Tracking Flex developers from job to job is getting to be like tracking star athletes in the off season. In recent months there have been several posts of very prominent Flex developer talent being ‘picked up’ by high profile Flex agencies. We are graciously being informed of everything by their blogs… now if only it was proper, err, socially acceptable for folks to share the salaries and incentives they were getting in these sweet deals — then it really would be like sports deals. Here’s a couple of major recent ‘signings’ to name a few… Doug McCune was drafted out of perpetual consulting bliss by Universal Mind (UM) to become a full time team member. Doug claims the kicker of his move was the team — in his words, ‘the best developers, no question about it’. Doug announced his move in a lengthy and impassioned blog post laden with supportive comments. It’s a loss to the independent consulting force, but no doubt a huge win for UM. The word on the street is that Doug ‘did it for the projects’. Combine that with his obvious enthusiasm for teamwork and learning, and who can really blame him.
Another recent and prominent addition to UM is Joe Johnston, AIR UI prodigy who has become very well known for a certain voice-enabled iPhone app. In his proud-post, Joe gives little insight into his decision to move from one full time office job at Knoware to a new remote full time job at UM. I don’t think leveraging his ‘newly completed home office’ was the most significant reason. Joe isn’t exactly new to the scene, but his rise to notoriety has been quick and exciting. Perhaps his move onward (and upward?) is a sign of natural career acceleration one experiences when they work hard and apply their talents towards highly visible projects.
Just this week, I was shocked to learn Juan Sanchez of scalenine fame is joining Effective UI (EUI) full time. Another Flex design/development house known so well for eBay’s San Dimas as well as their boxer-short sponsorship of 360|Flex Seattle. The most surprising thing about Juan’s move is that it is, in fact, a move. Juan is actually relocating to Denver, avoiding the bathrobe work/life-style that Doug and Joe have subscribed to. One can only imagine what it took for EUI to secure the Sir Isaac Newton of Flex-able interface design. From what I’m told, a Flex-worthy salary in Denver could go very far.
Congrats to the very talented developers above. I can’t say I agree with each and every move — but then again, I don’t know all the details either. It seems Flex salaries are being offered without concern for location. This means that folks living anywhere are getting SF dollars in non-SF-expensive areas (SF being measured as the most expensive in the country). As long as you can save to send your kids to college, remain excited about the projects and continue to grow as developers, then I’m sure you are all doing very well.
And to those looking to move on, and probably up, joining a big consulting firm or development/design house is not the only option. EVERYONE (including Ribbit) is hiring and there’s never been more opportunity than now. Weigh your options carefully. Consider not just salary, location and team, but very rewarding equity (when possible) and learning opportunities.
Take it from someone who has gone from startup, to a ‘career job’, to startup, to consulting, to another ‘career job’, to startup again… you can draw benefits and opportunities with each move you make — and it may take a while to realize what your true goals really are.