After 5 years, I have decided to leave Drupal behind to take my software engineering career in a different direction. In fact, this was the plan, even before I began working in Drupal. My gratitude to the Drupal community cannot be overstated. A handful of key, unnamed people in this high demand industry helped me very early on. Many people don't realize this, but without their help, I likely would have ended up bankrupt and homeless back in 2011, after being ruthlessly rejected from the US university system for no good reason.
This support only grew as time passed. The team at OpenSourcery pushed my skill set to the next level by providing challenging work each day. Later, the team at Intel provided me with even more challenging problems on the largest project I've ever worked on.
Although the community has been outstanding, I find content management systems to be a pretty boring problem space. Technically, an modern CMS is very challenging, but theoretically they are all very simple. My new job brings me back into the area I aimed for as a college student. I never stopped studying independently, and I always knew that my persistence would force things to eventually circle back around. Despite this, leaving has left me with mixed emotions, simply because of the amazing people I've met and worked with. Only time will tell if I jump back into CMS work, but I'm looking forward to facing a different flavor of hellish problems in this major career shift.