At the beginning of the year I quietly changed jobs. It was a tough decision because I was only 6 months into my job at the time, but for a variety of reasons it wasn’t the right fit.¬†I’m now one month into my current position and couldn’t be happier.

My current job at DealerScience has everything one could hope for: a great team, an awesome product, lots of upside, a good commute, and even a sweet logo. However, what really has me over the moon and is the inspiration for this post is how much learning I am getting on the job. I am talking real-world, practical, definitely going to serve me in the future,  experience on a SaaS application. I make it a point to put every bit of free time I have into learning by reading and doing on my own, but in just a few short weeks at this new organization it has become apparent to me that you can really take your education to the next level by being responsible for implementing best practices in the field.

It also has become apparent to me as my experience with different companies grows that not all jobs provide this benefit. And my feeling having now experienced both sides of this extreme is that for me, being able to learn on the job is a key factor for what defines a good position. It is important to me because my number one goal is to be the best technologist I can be, and in this ever changing field it is imperative to stay on top of what works and to have a broad knowledge and experience base from which to pull from when creating today’s solutions.

As a side note, learning can happen in a lot of different ways. It could be from a formal or informal mentor, or it could be from just being around smart colleagues. It could be from getting to work on good technical problems and getting the time to do them the right way, or it could be from getting to go to professional conferences. However the learning is done, the key is also being able to apply it. And this is where my current job shines. Everyday I get to take the latest things I have learned on my own, combine them with the ideas of brilliant coworkers, and then put them to work for our customers. It’s a win-win. The customers get the best product possible, and employees get a satisfying, rewarding on the job experience.

Having found this opportunity not only gives me great professional joy, but it has forever changed how I will evaluate future job opportunities along my career path.

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