It seems like only yesterday that I last switched jobs. Last time I moved from my job on the Search Team to the Platform Engineering group to do MySQL stuff. And before Search, I worked on Yahoo Finance for about three years.
Well, believe it or not, I'm going back to the Search Team but in a very different role this time. Instead of hacking away on software bits, I'm going to be working to:
- make sure our products kick the necessary amount of ass
- better communicate what we're thinking about and building
- incorporate outside feedback and ideas into what we're doing
- recruit more smart people
And other stuff as it comes up, I'm sure.
I've been a Yahoo nearly five years now and this will be my fourth role. It has been in the works for a few months now. The first evidence of that was the launch of the Yahoo Search blog and then our attendance at and sponsorship of Gnomedex 4 recently.
This change is one that I thought about for quite a while. And, quite honestly, it's the first time I've accepted a new role without a very solid idea of what I was getting myself into. It'll be very interesting to see how this evovles. I know that I have a lot to learn and hopefully a lot to teach as well. In some ways, this new role is experimental. I'm expecting it to morph a bit over time and so are the folks I'll be working with.
One thing I do know is that the folks I'm going to be working with really care a lot about what they're doing. (And I'm not just saying that because I know they'll read this.) I wish I could say I saw that in every part of the company.
And on that note, I love the fact that I can move around within Yahoo. Many companies talk about how employees are free to look at internal opportunities, but not all of them make it easy to pursue those opportunities. They throw up lots of barriers, seemingly encouraging their employees to look elsewhere rather than stick around. My experience at Yahoo has shown that mobility is a fact of life. I know of many other coworkers who've tried out various roles over the last few years.
I hope that didn't sound too much like a recruiting pitch or anything. It's just what's been going thru my mind recently.
Here are answers to a few questions I've already been asked, as well as some I anticipate.
Q: Does this mean I can complain to you about Yahoo Search?
A: Sure. But you've been able to do that for years. ;-) I'll do what I can to make sure your complaint hits the right people.
Q: Does this mean you no longer deal with MySQL stuff?
A: Not at all. Until I help hire my replacement (more on that in a future post), I'm handling MySQL stuff. And even beyond that, I'm a long-time MySQL user and fan who's starting to get pressure for a second edition of The Book. And I still write a monthly MySQL column for Linux Magazine. In other words, I'm not giving up on MySQL.
Q: What about all the RSS stuff Yahoo is doing?
A: I'm still going to be one of our biggest RSS advocates around here. It's technically never been part of my job but that didn't stop me from getting involved.
Q: Does this mean your blog will be full of "check out this great Yahoo feature" posts? Will you still complain about things Yahoo doesn't do well?
A: No, my blog will not turn into a corporate marketing tool. And yes, I fully intend to be honest about what I think we're doing well and what we're not. I'm still a harsh critic--both of our services and others. Hopefully anyone who has read my ramblings long enough knows this already.
Q: Will you still bash Google?
A: Heh. From time to time, I may. But I know a lot more people who work there now, so I've tried to tone it down a bit. They're not that evil. ;-)
Q: Did your blog have anything to do with getting this new job?
A: Yes. A lot.
Q: Do you know what today's earnings numbers will be?
A: I wish. And if I don't go to sleep soon, you'll know before I do.
 Technically I'm working with the whole Search and Marketplace business unit, but that's org chart trivia to most people reading this.
Posted by jzawodn at October 12, 2004 01:38 AM