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Saturday, June 18, 2011

Farewell Jedi Matt

Two and a half years ago I met an individual by the name of Matthew Tan who inspired me to post the article Come to the dark side.  I had sensed that the force was strong in this one so I gave him as much advice and training  as I could until a month later I left the company to accept the Install Lead position with a former employer.

Six months went by and we were swamped so we needed to hire another setup developer.  I reached out to Matt and asked if he'd be willing to apply.  He did and one day I went downstairs to the HR interview room to meet him.  I wanted to get a sense of how he had grown on his own.  After speaking with him for about 10 minutes it became very clear to me that he was 'getting it' and doing well.  At this moment I felt good that I had found my next minion not to mention a handsome referral bonus.

Matt and another developer named Ray joined us right after the time that I was created our Setup Democratization road map and sold it to executive leadership.  The three of us formed a small development team and started working on an internal tool code named `WiXShield`.  This tool would later be renamed `IsWiX` and released to the community as open source.

Matt did a great job working on this project and over time learned all of our patterns so that he could back me up in case I ever got hit by a bus.  That day came about a year later when I was pulled off the team to do a 3 month stint as a developer on one of our products.  Normally I would have given some notice that I was leaving the team except that the cat got our of the bag early.  I remember pulling Matt into a conference room and telling him that effective immediately he was the new team lead.   To say he was shocked would be an understatement.

Well he did just fine so when I returned to the team three months later I decided to have him remain as the team lead and I took on an unofficial elder statesman role.  The inside joke around the office is that I've done too good of a job indoctrinating him with my world view.  It's amazing how eye to eye we see things.

Anyways to get to the point, you can't (and you shouldn't) keep a guy like that forever.  He's found a new place for himself over at Charles Schwabb and while I'm really going to miss him,  I'm wishing him well.

Matt-  I wish you well and here's to seeing you again one day soon. Perhaps this time you'll get the referral bonus.

From Left to Right: Matthew Tan, Ray Dise and Christopher Painter
 celebrate the release of IsWiX (May 2010)


  1. The software deployment galaxy needs more Jedi's like Matt. Great chapter in the story! Thanks for sharing.

  2. The force is strong with this one...