How Elevated Code Came to Be

One of the questions I get asked most is how I started Elevated Code. In many ways Elevated Code was a happy accident. Back in 2006, I was working in Chicago for JPMorgan Chase as a developer. I was building web based dashboards in PERL for the global storage and backup team. I had lead the creation of a good sized reporting application, but PERL felt like the wrong tool for the job. Around this time, Ruby on Rails was starting to become popular and I decided to go a Pragmatic Studio training class to learn more.

A few weeks after the class, Jason Perkins emailed the alumni mailing list and asked if anyone was interested in doing a little freelancing work with him. Since I wasn’t thrilled working for a big company I emailed him back. It turned out we lived just a few block apart. One thing lead to another and by April we had created a corporation (I’ll talk more about how we did this wrong in a future post) and started work on a site called Radio Handi. Two months later, we had received our first payment (which is another thing we did wrong. I’ll talk more about this shortly as well)

In June of 2006, I decided to take a few days off work to go to RailsConf in Chicago. There, I happened to sit down between Keith Schacht and (Nate Kontny)[]. That turned out to be another lucky break. (If you hadn’t noticed, there was a lot of luck involved in the start of Elevated Code. I’ll have a lot more to say about that later.) Elevated Code would go on to do quite a bit of work for Keith, and Nate is somebody who I admire. I didn’t learn much technical information at that RailsConf, but I made a lot of good connections.

Along the way, Jason decided that a full time job, working at night and raising two kids was too much work. As a parent of two now, I completely understand. He decided to step out leaving me as the only programmer. Things continued like that for a while. Towards the end of 2006, I realized that I was dreading my day at Chase but couldn’t wait to get home to work. Once I came to that conclusion, I knew I needed to do Elevated Code full time. After a few false leads, I met Roy Russell and signed an agreement to work on GoLoco. That was all I needed to quit my day job and work at Elevated Code full time.

Before you knew it, I had hired a couple of programmers and my little side project had become a real company. It’s hard to believe that it’s been 7 years since Elevated Code was started. In that time, I’ve learned a lot about programming, but even more about running a consulting company. Over the next few months I’ll be posting every week or so with the lessons I’ve learned along the way. So stay tuned!