One year ago today…
…I was on a plane bound for Copenhagen, a city I’d never been to in order to start working with a bunch of people I’d never met (other than talking with David over the phone). I had left Adobe wanting to find something new, something that would be more promising in terms of real-time 3D and games was concerned, and I was hoping to find all that at OTEE (now known as Unity Technologies). It all began a few months before that flight in late August of 2006, I had already announced my pending departure from Adobe to the Director user community and was only a few days away from leaving Adobe for good.
I was sitting in my cube on the 1st floor of Adobe’s San Francisco office (formerly the Macromedia HQ office) and was staring at a pile of paperwork that I was going to take up to the human resources office. I was about to cross the line of no return, once that paperwork was submitted I would be finished as an Adobe employee as of Tuesday, September 6, 2006. I signed the last page and took a moment to carefully consider my decision, I was leaving a rather well paying job at a well established company offering great benefits, and for what? I was going to be unemployed with only a rough idea as to where I wanted to end up. All I knew was that if I took another job in software it would have to be in the 3D game space, otherwise I was a bit clueless as to what I’d do next. My father’s voice was in my head: “What are you doing son? Why would you leave a stable and paying job like that? You should stick it out until you know you have other options…” I too wondered about what I was doing, but then the memories of frustration and disappointment surrounding both Director and my particular job role took over and I again felt it was the right move despite my nervousness, I gathered my paperwork and readied myself for that HR meeting. Then the phone rang…
I looked down at the phone on my desk and noticed that the incoming call was from an international number, +45 something something. I had a spare minute and decided I should answer the call, the voice that greeted me was none other than David Helgason. We greeted each other and talked, he asked if I’d heard of Unity and whether I might be interested in joining the team. Of course I knew of Unity and landing at a company focused on real-time 3D (and games) was a key interest, but that moment and location was not right for the conversation. I gave David my mobile phone number and asked him to call me the following week when I was free and clear of my Adobe obligations. He agreed and we hung up after our short conversation. With an extra bounce in my step I hurried off to the HR office in order to turn in my paperwork. I floated through my last few days at Adobe, not really working so much as I was making the rounds to say goodbye to all of the close friends I’d made during my eight years at Macromedia/Adobe. Despite saying all those goodbyes I couldn’t help but look forward, thoughts of “what’s next?”, including working at OTEE, swam through my head.
I took three months off between jobs for some rest and relaxation, and to enjoy time in Portugal and Spain with my girlfriend. During that time I emailed and spoke with David a number of times. Despite thinking I wanted a long break between jobs I was sufficiently excited about joining OTEE and after sorting some details with David I booked a flight to Copenhagen in early December. The decision was made, I was going to join the OTEE/Unity team and couldn’t wait to get started!
It’s now been a year since that flight and I’ve met some great people and have begun a new job and a new era of my life. I’ve managed to find a great new job and make some great new friends, both in terms of my coworkers and the (mostly) new developer community I now serve. I’m thrilled and excited about the future that lies ahead for both myself and for Unity Technologies. And so on this day I would like to offer my sincere thanks and the utmost gratitude to David, Nicholas and Joachim for deciding that I was worthy of joining the team. I would also like to offer my sincere thanks to Marty Plumbo, he’s a long-time Unity user as well as a long-time Director user, he was a key player in helping connect me with the crew behind Unity and without him I’m not sure I’d be where I am today.
So guys, thanks from the bottom of my heart. Thanks to everyone for making this possible and of course for making Unity such a kick ass product. I can’t wait to see what the next year has in store for all of us!