“All good things must come to an end.”
Last week this quote meant more to me than most as I turned over the reins to the Better WP Security/iThemes Security project that I had been building since 2010. I am proud to say that as of the 23rd of this month I am now a Senior Web Engineer at 10up where I can put what I’ve learned on iThemes Security and other projects to work on new solutions for clients big and small.
While there are many reasons as to why I made the move it really comes down to two big ones that helped me realize it was time to move on.
1.) Building iThemes Security has, for me, gone from “new and shiny” and “exciting” to “is it really Monday again???”
To put it simply I was bored and burned out with the plugin. If I’m really going to be honest this was the case when I sold it to iThemes in 2013 and at the time I truly believed that working on it full-time would somehow renew my interest but that wasn’t the case. This is not to say I didn’t have a passion for it but just that I really wanted to work on other things and not just the plugin.
The truth is that the internet is a dynamic industry and it is all too easy as a developer to get too comfortable. Over the last few years I had gone from being on the cutting edge of web technology to finding myself behind the curve with so many new technologies and techniques simply because, in my daily work, I had no reason to use them. That’s not good in the long term, especially for someone who really enjoys the “new and shiny” in web development.
Choosing 10up for the next step was really a no brainer. Here are some of the smartest people I know working on some really cool new tech and I simply want to be a part of that and help build solutions that push the technology we use, as well as my own skills, to the limit.
2 .) I had lost the “why” I was working on the plugin in the first place
When I started building Better WP Security all those years ago I wanted to protect sites I was directly involved with from the threats they faced. It was that simple. I knew what the issues were and what I needed to do to solve them.
Fast forward a few years and I really couldn’t tell you what all the features in the plugin even are anymore. I went from seeing the need for a given feature first-hand to pulling the next feature seemingly out of the air often without much more than a single request or two and little research.
How does that help the community?
The answer is it doesn’t. It doesn’t help my customers and, combined with my own boredom/burn-out with the project it wasn’t helping iThemes or myself either. Without any of those three there really isn’t much left to go on.
So now here I sit, without the overhead of the plugin I both loved and, in some ways, feared for so much of the last 4 years ready to move on and build awesome new things. For the first time since at least 2012 I don’t know what I’ll be building next year or even next month but I do know that I’ll be learning and growing while at the same time contributing all that I can to the awesome community at 10up.
Now THAT is exciting!
Before I go I just want to say thank you to Cory Miller and iThemes for taking a chance on the plugin and on me and helping it reach the last goal I had for it in making a pro version. I’ve left it in some very capable hands and I’m sure that with a fresh set of eyes and guidance it will evolve to be far more than I would have ever thought possible.
Finally, and most importantly, thank you to everyone who has ever downloaded, tested, advised on or otherwise been a part of the project. I still remember when I first put it up on WordPress.org and was telling my office mate at the time how cool it would be if even a couple of people actually downloaded it. Today more than 600,000 of you are actively using it and have amassed almost 4.3 million downloads. You are the community and you have made it all possible.