To start: no, I am not working at Apple. I can't believe how many people at my former employer (and even Twitter) asked me this when I announced I was leaving. California is a really fun place to visit, but not live (for me, at least).
I am instead going to be taking an amazing opportunity as a Senior Research Engineer at Idaho Central Credit Union in Pocatello, Idaho. I've had an amazing career at USAA and they really have been a wonderful company to work for. I will be eternally grateful for the experience that I had there and I have no regrets. It has been a wonderful blessing to work for a company where I don't have to worry about my co-workers being dishonest, my management pressuring me to compromise my integrity, or feel like I am doing wrong by its members. Everything they do is completely above-board. In fact, so compelling has that experience been that I wouldn't have joined ICCU if they weren't every bit as committed to doing the right thing for their members and employees, as well. A company's values are really important in a time where it seems to be popular to sell your ethics all in the name of making it big.
I'll be forming a brand new research and development team. ICCU outsources the majority of their technology, for strategic reasons that make a lot of sense in their space. However, they realize that there are a lot of opportunities to use innovation and technology to selectively take on their own development to create compelling value for their members. Unlike most mature financial institutions in this age, ICCU is hungry to change things up and invent the future.
I decided to stay in the financial services industry with this next move because making improvements in this sector will yield better outcomes for every-day Americans. I feel that credit unions make responsible borrowing accessible, without crushing the very people who need it the most. The more we can create experiences that ease the cognitive burdens of personal financial management, the better our communities will become. And really, that is my personal mission: using my time and talents to enrich the lives of the people who I serve. Idaho Central Credit Union, here I come.