It's official. The whirlwind of the past few weeks has settled. On my desk is a copy of an offer letter that I have signed and returned. My mind continues to grapple unsuccessfully with the bittersweet realization that I'm leaving.
My new job is back in California. It's so funny, I spent most of my time in Chicago in a melancholic depression. I didn't feel that I truly belonged here until very recently. (And that's not a slight on those who have tried to make me feel welcome, I can't imagine trying to survive here without you guys.) Just as I'm coming to appreciate where I am, it's time for me to go.
But this kind of opportunity doesn't come around very often. It's basically my ideal position. I'll be a Senior Application Software Engineer for a 60 person firm in SunnyHell^H^H^H^Hvale. My group (currently just Matt, Sean, and I) is charged with developing applications to create turn-key solutions for enterprise customers based on our standard developer framework.
(Apparently, my job also involves taking some of the workload off of Sean who needs a vacation. :-)
The platform itself is really quite cool. It has an OC-48 (or a dual GigE) connection on either side, and it can process, inspect, and transform packets at wire-speed (2.65 Gb/sec, though I think the newer boxes coming out soon are even faster). And the programs we're writing aren't part of an embedded system, they're a visual language that can be modified (or created) in the field. That's quite a feat.
Now, there are a few ethical questions raised by some of the potential applications of this kind of technology (even when put in the hands of the "good guys," (as if that term has any meaning anymore)). Sean admitted that up front, but said that he rationalized it by saying that nothing that important should ever go over the wire in the clear. I agree with that, but at the same time I know that people are dumb. I guess I don't necessarily believe in codling them. I also know that one can learn a lot by watching connection patterns, even without looking at the payload.
They wanted me to start on the first (and I think they started scheduling me into projects as soon as my interview was over), but my Dad was coming to Chicago for a visit, and it would have been rude to stand him up. So the earliest I can be in California is the weekend of the 17th-18th. My first day of work is that Monday (the 19th).
I still don't know what I'm going to do about living arrangements. I do know that living in Sunnyvale would probably not be a good thing for me in the long term. I also think that living with someone rather than alone might be a good idea. It'll force me to be that bit more social, rather than just losing myself in work, crash, repeat.
A friend & I have been talking about living together, but he works in San Jose, so San Francisco is not really viable for him. So things are a bit up in the air. A few friends have offered couch space until I get settled. My current plan is to couch surf for a short while, get a sense of the job, find a place to live and then come back and move my stuff across the country.
Our lease is up in April, and Mark is such a great guy, I don't really want to break it. It gives both Yojo & I some breathing room if I just pay through the end of the lease.
This is all coming so fast, and from all directions. But it's exciting, to say the least.