Farewell Jeff

Posted by · February 6, 2012 8:13 pm

As a nearly 30-year-old married woman thinking about starting a family, I’m constantly seeking advice on how to balance your personal and professional life.  While opinions as to whether you can really “have it all” vary, I occasionally experience moments of clarity talking to other working parents.  Today’s moment of clarity, however, came from an unlikely source.

In a post on his personal blog, Stack Overflow co-founder Jeff Atwood announced that he is leaving the company as of March 1st.  Atwood’s reason for saying goodbye is simple: He wants to spend more time with his family.

Last week, Jeff and his wife welcomed their second and third child to the family–twin girls–and as Jeff admits in his post, working for a startup isn’t always conducive to being a dad.

“Startup life is hard on families…and running as fast as you can isn’t sustainible for parents of multiple small children,” Jeff says.

Jeff also cites the impact of Steve Jobs death and revelations he had from reading Jobs’ posthumous biography on his decision to leave Stack Overflow, saying that Jobs’ life highlighted the risk of sacrificing family for success–a risk that many people in the startup community face every day.

“Stack Overflow and Stack Exchange have been wildly successful,” Jeff says. “But I finally realized that success at the cost of my children is not success. It is failure.”

Now, it’s no secret that we here at Experts Exchange and the folks at Stack Overflow don’t agree on much when it comes to our respective sites. So, it’s ironic that Jeff’s final move at Stack Overflow is not only one that we agree with, but one that we applaud him for.  In the end, Jeff stayed true to his vision for Stack Overflow and the Stack Exchange network, but most importantly, he remained true to himself.

Jeff, over the past four years you have built a company that has accomplished great things and proven to be a worthy opponent.  You passionately believed in Stack Overflow’s mission and we can do nothing but respect and salute a noble competitor who is taking the high road on the way out.  Good luck with whatever you do in the future, but most of all, enjoy your family.

  • Yngve Sneen Lindal

    “Proven to be a worthy opponent” ?!

    Well, they beat the cr** out of you and made a kick-ass site with the world’s best programmers as audience. I think “a worthy opponent” is a serious understatement. As long as I have SO, I will never need to go to your site again, and that fact pleases me enormously.

    Yngve, Norway

    • And yet here you are.

      • Yngve Sneen Lindal

        Well said actually, but this is just the blog 😉