Monday, December 31, 2007

Long Time, No Blog

So, it's been about a month since my last post here, and man has it been busy. The first month at any new job is a big adjustment, and Google, if anything, has been even more so than other companies I've worked at.

In addition to working at a new company I'm also making the transition from a job where I worked from home to one where I work in an office, one which brings with it a non-trivial commute. This is, needless to say, a bit of a change. The commute is taking some getting used to, but so far so good. I'm actually enjoying taking the train in to Cambridge every day, I mean sure it sucks to have to get out of bed way earlier than I used to, but it also means I've got a chunk of time at the beginning and end of every day to sit there, zone out, read a book, etc. I'm working my way through the Baroque Cycle again at the moment, and it's nice to get a chance to read other than when I end up sitting on a plane for a few hours.

On top of all of this there's the holidays. This is the first December that Joanna and I are really spending as a couple (well, technically there was last year, but we'd only been dating for a month or so at the time, so it's not really the same thing). This means spending a bunch of time driving back and forth between our house, her parents house and my parents house, but in the end it was worth it. Spending the holidays with both of our families was a lot of fun, even if it did leave us pretty exhausted.

Anyway, the holidays are coming to a close today and tomorrow, and then we'll be back into full fledged wedding planning. We decided to take the holidays off, which was great but now there's the ever present feeling of being behind schedule. I mean we're not, but that doesn't mean it doesn't feel that way ;-)

Ok, now we should be up to date. Hopefully I'll get into the habit of keeping things a little more up to date in the future, but who knows how well that's going to work...

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Brief Period Of Unemployment

A lot of you probably already heard this one way or another, but I figure I should blog about it for the people who I haven't seen in person over the last couple of weeks.

Yesterday was my last day working for Joost. Tomorrow I'm flying out to California and Monday morning I'll start my new job at Google. Don't worry, I'll only be in California for two weeks, then I'll be working from the Google office in Cambridge.

Just to be clear, I left Joost on the best of terms. I fully enjoyed my time with the company, I met some great people, learned a lot, and got to work on some awesome things, a number of which have not yet seen the light of day but trust me, they're very cool. I expect nothing but great things from the company going forward, and I wish my former coworkers nothing but the best of luck.

If things were so peachy why did I jump ship for Google? Well, the primary reason was simply one of work environment. I've been working from home for a while now, and largely because of the way my living situation has changed over the past year it had become clear that I wasn't going to be able to do it forever. Working from home when you are living with a couple of roommates who are in and out fairly regularly is one thing. Doing it when you're living with a fiancee who's gone all day is rather different. Human interaction (on a face-to-face basis, not just online) is important, and I could see that sooner or later the need to actually hang out with other engineers on a daily basis was going to be a problem.

Yes, it turns out that actually having an office to go to can be a big benefit. I never thought I'd say it, but I'm actually looking forward to having a commute again. We'll see how well that holds up after I've actually had my first week or two riding the commuter rail in to South Station, followed up by a short T ride out to Kendall Square...

So, that's the position I was in when I heard from a Google recruiter, and I figured I might as well investigate the possibility. If I was going to be in a position where sometime in the next 6-12 months I'd be looking for a job with a company that had a local office I might as well take advantage of the fact that a really great company with a local office was actually knocking on my door. A few months later everything has worked its way through the Google hiring process and here we are.

It was a very difficult decision to make, and I suspect I won't know for at least a year or so if it was the right one, but with all the options in front of me taking the job at Google seemed like the best choice for me right now.

And yes, for the thousandth time, I'm sure a picture of me in the Noogler beanie will be making the rounds sooner or later, as Joanna says I'm not allowed to spend two weeks out in Mountain View unless she gets to see one.