Once Upon A Chef

October 13, 2020

As many of you know, Chef was recently acquired by Progress. I believe that this has a lot of potential to help Chef deliver its product and feature aspirations faster and more effectively to clients. Progress provides a large resource pool of talent to help get things out of the backlog and delivered to customers. I don’t claim to know the future but there is tremendous potential here for good for the Chef community and Chef customers.

However, in the short term, this is a painful transition. For many reasons people have chosen to leave during this acquisition and it is and will be difficult to see those people go. Chef was not a large company, so any loss feels very significant. Through my own lense, it is difficult to see how this can still be Chef when people that I have worked so closely with have moved on to other projects. Chef has been a career home for me, for the first time in the last 15 years of my career. This past year has been the first time I’ve felt truly happy with my career choices, and I find myself upset and resistent to change. Progress is a company that its employees seem to enjoy and want to be a part of, and they seem to be amazing people, yet they are not Chefs.

I’m not sure if I will continue with Chef. I have a permanent position with Progress that I have accepted, and I have a desire to continue to foster the same great customer success for a product I strongly believe in. Only time can really see though if this is still a place I can think of as home, or if this transition has made this into just another Job.

This is not a critique of Progress in any way. There has been some hubbub in Social Media around this acquisition, and I don’t want to contribute to that. I took some business management courses in college, but I don’t have an MBA, and I don’t pretend to be an expert in how best to acquire a company. This is my own perspective on having a company of less than 300 Chef family turn into a company of ~1500. It’s a big transition.

I have opened up my LinkedIn profile to show that I am #opentowork. I am not looking for just any job, but another potential home in my career. I want to work in the DevOps space, for a smaller company, and ideally for a company that is diverse at all levels. This narrows down my potential employers quite a bit, and I might not find one. I might find that being a Chef@Progress is a truly amazing experience and a huge boost to my career aspirations. Right now, I just want to have all possibilities open.