The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘corporate’

Changes Afoot

Goodbye apartment, hello home.

Goodbye rent, hello mortgage.

Goodbye crazy global travels, hello worrying about money for the mortgage payment. (Gah.)

Goodbye current corporate overlord, hello new corporate overlord.

(Which also means a sad goodbye friends, hello strangers who will hopefully be nice.)

Goodbye Texas, hello Colorado.

Goodbye old life, hello new life.

All in all, the lady and I are terrified and excited and apprehensive and jazzed and living the life of an emotional pendulum.

busy apartment

Goodbye apartment box-maze, hello home that can fit this much stuff

Corporate Dating

Over the last few months I was busy with an awful, depressing, nerve-wracking, wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy hobby … a job search. My wife and I had decided that we would like to live someplace new, and I decided a new company would make sense to go with that.

I started with overseas applications. Because you know the cheapest way to see a whole lot of places I’ve never seen before but would love to see? Live in Europe! Ta-da!

In the end the new home is in Colorado, a not too shabby place to live. Elevation, four seasons, mountains in the distance, hiking, camping, granola people who I will enjoy laughing at while probably taking on some of their characteristics (“You mean you don’t make your own cereal? Dude … why?”).

I’m a software engineer, and so the job hunt first involved trying to re-acquaint myself with the fundamentals of computer science – data structures and algorithms. Oh, those two items. Normally I like to read quite a few books over the course of the year – this year I read hardly any because my brain felt overly taxed.

As an FYI: For most companies I talked to it usually went like this: HR phone call, technical phone screen (where you write code on a website that is basically like a shared piece of paper – so both parties see what the other is doing), and then a long day of in-person interviews (5+ interviews with different people, mostly technical in content).

If you’re reading this and you think, “hey I’d like to hear about how you approached the preparation and the search, and now that it’s done how would you have done things differently?” … then have no fear, I can write about that. But, since that’d probably be dull for most folks, here are some highs and lows of the search:

  • High: Landing a new job that looks good, looks like I should be able to learn and grow as a developer, and is in a location that seems good too
  • Low: During a technical phone screen the guy, I swear, took a few second break from the phone to grab a snack, meanwhile I had been thinking out loud (as you are suggested to do) and the guy came back, glanced at my code, and said, “uh … I don’t really know what you’re doing here” (it’s worth mentioning that I only sorta knew what I was doing)
  • High: Interviewing with a US company’s London office! Holy smokes was it ever cool to have a chat with Harry (no joke) who was “keen” (no joke) about … I don’t know, other classic British things … I wanted to say “wicked!” to almost everything he said
  • Low: Possibly breaking gmail with how frequently I checked my emails

I told my wife that the job application process is like dating. You send off a message and think, “we seem like a good match! We’ve got like, ALL the same interests!” and then if you hear back you’re excited and set up a phone call. Then the call happens and after it’s over you think, “what!? why did I talk so much about my ex! What is WRONG with me!!!!” Or some dramatic thoughts like that. It’s weird.

And, to complete the dating analogy, leaving my current company feels like breaking up. I really like it here, I like the people, the project … it’s all good stuff. But sometimes new adventure beckons, and so you say goodbye to a good thing and go looking for something that hopefully is a good thing, and then some.

Wish us luck, eh folks?

How To Get Ahead in Business

Coffee in hand, surly look firmly planted on your face, and attire that could only be described as “decent” – you are the model employee. You sit down at your desk, log in to your computer, and much to your vexation, you’ve got too many emails and too little time.

You open one up, it’s something corporate and mundane looking. Glancing through it quickly you see that this email doesn’t apply to you … Who are these people? You take a quick gander at the list of people this was sent to, a bunch of names and distribution lists you don’t know.

Suddenly a stream of emails is appearing before your very eyes – all of them with the same subject – boom there’s another!, boom another! – what IS THIS CORPORATE MADNESS!?

You open each one, trying to keep up with the rate at which they are arriving, “please take me off this distribution list” … “please remove” … “wrong Joe Somebody” … “I don’t think this was intended for me.” Why are these people replying all? Don’t they know it’s got a mass distribution?

You get up and go to a co-worker’s desk and before you can ask the question you’ve got your answer, “you seeing all these morons replying all? There goes another.”


With the confidence and bravado only a simpleton could have, email after email arrive telling everyone ELSE “quit hitting reply all.” Mind you, these emails blasting the idea of reply all were, in fact, sent to all. Some are gentle, reminding you that not everyone cares, others are condescending, informing you that reply all is for n00bs.

And so we come back to Corporate Cathy. Sitting in her office, pen in hand, legal paper on her desk. Taking down name after name. Someone from another room calls out, “Cathy … I just don’t know how we’re going to get rid of another four hundred people. EVERYONE is important! Everyone is essential! Everyone brings so much value, and talent, and …”

Cathy cuts him off, “nah, I’ve got forty people and the list is growing.”

%d bloggers like this: