• Bad Authentication data.

How working for startups can ruin you :)

Or how I became indie iOS developer

part 1

After serving for 11 years in the Army (actually in the Air Force), fixing F-16 jet fighters, I was let go from my job. Sequester and all. The initial feeling was "boy what I'm going to do now?". I started looking for a job and even got one at Applied Materials, not very different from the one I had in the Air Force.

But then I got really lucky and my cousin-in-law (Oren Gross) offered me a position as Windows developer in the company he himself joined as a manager, Cloud Engines Inc. It was fun, almost all the time. It had Nike spirit ("Just Do It"), I remember one trip to S.F., where I came without knowing what I'm going to do there, for 4 weeks. After landing and showering in the hotel, I got into the office, and was told by Brad Dietrich and John Doornbos, hey we want you to build hybrid app based on Chromium (open source version of Chrome), that will allow us to do cross-platform app for both Windows and Mac OS (OS X). I had no idea how to do that... really. The first week was hell, I was sick, and I had no time to rest cause even compiling it wasn't working for me. The second week wasn't better, even though it finally compiled, it had some issues, like translating JavaScript objects into native. But by the third week, I was finally started to make some progress, and feeling a bit better. By the end of the trip, I had a working app, that needed polish and testing. That was amazing, and even though I spent most of my trip in Hilton hotel room working or at the office, it was worth it. Been given a task, without any supervision and help from anyone, in the area I had very little experience before (my first job as a developer), I succeeded. I never suffered from lack of confidence, but on my way back home, I'm surprised that 747 even took off, with all the confidence filling me :)  
In one of the trips, we had a layover in London, and went on a shopping spree, me finally replacing my Nokia "smartphone" with Apple iPhone 4. IT WAS AMAZING. Best thing I bought in my entire life so far. Cause it changed so much for me. After a year of Windows development, I switched languages and platforms and starting doing iOS development. Initially, it was painful, Objective-C was everything C# (and Java) wasn't. Memory management (before ARC you had actually manage memory manually), super wired syntax, strange crashes all over the place and more. But it was fun, even more than Windows development - cause I love: building stuff (without breaking the sweat), seeing results, and using it. Never before I could build something and take it with me, with iOS I could. And it had so much power- iPhone had everything that your normal computer had, plus some cool stuff like GPS and more.

My bosses (Oren & Jed Putterman) had very relaxed management style, basically boiling it down to "here what we need in general terms" & "how much time would it take to make it". With time I got pretty good at estimating the time it takes to do something and making it. All the small details of how it should work, what technologies to use, and sometimes even how it would look, were left to me. I never had this degree of freedom in my work before. And I loved it. A lot. Not because it allowed me to slack - army got it out of my system in everything work related, but because it allowed me to be creative, finding right tech for the job, designing user experience and thinking about all the small details, how people are going to use it and what can be done in order to make it as user-friendly as possible.

After almost 5 years I left the company and started looking for a job... And discovered I HATE job interviews, not the technical part (that I'm actually enjoying) but the Human Resources part. Also I discovered that dread the idea of working for highly structured company, where you are a small part of the machine, you have daily meetings (always hated those, starting from my army days... 90% of the time it feels like wasting time, don't schedule those, do it AdHoc when needed, with ONLY people who actually need to be there). So after a couple of interviews (some are not very successful, others with job and salary offers), I spent a weekend deciding what I want to do next. Up until then, it was all an autopilot, army, job and another job... But I had been lucky enough to have an option to sit down and think what the hell I want to do next, not what I had to do, but want... Me staying for 11 years in the army was due to two reasons: company (many friends) & possibility to retire early and do what I love (always wanted to do software development), so when I got boot out from the army and got into software development - the dream came true, or at least it felt like it for some time. But my dream was to do software development how I wanted, and mostly it was the case... but I had a hard time believing I would find a similar company that will allow that to continue. So... came the decision to go indie.

end of part 1