Joe Stump on How Media Metrix Top 500 Developer Job Shapes Career

In Chapter 2 of 16, an early career mid-college job change enables Internet architect Joe Stump to push himself to failure while learning to build large scale websites - "Virtual Skyscrapers" - at Care2 during the 2000 dot-com boom. This one year experience understanding a Media Metrix top 500 website architecture builds confidence, Stump then applies in his post-college programming and development career.



Erik Michielsen:  How did you make that transition from starting with looking at how to build a house or cabin, per se, to a virtual skyscraper.

Joe Stump:  The way it happened with me is trial by fire to be totally honest.

Erik Michielsen:  You burned a lot of houses.  There are no cabins left.

Joe Stump:  I’ve burned a few skyscrapers as well.  Basically what happened was that I got my first job in winter 1999, my first job doing programming.  It was for a fairly decent sized e-commerce site.  They sold laptops, stuff like that, but not a lot of traffic.  This was at the height of the dot-com boom and I was randomly perusing one day and I saw a job posting for a PHP programmer – PHP is the programming language I use – and it was like starting salary for between $80 and $100 thousand a year and I was like, holy crap. 

I applied and ended up going out to San Francisco during the dot-com boom and left college a year.  The site that hired me was a Media Metrix top 500 site.  They were doing 30-40 million page views per month.  They were the first ecard site on the internet.  It was total trial by fire.  My second job was working on one of the top 500 sites on the Internet.