One and a Half Years In

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year one checked, year two unchecked, year 1.5 in the middle

I have some professional news: I’m starting a new job as a Software Developer at Observable! My last day at Markit was on 05/12 and my first day at Observable is on 05/16. How did this turn in my career path come to be? Let me recount it for you. But don’t worry; there’s no bad news in this story.

I started working at the Markit Digital division of IHS Markit in October of 2020 (now a division in S&P Global; yay mergers!) and my experience there can be summed up in one word: awesome. The work was fun; the people were kind and helpful; and there were so many learning opportunities. My team exemplified this, and it was led by my great manager that really advocated for everyone. I am sad that I won’t be working with them any more.

In the course of my work developing charting software, I used the D3 library (as I’ve written about before). D3 was co-developed by Mike Bostock, and he went on to cofound Observable. As I worked with D3 and researched how to solve certain problems, I was introduced to the Observable platform. It’s a site that allows users to visualize and manipulate data using JavaScript based code blocks (aka. cells). D3 and other libraries are baked in, so it’s a very powerful tool.

Earlier this year, I looked into the company a bit and it seemed like it had a lot of potential: a startup founded in 2016; creating a useful product; received series B funding in January of 2022. I don’t have much experience with analyzing tech companies, but it sounded like it could be a fun place to work. They had an open job requisition, so I applied on a whim in February. I could become an author of D3 and Observable instead of just a user. Plus, I’d be able to learn about data visualization from some industry experts. After a couple of weeks, I didn’t hear anything back so I assumed that nothing would come of it.

Then I received an email toward the end of March from Observable’s new recruiter. We set up a time to chat and things proceeded from there. Over the course of the next month, I met with a number of team members and got a great feeling about the company and product. So, just before leaving for a 10 day road trip to visit some National Parks, I accepted an offer from Observable to join the team and gave my notice for the first time (you don’t have to quit if you get laid off).

I’m really excited for this next step in my career. There will be lots of new tech, new people, and new problems to solve. And hopefully I’ll be one step closer to getting my first developer hoodie. I haven’t looked it up, but I’m pretty sure that you’re not officially considered a developer until you’ve been bestowed a company hoodie.

Leaving Markit was a really hard decision for all of the reasons that I mentioned above, but this feels like the right step for me to take. That being said, I would wholly recommend getting a job with Markit Digital. It’s a great company to work for with so many really smart people to learn from. Check here for positions that might be a good fit. But if you want to follow me to Observable, check here. We’re going to be building some cool stuff.