A Fresh Start in 2016: Moving on from Sencha

It is with bittersweet emotion that I must announce today was my last day with Sencha.

Over the years, my blog has become somewhat of a beacon for many Sencha developers. Way back in 2008 (well before I started working for the company) I began using Ext JS 2.0. I started blogging (ranting, really) about my trials and tribulations — and thanks to Google, literally tens-of-thousands of developers have read my posts. Even today, 8 of my top 20 most-viewed posts per week (~20% of my total traffic) are related to Sencha’s products.

Sencha hired me in early 2011 — nearly five years ago to the day. In the eight total years that have passed this community has become nothing short of family, and I owe much to my friends and colleagues. Working at Sencha has been the highlight of my career thus far and I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it.

Arthur Kay at SenchaCon 2013

But as the saying goes, “nothing lasts forever” — and I have been given an incredible opportunity to build some cutting-edge software outside of the Sencha ecosystem. I am sad to be leaving behind many people whom I love and respect, and I wanted to step back for a moment and reflect on my journey.

What has Sencha meant to me?

Working at Sencha has been an incredible experience, one that has helped me grow professionally — but also enabled me to do some really cool stuff.

When I was first hired, I worked on the Professional Services team as a Solutions Engineer and was later promoted to Solutions Architect. Among other things I worked directly with our largest customers (often in the Fortune 500) to build some awesome web applications. In 2014 I was promoted to Developer Relations Manager where I owned everything under the umbrella of “content and community”. For roughly the past year I have worked as Senior Software Engineer, working on our latest-and-greatest software tools like Sencha Inspector and our IDE plugins.

By my rough calculations, this is my contribution to our developer community over the years:

  • I have 56 posts on my own blog tagged with “Ext JS” and another 33 tagged with “Sencha Touch”
  • I have published 32 posts on the Sencha blog
  • 1500+ posts on the Sencha forums
  • ~10 Sencha webinars
  • Attended all 5 SenchaCon conferences (speaking at 3)
  • Started two meetup groups (Chicago and Milwaukee)
  • Presented at more than 8 conferences in North America
  • I was invited to the Microsoft campus to present on Channel 9
  • Presented at more meetups than I can count, in cities all over the United States
  • Contributed bug fixes to every version of the Ext JS and Touch frameworks
  • Built community extensions for nearly every product
  • Grew the Chrome extension App Inspector for Sencha to more than 13,000 weekly users
  • Drafted Sencha’s Guide to JavaScript Style and Best Practices (90 stars and 14 forks on GitHub)
  • …and those are just the things I can think of off the top of my head!

I don’t mean to toot my own horn but I have become one of the most widely recognized content authors in the Sencha ecosystem over the past 8 years. It’s no secret that I drink the Sencha champagne, and I have created much of my professional identity around this developer community.

Most of all, I have loved talking to everyone. Every meetup, webinar, conference and customer visit has been extraordinarily fun — and I have had the immense pleasure of getting to know many of you on a personal level.

To my colleagues at Sencha (both past and present) — this journey with you has been incredible, and I hope we will continue to stay in touch. THANK YOU for all of your support, kindness and friendship over the years!

So why leave?

Simply put: eight years is a long time to be doing something. While I love what I do, I’m also a technology geek whose interests are pulled in multiple directions simultaneously; now just feels like the right time to try something new.

I recently completed a business leadership course in which we discussed personal branding, mission statements and core values (in addition to many other topics). One of the biggest takeaways I had from this class was that I needed to be true to myself — and in order to continue growing personally and professionally I need to adjust my compass and accept new challenges.

A Fond Farewell

I honestly can’t articulate the gratitude I have towards the Sencha community — it truly is a special place, and I know it will continue to grow and succeed as the company delivers new and innovative products (like Sencha Test). I know Sencha’s best days are still ahead; they have an amazing team and their mission is one which many believe in. I can’t wait to see what they do over the next 12-24 months!

I can’t guarantee what the future holds for me, but I hope to keep in touch with everyone through Twitter, my blog and future events. You are all welcome to reach out to me with questions — I’ll always be here to help the best I can!

to-infinity-and-beyond

About 

With nearly 20 years of software engineering and operations experience, Arthur Kay offers an extraordinary set of leadership skills and technical expertise to develop meaningful products and high-performing teams. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies, VC-funded startups and companies across a wide variety of industries to build cutting-edge software solutions.

Arthur is a successful entrepreneur, technology professional, and mentor. He is a full-time family man, part-time consultant and spare-time musician. He graduated from Loyola University Chicago and currently lives in greater Chicago-land.

5 comments for “A Fresh Start in 2016: Moving on from Sencha

  1. Abe
    January 7, 2016 at 6:29 am

    Art,

    I remember when we first met at the Ext JS Conference in Orlando. You echoed the strong and fair voice of the community. I was thrilled when you decided to join. While at Sencha, it was great to see you take on new challenges and watch you grow. Thank you for all the countless hours helping in the forums, presenting at conferences, and leading roadshows and webinars. You are a rock star!

    Stay in touch,
    Abe

    • Arthur Kay
      January 7, 2016 at 12:15 pm

      Abe — thank you very much for the kind words! I remember meeting you at that conference, and I thoroughly enjoyed working under your leadership at Sencha. We did a lot of great work together and I hope we do remain in touch!

  2. Andrew
    January 7, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    Congratulations! That’s always a hard decision to make! Best of luck to you!

  3. January 21, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    The tile under my feet cracks at the heavy weight of a tear drop mourning such a valued departure from the familia. I still remember shaking your hand in respect upon successful completion of our joint contract which was my first with Sencha Professional Services. Behind, you leave a void to never be filled. May you find what you seek!

  4. March 20, 2017 at 9:51 pm

    Congratulations! That’s always a hard decision to make! Best of luck to you!

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