More interviews today: mini-quizzes, company pitches, summarizing my adult life, imagining different sets of possible futures. I took a forty-minute video call in a phone booth in the App Academy office, and came out frazzled.
In two weeks I could have a real life job, and that seems so strange.
Whenever I go to interviews I’m going to look up and wonder what it would be like to walk there every day, to have that particular skyline, the scent of that neighborhood, frame my mornings and evenings for at least the next year or two. What’s most important, of course, is who I’ll be working with, but the office’s surroundings make my very first impression, and everything cascades from there.
Most of my worry about the job search has evaporated, though – I’ll have something soon.
Leave a place for as short a time as two months, and when you return the changes will astound you – at least a little. Bridges has had this slow accumulation of changes, from the restyled route labels to a new set of floodproof crash pads (still being installed – hence the array of plywood). Kotaro has even cut his hair; it took a few moments of mental reconfiguration to recognize him.
Life always has this slow procession of changes. You notice them more when you look away, like astonished rarely-seen relatives with their my-how-you’ve-growns.
Kotaro is leaving for far-off climbing adventures soon, so my climbing company will continue to flow onward. People come and go, but it is lovely while they’re here.
white and green and grey
I had my first coding job interview today. I was given a series of whiteboard challenges, as we were told there would be, and I think it went fairly well – I was able to talk out the puzzles as I worked on them, and my interviewers pitched in their own ideas here and there. It may well be that this line of arcs here becomes a common sight, framing the beginning and end of each day.
I like the interviewing process for coding positions. They’re very much focused on learning your way of thinking, and how you approach problems, rather than on discrete facts you know or cliché greatest-weakness-style questions. Programmer-interviewers know what can be learned quickly and what can’t, so they can ask the right things to know capable you are.
It feels like a fair fight, you could say – you come out knowing you were well represented.
Whew. Lots more to go. Another chapter is nearing its end, perhaps.
I joined Pearce, his brother and Brittany on Pearce’s birthday hike today as we set out for the peak of Mount Saint Helena. It was about a ten-mile hike round-trip – just the sort of revival I needed after eleven weeks of App Academy.
Winding roads brought us to the start of our trail, which felt very much like the forested paths around UC Santa Cruz until we came to a cave of red stone. A crack at the top let sun in, and we climbed around the outside of it to reach our first view of the rippling valley below.
We swapped the forest path for a fire trail, rather like the one we found in Berkeley, and for the rest of our ascent we could see great swathes of the world, and the sun painting its tones and shadows across the hills.
At the summit we found other hikers midway through a small party, playing music and eating food, and they offered us a few treats – fruit and peanut butter, carrots and hummus.
Landscape views are lovely in a way that photographs can’t quite capture – you need to be absorbed in it, feel yourself surrounded by a circular horizon.
My legs are worn thin now, in the best way. I need more of this in my life; I’m glad to have Pearce and Brittany for company, and to be able to go on adventures with them.
fistful of peanuts
Our friends are all indisposed at the moment, so it was just me and Laurel today. I put out more applications and starting building a successor to this blog, and Laurel made her Inktober for the day and went on various virtual chaotic-evil adventures.
A quiet day, but at least we had each other for it.
just the right amount of foam
Yuriy brought some substantial photography equipment to App Academy today, offering to take headshots of any students who wanted one. He did a great job of it, directing everyone to make all the necessary minor adjustments to posture and expression, asking them the names of loved ones to summon smiles. While he stood on the ladder, bearing the heavy lens, other students held the soft boxes that would provide the perfect lighting, turning our slightly dingy office into a real studio.
When we’re all through with this, hopefully I can do some more shooting with Yuriy – I’ve never given studio photography a real chance.
We went out to a Rails meetup tonight – one of many gatherings where masters of code share techniques and philosophies from their craft. It was a long walk from the Academy, and a spontaneous decision to go, but the streets are full of lights and the night was welcoming.
We’ll all find some solid ground very soon. It’ll happen.