How far did I go?

If you’re like me and don’t have a bike computer, you can go to the gmap pedometer to find out how far you went. I plotted my commute up there, but you could use it for walking, running or any other trip.

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First week o’ work and commuting to Redmond

My first week of work is rolling to a close. I’m done with the paperwork side of things and have a cool rolly sit/stand desk. My project doesn’t officially kick off til’ next Tuesday, so I’m getting up to speed on the documents, learning where the coffee machine is and the meeting lots of friendly folks.

And my commute? All I can say is who put Redmond so far away from Seattle? I now understand why recruiters were so cautious at first when asking me if the Eastside was an option. It takes me 45 minutes to drive there on a good day.

One a brighter note, however, I just discovered that there is a bike trail that goes 90% of the way there. It’s a longish commute, at 15 miles each way, but it sure beats sitting in traffic getting angry and impatient. And I eliminate the need for a gym. The place I work even has showers and lets me take my bike inside.

We’ll see how long I can keep this up, but at least I have options. I was starting to get very down about the job before I found the hill-less scenic Interurban trail.

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Accepted a job at SolutionsIQ

There are two kinds of people in this world. The employed and the unemployed. The employed wish they had more time, and the unemployed wish they had a job. Unless your The Dude of course, as in, “The Dude abides.” (Speaking of his dudeness, the Lebowski fest is occuring right now if you’re into bowling, bed races, or want to meet the inspiration for Jeff Bridges white russian sipping character). So make that three types.

In any case, I’m happy to say that of those types, I’m a member of the employed persons club. While I had expected I was going to go through an agonizing job search process (collecting EI, sailing all the time, going fishing, going on extended bike trips, etc.) I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. No, I didn’t find bertie’s head in my bed. I was offered a position at SolutionsIQ at their Professional Services Division, leading agile teams over in their Redmond office. How I ended up getting the job is an interesting story.

On a whim, and on Phil my ex-boss’s advice, I went to a professional seminar on TDD in early March, shortly after I was laid off from Metro One. I ended up touring their professional services division, where they practice what they preach to other companies, and do Scrum and XP for real projects. When I saw the floor to ceiling sheets of butcher paper with story cards written on them, monitors showing traffic light style red/green pass/fail status for tests, and the large bays with dual monitors for paired programming, I felt like I had come home. All the things I had been preaching to my organization, with some successes, they had implemented there from the ground up. So I was hooked.

After the tour was over, I talked with my peers, people managing agile teams and those coaching agile in other organizations. I talked about the best way to convince a developers to do TDD with David Wiley and about my experiences leading geographically distributed teams using agile with Bryan Stallings. Then I gathered up my strength to ask if they were hiring, and, yes, they were. Then, “who is the decision maker”. And then “would you mind giving her my resume?”. It was this that got me the job, for a position that I don’t believe was advertised for, yet.

While I had many calls from recruiters for short term gigs, at drugstore.com and at avenue-a-razorfish (yes, that is really their name), positions found, I might add, from the SolutionsIQ staffing division, the best job hunting experience was the one that involved meeting folks before there was an advertised position. I had no competition, and there wasn’t a long and involved decision making process on their end. I guess, sort of the difference between speed dating and the chance romantic encounter. Both can end up in a relationship, but the chance encounter is much more personal.

I start on Monday, March 26th. So I still have some time to play. Thanks to everybody who gave me job advice and tolerated me during this last month. Thanks particularly go to Phil, my boss for pushing me to go to the seminar at SolutionsIQ in the first place, and Kei, for putting up with my manic job hunt this last week.

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Sailin’ on Saturday

I spent this morning sailing on Puget Sound. I wrote about it here.

In other news, Friday was my last day of work. We had a bunch of the developers, those laid off and those staying on, come to Seattle for meetings and one last get-together. It was fun to see them, and really a positive goodbye, even though none of this is easy. Seven years in any one place and, as Holden Caufield said, “It’s important to have a good goodbye, you just feel crummy without one”, or something like that.

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