From the Deep South to the Midwest

From the Deep South to the Midwest

Sioux Falls is a midwestern city that is experiencing tremendous growth and boasts one of the highest happiness ratings in the nation.  Ranked as one of the best places to raise children, the city has all the perks of an urban metropolis with a small town feel. While at the time my family and I lived in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, these were all things that we were looking for; my family made a decision – we wanted to move to Sioux Falls.  With that goal in mind, we just needed to figure out where to start.  In this post, I would like to share my experience of moving back to the Midwest and my new position with Omnitech.

To get started, I knew I would need a new job. So I started researching companies that would fit my software development background.  During my research, I was introduced to Nedra through a family friend.  As it turned out, Nedra worked for Omnitech, a small company that offered software, data solutions, and consulting services to provide value to companies in Sioux Falls and the surrounding areas. At that time, I had not heard of Omnitech, but after learning a little bit about the company, the owners, and the engineers, I was very interested in learning more.

Over the course of 3 months, I had interviews with many of the Omnitech engineers and partners.  Each conversation provided me with insights into how Omnitech works, the value they provide to their clients, and the depth of experience held by each person with the company.  These ongoing conversations proved to me that the values espoused by the organization are reflected in the day to day life of each team member.  Continuous learning, a focus on client success, and team collaboration are some of these values.  Since these values coincided with my own, I was confident that joining this company would be a good choice.  An offer was extended, and I was happy to accept.

As the father of three kids, two of which are in school, we wanted to wait until the end of the school year to relocate.  We decided I would drive up about a month and a half before my family to start exploring Sioux Falls, learning the neighborhoods, and getting a “feel” for the city. 

Weeks before my drive up, I engaged with many of the Omnitech teams to better understand Omnitech’s project management and development processes, as well as their continuous learning initiatives.  This was the first time I had been given an opportunity to absorb a company culture before my first day, and I thought it was a unique and inclusive way of introducing a new face.  Essentially, I was fast-tracked into the day to day life as an engineer, before I had even begun.  

The weekend before my start day, I left my kiddos with some teary goodbyes and set off to South Dakota.  I decided to take the non-interstate route, driving through historic cities like Natchez and Vicksburg, Mississippi. After having driven with kids for many years, I discovered driving without them can be rather enjoyable.  The hours quickly passed as I wound my way through Arkansas and up into Missouri.  I decided to stop just south of Kansas City for the night.  Stepping out of the car, I quickly realized shorts and a T-shirt were not sufficient as it was about 35 degrees with the wind blowing and rain coming down.  The next day, after having dressed in many layers of clothes, I enjoyed some biscuits and gravy (no grits, boo ….), and got back on the road.  I made my way to Kansas City and through Omaha finally arriving in Sioux Falls around late in the afternoon.

As of writing this post, I am currently starting my fourth month at Omnitech.  I have enjoyed working with each of my coworkers, and I feel like I have grown a lot technically just in the short time I have been here.  As for my family, I am happy to report that we are moved into a permanent residence and enjoying the remaining summer days.  I am glad to have finally arrived at my new home and look forward to the years to come.

Oh yes, before I forget.  For others making the trek to Sioux Falls or the Midwest, some words of advice: keep in mind that it can snow in May, mowing your grass before a snow is a good thing, and you should keep a jacket handy at all times even in mid-July.  It is worth mentioning, even if you are not coming from Louisiana summers. 😊

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