As many of you know, I haven't been very happy with my day job lately. There are a lot of factors in that, but the biggest one is that the company closed our office in Redwood Shores (a 20-minute drive from my house) and moved us all up to San Francisco (nearly an hour's drive if I were willing to drive it, or an hour and a half each way by a combination of car, train, and foot; longer if I take a slower train).
So a while back I started thinking about looking elsewhere. To make a long story short, I got an offer from Google last week.
Google's biggest advantage over my current job is that the office is literally a 5-minute bike ride from my house—in fact, the buildings are part of what used to be the SGI campus when I worked at SGI. (The connection being that part of why I live where I do was so I would be close to SGI.)
I didn't want to post here until I'd talked with my current manager; I don't think any of my co-workers read this journal, except maybe nj, but I try not to post things that I don't want publicly known, 'cause anyone who Googles for my name will quickly find this journal.
Anyway, I talked with my current manager about it yesterday afternoon. I was dreading doing that; she's probably my favorite of the managers I've worked for, and I knew that she wouldn't be happy about the prospect of my leaving. But I figured it was important to give her as much advance notice (of the possibility of my leaving) as I could without actually Officially Giving Notice yet.
I'm not sure yet whether I'm going to take the Google offer or not. There are various (mostly minor) things about the offer and their corporate culture and the job in general that I'm not entirely thrilled with, despite the rave reviews that the company gets from the programmers who work there.
On the other hand, as noted above, I haven't been all that happy with the directions my current job has been taking either. And reducing my commute time by over 90% is awfully tempting. (Commute time is not the only good thing about working at Google, of course, just the one that leaps out most prominently for me at the moment.)
And last month, Jon Carroll wrote a column about his time working for the Village Voice, in which he said, among other things: "If you get a chance to be where stuff seems to be happening, take it." Stuff is certainly happening at Google.
Anyway, I don't need to make a decision for another week and a half. I'm sure I'll make up my mind in various directions a dozen times between now and then.
Hmm—this reminds me that I've been meaning to post a link to Jack Boulware's 2002 article about Google. Boulware was one of the readers at Writers With Drinks last month; he read an excellent story, and I was poking around on his site to see whether the story was online when I came across the Google article. I imagine things have changed a fair bit there in the past couple years, but I suspect the general spirit of the place is much the same.