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Week One at Highgroove

Chris Kelly

After several years on the Operations team at SugarCRM, I decided to change things up a bit. As of this past Monday, I am now a Software Developer at Highgroove. The step from managing system infrastructure to programming in Ruby on Rails is a big one, but so far it’s been a blast.

Around 10am Monday, I biked the 4 miles from home to the office to an Aeron chair, a shiny new MacBook Pro and widescreen monitor, some snacks, a copy of Work Sucks, a cigar, and an empty office! Highgroove is a Results Only Work Environment so some people were working from home and others were still asleep. Eventually (most of) the rest of the team biked/motorcycled/drove in and started getting things done.

Ruby on Rails (and Ruby!) is completely new to me, but I’ve been picking up things pretty quickly. By Tuesday I was billing hours to a customer on a project, and by Wednesday I’d make a significant performance improvement contribution to another project. Matt, Charles, and the rest of the Atlanta Highgroove team have been exceedingly helpful answering my questions and explaining all of the magic that Ruby on Rails does behind the scenes, and I can now see why people that use Ruby on Rails think so highly of it.

The breadth of projects here is pretty huge: from enhancements on pretty straightforward web applications, to architecting high-volume APIs in front of huge data sets. I’m particularly looking forward to starting a new test-driven-development project with Rails 3 that relies on Chef and Capistrano for deployment to the cloud, using Pivotal Tracker to communicate with a client over as many iterations as it takes to deliver the end result.

Around 5pm, the music gets turned up and things wind down as people trickle out to concerts, bike rides, date nights, and things other than waiting for a pager to go off in the middle of the night! It’s been a great first week and I’m looking forward to the months to come.

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