Monthly Archives: November 2013

The HackerNews effect: Hitting #2 on HN

2 days ago, the latest post about my experience at my previous job hit the front page of HackerNews. It’s been a while since I left that job, and I held off on writing the post for as long as I could. Partly because I was busy, partly because I was trying to stop from thinking about it all, but mostly because I wanted to write about the experience as objective as possible (for someone who experienced it firsthand, probably not very objective at all).

In fact, the first 800 words or so were already written a month back, hence some of the “flow” in the writing seemed broken. Writing that blog post was an attempt at finally allowing myself to find some closure and write it off as an experience that will make me better equipped to deal with (heaven forbid) similar issues in the future.

As it’s probably quite apparent, I quit that job without having another lined up. And for some reason, I’m perfectly at peace with that. In fact, I’ve made very little effort to look for another full-time job; I’ve done an on-site interview with Amazon (rejected), a phone interview with Facebook after solving their coding puzzles, and a few others which I decided wouldn’t be a good fit (I’m much more wary of potential red flags now after that experience).

Continue reading

A culture of beer and overtime

I quit my my last job after a little more than 2 months. Why? Did I jump into a position I was not excited about? No. In fact, I faced major struggles trying to persuade myself NOT to take that offer (and ultimately, failed). I had been looking for a job after my second contract at SAP was about to come to an end in May. By the second week of April, I had 3 offers lined up, 2 of which I was giving some serious thought to.

One would mean I would be moving to Palo Alto, California, where I would be joining a well-known, highly successful, technology company. The pay was great, and working there would make any future job hunts virtually non-existent. The only possible downside to it was having to move. A few weeks prior, I had just completed the final steps of becoming a homeowner, and moving to Palo Alto would mean having to put my place back on the market within a few short weeks. Nevertheless, I was not too concerned. Having lived for extended periods of time in Taiwan, Australia, and Canada, I’m very open to moving and even embrace the thought of living in a different country, with major differences in culture.

The other offer would mean staying in familiar old Vancouver, in a company that had one claim to fame (a relatively impressive one at that), and noticeably lower pay. If that were it, I would have moved to Palo Alto in a heartbeat. But that wasn’t all. The product that I was offered to work on was something that I was extremely excited, and passionate about. In fact, it was something that I had been giving a lot of thought prior to hearing about, and not only was I excited to hear about its existence, I was even more excited to be one of the two developers working on it.

After weighing my options and deciding that I didn’t really want to pass up the chance to build something I was so passionate about, I happily took the lower pay (and prestige) to join the team. I was not too concerned about money because it was something I had been dreaming to build. I certainly did not think about much else at that time, I just couldn’t wait.

The team consisted of 5 people. The PM, copywriter, UI/UX designer, myself, and the other developer. Everyone else in the company was working on other products. In terms of the executives, they were very much detached from the operations of the team.

And so began my short 9 weeks at the company. Within days, a big red flag was placed in front of me, but I was still so oblivious and excited that I shrugged it off and pushed it aside. Continue reading