I style myself a pirate, not because I steal anything, but because life is better with a little fun in it.
I am seeking new seas. After an exciting couple of years being part of a team (in both software engineering and product management roles) growing a startup (I was full-time employee number 9) to and through an acquisition/merger. It's time for me to seek new seas. I'm in no rush and I'm casting a wide net. It may even be time to go back to school and get some extra letters added to my name. Whoever you are, if you have a lead on something you think might interest me please don't hesitate to reach out.
Now onto the full story...
Regarding the Moniker
I dread the dreary drudgery of dull repetition that so often plagues the day-in and day-out of a human's professional endeavors. So I decided to say f••k it and became a pirate. Despite the potential detriment the association to actual pirates' actions may bring me (or mine to theirs), I find the moniker a useful focal point to remind myself to never become mindlessly complicit in existing systems. So, even if my childhood self is slightly disappointed with me… No, I do not raid upon the high seas. And even if you, the reader, are slightly disappointed with me... No, I am not a source of technological thievery.
I do feel compelled to disclose a bit of the background behind this decision. See, I did indeed steal my pirate label. Some of my more formative professional (and personal) lessons came from a time I lent what skills I had to some self-styled pirates as they were getting a business off the ground. They inspired me so much and taught me so much that I straight up stole their pirate imagery. They likened themselves to pirates because they were unconcerned with the status quo. Rather they were seriously focused on doing things well even if that meant doing things vastly different. It's a lesson I hope never to forget. And so, with a brazen act of persona-crafting theft, I anointed myself piratematt. It is perhaps more accurate to say they were helping me get my sea legs, than I was helping them build their ship. I'll forever be grateful for those humans who started Habitry and welcomed me so openly.
My pirate moniker serves as a constant reminder. It is a constant reminder to always be a little silly and have a little joy. It is a constant reminder to be fearless when it comes to being and doing things differently. If there is a better way, take it. It is a constant reminder to look for a good ship with a good captain and a good crew. Money is a great enabler, but I am more interested in finding places and people where I can invest some hopes, some dreams, and some personhood; a place to thrive.
Regarding the Profession
Seeking new seas
After an exciting couple of years programming at PactSafe—a legal technology company founded in Indianapolis—I transitioned into a Technical Product Manager role, which was shortly followed by an acquisition/merger with Ironclad. We all chose to stay, adding mere dozens to their ranks but within a few months we passed 200 full-time employees. A mere year later? We were pushing four or five hundred! It's quite something to think back and remember when I first started working with the folks at PactSafe. It was during my self-employed stint. I started at 20 hours a week and eventually became full-time employee number 9. It's crazy to think where we went in just a few short years.
It's been a wild ride, and I'll miss many of the people I got to work with everyday, but it's time for me to seek new seas. I'm in no rush. The frenzied pace of growing a startup coincided with a global pandemic and I could use a relaxed couple of months. I'm working on a few side projects simultaneously. Some outside of crafting software entirely and some aimed at shaking the rust off my programming fingers while also tackling a personal problem.
While I suspect I'll return to salaried life soon enough (my 401k will thank me for it) I'm currently considering everything and casting a wide net. I spent a year or two as a full-time consultant and freelance developer, so I'm comfortable with part time and even one-and-done projects. I am primarily concerned with making sure that, whatever it is, there is benefit for all parties involved. If you think we might be a good fit, or want to connect me to someone within your network, please don't hesitate to get in touch.
Musing on creating
There is something to be said about a balance of sorts between creation and consumption. I too often find myself consuming too much and creating too little. I've tried various strategies over the years in an effort to tip the balance of my life towards creation. I have yet to find my secret sauce, but I haven't given up. If you're interested in my latest efforts I'm sure a little internet sleuthing could turn a few things up. If that fails there's always the direct approach email provides.