot easier said than done. I feel this is no less true even for those who have some experience with the pitfalls involved with co-op-style organizations. I was never able to convince myself it was worth the risk. Herding cats comes to mind.
Toward the end of the year, I was starting to cool on the whole idea of merging with something larger after a few unsuccessful/aborted "get-to-know-yous" with some of the established firms. Then I came across a post-DevCon "see-you-on-the-wires" note from Roger. On a whim, I started composing a letter to him. Then I looked at the Soliant web site and saw there were semi-formal application instructions. I still sent my letter to Roger, but I cc'd it to the official address and attached all the required application materials. I'll be darned if it didn't stick! Things moved very quickly, Scott flying me up for an interview, etc. I am now a very happy camper. By the way, for all you developers out there, Soliant is actively recruiting right now, and it is an awesome place to work. If you are interested in joining up, do as I did and submit a resume. Who knows, it could stick.