You commonly hear the cliche: “if you do what you love you will never work a day in your life”. While I agree there is a lot of truth to this, it is equally important find a place that actually encourages you to do what you love. I found this at Belly, and as the newest member of its tech team, a story of my journey here is in order.
Though I’m originally from Buffalo, NY (which has tragically led me to be a die hard Bills fan), at the age of seventeen I made the move out to the sunny southwest where I attended the University of Arizona, studying both Computer Science and Molecular & Cellular Biology.
Upon graduating I had a decision to make: whether or not to attend medical school. After much debate, I decided it was not for me. I wanted to build things. I wanted to create. I wanted to be able use my imagination and experiment with new technology. Unfortunately, in the medical field, unless you want to lose your license (or be some sort of mad scientist), these ideas were generally not part of a physician’s day to day functions.
Instead, I decided to embrace a more entrepreneurial path and after graduation went into business for myself, co-founding a web design company. After spending some time in the southwest, I changed gears and moved out to Chicago to co-found a company called Property Vine – a cloud service that provides an all-in-one online marketing suite for Real Estate Professionals.
It was not until a year and a half into Property Vine that I was given the opportunity to work at Belly. So why the switch? Well, it comes back to my first point: Belly is an amazing place to be. From a tech standpoint, Belly is a developer’s playground. The team utilizes an incredible array of the latest technologies, and since the engineering team is mostly flat, developers are encouraged to work on everything and anything. For me, having the ability to work on projects ranging from utilizing HiveQL to analyze large data sets in Hadoop, to developing beautiful (and I mean beautiful) front-end experiences using CoffeeScript & CSS3, all at one of Chicago’s fastest growing startups, is an experience next to none.
So for all of those out there doing something they hate, stop it. And for all of you working at a place that doesn’t allow you to do what you love, leave. Because there are better opportunities… and if you still can’t find them, well hey, we’re hiring.