In 2001 a good friend of mine started the company that eventually became Caxiam. Over the years he made occasional attempts to bring me on board, but the timing never worked out, and I wasn’t very excited about working with Caxiam’s preferred technology stack (ColdFusion, mostly).

In 2014, the timing finally worked out. My project with Innovative Leisure was winding down and I was looking for something new, and Caxiam’s most senior developer was moving to a new position with another company. Caxiam was understaffed and projects needed to be delivered for clients.

It’s true that I like a challenge, and Caxiam provided it. Caxiam had been trying to fill developer positions but candidates were balking once they realized ColdFusion was the go-to tool. I came on board not just as a senior developer but as a small-company CTO, specifically charged with updating the company’s technology platform to get it ready for modern web development.

Switching technology stacks is never easy. People fear change, even when it’s for the better, and especially when it comes from someone they haven’t yet learned to trust. In practical terms, the actual technology switch from Apache and ColdFusion on dedicated hardware servers to nginx and Python/Django on Amazon’s cloud service platform was easy; these are known things. No, the hard part was investing in the team, encouraging them through the transition, and setting reasonable expectations to give them enough space to make the switch and feel confident in what they’re doing. We got a lot of stuff done in a short time frame.

In the fall of 2014 a new partner joined the company, and altered Caxiam’s trajectory again. As the new partner filled a similar position to mine, my job became redundant. I still do contract work for Caxiam but as of January, not full-time.

Photo Credits: the view from my office at Caxiam: Damien Jones