Many people have asked (via IM, email, Twitter) how my new job is going, what craigslist is like, etc. So here are a few thoughts about my first two weeks in the new job.
Despite what folks said in the comments of my little announcement, the commute really isn't that bad. Taking I-280 from Willow Glen (San Jose) up to near Golden Gate Park is about 55 minutes from pulling out of the garage to parking in San Francisco. And I've been able to find parking on Lincoln each time I've gone up--usually within 4-6 blocks from the office.
So 55 minutes of driving plus about 10 minutes of walking (which is good for me anyway) is very manageable if you're not doing it every day. If I did, I'd be less up-beat about it, I'm sure.
Having said that, I am going to experiment with the mass transit options as well. I'd like to give all the reasonable options a fair shake.
My laptop, a Lenovo ThinkPad T61 running Ubuntu Linux is performing quite well. It's had one lockup that I cannot attribute to anything in particular. But other than that, it's a joy to work on--especially with Emacs Snapshot and it's most excellent font rendering. (Learning VIM is still on my todo list...)
The biggest hassle so far has been VPN related. Every once in a while my laptop decides to reconnect to my wireless router at home and when it does it replaces the custom resolv.conf file with my "normal" home one. That results in a VPN that sort of works and sort of doesn't. I'm getting better at noticing when this happens and fixing it, but I really need to find a way to keep that from happening at all.
In two weeks, I've only had one experience that I would come close to classifying as a "meeting." There really aren't conference rooms (yay!) but it did involve a whiteboard. However, unlike meetings I'm used to, it involved only the most essential people, had a clearly defined goal, and was very useful to me.
The engineering team has a great old-school Perl and Unix mentality (and sense of humor) to it that I really dig. Our private IRC channel is filled with a mix of useful information sharing and old fashioned joking, complaining, and ranting. It reminds me a lot of Yahoo in the 1999-2000 time frame.
Unlike Yahoo, craigslist has an abundance of nearby eating establishments within very short walking distance. I suspect that it'll take months of time before I've sampled what's nearby.
What am I actually doing?
Well, it's a mix of things at this stage. Since I know only a little bit about how things actually work, I'm asking a lot of questions and trying to get a sense of what's what and where. That always takes time in a new environment and with a new code base. But eventually the day does come when you suddenly realize that it's not an issue anymore and you must have things mostly figured out.
I'm also playing with alternatives to our current search. I've spent a week or so getting to know Sphinx, the open source search engine by Andrew Aksyonoff. People often use it as a replacement for MySQL's full-text search capabilities.
So far I'm quite impressed with it's speed and capabilities, not to mention Andrew's willingness to offer advice and suggestions. I've also been using Jon Schutz's Sphinx::Search Perl module. I've had to slightly modify the code of both to get them to perform the way we'd like, but that modifications aren't terribly extensive. As is often the case, what took the most time was figuring out what I really wanted to do and then how to do it.
I may have more to say about all this later.
It looks like we've got a bit more room at craigslist. As Jim mentioned on the craigslist blog:
Worth mentioning that the CL tech hiring bit remains set to "1" for star LAMPerl developers, systems heavyweights, and networking wizards.
If you're a great Perl hacker, amazingly skilled networking geek, or someone who really knows systems and data center stuff, we may be waiting for you.
Ping me if you're interested and we'll get the ball rolling.
Anyway, that's the story so far.
Am I happy in my new role? You bet.
Do I miss some of my old colleagues at Yahoo? Of course. In fact, I missed Chad's going away party due to a sick cat, which is a whole separate and sad story I need to tell.
Posted by jzawodn at August 02, 2008 09:08 AM