Yes, after four plus years, I turned in my notice over two weeks ago and left my job with Astaro; it was an odd feeling saying goodbye to the place and realizing I would be the “new guy” once again. However, this is balanced out by the company I was headed to… Turbine, Inc., makers of Lord of the Rings Online.
The dream has come true; I’ve landed a job with a gaming company, a successful one at that. I’ll be working as a web developer and have made it through my first week. While it is a game company, I’ve already seen the typical office shenanigans, politics, etc. After all, this is a company trying to make business, and business is always going on as usual. Still, there is a fundamental difference in the vibe of the office – plenty of toys, lots of monitors, and very little overhead light.
Getting to Turbine was a long, strange ride; I had been considering a new job for a long time but never worked up the energy to find one. Last October, fate seemed to be nudging my immovable arse when a recruiter from Google rang me. Went through a few months of phone screens with different departments, but nothing more ever came from them.
Then in January, I was thrown for a loop when YouTube wanted to fly me out for an on-site interview. Score! Who wouldn’t want to work for them; flew out and was treated to an interesting day. They had just moved into their new digs, which were quite impressive. The interviews went as expected; many obtuse logic/programming questions that really had little bearing on what I would actually be doing if I got the position.
When I was having lunch with the hiring manager, he asked me what sort of questions his team was asking. After he heard my answer, he paused briefly and said “Yeah… I don’t think I could get hired here anymore.” That sums up my feelings on most programming interviews these days; most of these questions are designed to show you just how small your intellectual dick is compared to the interviewer’s. Flew back home and found out shortly after that they didn’t want to pursue things further; I’ll never know if it was because they felt my skills weren’t up to snuff or if the fact they would have to relocate me tipped the scales against me.
Was quite crushed after that; would have loved to moved to California and worked in that building. Couldn’t be down for too long though; a fire was burning in me, making me want to find something new to do. Threw my resume on Monster, hooked up with a recruiter, and started more phone screens. I applied to Turbine directly via Monster and had a phone screen with them soon after. Had two phone screens with Amazon also; that was an even odder process than what I had experienced with Google and YouTube. Seemed very disorganized.
Was brought in for an interview with Turbine and faced the most straightforward session I’ve had since… hell, I can’t remember when. The questions were directly related to the position requirements; no cock and bull about ransom notes, big O notation, elaborate sorting schemes with no practical use. Came out feeling good, a feeling that was confirmed when they offered me the job.
The rest is now on-going history…