When Dan, Tim and myself started The Cogworks back in January 2006, we were 3 blokes in a basement on Drury Lane, London.

We managed pretty successfully for a year or so, but then as with all small companies the workload and number of clients put us in that most difficult of all places. Do we struggle on through or do we employ someone?

To employ or not to employ...that is the question!?!

Of course running your own business means a constant stream of difficult decisions, but taking on a new member of staff who is not part of the original startup group takes the business to a whole different level.

Its not just about 'you' anymore. You have responsibilities, someone else's mortgage to think about, their kids, wife, life etc. This all needs to be taken into account before your own personal situation, so it is not a decision we took lightly (and still don't!)

A lucky contact!

Anyway, we decided to do a bit of digging around and tentatively asked about on Twitter and the Umbraco forums for anyone looking for an Umbraco developer role.

We were contacted kind of out of the blue by a guy named Ismail Mayat…you may know him from such packages as uComponents, Examine Inspector for Umbraco, CogUmbracoExamineMediaIndexer, Live Logger for Umbraco and a mammoth 2369 posts and 3133 Karma points!!

Ismail seemed like a good fit for what we needed to help us grow and get the projects out the door. He has a great knowledge of a variety of different systems and technologies, has a passion to constantly learn, he was already an Umbraco expert, already established in the community and most importantly an all round nice bloke! So we decided to take the plunge and asked him to join us on our merry Umbraco mission.

...and it was definitely a risk worth taking and has paid dividends a-plenty. Ismail jumped in at the deep-end, grabbing projects, suggesting ideas, mucking in where needed and generally doing everything needed to get the job done. And its been a great 3 and a half (ish) years. We've grown from 4 to 10 people and are growing steadily with every year that goes by with larger clients and more projects.

We've always encouraged Ismail, as we do with all our guys, to be a part of the community and get involved, culminating in his nomination (again!) this year as an Umbraco MVP!

And now, the end is here...

But now the time has come to say adios to Ismail. He has decided to move on to pastures new, with new challenges and some different opportunities and we say good luck to him! We're sad to see him go, but also happy that he has helped us along our journey. Hopefully we've help him grow and improve his skills and provided a fun, if somewhat disorganised (at times) working environment.

But we won't be saying goodbye…just au revoir…I know our paths will cross again in the future and this is why I love the Umbraco community so much. Its like one big family!

You get to meet a whole heap of great, talented people who all have a common goal and are generally really nice guys…

Good luck anyway Ismail...