Archive for 2014

American Rivers are Cold

My group at Google went on a rafting offsite today and it was a blast! I have gone on many a tubing trip down the Davao River in my Philippines high school and college days, but never down a river here in the states.

The water is much colder.

I was so excited about this trip that I got myself a GoPro. I had a helmet mount ready to go, but when we arrived, the outfit that was taking us down the river didn’t have helmets for us! I had to jury-rig a mount onto the shoulder of my life-vest, which made for some interesting video footage: extreme closeups of the side of my face and the back of my ear. Later, one of my co-workers let me use her handlebar mount which I used to mount the GoPro onto an oar. Held high above us on the oar, the GoPro captured some great video of the beautiful day.

Gigs of downloaded video files later, I cut together a pretty cool video of the whole rafting adventure. Then again, any video would look cool when cut to music by maybeshewill.

Just for comparison take a look at the class 3 and 4’s of the Davao River! (at the 2:24 mark)

Legends of Candlestick

Caleb spent a day with me as I relived the glory days

I was 10 years old when I remember the 49ers winning Superbowl XXIII in that spectacular Superbowl finish featuring “The Drive.” The Legends of Candlestick game brought me back to those glory days, and I got to share it with Caleb, who is 10–the same age I can remember becoming a Niners fan.

Sure it was no Superbowl, but Caleb humored me as I told him stories about each player as we saw them on the field. I felt old, but it was ok, because I felt like I was a kid again watching these guys play.

This game not only featured players from Niners history, but old adversaries as well. Old foes I loved to boo as a kid: Dan Marino, Tim Brown, and Anthony Muñoz were there to let the Niners team run all over them for the benefit of the fans. It was great to watch the ol’ Montana to Rice and even the familiar Montana to Craig plays, and Steve and Jeff look like as mobile as ever.

Rathman and Jeff Garcia hang back and watch Steve work

They players had a lot of fun with it, and we saw Jeff Garcia lined up as free safety, and punters and kickers would line up as receivers. My favorite play was when our 3 star quarterbacks lined up on the same play. Montana dropped back to throw, dumping a screen pass off to Steve, who threw it to Jeff Garcia for what looked like 10-yards! It was like a dream scenario and the fans (and I) went nuts.

It was no doubt choreographed as Montana took the field in the last drive for a come-from-behind touchdown pass to Eddie D. (Did he report as an eligible receiver? We’ll never know.)

Caleb can’t believe the 49ers came from behind and won!

It was a great evening, and I was happy to not only see these guys play in Candlestick as one of Candlestick Park’s last events, but to share the whole thing with my boy, who looked like he was loving it just as much as I was. One of those father-son days I’ll remember for a long, long time.

Go Niners! Maybe a Superbowl this year for Superbowl FORTY-NINE? Please?

Being Googley

Well I nearly did it: I almost went a year without posting. I’ve been busy! In September I left my long-standing gig at FileMaker after nearly 7 years! That long at one web development job is an eternity in this line of work, and while I had no complaints at FileMaker, I was longing for the next step–something more challenging, or at least something different. I’ve always been very ambitious when it came to career, and I felt as though for me to move on towards the next level, I had to find something new.

Earlier in 2013, I was approached about a long-term contract for a web developer position at Google, and after sending in my resume and online portfolio, was rejected immediately! I took feedback from the recruiter and redid everything. I not only redesigned my portfolio website, but also all of my personal sites, and brushed up on the latest in web development. In 6 months, I applied again, and all that work paid off–I landed an initial phone interview with the dev who would eventually become my mentor at Google, and the rest was history.

My shiny, new propellor cap
My shiny, new propellor cap

This was only a contract but it was made clear to me that if worked hard and showed them what I could do, I would eventually earn my conversion. The last 8 months have been a firehose of new things to learn, new friends, and a new environment to take in. Google has a reputation for being one of the best–if not the best place to work in the world, and after being there my first week, I understood why.

Today, after 8 months on the job as a contractor, I completed by orientation and am now officially a Googler–or “Noogler” as they affectionately call us–and I could not be more proud.

But looking back, I’ll miss being an Apple employee! I was there when the iPhone was debuted, when the iPad introduced, and sadly, when we all got the company-wide memo that Steve had passed.

I’m also proud of what I accomplished during my tenure at FileMaker and everything I learned. But as always whenever I leave a job, I’ll miss my friends the most. Boba runs, beer-chasing, and the annual Christmas photo. I’ll even miss the endless ribbing for being the young whippersnapper of the web team (hilarious now since I am one of the older guys on my new team at Google).

The biggest thanks goes to Chesney, who supported me through this whole process. There were a lot of long hours while I was getting my head wrapped around the job, and she makes it possible for me to do what I do and pursue this career that I’m excited about.