Thursday, April 14, 2022

Saying goodbye to Devex

Hand drawing of factory and "Devex"
After more than eight years I have decided to leave Devex and look for new adventures.

This is a long time and except for my start-up back in the days, the longest stint at one company for me so far.

The world was very different in 2013. The iPhone 5S was released. 2012 Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus outbreak was starting to get going. Donald J. Trump announced Miss Universe 2013 To Take Place At Crocus City Hall In Moscow. Ruby 2.1.0 was released, so was Rails 4.0.2. On 23 January 2013, under pressure from many of his MPs and from the rise of UKIP, Cameron announced in his Bloomberg speech that a Conservative government would hold an in-or-out referendum on EU membership before the end of 2017.

I was working at a hotel booking site at that time, when I got introduced to Devex by a friend. I ended up at one of the terrace happenings. Kami, one of the founders, picked my brain and explained the problems and set-up Devex had at the time.

It might have been the alcohol (I was still drinking back then) or the realisation that I couldn’t make it any worse, but at some point I agreed to join the team.

People in office with guitar and wine
The team was very different back then, with just a small team in Barcelona and a much larger team in Manila. There was a Technical Director already, so I joined as Associate Technical Director. Kami’s plan was for me to do 80% coding and 20% management. To me it was clear early on that it probably would end up the other way around.

I kicked off my Friday Links in the first weeks, got Scrum going (and later restarted again after an experiment), introduced code reviews, 1:1s, proper testing, local reproducible environments, continuous integration and set the path to continuous deployment which we are still on. Simplification of our code was also always a goal, it took years to finally remove the legacy codebase named Neo, but some low hanging fruits vanished earlier.

While I might have kicked off a lot of things with a proof of concept or MVP, we wouldn’t be here without the brilliant team. Some have been with Devex about as long as I have been.

Everyone has been very patient with me, while I was learning more about management and getting on board with my visions for the technology and the team.

The team will be fine without me. We have great people already and more are joining in the coming weeks. 

Interview at Devex World 2018
Devex World 2018

I am going to miss the team, all Devexers, Frine (Friday wine), office dogs, an office!, Devex World, visits to our Manila and DC offices.
I will miss the discussions about our technology, products, teams and culture.

Devex is a very special place and the international development community is a very special industry to work with. You don't often have the chance to be part of something that is creating such a positive impact in the world. 

The Devex slogan of "Do Good. Do It Well." is more than just a motivational message. It is something to aim for every day.

But it is finally time for me to move on and say goodbye.  

More on my future in another post...

1 comment:

  1. Ohhhh Christof! I am so grateful for you sharing your journey and the backdrop of the world context. So insightful. And I love the 80/20 going in the direction of managing people - the world of Tech needs more leaders like YOU!