Fog Creek Software
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The job thing...

Some time ago I mentioned that my current job situation was less than desireable. So I started applying for greener pastures. As I previously mentioned, the embedded market in Seattle is doing quite well, and I was able to get a load of on-site interviews. All of that being rather tricky, trying to do a good job at work, and using up vacation time interviewing.

Today I got the thumbs up from the company I really want to work for. I was so impressed by their process and talent, that I was just plain blown away. The offer is not firm, we have a meeting tomorrow where I get to negotiate price and I get more information about how/where I fit in. So alot is riding on this next session.

All told, the process will take over 6 weeks, from the time I started looking until the time I take the offer (assuming I do). If I don't take it, or if for some reason the offer is not made, I'm happy enough with my status quo that I'm done searching and will merely stay put.

Some funny things along the way: I was early to one interview and decided to get an espresso at Starbucks - one that is not close to work. So there I am dressed fairly well (for Seattle, white button down, khakis, good shoes, no tie), and a guy I know from the VC firm that funds my current employer steps into line right behind me. "Oh, uh, hi..."  He never asked...

The new company is very obscure, but if I told you what they made, you'd know the product. They seem to have assembled an excellent team of engineers. Simply superb.

I have so many regrets regarding leaving my current employer. It could have been so much more. Much, much, more. My boss is a good guy, whom I like. We survived the dot-com disaster, 9/11, and a raft of corrupt and incompetent management.

Why leave? Because now "the founders" are in charge, and engineers are still treated like dogs. Someone posted how an MBA views training as "sit, Fido, sit". We sit in the way-back doing their bidding, making it work, with no chance for promotion. Meanwhile, we hire and pay for all kinds of gold-plated marketeers, PM's and biz-dev.  One thing: I am paid well. And getting the new company to match my current salary is going to be difficult. If I stay, it will only be for money (not love).

Lots of emotion right now: like I'm running out on my wife or something. Pretty strange feeling. I've worked at 6 different companies prior. Only one other time did I feel any strong loyalties like this.  Gonna be a weird week - weirder than all the rest.

Monday, July 19, 2004


Mr Fancypants
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Good luck. Seems like there are advantages to both staying and going, so in a sense, you cannot lose.

Fernanda Stickpot
Tuesday, July 20, 2004


I'm in a similar situation.  I've had an unsolicited offer from a company that I like and I'm working for a company where I don't have much of a future.  But, in my current position, I am well paid and I don't have to work overtime.  (I have a young son and one on the way so it's important for me to limit the amount of time I spend at work.)  I've been through a full range of emotions, from elation at receiving an unsolicited offer to fear that I'll be getting into something that will disrupt my personal life.

Anyway, I don't have any real advice to offer except that, in my experience, it's best to move on; learning new things and personal growth are an important parts of the equation.

Good luck with your decision!

Ewan's Dad
Tuesday, July 20, 2004

I hope it works out for you!

You really mean khakis and no tie to an interview? Seattle must be the programmer's paradise. I wouldn't make it past reception in NYC in that attire.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004


Don't be complacent.  If "the MBAs" don't value the talent that keeps their money stream flowing, they don't deserve to keep that talent.  With the market improving we can afford to be more and more uppity.

I hope every dissatisfied techie who reads this will consider relocating their labor to better companies (emphasis on better, not just relocating).  Other than wresting the reins of command from the money-grubbing dimwits ourselves, removing our efforts from their projects is one of the best ways to close the feedback loop.

Of course this assumes that they're capable of processing and making corrections in response to such feedback, which is definitely a stretch.  But my career interests are not on the management track right now, so I too am looking forward to a second interview in a company and group I respect this week.

I understand about good, likable bosses.  My boss at WorldCom was a great guy when the higher-ups lied about the $11B.  I quit even though the group was high-profile and safe from the impending layoffs.  I couldn't respect the company after that so it was time to go.

All in all, I hope the new company can meet your salary requirements.  You (and perhaps all of us) will be better off for it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

" fear that I'll be getting into something that will disrupt my personal life."

Change of job is necessarily a big disruption.  Just isn't any way around that. And, like you, this is a strange cocktail of fear and expectation.

Just got email from one of our clueless PM's today "Hey, that test equipment we need to test code XXX arrived, what do you wanna do with it?"

Well, this week my orders are to help integrate a new VM, and it will get precedence. Now if the PM could do something other than order from catalogs and schedule meetings, perhaps he could run the tests.  I'm afraid that would be asking too much.

All the best to y'all - and thanks.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Like anybody cares...  I care... this is my life.

So our little dot-com has had some success lately.  Taking large accounts away from large software companies.  I like that. But yet, they've been  giving engineers the shaft of late. I did not enter this with malice, nor intent to get even - just to get out and work with people that respect engineers.

But today, I found out that another engineer will preempt me to the punch.  He will submit his 2 weeks prior to mine.  I'll be happy to file mine on Friday.  That will be his latest. Like a shark in a feeding frenzy, I smell blood.  Lots of blood - and splashing.

So we busted our collective asses to make a product, but when the time came for handing out the rewards, we got the table scraps - like the dogs they think we are.

It will be sweet.  I certainly did not plan this. In fact I regretted the confrontation that will ensue when I would have to say 'goodbye'. Reluctance has turned to blood lust.  Lust for the kill. To drink the blood of your prey and roast the meat over an open fire in the woods.  Fresh and within the hour.

I can smell the fear.  People are startingto scurry, talk in the halls. We're way behind schedule.  Fingers will point, gnashing of teeth. Recriminations, machinations, insinuations... 

Fear.  I smell fear.

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

So, don't keep us in suspense... how did the negotiations go today???

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

"Reluctance has turned to blood lust."

Now you're talkin'!!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Got the offer.  It is excellent - exceeded my expectations. I gave my boss my 2 weeks 15 minutes ago.

Thursday, July 22, 2004


Friday, July 23, 2004

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