On the 30th of January 2010 I left my boat (I was living aboard, moored on Stourbridge common in Cambridge, at the time), unlocked and got on my bike and put my headphones on. I cycled along at a silly pace as I was listening to a cool French Punk band at the time. Getting to the Judge Business School took no time at all. I locked my bike up and went looking for Lars.
The next 45 minutes was such a fun experience I ended up emailing him afterwards and saying thanks and apologising for interrupting him – I know that that is seen as good practice in some areas, but not in nursing interviews. Prior to Arcus I’d worked as a psychiatric nurse, so this interview was rather different to my prior experience.
So as you can see, I came from a different career, full of people who practice active listening for a living. During my interview I was able to talk about all the cool things I was interested in, without having to worry that I was being actively listened to, well it was just cool.
Soon after my interview with Lars I had a call from Denis, who wanted to check I knew what I was talking about. I passed this as I started working for Arcus in the beginning of March 2010. I was encouraged to play with all the cool things I was, and still am, fascinated by. Shortly after I started we won the Guardian Megas and Peter (Dewsbury, Director) encouraged me to go up with Lars and Denis to accept the prize. It was one of the best nights I have ever had!
Working at Arcus I got to meet some fantastically bright people and not feel like a fraud as I could keep up my end of the conversation more often than not. I was even dragged in front of prospective clients who were so impressed they asked if I could assure them that I’d not disappear off to the Bahamas before the project was done. I didn’t but I can still dream..
We have grown such a lot since then, but I still feel valued, which is why my recent decision to leave Arcus has been so hard.
Arcus helped me more than I can ever hope to express when the worst tragedy rocked my family. Denis was a rock and let me witter on to him in the depths of my despair at ridiculous hours of the day and night – I dread to think what I was saying. That happened in the summer and every summer since I have had the urge to wander off. This year I have let the urge have its way, so I am leaving. It feels like leaving home. I have learnt such a lot and grown as a person and developer, but I feel it is time to test myself somewhere else.
I no longer live aboard a boat but live in a house that I could not have afforded unless my efforts were rewarded at Arcus. Though being paid has always felt a little odd, as I code for fun rather more than for profit. I know I am not supposed to say that, but there’s nothing quite so much fun as being paid to do what you love. I love the fact that I am allowed, even encouraged, to disappear in my head and figure things out – though the waking up in the early hours with my head full of data structures can be disruptive. However, that is accepted at Arcus. I have popped into the office in the early hours of the morning and left in the early afternoon thanks to getting far more than eight and a half hours in and needing to rest if only to crack the next challenge.
The perks and the close-knit team make this the best place I have ever worked. The people are helpful and generous with their time and – I know I have said this before – frighteningly bright! This in itself is a challenge, but not in a bad way, rather in a way that encourages me to be brighter too.
So I will miss everyone at Arcus, and I hope that you continue to go from strength to strength. It is time for me to test myself though. Who knows, perhaps I will come close to finding a team of people who are as stunning, I do hope so.