25 years!

A milestone snuck up on me this weekend: as of June 1st I have been working at Collins Aerospace for 25 years. In 1999, fresh out of college with a CS degree, I moved to the Midwest to take a position in an industry that I knew almost nothing about. Still, a job was a job, and this Nebraska boy was ready to be done living in Texas. 25 years later, the name on the door has changed a few times, but many of the faces have stayed the same.

I started as a software engineer for flight management systems. Two weeks later, I got loaned out to our flight displays department, and FMS never got me back. After ten years doing software development, I got interested in airworthiness certification. Got my FAA DER ticket and for the next 13 years I worked full time in our certification group. For the past two years I’ve worked in Advanced Technology, trying to apply the lessons I learned from all my time doing compliance finding to help us do better, easier work during the design cycle.

I know I’m a little bit of an anomaly for my generation to be so long with the same employer. One of the advantages of working for a large organization is that at whatever point I’ve gotten bored in my current position, there’s been a new position I could move into, and the learning could start again. On the whole, I keep enjoying the job, and they keep paying me, so 25 years later I’m quite happy and thankful to still be here. I’d say “here’s to another 25 years”, but I sure hope I’ve retired before then.