Monthly Archives: January 2004

I joined It’s another one of those “friend of a friend” services.

However, I don’t feel inclined to feed it all the names and email addresses of all my friends. Whether or not I trust their privacy policy, I have a strict personal privacy policy as well :)

So. If you feel inclined to check out, you can find me and mark me as a friend.

Are there any other “friend network” type of services that you use and like?

Another busy day at the collective

I went to Yahoo! HQ again today, affectionately known as “the collective”. I will probably go again tomorrow. I insinuated myself in a few meetings and met some people. Here I will attempt to catalog the current list of leads I am working on.

Nam Nguyen: This guy just bubbled up to the top of my list. Based on my conversation with him Thursday, and after seeing him for a mostly-unrelated conversation today, he put together an actual job description. This is very interesting and pleasing to me, because he wrote up the job description *after* talking to me, and showed it to me first before submitting the request for a req/headcount. Hopefully management approves and budget is there. I gave him three things to add in that would make it even more tailored to my qualifications, but as written it is pretty compelling.

The story behind this one is, the Y! front end (all Apache PHP, I think) got Erik, Cecil, David R, Cameron, and a few others in the reorg. Now, Erik expects certain things from Operations, like we do rollouts, we put together whole sites around monitoring, we automate the hell out of everything, etc. Y! Site Ops doesn’t do this. There is a group within Search Front End, only three people, that basically fills the gap between Site Ops and Engineering. That is Peter, and two people in Bangalore (thus improving the 24hr aspect). Nam manages a lot of other stuff besides this mini-Ops team.

So, it would be basically an “integration” type of role, in that we take directions from engineers, but there would also be some ops-type of stuff, and some carrying of pagers. Strangely, there is some chatter within Y Operations that they want to be more full-service and not limit themselves to OS install and Account access. This would be closer to AV, Fast, and Inktomi, but would be a change from how Ops deals with the other properties.

I would like this job: 8/10
I can do this job: 10/10
This job is good for my future: 7/10
This job has a chance of coming true: 7/10

Cameron Anetsky: Cameron had lunch with me, and would like me to help her with some QA-Lead type of stuff. She has also taken the most time of anyone to show me around, introduce me to people, try to get me included, try to get me a cube here, etc.

It is possible that if I pursue it hard, this could turn into a QA Lead job for me. I don’t know if this is the direction I want to go, but it would be a different direction. The turning it into a real job is the hard part… she is quite overworked but is not confident in her ability to get extra head count – they added 3 more tester positions in India, but she seems to be the only lead for like 6 people.

I would like this job: 7/10
I can do this job: 8/10
This job is good for my future: 7/10
This job has a chance of coming true: 5/10

Stephen Simpson: Saw this guy 2 more times today, and he had a chance to say “Hey we really want to interview you, here is when.” He didn’t. I think he is avoiding talking about the DNS administrator position. I still think I could get this position if I pester them about it enough, or wait long enough for them to get off their asses. But, I don’t know if I want to be a DNS administrator, I feel it would be a step down.

It bugs me that I can’t really read Stephen. Either he is painfully shy, actively hiding something from me, or just not very good at communication at all. I don’t know if I could work well with him. I will know more about if his communication style is a barrier after interviewing with him.

I would like this job: 6/10
I can do this job: 10/10
This job is good for my future: 5/10
This job has a chance of coming true: 9/10

Michael Scheel: Had a pretty candid discussion with Michael. He works for S. Simpson. He is from Inktomi Ops, and he would like to start enhancing/widening the scope of what Y Site Operations does, so that it’s more full service, like our SA team, not like the status quo for other Y properties. Trouble is that he (his team) doesn’t seem to have headcount, so they want to take on more roles but are cautious about doing so without getting more headcount.

This is a guy to keep in contact with but is currently not a job lead.

Deo Carauana: Deo is in charge of the Y! Noc, and I was in a meeting with him, Anne, and myself to talk about handing over 4 products to Y! Noc to be monitored. After this meeting, he talked to me for a while and said that he might be looking for someone to manage the NOC besides Christine, who is the manager for both tier 1 and tier 2 of the NOC. I think he said that ideally Christine would manage tier 2 and someone else would take over tier 1. NOC manager, not great. They should really consider Anne for this, I’m not sure why… Deo only said this after Anne left the room.

It would be part of Operations, a little bit insulated from engineers, but Deo said things along the same lines as Michael, that they want to start being more full-service and not limiting their scope to just port monitors and start/stop.

I would like this job: 5/10
I can do this job: 9/10
This job is good for my future: 6/10
This job has a chance of coming true: 6/10

Steve Pomush: Still haven’t heard from this guy, he was supposed to contact me in January. I still don’t think I would want to work for this guy.

I would like this job: 4/10
I can do this job: 8/10
This job is good for my future: 6/10
This job has a chance of coming true: 5/10

Other contacts not at Yahoo:

Phil Steffora: Replied to my email, but hasn’t called me back. Phil works at Mailblocks which is moderately spam-related, so might be interesting, but since he hasn’t called me back, there probably won’t turn out to be anything there.

Michael Moran: Finally replied to my email. This is a recruiter at Postini. I would really like to work at Postini because 1. Spam and 2. Bruce!

I would like this job: 10/10
I can do this job: 9/10
This job is good for my future: 10/10
This job has a chance of coming true: 4/10

Dave Moody: This guy was a best man at my wedding, and now works at Lucasfilm. He contacted me just to see if I was still alive, and we talked for a long time. I don’t realistically expect that there is anything for me at Lucasfilm but I will send him my rap sheet anyway.

Brian Johnson: Haven’t heard any more since he called to tell me the startup place didn’t want me. He is supposedly still looking around for jobs but we’ll see if anything pans out.

End of line

Busy Weekend Report

Wow, if I were not tired, I would be smug. Did a lot of crap this weekend.

  • Friday: Trader Joes, purchased snacks. Rite Aid, get soda. Home, drop off soda.
  • Gaming at Merlin’s. Game happened to be quite cleric-centered but I managed to not monopolize the session, I think.
  • Saturday: Installed Paperport and didn’t scan anything.
  • Spent a long time playing around with Windows Users and Groups – created a Roaming Profile and Home Directory on the Samba server. Found out that this makes the account take like 8-10 minutes to log in, because it has to copy all your preferences and shit every time you log in or log out. Backed out of that crap.
  • Stripped the futon and sprayed Nature’s Miracle on it in four places. Leave it out to dry.
  • Washed 4 loads of laundry.
  • Went to get take out for dinner. Folded clothes, watched TV.
  • Put a load of dishes in the washer, mostly pots/pans.
  • Unpacked the new electric food slicer. Sliced some salami with it.
  • Took 4 bags of pissed-on bedding into the bathroom. Went over each with black light, and sprayed each with Nature’s Miracle. This took about 4 hours and consumed an entire gallon of Nature’s Miracle.
  • Bed not dry yet. Covered up wet spots with plastic bags and made the bed, slept in it.
  • Sunday: Took a shower. Played on the computer for a while, viewing bills and statements and “printing” them into PDF using Paperport.
  • Sliced the steak with the electric slicer. Slices came out funny because the blade keeps pulling the meat down, but if you flip the steak each time it works OK. Next time I will try it frozen.
  • Cleaned the slicer. This is an operation in itself, and took about as long as slicing the meat. Went over each piece and the base unit with soapy water, plain water, then plain water with a shot of bleach. Take that, microbes!
  • Took the well-sprayed bedding to the coin laundry. Did another 5 loads of bedding and 2 loads of clothes and towels.
  • Met D and C for dinner at Chili’s. Then to Bed Bath and a Handbasket. Then to Barnes and Noble. Then home.
  • Not done yet! Took slices of meat marinading in soy sauce and set them out to be dried. Filled up 4 trays of the food dehydrator. (Making jerky, though you probably figured that out by now, you’re clever folk.) Sprinkled on black pepper and garlic powder.
  • Looked around for futon cover. Realized that I probably left that at the coin laundry in the dryer. sh!t
  • Typed up this entry.

Now it is time to make the bed (again!)

Job search goes on

I posted a friends-only entry just now about the job search. If you can’t see it and want to, let me know and I’ll friend you (or if you’re not an LJ user, I can send it to you).

Now, please enjoy the picture of a moose enjoying himself.

My visit to the collective

I had some meetings at Yahoo HQ today, so I took advantage of the opportunity to scope out the place and touch bases with some people.

Official meetings were as follows:
Ops-swat. NY suite is closed, walkthrough completed, suite turned over, done deal. Not much else to report.
BSD qa install. Touched bases with East who is in Y site ops, he will install kernel on qapicrawl machine.
Gladiator QA. Erik, Cameron, Linda are tracking it, nothing really for me to do.
Babel & Shortcuts brain dump. I gave Y Site Ops the operational highlights (not much) and I will send links to our docs. Not much dramatic there. Their team seems to be a lot like ours.

Unofficial meetings were as follows in random order:

Lunch with: Linda, Celeste, Darryl, Manny, Anne. The cafe is cool, wide selection, but plenty crowded. Darryl is leaving Yahoo as of tomorrow and going to China.

Cameron: Met with her at 2:30 and had a break 3-330, so she took me around to show me where many of the ex-AV people ended up. She also asked, did I know anyone else with QA experience and I said “Yeah, me, 5 years QA lead.” She was quite surprised! She took me around to meet David Ku, who might be looking for someone for QA purposes. Also saw AV folks such as: Amod, Sakina, Phil, Zim, Andreas, Chris, Simon, Tu, Mark, DaveR. Dave R took me around to meet Nam also.

David Ku: Before I really knew what was going on, Cameron was telling David that “Greg has some time on his hands so he can help us with some QA stuff. Can we get him set up with some space here?” Well, I don’t know if I would be interested in working on stuff if there’s no offer in it, but we’ll see what they have to say. I didn’t let on that she seemed to be talking out of her hat and just smiled and shook hands. No real talking, just an introduction.

Nam: Had already heard of me via Erik Jessen. He said “Do you have some time right now?” Of course, I always have time to follow a lead :) They are building their own team of “ops-like stuff in engineering” basically doing some stuff that avops used to do that Y site ops doesn’t, like monitoring (full on statistics, not red/green noc monitoring) deployments, etc. It would be sort of like doing Integration without doing Site Ops. I don’t remember if Nam reports to David Ku or the other way around.

Steve Simpson: He is the guy who has an opening for DNS Administrator, and I saw him when visiting with Amod and again after talking to Nam. I don’t think he really wanted to talk about the position, but indicated that we should try to get together Monday, since he had something to do offsite tomorrow. This is the only lead that had an actual req attached so it has the best chance of giving me an offer, but it’s probably the one I want the least. Something about this guy bugs me, he seems kind of evasive and difficult to read.

Steve Pomush: Saw this guy walking the other way across the quad. This was the guy who stalled on getting back to me on “Unix Sysadmin Manager” and finally said “we have a strong candidate identified.” He was supposed to follow up with me again in January about more exciting opportunities in IT. I don’t think I would want to work for this guy.

David Bills: Talked about all the leads I am working on, and talked a bit about his new role.

So, the result of a day of networking… there are something like 4 leads total that could be followed up. Best chance of happening: DNS thing. Worst chance of happening: IT. Most wanted: Nam/David Ku if I could get them to combine their needs into one job. Least wanted: IT followed closely by DNS.

I am still quite cynical about Yahoo, and I’m still telling anyone who asks that “I’m on transition until April, or for as long as I can be bothered, but my real goal is to get an offer and accept it in January.” But it’s a company, and visiting the campus made me remember how many people I do still know on the inside. So, I will continue to pursue any leads that come my way. If they end up making an offer, I will consider it.

Of course, my “true calling” is still fighting spam, so I will continue to pursue other leads having to do with that:
1. the recruiter who got me the interview for Linux System Administrator said they won’t be giving me an offer, mostly because “I would be a good manager but I didn’t seem to have the level of technical expertise they want.” Which is strange because they didn’t really ask me a lot of technical questions. But, the recruiter will keep looking for other leads and let me know if he finds anything. They deal with Brightmail so perhaps there will be something there.
2. Postini is probably the most interesting, but they haven’t gotten back to me at all, which is surprising… I would have expected at least a phone call.
3. Dashed off a note to Phil Steffora who is head of operations at Mailblocks. He would like to chat on the phone but hasn’t called at the number I gave him..
I think someone else mentioned a spam lead I should follow up on, but I forget who. If you sent me a lead last year and I didn’t follow up, tell me again… I’m looking much more actively now.

I don’t think I will actually see an offer in January… for one thing I haven’t been working the contacts hard enough… but I still want to keep the pressure on to Y that I’m actively looking. It’s looking more like February is a better goal, which gives leads a bit of time to percolate, but still gives me time after to lower my expectations. So, January would be nice but I don’t want to lower my expectations too soon :)

Thanks to everyone for your support, by the way.