Becoming a Technical Fellow at Headspring, and New Beginnings

My journey at Headspring started for me at a local developer meetup, the "Austin Agile Lunch" group, way back in 2007. I had started blogging and getting involved in the community, attending the local .NET user group, code camp, and most influentially, the first ALT.NET open space conference. At this lunch, Jeffrey Palermo, who had started at Headspring that year, asked the innocuous question "Do you know anyone looking for a job?" And the naive me answered "No, but if I know of anyone, I'll be glad to point them your way!" Jeffrey, always direct, tried again, "Do you know anyone named JIMMY looking for a job?"

I had been quite unhappy at my current gig (as anyone who's seen my talks about it can attest), but wasn't quite sure what was next. I had done a cash-flow challenged startup, a product company, and Big Corp IT, all in the span of the first 4 years of my career. Although Headspring was only 5 people at the time, it offered something I couldn't get anywhere else. An opportunity to drive for excellence in an environment where everyone else had a similar passion, and an ability to affect positive change at a level I couldn't dream of before.

Within a year or so after I started, thanks to support and encouragement from coworkers and the opportunities I now had, I received my first Microsoft MVP award, co-authored my first book, published my first OSS project used in production, and wrote dozens of blog posts of everything I was working on, all in trying to live up to a promise I made to myself to pass on what I had learned as I had indebted myself to so many others who shared their own learnings.

To pay it forward.

This culminated in Headspring recognizing me as the first-ever Technical Fellow, an honor I never set out to receive, and I'm even more indebted to others to repay.

And now, 13 years later, my Headspring journey shifts (again).

For some years, I looked at going independent as the next logical step for my career. However, I love working at Headspring, the people, the clients, and the work, and could not imaging giving that up, for almost any opportunity. I recognized that although I could ask for the flexibility of an independent consultant, I would not ask for, nor accept, that sort of special treatment. As it became clear that I could go independent, I approached the Headspring leadership to look at possibilities of being independent while also at Headspring.

Thanks to the great support of Dustin and rest of the Headspring leadership, we were able to come to a mutually beneficial agreement. While I'm continuing my role as the Chief Architect at Headspring, I've stepped back as a full-time employee and staying on as an independent contractor (Jimmy Bogard Consulting LLC, I'm not going to win any awards for creativity).

My role as Chief Architect I hope (and plan) to continue for years to come, as I believe in Headspring's vision and future, and we've signed a partnership agreement to that effect. What changes for me is my day-to-day projects and clients may or may not be strictly Headspring projects and clients, or any projects at all (maybe become a true brisket master?). My hope is to be able to have the flexibility to consult on the kinds of opportunities that are only feasible as an independent consultant, while still helping to fulfill the vision and mission of Headspring that I've helped to define and shape for over a decade.

As my grandfather was fond of saying, "Onward and upward".