Quite simply, a six day intrusion into the heart of California and Silicon Valley has ultimately resulted in a rather attractive job offer for me and the family to consider.
The reason I travelled for 12+ hours and shifted my body –8 hours in a time difference for four days then back again +8 was to have a final interview (dum dum dum) with the guys at P✪PSUGAR. Meet them in person, see if they liked me, a real life version of Shrek (chubby, grumpy and Scottish) and whether I liked them.
Over the last few weeks I had done two or three Skype interviews, a technical test and spoken to three or four members of staff already, so this was the final step in working out if we wanted to work together.
The interview itself, if I am honest was pretty brutal. A five hour marathon which was hard itself but just to be hardcore, it included heat, jet lag, lack of sleep, lack of food, on top of the four x one hour technical interviews with some very clever guys.
These guys are seasoned Engineers (developers tend to get called Engineers out here) who have worked with folk like Pixar and Dreamworks. At the end, I also had a chat with the CTO and CEO as well.
As part of the see if I like California and can I work here process there was of course some time for drinking, eating, sightseeting, househunting and lots of driving. While it may seem like a holiday (my wife Rose definitely considers it to be one), I have found it pretty tough going and exhausting. Sure we hit the bars a couple of nights but only after the hard interviewing work, intensive sightseeing and gruelling driving was done. We drove all around San Francisco itself looking at areas and talking about what it would be like to live here, there, commuting, schools, etc. etc. My head is buzzing.
My good old friend Tony made the amazing effort to fly over to San Francisco to help me with my research (a Scotsman now living in Cincinnatti with 4 kids of his own), he knew the kind of things I had to spot and look out for.
Another diamond was Andy, Tony’s kindhearted brother–in–law and someone I am proud to call a mate, spent most of his three days off driving myself and Tony around the Bay Area. His knowledge of the city and surrounding area was not only helpful but mind–boggling, he is born to be a tour guide.
My old work friend Mike Hume who flew up from LA to also lend his time and input was matched by that of local Technical Recruiter Dino who gave up his own freetime (and some of his liver) to help me adjust and show me around.
To you four, Dino, Mike, Tony & Andy, a massive thank you. It was tough but great fun. I really do appreciate your help.
So what next for me? A job offer (subject to the usual legal gubbins) of course but the opportunity to move my wife, myself and my kids over 5,000 miles to not only a new country but a new way of life. Schools, visas, houses, jobs, work would all need to change and my children would be leaving everything they have ever known for the sunshine of Fransanfisco (as Jack calls it), California and the promise of Disney, Katy Perry and Legoland.
Should I do it, will I do it? I don’t know, I want to, but ultimately this is both the most exciting and scary thing I could do. Its not just me, its the lives of four other folk, their hopes, dreams and goals.
When I think about it I dramatically shift between yes, do it as I remind myself of better to regret something you HAVE done rather than something you have not (my heart) and don’t be daft, its too hardrsquo; (my head). As a scientist, engineer, methodical type person, I find myself analysing the situation over and over coming up with likely scenarios, reasons and places it can fail. I wish I was a little simpler to be honest. Ha ha.
I am a big music fan and tend to love the song rather than specific artist or album so the way home is incredibly poignant during the 10 hour red–eye. Songs like Leaving Home Ain’t Easy (Queen), Half The World Away (Oasis) and especially Caledonia (Frankie Miller) are great but their words really bite when trapped on a plane with only thinking to do.
No final decision yet, need to speak to the boss (Rose) and sort this out. She is awesome at turning my normal grayscale ideas & arguments into black & white decisions. Six days is a LONG time to be away from my family, especially the wee ones. Even though I spoke to them one or two times a day on Skype, I still miss hugs and being jumped on.
Whatever happens, good times ahead, I can feel it.