As I get ready to start my new job at Google. I thought it would be nice to go over how I got here. It all started around 2008 when I got my first laptop for Christmas. I mostly played games on that computer until spring break came around.
During that spring break I learned to Visual Basic .NET. At first it was simple stuff and jokes. I made an app that said “A virus has been detected on your computer” then it would shut down the computer. Then made a GPA calculator and such. Unfortunately all that code is I’m assuming lost. Then I went back to school after the break and never touched visual studio again that year. The next year I did the same thing with C#.net. I did .NET because my dad could get me a copy of Visual studio and knew C# and VB.
When I started high school, I got a MacBook. On that MacBook I installed Xcode and made a really simple game over the next year or so. The game was House Defender. There was a house in the middle of the screen and bugs would come and attack the house. The graphics sucked and the code was even worse but somehow I got it in the store. The code was a lot of copying and pasting from tutorials and stackoverflow. About halfway through I started figuring out how things worked and could really work on it. Looking at the code now, it is really bad. I could make probably make the app in a weekend now. But that’s not the point.
I took a C++ class in high school but I think I got a D or C in it because I just bored and didn’t do the work. Then I took AP computer science (Java) and the same thing happened. I already knew how to program at this point and could understand how it most things worked.
Also during this time my dad got me some work for the company he worked for. I made aviation charts for pilots. The job was really boring but for $15 per hour who complaining. I had to go on the website and find the airport and get the text for a procedure for an airport. Then map this procedure in Illustrator. I created a program to display these procedures. Then added on utilities to convert to different lat and long systems.
After high school I was hired by the company as an iOS developer and make the charts too, while going to college. I during college I was going to major in computer science. So I took a those classes, into to computer science I got 110% in. I didn’t really understand the data structures so I didn’t do as well in that class but still passed. After a semester of that I decided I would take fewer classes. Then later that next semester I decided to not enroll for fall classes and went full time working.
I worked for that company for another year. I also completely automated that chart making process. The company was fine for the most part but I wanted to try something else and didn’t want to be the only developer anymore. I interview at few companies, but then I tried Wayfair. I got the job as an iOS enginer. I quit my job and moved to Boston in 3 weeks.
Wayfair was fun to work at, I started working on adding comments to idea boards. (I don’t know if that feature is still around). The moved to work on the sales tab in the app. Then moved to core/infrastructure type features. I would finish all the work in the 2 week sprint in a few days then wouldn’t have anything to work on. However I had a few bad performance reviews so I thought I was going to be terminated so I started looking for other places to work. I bought cracking the coding interview and did a bunch code fights problems. I got an onsite at Google, I thought I did really good, but didn’t get the job.
During my spare time at Wayfair, I was working on Hexd. I got to a point that I couldn’t figure out for a while so I dropped it. Then I figured it out and released it to the app store. It’s still there if you’d like to try it.
About 5 months later I really stepped up looking for a new job, and interviewed at a Twitter. I didn’t think I did good enough to get the job at Twitter. I also had an offer from a startup but Twitters offer was so much better. I got hired on the Video data infrastructure team. That team did video analytics events. Then that team changed into the Client Event infrastructure team and changed charters to be all of analytics. We created new a system entirely. But the thing I’m most proud of is the Thrift library I created. https://github.com/twitter/ios-twitter-apache-thrift
I left Twitter because I didn’t feel like I got support from my manager to get a promotion. So I started interviewing. The funny thing is once you have a job at a big tech company, your applications are never ignored. For example, I applied for the job at Google and they reached out in 7 minutes after I applied. I remember when I was at the first company all my applications got ignored.
To be continued…