What Can I Say?

by Isaac Sanders

##2011: The Best Year of My Life

This has been a wonderful year. I have met countless wonderful people, I have learned countless invaluable things, and I have done countless unbelieveable things. If you were to ask me what I would be doing now, this time last year, I would not be able, in my wildest dreams, to tell you this is where I would be and what I would be doing.

This past year has been unconventional, for a high school student. I have been blessed to go to the school that I go to, that has afforded me the opportunity to expand my learning outside the classroom. I am sad that I have not been able to be there to teach the younger students, but I can’t wait to tell them the wonderful things I learn on Walkabout.

One of the groups of people that I own the most to is the amazing crew at EdgeCase. Joe, Ken, Shelley, Dan, Monica, Adam, Leon, Jerry, Justine, Aaron, Felix, Scott, Andrew, Tony, John, Marc, Tyler, Jacki, Mike, Mike, Matt, Matt, Matt and Matt are some of the most awesome people ever, and I hope I always get to work with a group as talented and nurturing as they are. I learned a lot at EdgeCase and I know that they will continue to teach me lessons that I don’t even know exist yet. I owe so much to them.

The next group that I want to remember is the wonderful Developer community. In Columbus we have a very intelligent, caring and dedicated people who always wish to teach and learn. I have spent a great deal of time going to different User Groups and I would be happy to encourage anyone who reads this to do the same. I always learn something new and it is wonderful to meet those who work hard every day to improve their craft.

After I left EdgeCase, I was left with an interesting dilemma. My high school had wanted me to either take classes (the credits for which I did not need), or I needed to find something else. When faced with that difficult decision, I started looking. My search for a learning opportunity panned out when I found that 2Checkout.com, a hosted payment processor located in Hilliard, OH, was looking for junior developers. I sent my resume to Tony Santucci, the director of Product Development at 2Checkout. Not expecting people to take me seriously, I was surprised when he wished to meet with me. After my meeting with Tony, I had become the newest Intern at 2Checkout. My time there has been extremely educational and unforgetable. The people in Product Development and QA and ESG are a great bunch and I know they will continue to do high quality work (and maybe they will be able to get some work done when that talkative intern leaves).

One of the most transformative things I was exposed to is the idea of Craftsmanship. I have been blessed to have this group of role models (that’s right, all of you). The beginning of my journey as an apprentice has been a fortuitious one, and I know that as long as I continue to watch and listen and learn from you all, my fortune won’t run out. 2011 has been the best year of my life.

##2012: Looking Even Better

After 2011, 2012 has big shoes to fill. Having said that, I know that this year can do that and more.

Next week will be my last week at 2Checkout. It is bittersweet leaving, as I will miss my wonderful coworkers, but the future holds great things for me. After I clean out my desk at 2Checkout, I pack my bags for Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio for CodeMash 2012! I am can not describe how excited I am to go, and I thank Jim Holmes, President of the CodeMash board, for giving me the opportunity to volunteer to get to the conference. I can’t wait to make new friends and catch up with old friends.

If that were not enough for a Janurary, I will be moving to Cleveland to work with the cool cats at LeanDog. My mentor will be the incredible Doc Norton. Even though I may feel nervous about being on my own, I am terribly excited to experience life on my own.

After I finish up my time with LeanDog in March, I will be moving to Chicago to work at Groupon. My mentor will be Dave Hoover.

I think I am going to go welcome in 2012. It looks fantastic, and I know I will learn a lot.

Happy New Year Folks, and thank you for the best year of my life.

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