Recently in Jobness Category

[I know it has been a long time since I’ve done one of these, but this one is directed mostly at my wonderful colleagues at Others are more than welcome, but I think most of you will find the itinerary prohibitive. Have no fear, I plan to do another one come September (when the weather on the bridge is less capricious, and they’ve reopened the western walkway).]

Folks! We’re meeting in Sausalito! It’s a perfect excuse to grab your bike and ride across the bridge!

Friday July 29th. We need to be in Sausalito at 9am. We need to work the timeline backward from there, adding enough buffer so that nobody feels rushed.
Anyone who has a bike, can manage to stay (mostly) upright on it, and wants to ride across the Golden Gate (C’mon! It’s fun! You should do it at least once!)
Riding a bicycle across the Golden Gate Bridge. Also, you might want to consult your doctor about ADHD, and/or cut down on the fine herb clouding your short-term memory.
The Bridge down into Sausalito, see below
I have been trying to write this entry for two weeks, and have run out of time. Tomorrow/Today is my last day at Context Optional.

They are a great group of people and I wish them the best of luck. After some hard reflection and rumination I came to the painful realization that my destiny lies elsewhere.

For quite some time I have been wrestling with the nature of the work we do. I had chafed at the fact that I have, through them, hitched my wagon to a company whose corevalues” I despise. We may be making people “happy” to a degree, but with saccharine connections to “brands,” not real people. It is very hard to call what we do “important” by any metric that truly matters. The only possible exception is my current project: the Chase Community Giving program, where we have helped people tell J.P. Morgan Chase where to donate millions of dollars to charity … so that people will hate them slightly less.

In light of this assessment, I am ecstatic to say that I am moving on to, a network for social change and grassroots organization. I will be working with the team to scale their application to serve communities around the globe who are clamoring to use it, in spite of there being roadblocks in the way now.

We will be helping people work on the international, national, regional, and local levels to spur action on causes and issues that matter most to them. It is through these actions that we will start to see real change in our world.

I really look forward to rolling up my sleeves and beginning the work that needs to be done.

Grabbing My Destiny (By the Antennae?)

The Tick Escapes the Asylum

This afternoon I tendered my resignation. I leave behind a great group of people on the cusp of major to stratospheric success. It was a very hard decision, but my destiny lies elsewhere.

The top half of the page at left isn’t as true as it’s been in the past, making the decision all the more difficult. But the bottom half sings a profound truth.

I was not looking for a new gig. But a few kept landing in my lap that I couldn’t pass up. I’ve accepted the senior developer position at Emmet Labs, an early-stage social platform startup in San Francisco.

There are many reasons this excites me: learning a lot while working on interesting problems in a cool (metaphorical) space surrounded by fascinating (and occasionally famous) people in a dynamic and passion-driven environment. That’s where I thrive!

Obviously there are a lot of other, less exciting emotions tied to the coming and the going, but I feel the need to keep this entry short. Perhaps I’ll catalogue them in a future post.

Further Evidence of Geekdom

In preparation for a demo that could lead to a huge opportunity, I worked two weeks straight, most nights until midnight, sometimes until after 2am. No rest for the wicked weary on the two weekends, I just plowed straight through.

I’m done, back banging on the stuff on which I should be working, and I was very much looking forward to a respite this weekend.

There’s just one minor glitch. The problem I left on Friday evening is sticking in my craw. It’s interesting. I know I should leave it until Monday, but here I am logging into the VPN to grab the file so I can at least map out how I think it should be solved.

Hopefully that will exorcise this demon, and I can go back to enjoying a weekend with my sweetie.



My ride to the train station was HOT today. Plus, I'd left myself little alternative than to sprint the whole way. Into a nasty headwind. Again. I am very fortunate that the trains have air-conditioning.

Friday took its sweet-assed time getting here. Next week looks to be more of a bitch than this week, one thing in particular that I'll probably kvetch about later.

But as the miles unfold between myself and Sunnyvale, my stress level unwinds. I'll be home soon. I get to see my sweetie (haven't really been awake at the same time for the last 48hrs) We have a full weekend ahead of us, but it's all things we've been anticipating for a while.

It's good that I have this time to unwind.

Campo di Bocce


At this moment, I am sitting in my backyard with a glass of cider at my side and my bare feet swishing through the grass. Technology is grand. This is a much more civilized way to spend an evening than my evenings of late. I'm feeling more relaxed than I have in some time. In the back of my mind, I have blog entries in the works hanging over my head, but it's hardly a Sword of Damocles, and who knows, I may yet get to one of them.

This afternoon my employers took us all out to Campo di Bocce as a show of gratitude for our delivering our 2.2 release, and making our numbers this past quater. We had a nice lunch, and then retired to the courts.

This was an altogether different experience from playing in my grandparents (Nazzaro, to give you some perspective) backyard. First of all, there was alcohol involved (well, ok, that's not different, but I was partaking). On the whole, though, there was a lot less yelling and gesticulating (and tantrums, and nobody was ever struck with a flying pallino). A very different game, indeed.

But on the whole, I enjoyed myself, and I might consider going back at a future date. I'll even promise to be on my best behavior.

I think I'll working the photos I took instead of the entries that are still rolling around in my head.

Quote of the Day

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"Aww, it's just like being at school again. The weather changed while we were inside, and it changed again before we left."
-- Sean

Yes, I have just broken my own "It's not tomorrow until I go to bed, or the sun comes up." axiom. Sue me. I worked 15 hrs. today.

Surreal Estate

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I've been meaning to post something here for a while, I've even composed a few in my head. At first I marveled at how my world was about to be turned inside out, and yet I didn't feel that anything had changed. I just blithely went about my remaining days in Chicago barely registering anything.

And now I'm here. The job (for all of three days) has been fantastic. Matt & Sean are great, I know I'll have fun working with them, everyone's really energetic, and the problems I'm going to work on look like a lot of fun.

...and yet, I'm still "just visiting." I'm sure this is exacerbated by my lack of a place of "my own," but I can't escape the feeling that this is a very short-term trip. Any day now I'm going home. "Home" being a loaded term in it's own right. (For many months in Chicago this was "back home")

I feel caught between the two worlds. I love being back in the fray, I love being back in the Bay, and yet, I look around and everything seem so superficial. It's all so ...sanitized is the only word I find. Hospital clean. I miss the grittiness of my old neighborhood.

And, of course, this nostalgia is itself a delusion (but that's the nature of nostalgia) I spent most of my time in Chicago wishing (consciously or otherwise) that I was here. Granted, my coping skills were seriously hampered, but I still have to wonder.

The short of it is I miss my friends. I miss Yoj. I miss my psycho-stupid cat. I just need to embark on my master plan to move all of those things here. Or not here. Oakland maybe. They'd get along fine in Oakland.

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered

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It's official. The whirlwind of the past few weeks has settled. On my desk is a copy of an offer letter that I have signed and returned. My mind continues to grapple unsuccessfully with the bittersweet realization that I'm leaving.

My new job is back in California. It's so funny, I spent most of my time in Chicago in a melancholic depression. I didn't feel that I truly belonged here until very recently. (And that's not a slight on those who have tried to make me feel welcome, I can't imagine trying to survive here without you guys.) Just as I'm coming to appreciate where I am, it's time for me to go.

But this kind of opportunity doesn't come around very often. It's basically my ideal position. I'll be a Senior Application Software Engineer for a 60 person firm in SunnyHell^H^H^H^Hvale. My group (currently just [bit-rot] Matt, Sean, and I) is charged with developing applications to create turn-key solutions for enterprise customers based on our standard developer framework.

(Apparently, my job also involves taking some of the workload off of Sean who needs a vacation. :-)

Holy Turnabout, Batman!


Wow. I just returned from my latest interview, and it went a lot better than I had any right to hope it would. I've been fretting since Friday when they called to make the appointment. As I've mentioned before, my technical skills are not exactly a perfect match, so I was certain that it was going to be an embarrassing barrage of questions that I couldn't answer.

Instead, they were interested in probing my customer support skills, and were very receptive to what I had to say. The more I spoke to them, the more excited I got. They liked the breadth of experience I could bring to the position, and the fact that I obviously have some experience dealing with irate and irrational users (in particular, they seemed to enjoy my use of the term "triage" for the inevitable case of dealing with more than one at a time, and that it's better (when possible) to give people waiting something to do (something to try) so they're not sitting on their thumb (stewing in the case of the irrational user)).

And it's quite a bit more of a challenge than I originally thought. I would be responsible for keeping the IT infrastructure for a few different offices running, and eventually responsible for mentoring and coaching new administrators in some fo those offices. It'd be a great challenge. And there's some travel involved.

I've been applying to this job since July. I'm now one of 3 candidates, out of an initial cast of thousands. Every step of the way, I've had the same moment. "Well, this sounds good, but I'm not going to make the next cut." Going in today, I was certain that I would come out beaten. When I left, I felt good. I said to myself, "I may not make the final cut, but at least I know that it's because they chose a better candidate, not because I couldn't do the job." It was a great feeling. I figure I'll know by February, if their past track record has been any indication.

About this Archive

This page is a archive of recent entries in the Jobness category.

Interweb Jetsam is the previous category.

Ministry of Housinj is the next category.

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