As I move on from Don’t Panic Labs, I thought it would be a great time to reflect on the last 6 ½ years. I realized that I haven’t really done any retrospections or reflecting as I have always been looking toward the future, and I think I may have missed out on a few learnings.

Recently, Doug said that he wants Don’t Panic Labs to become the Alabama Crimson Tide of software development. Planting that expectation in everyone’s minds means that the team knows what is expected of them and that they are expected to deliver.

It also means that those who learn under their leader will get their own opportunities to take that experience and help grow the next generation of software developers. And that is what’s next for me. And I can’t imagine what the “Doug Durham development tree” is going to look like in 10 years, but I am sure it will be impressive and far-reaching.

These 6 ½ years have been incredible, and I feel that I have definitely grown along the way. When I joined Don’t Panic Labs, I had a lot of coding experience, but I didn’t really think about things like best practices or architecture. I first started as part of the Beehive development team, where I learned that writing white papers and building unit tests were part of what needed to be done before a task was truly considered complete.

About two years into my tenure at Don’t Panic Labs, I attended the Architect’s Master Class in San Jose and was instructed by the great Juval Lowy. That experience changed how I looked at software development. Like any kind of physical training, this grew my “development muscles” so it became like second nature to look for ways to improve system architecture and apply the IDesign pattern to mobile app development and single page applications.

I’ve had so many great experiences and learned so much in my time here, and I am grateful that Doug and the team took a chance on bringing me on board as part of the Nebraska Global / Don’t Panic Labs team.

In the words of Boyz II Men, “It’s so hard to say goodbye to yesterday, and I’ll take with me the memories…”

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