Mar 01

I’m at Google

EDIT I wrote this in January of 2017 when I restart­ed my blog but it’s about an event that hap­pened in 2016 so I back-​dated it.

Well I guess third time real­ly is the charm. I final­ly passed through the maze, defeat­ed the mino­taur, and exit­ed vic­to­ri­ous. Yay me!

I was work­ing at a start­up med­ical com­pa­ny when I got a cold-​call from a Google recruiter. I almost did­n’t answer the phone because I did­n’t rec­og­nize the num­ber. But I did and had a nice chat with the recruiter. I was­n’t look­ing for a job as I had start­ed with Lifecode only 10 months before, but I decid­ed to talk with them for fun.

Well, I went through the process, phone inter­view, in-​person inter­view, and it start­ed look­ing like I might actu­al­ly get the job but I already had one. I would feel bad for leav­ing Lifecode after such a short time but I prob­a­bly would­n’t get anoth­er chance to work for Google. This gave a bit of stress for a while. Then, after being with Lifecode for almost 1 year they told every­one that the mon­ey had run out and they were clos­ing the doors. Boo, I liked the job. Yay, I was free to go to Google with­out regret. Boo, I did­n’t have a job offer yet. Yay, I did­n’t have to make the dri­ve to Foster City any­more. Boo, I was out-​of-​work.

So the stress of pos­si­bly hav­ing to leave Lifecode turned into the stress of not hav­ing a job. At this point, I’m almost through the process at Google and every­thing is look­ing good, so do I wait for Google to get back to me or do I start send­ing out my résumé. I decid­ed to wait for a lit­tle while. Then a lit­tle more. And a lit­tle more. Argh, I think I’m get­ting an ulcer.

Finally, after almost a month with­out work I get the call.

  • We’re going to offer you a posi­tion
  • Yay
  • But…
  • But? No But! No one said any­thing about a but…
  • You have to have a project to join before you can start with Google
  • Ok…so…?
  • So now we have to find a group that wants you
  • What? You mean like more inter­views?
  • Well, sort of. Much more infor­mal. You’ll just talk to the man­agers over the phone. If they like you, you’re in.
  • So how do I know who will want me?
  • Well, you won’t until they call you. If they call you.
  • How long is this going to take? I’m kin­da do’t have a job any­more. Or a pay­check. Or food.
  • Don’t wor­ry, it should­n’t take more than a week or two.
  • Uhhhh.…

Anyway, I only talked with three man­agers, and the third liked me, asked it I could come in and meet the group. So I did and every­one loved me and show­ered me with gifts…well, they did like me and I start­ed the next week.

May 05

Back Again

A while back my blog died. I had no idea what went wrong and I had no wish to spend what would most like­ly be days of time fig­ur­ing it out. Instead, I just let it lan­guish. Over the years I tried half-​heartedly to fix it but to no avail.

Things in my life have changed and I thought that I would at least try to extract the old posts and maybe move to anoth­er sys­tem. So I start­ed the long process of get­ting into the data­base that holds the blog and after reset­ting sev­er­al pass­words and installing a new SSL cer­tifi­cate man­aged to get into the data­base. I found the right table and man­aged to extract the post data into an XML file. Now that I had the old posts I could start to cre­ate a new blog.

However, while I was there I fig­ured I would try one more time to fix the exist­ing one. I start­ed by try­ing to update WordPress but that failed because of a pass­word prob­lem. I fig­ured out how to get past that one and was able to upgrade to ver­sion 3.9 and then sud­den­ly every­thing start­ed work­ing again. I still have no idea what went wrong or what upgrad­ing did to fix it but at least I don’t have to start over.

Everything appears to be back the way it was and I was even able to acti­vate some of the new­er fea­tures that WordPress has added. The look-​and-​feel of the pages may change over the next cou­ple of weeks as I adjust those new fea­tures and even play with a new theme (the one I’m using was called Classic sev­er­al years ago).

At this point I do not real­ly no where I’m going to go with this blog and I may give it up again–we’ll just have to see.

Jun 12

Back to it

I took a bit of a hia­tus due to some issues in my life. I now have a new job with a dynam­ic com­pa­ny called RockYou and I’m back in school going for my mas­ters. These and a fw oth­er things have kept me from even con­sid­er­ing work­ing on a blog. But I’m now going to try and work on it again. We’ll see if I do bet­ter than last time. Only time will tell 

Jul 10

Setup Blues

I just fin­ished installing and set­ting up WordPress on my site as my blog­ging soft­ware. This being the first time that I set­up any blog soft­ware (I briefly used Blogger but they do all the heavy lift­ing) I thought that I’d write about some of my expe­ri­ences.

I picked WordPress because it was offered by my host (host mon­ster) and I had heard good things about it from oth­ers. I made my choice almost exclu­sive­ly on word of mouth. I did­n’t even read the man­u­al first (don’t tell my father ;-). So I brazen­ly told Fantastico to install WordPress. I was then pre­sent­ed with about 20 fields that I need­ed to fill in, some of which were obvi­ous and many that were not. Needless to say (which is a stu­pid phrase that means I’m going to say it any­way), hav­ing not read the doc­u­men­ta­tion at all, I got it wrong. This, plus a few oth­er mis­takes (hey I was play­ing around to learn), caused my to mess up things to the point that I did­n’t know how to clear them up so I end­ed up get­ting my entire account reset.

So I tried again only this time I read the doc­u­men­ta­tion first. Man is this com­pli­cat­ed. There are way too many details that have to be worked out before you start–many can be done after­wards but are a lit­tle more dif­fi­cult. Now this is not meant to dis­par­age WordPress as I am fair­ly sure that they all have the same con­cerns.

The major­i­ty of the issues relate to SPAM and oth­er attacks. I have been using com­put­ers for since Usenet was mail based (using UUCP as the trans­port) and even then there were prob­lems but they were almost exclu­sive­ly because of flame wars. So mod­er­at­ed news­groups were cre­at­ed. But all you had to do was say “this news­group is mod­er­at­ed.” Now it’s not the flame wars (although there are still a few around) but the SPAM. Now I have to decide whether any­one can post or just reg­is­tered users, whether reg­is­tered users can post unmod­er­at­ed or just those that have at least one mod­er­at­ed post, do I want to use a SPAM fil­ter ser­vice, etc. So many choic­es that have absolute­ly noth­ing to do with the blog. By the time you get through with all of those who cares what col­or the back­ground is or what the head­er of your page looks like. It is so over­whelm­ing.

Anyway, I have it up and run­ning in a form that I hope is rea­son­ably usable with­out requir­ing too much work on the poster part (or mine). We’ll have to see.

Jul 09

New blog location

I just fin­ished mov­ing my blog from Blogger to my own host­ed site (carkees.net). I was­n’t going to get my own site but my wife want­ed to make some pic­tures and oth­er infor­ma­tion avail­able to oth­ers and to have our own site to show off our Halloween dis­play so I decid­ed to go ahead.

For bet­ter or worse I went with host mon­ster. I can’t remem­ber why because I reg­is­tered the domain and cre­at­ed the site months ago but just now got around to set­ting it up. So far every­thing has worked well. I made one call to their ser­vice desk and got through to a live per­son in under one minute. She was very help­ful and did every­thing that I asked (which basi­cal­ly meant recre­at­ing my account because I had messed some­thing up ;-). So far I’m hap­py and the rates seemed rea­son­able.

I decid­ed that if I’m going to have my own site I might as well host my own blog so I moved every­thing over from Blogger (prob­a­bly the sim­plest move I’ve ever been involved in).

Still no one knows about this blog but that’s OK as I was­n’t ready for them any­way. Once I get up to blog­ging more than once a month (or year) we’ll see what we can do.