I’m Joining the DigitalOcean Team!

It’s been a little over three weeks since the bomb was dropped that CSS-Tricks was acquired by DigitalOcean. The response has been awesome and, to be quite honest, totally unexpected. I’ve known for a long time just how many people visit the site because, hey, analytics. But the numbers have never shown me how much people actually appreciate and depend on the site, not only now, but for the past decade and a half. That’s the sort of intangible thing that numbers are poor at reporting.

Thank you, everyone, for all the kind words, high fives, and congrats. I know what people mean when they say they are humbled by a situation, but the past two weeks have taught me how it actually feels, and I am grateful. Cheers to you all!

I never thought anyone would care about what’s next in my career, but the question has come up enough that I figured I’d just come out and say it:

I’m officially joining the DigitalOcean team!

That’s right! The company that swooped in to buy CSS-Tricks is going to be my new employer starting, well, today. We’ve been talking about it since before the acquisition and I officially accepted a position the other week.

And I’m excited about it!

What y’all have to know is that CSS-Tricks is in incredibly great hands. In the short time I’ve gotten to know the DigitalOcean team, I’ve been blown away by the genuine respect and admiration they have for the site. So many folks on the team were raised by CSS-Tricks like you and me, and all they want is to see it keep on truckin’.

How cool is that? A big player in the space wants to invest in our beloved community so that it continues to serve us and future generations of front-enders. Being able to contribute to the site’s continuity and see it into its next chapter was a big draw for me as I was deciding whether to stay on board, and I’m genuinely stoked about it.

So yes, that means less freelance work.

I’m lucky in a lot of regards, but getting to work as an independent web designer and developer is up towards the top of the pile. It’s one of the highest-risk/highest-reward decisions I’ve ever made in my life and I somehow managed to make it work for nearly nine years.

I’m planning to continue helping a small handful of clients after I officially start my role at DigitalOcean. But I also have less time to dedicate to that work. That means I am also letting go of some freelance work, including some clients that I really, really enjoy.

So yes, more W2 work and less 1099 work. But DigitalOcean knows I’m keeping some client work on the side, as well as teaching at the college. Having that flexibility and support from the new team also played a big role in my decision to swim in the digital ocean.

I am still all about CSS-Tricks.

If you get nothing else from this gibberish, I hope it’s that all of it is because of how much I love CSS-Tricks and want to see it continue. Even though it’s really Chris’s baby, I’ve grown even more attached to the site the past seven years I’ve been lucky enough to work on it than the seven preceding years when I was a regular reader. I want nothing more than to take the torch that’s already lit and make sure it continues to burn bright for many, many years to come.

My career path is still on track.

Many of you know that my ultimate goal is to teach front-end at the college level. I already do! But the real idea is to slowly transition to it full-time over a number of years before tapering it back as I get into retirement.

I am still on track for that to happen, even with this new role.

I probably spoke with no fewer than 10 people at DigitalOcean as we were figuring out the future of my involvement. I made an intentional effort to tell each and every person that I am more excited about continuing to work on CSS-Tricks than I am about becoming a DigitalOcean employee.

Let me clarify because I mean that in the best possible way. I love that DigitalOcean is the company that owns the site, and I am excited that I now have an entire team of wonderful folks to collaborate with as we carve bigger and better paths for CSS-Tricks.

But what I’m uninterested in with this new position, I told them, is climbing the DigitalOcean ladder, so to speak. Working on CSS-Tricks is the only job I want. I’m simply not ready to let go of the site or stop working with all the incredible writers who contribute to it. I think there’s a much higher ceiling for CSS-Tricks to grow into and that’s what I’m coming on board to do — to help the site get there.

There’s no different title or role I can imagine that would change my mind, either. This and teaching are the two jobs I’m gunning for, and I appreciate the way DigitalOcean is not only willing to accommodate my personal and professional goals, but to actively root for me in the process. I’ve never felt so wanted, needed, or welcome into a team like this, and I’m ready to dig in and give everyone my best work.

That’s it for now! In the meantime, I have a little time off I get to enjoy before hopping in the saddle. So, if you see a big glow of brightness in the sky, there’s no need to worry — that’s just me paddle boarding shirtless for the first time in an embarrassingly long time. Sunglasses usually help, but only if polarized. 😎

Handwritten by Geoff Graham on April 5, 2022

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