After 9 years, I’m leaving Burton.

In 2000, I moved with my new wife across the country from San Francisco to Burlington, Vermont, to work at my dream job: web developer for Burton Snowboards. I couldn’t believe my luck! I would actually be getting paid to do websites for the best snowboarding company in the world. Apparently they were getting a team together to take some of the web stuff in-house, after years of outsourcing it. I was getting in on the ground floor of something new.

I had no idea what to expect. I’d worked in a bunch of different kinds of places, from a little five person startup to a huge multinational corporation, but I figured Burton would be a different kind of gig. All I knew was that I was going to be able to combine my loves for tech and snowboarding – my only hesitation was moving across the country after having lived on the West Coast my whole life. I had been to Vermont before, but I couldn’t say what Burlington was like or if it would suit me at all. Still, I was 28, and my wife said it would be great, so that was good enough for me.

She was right.  Working for Burton for the past nine and a half years has been a dream come true (and once in a while a nightmare, as well).  I have learned more stuff, met more cool people, done more stellar projects, and enjoyed myself there more than I would have ever thought possible.

But it’s time for my run to come to an end.  I’m taking another job with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, starting on Monday, Sept 28.

It was a hard decision.  Over the years I’ve been lucky enough for opportunities to come my way, and many of them were pretty good jobs that lots of people would be glad to get a crack at.  But I’d compare them to Burton, and I was always more stoked to stay where I was than jump ship.  That’s part of what kept me there that long – I loved working there, and I didn’t want to go anywhere else.

But all good things must come to an end, they say, and this breakup is more about me than it is about Burton.  There’s no sordid tale behind my decision or anything, it’s simply time to do something else, and I have an exciting opportunity with a quickly growing company to look forward to.  I’m excited and scared shitless in equal measure.

The craziest thing about making this transition is how much my life has changed between now and then. While I’ve been working there I’ve gone from a newlywed to being 10 years in love with my wife, and we’ve had two kids that are now starting school. We own a house that we’ve lived in for five years, and I’ve now lived here longer than anywhere else I’ve ever lived, except for the town I grew up in.  When I started we were still doing sites in classic ASP with VBScript on machines running Windows NT.  The web crew was called the “E-team,” of all things, and there were only a few of us.  It evolved into the Burton Media Syndicate (or Syndicate) a while after that, and I can still take credit for that name – my idea won the vote we all took.  I think in retrospect we can all agree that it’s better that “Spork” didn’t win.  We moved the office three times, from the HQ to the Lake Champlain waterfront and back again.  And in the end, I worked there longer than anyone in the media Syndicate, except Greg (props to you, Syndicate Survivor!).

Lucky for me my lovely wife Kacey just started there so I still get to stay connected to all my friends.  I think that I will never really lose touch with them, since we are still local and Burton is such a big part of the Burlington scene, but it’s nice to know that for now I can still reap some of those snowboard-specific benefits and drop by sometimes to harass my former teammates.

To everyone I ever worked with at Burton, past and present: it was a pleasure and a privilege, and I salute you all.  Keep killing it and may all your days on the hill be bluebird pow with all your friends.  I will see you up there – and I’ll bring the coffee!

4 Responses to “After 9 years, I’m leaving Burton.”

  1. ba_ says:

    Congrats John! Best of luck in the future.

  2. elizabeth says:

    Wow! You finally made the leap. Congrats on your new adventure!

  3. April says:

    Congratulations on your new opportunity!! You will do great.

  4. Josh says:

    Funny how small VT is. I, for one, am glad to say that I worked with you at Burton, and have the opportunity to work with you again at GMCR! Welcome Aboard Dude!

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