Last year some time, I wrote a post about being giddily excited about working at a “dream” job in Portland.
A little over a year later, I find myself back in the Bay, back where my Silicon Valley career started. I know for some people, working at a place in different disciplines can be a rewarding experience. Finance, marketing, management, etc., probably thrive in corporate environments. But when you are a creative engineer, who wants to create impact, get things done, solve challenging problems, and dream big, an overbearing corporate bureaucracy can crush you to a pulp.
I used to always take company culture for granted until I actually experienced one phenomenally bad (for me). I have never spent so much time in meetings, had more meetings to quantify the previous meetings, spent more time wondering why JIRA tickets aren’t in the right column/state than solving issues for consumers, had code “reviews” more focused on the fact that a line is commented out instead of the performance of an algorithm or memory, getting more grief for being 10 seconds late to a standup instead of celebrating progress in the standup, being completely unaligned with product/design because “you are an engineer, not a designer”, ….
I must say, my manager at my previous company warned me. He was worried about me going to a place that wasn’t focused solely on engineering given my talents. I believe I owe him a bottle of wine or 4.
Needless to say, I am so happy to be back in an engineering focused environment. One where I can actually focus on creating delightful user experiences, work with stunning colleagues aligned with the same goals, and getting things done. Or as you would say, just doing it.