Review of 2009

Sunday, January 3, 2010 3:26 PM by Michael Paladino

2009 was quite a year:

Since this is my technical blog, I won’t spend too much time on the personal stuff, but I do want to talk a bit about my experiences at Rockfish.

Rockfish

Rockfish Interactive is a fast-moving company that repeatedly puts out high-quality work due to the level of talent of its employees and vision of its leaders.  Being here this past year has definitely challenged me and helped me to grow tremendously in a number of areas. 

One of the biggest things that excites me about the company is the dedication to innovation and creation of new products and technology.  While a lot of companies talk about this, Rockfish has actually followed through via its Rockfish Labs division of which I’m proud to be a part. Rockfish had previously launched products such as Fourthbook, CrazyHotJob, and FileSend but never had dedicated resources for this type of work.  With Rockfish Labs staff has been allocated to specifically focus on building these types of products and technologies, and you should expect to see quite a bit of exciting offerings coming up in 2010.

TidyTweet

TidyTweet was the first product on which Rockfish Labs focused.  A free version launched in early July and then won the Developer Launchpad Session at The Twitter Conference in Los Angeles later in September.  In October we then added a “Business” option and began to see our first paying customers. 

TidyTweet represented the bulk of my work at Rockfish in 2009, and I learned quite a bit from the project regarding software development.  I also got experience launching a public-facing product and look forward to the time when I can help do that again.

Regrets

With all the craziness that 2009 brought, there were some things in my life that have definitely been neglected.  Due to time constraints, I’ve had to regretfully take a step back from my involvement in the Fort Smith .NET User Group and the technology community in general.  Luckily, the group has some great leadership in David Mohundro and the other officers who I’m confident will help it to continue to grow and be successful.

I’ve also let my relationship with God suffer this year.  It seems silly to even list this in this post as the magnitude of that statement dwarfs the importance of anything else I’ve written about.  Nevertheless, it’s something I’m aware of, and I want to publicly commit to working on it.  Relationships of any sort require quality time and energy if they are to flourish, and I intend to devote more of both to my relationship with the Lord in 2010.

Wrap Up

It’s been a great year on a number of levels and I’m excited about 2010. 

Professionally, at Rockfish I’m fortunate to have some great projects lined up in 2010.  I’m excited to work on them and look forward to when I can talk about them publicly. 

Personally, God has blessed me with a loving wife and family, and I look forward to all that we’ll get to do together this coming year.

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A New Adventure

Saturday, March 7, 2009 11:11 PM by Michael Paladino

For those of you that haven't yet heard, I have accepted a developer position with Rockfish Interactive in Bentonville, AR and will be starting work there on March 16.  It seems so simple to write that, but that sentence means so much to my family and me.

The End of an Era

The last almost 4 years of my life, I have been blessed to work at EagleOne in Fort Smith, AR.  During that time, I've grown tremendously in the areas of software development, knowledge of the transportation industry, and business knowledge in general.  I've been able to work with some great people at a great company and wish them success in the future. 

My manager's support also helped encourage me to start the Fort Smith .NET User Group which has been a huge growth opportunity for me as well.  Through that group, I've met a lot of really bright people and made some good friendships. 

Hopefully, all those experiences have helped to prepare me for the role I'll be moving to next week.

The Beginning of a New Adventure

March 16 I will begin work as a web developer for Rockfish Interactive in Bentonville, AR.  Forgive me if I get overly excited here, but it's hard not to when looking at Rockfish.  First of all, check out their portfolio.  There are some pretty large customers in that group and some pretty impressive work as well.  After having written mainly business-focused internal applications for a big chunk of my career, I am thrilled to get to work with some of the incredibly talented designers at Rockfish.  Also, check out what they have to say about working at Rockfish.  In addition to getting to work with some of the latest technologies, there is a ton of other cool stuff to get excited about including a Silver Joe's coffee bar in the office, catered lunches on Friday, and a relaxed dress code (most people typically wear jeans).

For the technology folks reading this blog (which I'm assuming is most of you), check out the list of some of the technologies used.  I'm really excited to see the code base that they have in place and am looking forward to getting to dig into some new technologies like Flex with which I have very little experience.

The Personal Side

My wife and I have been considering a move from Fort Smith back to Northwest Arkansas off and on for a couple of years now.  We've got a 2-year-old daughter and a baby boy due June 1 and getting closer to family up around Eureka Springs, AR is a priority for us.  We're in the process of selling our home and will be moving to the Bentonville area as soon as that task is accomplished.  Until then, I'll have about a 1 hour 20 minute commute each way.  That should provide lots of time to catch up on my podcasts :)  Anyway, as you can tell, I'm looking forward to the move both professionally and personally.

A Final Word of Thanks

Just wanted to say a final word of thanks to all of you who have helped with job leads and provided encouragement during this time.  Your assistance and support is greatly appreciated.

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