My Speech/Email Telling the Team I was Leaving

Today with a heavy heart, I must share with you my decision to step away from Code School in May.

This was not an easy decision to come to. It was roughly 5 years ago that we launched Code School out of Envy Labs, and I never ever thought it would come as far as it has. From 5 people to 15 to 25 to 50, it’s been crazy to see the growth in the subscribers, people, and culture.

I want to emphasize that each of you has a choice with this information. You could choose to let this get you concerned, or you could choose to be optimistic. I’m optimistic about the future of Code School.

As you’ve probably seen in my founder’s talks, a founder wears lots of hats, whether they like it or not. They get used to doing what they have to do for the good of the company, whether or not it’s something they enjoy. Luckily, as the company has grown I’ve been able to hire people that wear each of these hats better than I do. These days Code School has an amazing leadership team that helps lead the company.

Justin – Who has amazing design sense and a kind, passionate heart.
Drew – Who is a master at his craft and always willing to help.
Joseph – Who cares so much about customer experience.
Adam – Who is an amazing teacher, mentor, and innovator.
Jon – Who is a better content director and teacher teacher than I could ever be.
Ashley – Who keeps the company functioning like a well oiled machine, and cares so much about each and every one of you.
Thomas – Who longer than anyone else has been there for me, doing what it takes to get the job done. I never imagined how great of a leader he’d become.
Corey – Who, as acting Marketing director, has stepped up in a big way as we’ve made big changes.
Brandon – Who, though he’s not a Code School director, brings a great deal of business and financial strategy to our team.

A few months ago I realized I was ready for a change. I also felt increasingly confident in the leaders we have here at Code School and how they steer the company. I realized it was time for me to start a new chapter, and I wanted to do it very carefully and deliberately, with the same amount of effort I put into building Code School in the first place.

So four months ago I spoke with Pluralsight leadership and let them know what I wanted to do. I gave them my six months notice. They were extremely gracious, understanding, and supportive. I then spoke with each of the Code School directors, to get their concerns and feedback about my decision. I also spoke with Stephanie from Key Talent Solutions, who helped us properly plan for succession management. Over the past five months, the Code School leadership team has helped me ensure a smooth transition away from my work. Creating the Executive Director roles has been a huge part of this. When the Pluralsight leadership team visited two weeks ago, they all commended us for the time and thought that went into this transition. They also expressed their confidence in Ashley and Thomas stepping up as the Executive Directors of Code School.

I want to stress: This doesn’t change anything you’ve heard previously. Code School is still a separate brand from Pluralsight, and we are still aiming to enliven the learning of new technologies. Nothing is changing with this new information.

As for me, I’m not sure what comes next, I honestly have no plans. What I do know is the following:

– My last day is May 18th, and I’ll be working my ass off on the Angular 2 course until then. If any of you would like to have a 1-on-1 with me today or next week to talk more about this, I’d be happy to make time for each of you.
– I’m making an intentional choice not to make a public announcement about leaving Code School. You won’t see a blog, twitter or facebook announcement about it. I’d appreciate if you each used your discretion about sharing this with the Internet.
– This summer I’m taking a sabbatical and spending a lot of time traveling with my kids and NOT working.
– I’m still going to be available to Code School as a consultant (on a limited basis) to help with things like jingles, course review, and to support the content team.
– I have complete faith in Thomas and Ashley to lead the future of Code School.
– I’m still excited to see the future success of both Code School and Pluralsight, and see what you all can accomplish together.
– I’m still going to be very involved in the tech & startup scene here in Orlando, and I’d love to see you all do your part to make this an amazing city.

What I also know is there’s something really special here at Code School. To me it’s two things: how much we genuinely care about each other, and how passionate we are about creating content that improves people’s lives. Life is too short to work at a job where you’re not listened to, where you can’t contribute, where no one gives you guidance, and where you work on something that doesn’t matter to you.

At Code School we build the best educational content together, and we have fun doing it with our friends. I hope you all feel that too, and I hope you all cherish it because I’m counting on each and every one of you to protect it.

As I mentioned earlier, you have a choice with this information. You could choose to let this get you discouraged or concerned. Or you could choose to be optimistic or even let it empower you.

It’s your choice… and I hope you choose to be empowered. I hope you choose to trust in the amazing leaders you have around you like I do. I hope you choose to do your part to cherish and protect what we’ve created together. I want Code School to continue to thrive, and I hope you do too.

Thank you each for being a part of this journey with me, and for what you’ve contributed to my time here at Code School.