Hackernoon logoOvernight success takes years by@LoTekMedia

Overnight success takes years

John Mann, Director Of Engineering, moved from Seattle to Atlanta in 2009. He says he missed Seattle terribly, but it took him 3 years to get used to living in Atlanta. He is now the Head of Engineering and is writing React code against a C# backend that we are moving to node.js. He has met some pretty special people at WordCamp Atlanta, Angle Brackets in Vegas, and some others that have inspired him. He is not an overnight success. Overnight success takes years. I am persistent and patient (at times)
John Mann Hacker Noon profile picture

John Mann

Director Of Engineering

When we first moved from Seattle to Atlanta, it was horrible. We moved from a nice house in Bothell with a backyard, to a 2 bedroom apartment that we used one bedroom for storage stacked to the ceiling with boxes, the other bedroom had our mattress on the floor, and no furniture assembled. We had to go around our whole apartment, through a parking garage, to take our dogs out. Oh did I forget that we drove across the whole country in an suv with 2 dogs? Yes, that happened. I tried to get involved, I went to meetups, startup weekends, local conferences, and had a day job. I remember when I was at Startup Weekend, someone told me that it will take about 3 years to get used to it here. I missed Seattle terribly. I missed my comfort, my team, my commute, my… fill in the blank.

Fast forward. I have met some pretty special people here, Tom McFarlin, John Saddington and Shawn Wildermuth to name a few. I have also met many people at WordCamp Atlanta, Angle Brackets in Vegas, and some others that have really inspired me. It has been 3 years now. I have changed jobs once and I am going to start teaching part-time at General Assembly. I am in charge of engineering/development for a startup here and was the director of engineering for a global software company. I like my Publix, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods. I know how to get to midtown, Decatur, and understand the OTP, ITP conversations. I have started writing more and more, and even getting recognized from time to time for some of my articles.

I am a writer. I am a teacher. I am developer. I am a team-builder. None of that happened over-night. It happened over time. I didn’t know I wanted to be a writer, I just wrote. I did kind of know I wanted to teach, but teaching is a skill that needs to be honed. Just like writing, development, speaking, etc… I have run into people when I’m out that I know now. I am comfortable here in the Atlanta area, and I continue to meet more people. I know that they are not the same people I met in Seattle, or New Orleans, or… they are different. I can’t recreate what I had in New Orleans or Seattle. It is a NEW experience. That is the overnight success for me. When I realized that this is new, each day is new. We have a successful experience and we analyze the crap out of it trying to recreate that same situation, the same formula.

That is not how it works. Your new venture is simply that… NEW. I have learned WAY more about my life through failures than successes. I was sad when I moved here, I feel like I lost myself, my life, my happiness. I didn’t realize until this year, that I am recreating myself. I am better than I was 3 years ago. I know more, I have learned so much, and that knowledge continues to grow.

I am not an overnight success. I am persistent and patient (at times). I try things. I try things that I end up not enjoying. I stop those things. I try things that I enjoy, so I do more of that. I learn daily. It is the pursuit of knowledge, both technical and self-awareness that helps me improve.

So what am I doing now? I am the Head of Engineering and I am writing React code against a .Net C# backend that we are moving to node.js.

I am writing when I can and I enjoy it. I am not an overnight success. I am a collection of failures and successes, but it is the next success that keeps me going and the next failure that keeps me getting better.


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