Post written by Joseph Davis, Web Application Developer at AdventureTech, AKA "The New Guy"
I first came in contact with AdventureTech in September of 2011. A good friend of mine, Donald Rossberg, had been attending a local business networking event where he met and became acquainted with Brett Gibson, one of the owners of AdventureTech, who was also attending the event. When Donald found out I was passively seeking a new opportunity he arranged a lunch meeting for the three of us so I could meet Brett.
Brett was a very talkative and friendly fellow. One thing that immediately stood out to me in his conversation was his deep interest and understanding of agile development principles. I could tell from the depth of examples he spoke of that, to him and to AdventureTech, “agile” wasn’t just some buzz word they adopted for a season. Instead, it was something they had successfully implemented, that they believed deeply in, and that they had enhanced through multiple experiences with clients.
Some time later I ended up in another lunch meeting, this time with several of AdventureTech’s developers, including Phil Ledgerwood, Troy Tuttle, Lee Brandt, and Brian Moon. I was prepared for a technical drilling as is common with many panel interviews I’ve been through in the past. Instead it seemed they were more interested in telling me about themselves as a company, what they were all working on and what tools they were using in their various projects.
They spoke of Inversion of control containers, object-relational mapping tools, test driven development, and other design and development patterns. Many of these were tools and practices that I had read about and of which I had a fair level of theoretical understanding but had not had the opportunity to put into practice in a professional work environment. The prospect of doing so was very appealing to me.
Until just recently, the team of developers at AdventureTech was composed entirely of very experienced senior level developers, many of whom are involved in the community and give talks at development conferences. Such was their culture and the nature of their team. Now they have begun bringing on some younger developers with the intent of molding the next generation of senior level industry leaders in Kansas City.
They aren’t looking for developers who already know it all, but instead they want people with an aptitude and thirst for learning along with good communication skills. One thing I heard a number of times during the interview process was: “How to write good code? That’s easy to teach. How to teach a person to have good communication skills… that’s something they should have learned in kindergarten."
I’ve been with the team for about a month now and am pleased to report that it is turning out to be everything I was hoping for. Many of the other guys on the team have titles on their business cards like “Software Practice Coach”, “Software Process Coach”, and “Developer Mentor”. I find myself in a place where learning is fostered and supported, and I’m picking up many new things each day. I feel empowered in this environment to be the best I can be and I’m very excited about the future of my career.
In addition to fostering learning and encouraging the use of new tools and technologies, AdventureTech also strives to create a compelling work environment and benefits package that will draw the best developers around. Apart from very competitive compensation and medical benefits, AdventureTech also provides an education and equipment budget so developers can stay sharp, and an extremely generous amount of Paid Time Off that I have only seen matched by some companies for their employees with decades of tenure.
Although I’m still fairly young in my career, I have been through several jobs looking for a place that had everything I was looking for. I’ve finally found that place and I’m proud to be a team member at AdventureTech.