Back to Earth

Today was my last day at BlueMars where I worked for a total of about five years. I did some nice stuff there, like a community site in Drupal, another community with an overkill of AJAX, experimenting with IPTV. They sent me to conferences where I met people whose articles I had been reading all the time, even on dead trees before anybody knew what a blog was. I’m grateful for that.

When I started to work for BlueMars, most of the websites still had table layout, but my colleagues soon adopted CSS floats. They did a brilliant job, and after a while everything we produced was semantic and validated. We even did some guerilla accessibility without the project managers or clients knowing, but appreciating the cleanness of the code anyway. ;)

Then came the day when Web Standards Project colleague Glenda Sims asked in her blog “do you love your job?” And I had to admit I wasn’t challenged anymore. I was still learning new things, but my daily work offered few opportunities to implement them. What I really wanted was building accessible, inclusive websites in a company that understood the challenges and consequences of Web 2.0 — an enterprise 2.0 looking for staff 2.0. Where I wouldn’t “run against walls” so often. Where empathy wasn’t just something left to the Dalai Lama.

My new employer is the Swiss company namics, in particular the branch office in Frankfurt. Since Yahoo! was always a benchmark for me — with their openness, their attitude of sharing, their communication — I was surprised to find a European company apparently performing great against those benchmarks. They have internal and external blogs and wikis, they hold internal barcamps and encourage people to speak at conferences. Some of them participate in the technology and usability juries of the Best of Swiss awards, and their CEO is also on the managing committee of the Swiss Library for Blind and Visually Impaired People.

My first job will be accessible, with the client not only knowing, but actually asking for it. Also in March they send me over to SXSW where I will hold a core conversation together with Gez Lemon about Accessible Rich Internet Applications. I’m really looking forward to work for namics. It feels like coming home, already. Thanks to Glenda Sims and Jessica Feldmann for unknowingly encouraging me to take that step. And yes, I will continue to blog here as I own this domain now.

2 Responses to ‘Back to Earth’

  1. Jürg Stuker

    Welcome Martin and very much looking forward to meeting you irl.

  2. Daniel

    Ich sehe schon — mein Tipp war goldrichtig :) Viel Spaß bei namics und auf dem Weg zu neuen Ufern!