This weekend I told a developer friend that I would be leaving Zend in a couple of weeks.

His response was, “wow, when I talked to you at ZendCon you were really bullish on Zend”.

I was, and even tough I’m leaving, I still am.

I know that sound’s like PR spin, but it’s not. Zend has some GREAT products and I’ll keep using them.

So, if the products are great and the company is growing, why am I leaving?

Well, I’m a “developer” guy. That’s my thing.

I’ve been developing software, or working on developer related products and communities for over 30 years.

Zend will always be involved in PHP development technologies like Zend Studio and Zend Framework – but Zend Server is the product that pays the bills.

In the last year we’ve come to understand that Operations (DevOps) is where Zend’s Enterprise Server has it’s strongest value proposition. With this understanding Zend has devoted a great deal of engineering resources to enhance the Zend Server offering with a new and growing collection of Continuous Delivery integration patterns.

To do a great job engaging the right potential audience for Zend server, Zend’s primary community strategy needs to move in the right (operations / CD) direction.  Zend has always focused on developers and they assure me that won’t change, but the focus for Zend Server will be at a higher level. VP of Development / VP of Operations.

I’m not an ops guy :)

Sure, I could spend a year developing operations center experience and “faking it” – but I don’t want to BE an operations guy. And Zend doesn’t need a operations and continuous delivery expert a year from now – that conversation has already started. (http://www.zend.com/en/solutions/continuous-delivery/)

I joined Zend because it’s co-founder Andi Gutmans has been a friend for many years.

When the my needs and experience are no longer a match for the company’s needs and opportunities, its a bit sad, but the right choice is obvious.

And so, February 14th will be my last official day at Zend.
My friendships will stay in place, I’ll keep using Zend’s Products, and I’ll still be at ZendCon :)

A quick note of thanks to my coworkers at Zend. Especially Andrea for the laughs, Mathew, Zeev, Guy & Natalia for all the technical support and Maurice – the tireless & expert developer !

So what will I be doing next ?

As of today, I have no idea. :)

I’ll be looking for a full time gig, doing some contract writing & video work in the meantime and writing some code (something my duties over the past few years have forced me to do less of than I would have liked.)

I’ll be doing some Drupal development and I have a few mobile apps in mind for WM8, IOS & Android.

Maybe I’ll even have time to get back to blogging.

In the meantime, if you have any ideas for me ?