(photo by Trevor Harris)
Today was my last official day at Pronovix. This will definitely end a huge and very important part in my life. 4 years ago (almost exactly) I joined to the team. Kristof, our team leader was asking in an email if I know any PHP devs in the area, and I offered my service.
I met the team first on a local Drupal user group. Young geeks :) Couple of weeks later I was invited over to the office to an anime party. Drinking belgian beers and watching Samurai Champloo. It was something special. From that very moment I felt that place is different from others. It's not a workplace. It's a living place. And even more :)
The beginning was hard. Boy I was excited and nervous a lot. First time talking in English, having international customers, developing code to a community. Not the mention the little punks - 2 to 5 years younger than me and knowing so much more. It was challenging on each side. But when you feel the help and the group spirit you instantly forget the frustration and like the responsibility.
Pronovix had a special thing, that made the awesome company unbeatable - the 1on1s. It's a weekly private hour where you can talk with your mentor/couch (Kristof) about anything. Anything that bugs, frustrate you or you think that could help you, etc. Really anything. I wouldn't be who I am without it today. That and the underlying philosophy that makes Pronovix far above the other companies. Here you're not working. Here you help clients, you help the team and help yourself. And to make all these three even better you constantly encouraged to develop these parts.
I was working at many places through the 4 years. I've been in London, Gent, Brussels, Zurich, Prague, Barcelona, Paris, Wien and some other cities. Many other teams, workplaces and experiences. I can clearly state, even the great companies are lack of such a motivating environment that Pronovix has. Not to talk about the less-good companies. It really makes a change when employees are important. One of the most important thing I've got here is the desire to change and help. I was extremely lucky to meet The customer (I swear they live and are human). When you meet him/her you realize that your code is not only a bunch of classes and functions anymore. It's gonna something that will help people. It will be used by the guy standing in front of you. And his/her smile worth every drop of my sweat.
Clearly work is something that at some point becomes your life. And you want to live it as good as possible. So you not just go to the office, sit down, code and wait for the weekend. You need the happy feeling. And one another: feeling indestructible. That's another thing I was taught. No matter what, you can always solve the problem. You may need time, some extra resource, a good sleep or some creativity. But there wasn't a single time when we couldn't achieve something. (Don't get me wrong, sometimes you need to turn the steering wheel to avoid a crash, that's part of life.)
We did a lot of things together, geez :) Those hard work, extra hours, the conferences, travels, taking presentations, sleeping in the office, coffee and tea, chinese food, pranks, fails and success, girlfriends and break ups, beers and podcasts, long talks about life and everything ... when I think about these I know I've put the 4 years of my life to the best fucking place ever possible.
Miss you all,