2009 has been a year of turbulent change for me.

Near the beginning of the year, I decided that I needed to switch gears in my career. I made a very dedicated push towards becoming a full-time Ruby developer, leaving my comfortable position as a J2EE web content management and identity management specialist. My leisure time was consumed with sharpening my Ruby skills and learning new technologies. I made Rails Pub Nite a monthly ritual and networked like crazy on just about every networking site I could. I followed a number of job site feeds and sent out many cover letters and resumes.

Finally, my break came from a very unlikely source: Facebook. I posted to a Ruby on Rails group on Facebook to advertise my skills and experience and offer my services. This was seen by the Systems Manager at the Canadian Society of Immigration Consultants, who asked me to send her my resume. I did so gladly and not too long after that I was asked in for an interview.

The project they needed me to work on was definitely very appealing, if a bit ambitious. They wanted to replace the monolithic pile of .NET that was currently doing an incredibly bad job of managing their records and processes and replace that with something leaner, meaner, and more attuned to their needs developed in-house using Ruby on Rails. This was my chance to gain experience working on a large Rails project from the ground up and to do so for a technologically progressive organization providing a valuable service to so many people all over the world.

That project is still on-going, and I recently accepted a permanent position with the Society. We hope to launch an initial release of the project early in the new year and I’m definitely bracing myself for a challenging job in 2010.

The professional networking I did then paid off in other ways as well. I previously wrote about how I helped a very good friend of mine land a job at PostRank. He moved to Kitchener/Waterloo while I moved back to North York, yet another of the changes that 2009 brought.

Finding myself back in Toronto after two years living in Mississauga, I quickly got to work making new friends and reconnecting with old. I’ve started participating in some Meetup groups related to my various interests, as well as events with #GenYTO and the Freshbooks crew. In just a few months, I’ve met some awesome Torontonians (I couldn’t possibly link to you all!).

So, at the end of 2009, I find myself in a new place — well, new in the sense that I haven’t been here in a couple of years — with a new job and new friends.

I am looking forward to 2010 with much excitement.