Just over five years ago I got a message from my then employer to say I was
going to be made redundant after 21 years working for them. After the 3
month notice period the final day came. Meanwhile, I found something new
that looked terrifying but
interesting. In the end it was less
terrifying and way more interesting than I imagined it would be. It was fun
But... (there's always a but isn't there?)
In the four and change years I've been there the company got bought out, and
then the result of that got bought up. As I've mentioned before I'm
generally not a "big company" kind of person; in all my years I've found
that I'm happier working in a smaller place. After a couple of buyouts my
employer had gone from being 10s of people in size to 100s of people in size
(and technically 10s of 1,000s of people in size depending on how you look
This change in ownership and size meant the culture became... well, let's
just say not as friendly as you tend to enjoy when it's a smaller group of
folk. On top of that I was starting to notice that my efforts were making
less of an impact as things got bigger, and I started to feel like my
contributions weren't really relevant any more. There were some problematic
things happening too: undermining of efforts, removal of responsibilities
without consultation or communication, that sort of thing. Plus worse.
There's little point in going into the detail, but it's fair to say that
work wasn't as fun as it used to be.
That felt like a good time to start to look around. If work makes you feel
unhappy and you can look around... look around.
Thing is, I wasn't sure what to look for. I was in the comfortable position
of, unlike last time, not needing to find something, so I could take my
time at least. Over the course of the last year I've spoken to many
different companies and organisations, some big (yes, I know, I said I don't
like big places -- sometimes what's on offer deserves a fair hearing), some
small, but none of them quite said "this feels like me". In some cases the
whole thing didn't have the right vibe, in others the industry either didn't
interest me, or felt uncomfortable given my personal values. In one
particular case a place looked interesting until I checked the CTO's socials
and OMG NO NO NO AVOID AVOID (that was a fun one).
Then I saw Will McGugan saying he was
hiring to expand Textualize. This caught my
interest right away for two good reasons.
I can't remember how long I've been following Will on Twitter; I likely
stumbled on him as I got back into Python in 2018 and I also remember noting
that he was a Python hacker just up the road from me. We'd vaguely chatted
on Twitter, briefly, in that "Twitter acquaintance" way we all often do (I
remember one brief exchange about fungus on The
he'd seemed like a good sort. A small company run by a "good sort" kinda
person felt like a damn good reason.
The second reason was Textual itself. I'd been watching Will develop it, in
open, with great interest. I had (and still have) a plan to write a brand
new CHUI-based (okay fine TUI-based as the kids like to say these days!)
Norton Guide reader, all in Python, and Textual looked like the perfect
framework to do the UI in. The chance to be involved with it sounded
Now, I said two reasons, but there's also a third I guess: Will's pitch for
applying to Textualize felt so damn accessible! I'm on the older end of the
age range of this industry; for much of my working life as a developer I've
worked in isolation from other developers; while I first touched Python in
the 90s, I've only been using it in anger since 2018 and still feel like
I've got a lot to learn. Despite all these things, and more, saying "aye
Dave this is beyond you" I felt comfortable dropping Will a line.
Which resulted in a chat.
Which resulted in some code tinkering and chatting.
Which resulted in...
So, yeah, as of 2022-10-10 I'm on yet another new adventure. Time for me to
really work on my Python coding as I work with Will and the rest of the
team as part of Textualize.
Or, as I put it on Twitter a few days ago: I'm going to be a Python