What I did over summer vacation…

I’m not trying to be creative with this here blog. I just have opinions that I want to get off my chest. If someone stumbles upon this & happens to agree or disagree with any of them, then hopefully they’ll comment in a meaningful way (conversations are welcome- pissing matches aren’t). Maybe I’ll learn something from someone else that’ll enrich my life… or at least make me more bearable to deal with. πŸ˜‰

I started blogging a year or two ago over at http://stephaniedean.net, and it was pretty therapeutic. Mostly musings about IT/Ops stuff: process, working in large-scale environments, etc. I was at Amazon at the time, and realize now how fortunate I was to have the opportunity to grow up in an organization that really values technology and operations. I’ve since worked at a very large social network company in Palo Alto, CA, and have returned to Seattle to work at a small startup called Lockerz (http://www.lockerz.com). Man, have I learned a metric buttload! (technical term) I’ve solidified some existing opinions in addition to forming some new ones, and while I wasn’t exactly *happy* in the bay area, I wouldn’t trade the experience for the world. It made me appreciate the environment outside of the Valley: no valleywag, very little pretense, and an incomparable amount of teamwork compared to the cutthroat, it’s-all-about-who-you-know environment of the South Bay.

I’ve also learned that engineers are the same the world over. The really great ones are those who actually *care* about the products they work on, the customer experience and ensuring that the company succeeds over their own personal aspirations. And the really awful engineeres do their jobs half-assed, with poorly-written code and little to no concern for the people who either have to support their crap architecture or re-factor it down the road. I obviously love the really great engineers. πŸ™‚

I’ve also been exposed to some great managers and some completely horrid ones. I understand now that not every company values (or is event capable of valuing) the importance of growing employees. That was a very, very sad lesson for me to learn, and it solidified my opinion that good companies invest in their people. I was really surprised that that’s not a core value everywhere. What company will continue to thrive with crap leadership? One could point to google, but they make up for their lack of management leadership by force-feeding their employees perks to buy their allegiance. Or at least that’s the word on the alleyways I tend to frequent.

Okay, that’s enough for now. If you made it this far, I’ll send you a biscuit.


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