I’ve been creating my own web sites since I was 13 years old, and over the last several years it’s grown to become the primary focus of my free time. I began to pursue a side business in web development, but I soon realized that was not enough. I loved web development so much I knew that I needed to pursue it full-time. This week, by the grace and kindness of God, my wish came true. On Wednesday I started my new job as a web developer for Panlocal Media!
What is Panlocal Media?
I’ll start out with a little about the company. They are based here in Dallas, and they publish an online arts, entertainment, and news site focused on the Dallas/Fort Worth area called Pegasus News. They are owned by a larger company called Gap Broadcasting, which owns over 100 radio stations around the nation. Panlocal is planning to expand soon into cities where Gap Broadcasting owns radio stations.
A Change in Atmosphere
On Wednesday, I started the drive out to Dallas from Lewisville. The office is on the corner of 635 and Preston, so it’s about a 30 to 40 minute drive depending on traffic. As I drove there, I had a difficult time trying to push back the nervousness that kept my heart firmly lodged in my throat. After I got there and started meeting my coworkers, though, that feeling started to quickly subside.
After 5 years at a large corporate office, I’m used to a very highly regimented schedule that includes careful attention to the exact number of minutes taken for each break or lunch. The management seemed to watch each team member like a hawk, not trusting them to do their job without constant supervision. At Panlocal, on the other hand, each team member is treated like the adult that they are. The atmosphere is more relaxed, but no less productive. They don’t watch the clock - everyone seems to enjoy what they’re doing and truly want to be there. They don’t have an unnecessarily strict dress code, and the team regularly wears jeans and t-shirts to work.
This level of comfort does a lot to bring the team together without the burden of unnecessary formality. I found myself fitting in right away, and I’m getting to know my teammates much more quickly than I did in other corporate environments. Everyone can genuinely be themselves, and I can already tell that I’m going to work well with this team and enjoy getting to know them better.
Hitting the Ground Running
On my first day, there was a little paperwork to take care of in the morning and several introductions, but once that was out of the way I was given the freedom to settle in and get going at my own pace. Having done a lot of the same work with the same technology for my side business (Mac development computer, Linux server, same programming language and web framework), I was able to dive right in and get going. They presented me with a brand new MacBook Pro, they helped me get the development environment set up, and I started resolving issues right away. This method of hands-on learning is really working well for me. Instead of days studying training material and reviewing diagrams of the codebase, I was able to dig in and start pulling it apart to fix real issues and meet real requirements.
The first three days have been everything I hoped for, and so far I haven’t run into any tradeoffs or downsides. This is truly my dream job, and I’ve actually found myself eager to return on Monday. I left on Friday in the middle of a perplexing challenge, and as I was driving home I came up with the solution. I’m excited about implementing it on Monday morning!
I want to thank everyone who prayed for me while I was looking for a new opportunity, while I went for the interview, and while I was considering the offer. God has truly blessed us with this new job, we are very grateful for your thoughts and prayers during the process!