It’s been six years since I had to write a post like this. Truthfully, at least for me, it’s never easy.
Unfortunately BMW has made the decision to shut down the Chicago Technology Office. I’m not going to beat around the bush here, this really sucks. I was lucky enough to be one of the approximately 40 people who started the office back in 2014 and over these last six years not only was I able to work on some really awesome projects, I got a chance to grow and lead and for that I will always be grateful.
I spent about three years working on the iOS and Android versions of the BMW and MINI Connected applications. We started them from scratch, learned a lot about globally developing mobile applications and attempted to pull BMW into the modern era when it came to software development. I then got the chance to lead the Aftersales organization. What started out as 20 people and 3 teams grew to over 40 people and 7 teams delivering complex features that were truly customer oriented. When it was time to make a technology change I was tapped to lead the team in Chicago in implementing a Flutter based application which was a bit scary and new at the time but has turned out to be great for the company as well as their user base.
If I had a choice I would stay with BMW. I really enjoyed what we were working on as well as the people around the globe that I worked with. We may have had very different ways of working but in the end we all wanted the same thing. Let’s ship something that is fun to work on but also awesome for customers to use. I do think that back in 2014 we were ahead of the rest of the car industry but now it has caught up. Because of that the desire to keep pushing and keep leading is what is driving the teams in BMW today and I can’t wait to see how the next years work out for them and the My BMW/MINI application.
As for whats next for me, first a break. The last six years were fun but also very long. I was able to get the month of December off before starting my new job. It’s been a while since I have been able to actually take a break and enjoy the holiday time so it’s going to be a welcomed change.
That being said, I have both nervous and excited to start as the Engineering Manager at Very Good Ventures. Going from a decade of large corporations to a small shop is going to be a bit of a shock to the system but I’m ready to challenge myself and help VGV grow out of startup mode and into a big time player in the Flutter community.