New Day Job

GoogleResearchI generally don’t talk about my day job here because my blog is ostensibly about stuff I do outside of work. But I’m about to leave a job of over a decade and start a new one in an entirely different industry, so I figured it’s worth a mention.

It all happened very suddenly. I was about to take a few weeks off from work when I was contacted by a recruiter from Google. They wanted to know if I’d be interested in talking with them. I’m not an engineer by trade so I didn’t think I was particularly qualified. But heck, I was going to be on vacation, it’d be neat to see the campus, and it was a chance to talk to some interesting folks. Also, free lunch! So I scheduled a visit to go check it out on a Monday.

Well, the Google interviews are just as intense as they’re reputed to be. You really do need to prepare. I came out of them feeling pretty good about how I did, although I thought it was also pretty clear that this isn’t what I do for a living. But that Friday, I got a call from the recruiter and she wanted to talk about the “next steps”. And I was all, like, “Whuaaaaaaahhhhh?!”

In the end, I decided that it was an opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up. The Google Research group happened to be looking for someone with a background in computer graphics, graphics languages, and photorealistic rendering, which are all things I’m familiar with. Also, it’s a chance to work on a project and with people that are completely new to me. So it’s incredibly exciting.

But it’s also hard to leave something that I’ve known for over a decade. And because of the suddenness of it all, there are a lot of “lasts” that I didn’t realize at the time. I didn’t realize that Monsters University might be the last movie I work on or that its wrap party might be the last I attend. But life is often like that. I had no idea that the last time I saw my dad would be the last. And the same goes with some friends. I recently saw Life of Pi again there’s a quote that stuck with me: “I suppose in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go, but what always hurts the most is not taking a moment to say goodbye.” I realize the truth of that sentiment and I wish I’d been better about it in the past. So I’ve spent the last couple weeks trying to be cognizant of the significance of those moments.

But change is good. I feel exhilarated by the fact that it’s even possible to make this big of a change. Part of me is terrified but I know in my heart that no matter what happens, this was the right choice to make. On to the future!

8 Responses to “New Day Job”

  1. vicki coya Says:

    Good luck sound like a great opportunity

  2. Strohan Says:

    Congrats on the new job!

  3. Tami Says:

    Happy Birthday! Wish you have a special wonderful Day and blessed year to come with new job. あなたにとって特に記念に成る素晴らしい日でありますように、そして新しく始まる年を主が豊かに祝福して下さるように祈っています。

  4. Rob Lee Says:

    what an exciting time! congratulations on having the courage to take the leap of faith. Also, your comments about letting go are exactly on point. good work!

  5. MSG Says:

    Cool. I always like reading your more poignant moments. You seem like a sensitive soul. Like your post about seeing the Venus crossing.

    Anyways, just curious, I’ve heard that you need to take a pretty brutal logic test to work at Google Research. Did you have to take that? It’s like an intense IQ test, or something. I saw the exam once, and I thought it was pretty hard.

  6. Mach Says:

    Thanks. And the interviews were definitely hard. I didn’t get any logic tests but they did pose hard problems and I had to write functions to solve them — in half an hour, on a whiteboard, while talking out loud about what I was doing.

  7. MSG Says:

    Damn. I hate interviews like that. Props. Good luck, and do a post in several months from now on how you’re liking (or not liking) Google. I know some people who work there–not in Research, though.

  8. Judi Says:

    Wow. Congrats on the new job! I totally respect the guts it took to leave your well-established position at Pixar and move into an environment that’s far more challenging and somewhat intimidating.

    You’ll definitely be missed in Emeryville. But this definitely sounds like the right decision.