Going Mobile

On January 2, I”ll be going to work for Mutual Mobile, an Austin-based company that specializes in application development for iOS, Android and Blackberry devices.

“But Sean!” I hear you, Rhetorically Convenient Reader, cry. “You just started working for Magnolia back in March! Why are you moving on again so soon?” That’s a good question. It doesn’t have anything to do with Magnolia: it’s a terrific company, filled with great people that I am glad to call coworkers and friends. That fact made this decision especially hard, as I knew I’d be seeing less of these people I quite like (and would, honestly, be making their lives tougher in the short term with my departure).

But as much as I like Magnolia, the nature of their business means that my work there revolved around two things: Java and Sales. Java is an industry standard for creating software of various stripes, but it’s a very buttoned-down, staid environment to work in. It lacks the creative energy and — is it silly to say this? — joy that I see in the communities that exist around some of the more dynamic, less-widely used languages like Ruby and Python and Lisp (for you AI wonks out there). I can get work done in it just fine, but the number of times a spontaneous “Awesome!” escapes my lips while doing so is vanishingly small.

The other focus of my last 9 months has been selling Magnolia to various companies. I think the software is a¬†phenomenal¬†piece of work, and really well-suited to a whole variety of Web Content Management scenarios. But while I can do an effective job helping to demonstrate and sell it, there’s no frisson associated with doing so for me.

I like technology for what it can do for people. I like creating it because doing so is much like fashioning a beautiful, intricate bit of clockwork, or a complex bit of musical counterpoint. There is immense satisfaction in creating something that works elegantly and beautifully. Unfortunately, telling people about how terrific other people’s work is provides very little of the satisfaction that actually doing that creative work oneself. If I’m going to be in the technology world, I want to make cool stuff for normal people, not to sell cool technology to corporations.

So, Mutual Mobile. I’ll be starting there as an iOS Manager, which means that not only will I be getting to work directly on creating some great stuff for their impressive list of clients, but I’ll also be getting to help figure out the best way to help the other developers there do their best work as well. I’ll be hanging around a bunch of really smart folks, and will doubtless be learning tons about iPhone development and other mobile disciplines. The company seems like a marvelous place to hang one’s professional hat — a vibrant company culture, entirely self-funded with no investor money involved, just named by Forbes as one of America’s most promising companies, and has its company meetings at the Alamo Drafthouse, one of my favorite places in Austin. And the downside of facing a commute again is largely ameliorated by the fact that Texas State University runs a shuttle bus from San Marcos with wireless Internet to a park 4 blocks away from the office. Sweet!

I’m excited about this next adventure, and will be posting more about it once I’ve got my feet under me. Wish me luck!

Comments 4

  1. Tanya Sonnier wrote:

    Where is the “like” button? Congratualtions on the new job opportunity, and I hope things go swimmingly for you.

    Posted 02 Dec 2011 at 8:26 pm
  2. Sam Gaddis wrote:

    Hey Sean, can’t wait for you to join the team. So cool about the wifi-enabled shuttle.

    Come say hi when you start in January. Marketing will probably be bugging you to write for our blog :)

    Posted 03 Dec 2011 at 11:15 am
  3. SeanMcTex wrote:

    Tanya, Sam, thanks to you both!

    As you can probably tell, Sam, I do enjoy writing, so would be happy to contribute to the blog. Looking forward to meeting you!

    Posted 03 Dec 2011 at 11:26 am
  4. Hoyt Haffelder wrote:

    Congrats on getting the new position at Mutual mobile. I don’t blame you for leaving a job that involved sales. Customer service in that regard is a beast. If you need a designer give me a ring, I am trying to escape TXST and want to get into mobile design/development.

    Posted 15 Dec 2011 at 2:37 pm

Trackbacks & Pingbacks 1

  1. From Mobile Man « The Big Think on 05 Dec 2011 at 10:23 am

    [...] Sean has a post over at his blog about his impending job move from Magnolia to Mutual Mobile, an up-and-coming company in downtown Austin. I know it’s been a tough decision for him and he’s considered a lot of factors, but I really am happy that he’s making this move. Maybe I’m just selfish, though. This means more lunches since we won’t be facing an 80 mile round trip to spend time together. Hooray! [...]

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