Now It Can Be Told
What new in my life?
Well, quite a lot, actually.
See, I'm going to be leaving Madison sometime in the next five or six weeks, moving to California, and starting a new job at Apple Computer.
As the copy on the Apple Store read around the time the iMac came out: Pro. Go. Whoa.
And, of course, my recent California trip was mainly to go out there and interview, although of course I really did have a fine time enjoying the weather and hanging out with friends.
So the interview went very well, Apple made me an offer that sounded pretty good, and this week I gave notice at work and have been hammering out specific dates and generally working through the logistics of moving.
What will I be doing? Working on WebObjects.
I don't naturally find it easy to keep secrets, especially secrets that are mainly about myself, so I found this difficult and uncomfortable, but the sheer unanimity of opinion in this matter convinced me to follow this route. Which, of course, is why I never mentioned it here.
Fortunately, now that the cat is out of the bag, people at work have been handling it entirely professionally. I guess it makes sense in the case of my boss and of his boss that they've each been in the business for quite a while, have probably worked more than one job themselves, and recognize that people tend to move around in the business world, for a variety of reasons. It's very flattering that people have told me that my departure will be keenly felt on my team. I've been trying to work out a departure schedule that won't leave them completely in the lurch (i.e., with some big half-finished project that someone else needs to jump into).
I hope I've handled it well. This is all so new to me; I've never changed jobs before.
It also helps that Apple has been very enthusiastic about hiring me. I'm actually a little taken aback at that; I am a rather reserved person and don't perhaps 'market' myself as well as some do. But hey, I'm not complaining.
It's nice to be wanted at two places, and the decision was made less painful (although not any easier to make) when I realized that my choice was between two basically good options. How often does that happen?
I'm not so much leaving Madison as I am going to California. I have a number of friends out there, including my best friend from high school, Rob, and one of my best friends from Madison, John. Plus, my friend Karen here in Madison will hopefully be finishing up her Ph.D. soon, and will therefore be leaving town - and may even end up in the Bay Area! Yes, I certainly have other friends in Madison, so in a sense this is a wash.
The real reason, I think, is to try something new. To live in a new part of the country, and one which I found rather attractive when I was there last year. To live in Silicon Valley, the mecca (more-or-less) of hackerdom in the 80s and 90s. To once again live in a major urban area (with a major baseball team [two if you count the Athletics]). To just generally have a change and see what I think. I've been in Madison for over seven years, and if I want to try something new, doing so while I'm still fairly young and while I'm single is the time to do it.
And yeah, although I've tried to deny it, I think there's a little of the "Apple mystique" in there. Not many companies really have that sort of mystique, companies that have changed their industry more than once.
When I was a freshman in college, there was a guy down the hall who had interned at Apple for a summer, and he had some neat stories to tell. It was hard to imagine back then, as a freshman with an undeclared major and untrained programming skills, that I'd ever be able to work at Apple. This was in 1987, when Apple was perhaps at the height of its powers. It wasn't just "Apple", it was APPLE!
So there's a little of that.
The big trick, and the big worry, is going to be getting my cats out to California. Movers will be coming to take my stuff, and even my car, and I'll have a place to stay while I look for an apartment. But basically when the big day to leave comes, I need to:
Everything else should be easy in comparison. There are some bookkeeping matters involved in changing jobs (rolling over my 401K, for instance), and I have to deal with turning off my utilities and dealing with bank accounts and drivers licenses. Not to mention saying goodbye to my friends in Madison. But I don't think any of that will be hard. It's really my cats I'm worried about.
I love my cats. You may have noticed. They're my kids.
If nothing else, I bet I'll be playing a lot more Bridge.