It’s official: On March 9, 2015 I will be starting my new job as a front end developer at Shopify. I couldn’t be more excited about it and I want to talk about why I’m so excited and why I am making this transition.

On relationships

The relationships you build with your colleagues form a core component of any job. The right relationships will challenge and excite you. I got a chance to speak at length with several of the people I will be working with. After those discussions, I believe that Shopify will provide an environment for many valuable relationships to flourish.

Shopify will be the largest company I have ever worked for. This is guaranteed to provide me with challenging relationships simply because I will be exposed to many different opinions and personalities in my day to day work. I welcome these new perspectives and hope that I have the wisdom to listen and learn even when I disagree.

Everyone I encountered during the interview process was intelligent, articulate, and cared for their craft. This shared passion excited me and the communication felt natural and deep, even on first encounters.

On personal growth

In the fall of 2014, I made a conscious decision to focus my sights on front end development and to start moving deeper in the related areas of expertise. I believe that this decision to move vertically instead of horizontally for the next year or two will help me grow as a professional and as a person in general. I have always been a generalist and I am a big fan of that approach, but at some point you really need to move further towards mastering something.

The web industry in particular makes it extremely difficult to master anything. There are simply far too many new techniques and technologies appearing too quickly. Regardless, I feel that for me personally it will be a sound strategy to focus on the client side for the next little while.

As a musician, I have pursued mastery for 16 years, so I can say from experience that it is extremely rewarding. As Shopify is a larger company, I will be able to maintain my focus on front end by taking advantage of the fact that they have experts in every area of the stack. It will be nice to lean on them for certain things while offering myself as an expert in * front endy things.

When working with large teams on large projects, the job title ‘Full Stack Developer’ just doesn’t make sense to me. I much prefer ‘Front End Developer (who understands the full stack)’.

On moving the industry forward

Front end development as a niche is still relatively young (at least the current meaning of it is). At Shopify the front end development role is still less than two years old. I have an amazing opportunity to lend my voice to the conversation around what front end development means and where it should go.

Will I have anything useful to contribute? Maybe not but I hope so. I know for sure that I am going to work very hard on it.

* front endy things (noun): HTML, CSS, JavaScript, NodeJS (because it’s so darn useful), Javascript MV*(because it’s awesome and will be the future), tooling (too many to list), browsers (because they are still all different), rendering performance (because UIs are my favourite thing), what will we do without browsers and HTML? what is the client-side really? (this is going to matter soonish)