Wed 05 May 2021
So, last week was my last week at Google. I'm writing this from the weird void of disbelief where I've not quite settled into the 6 or so weeks of time off I have before the new thing (which I'm trying not to talk about, because I do want to take this time really off).
It seems customary, almost, for long-time Googlers (and especially SREs, for some reason) to go into the reasons why they left. A sort of "Why daveoc is leaving" doc/rant/diatribe, which generally gets people riled up.
In realiy, I could probably invent such a doc. I'm unhappy with many things G is doing -- but, that's not the primary reason (or in the top three) reasons I'm leaving.
In short, if I had to narrow things down, it'd come down to:
- I've been at G too long -- I mean in general principles. 17 years is a very long time to do anything. You're not the same as everyone else. You have baggage, either your own or other people's.
- I want to see if I can do the things I enjoyed at G elsewhere, and be successful. I mean, I am pretty sure I can, but there's knowing and then there's knowing.
- I've always imagined that at some point I'll work remotely properly. 10-15 years ago, I imagined both the technology and work practices would evolve to make it workable. I hoped that this would happen during my working life, and it looks kind of like it has. It's definitely possible to find a company taking remote work seriously. G have been pretty open about not doing that. The office is still king for them, and that's fine. But, I want to try it seriously.
- I also feel like I should be more public about what I do - I've had a few external tech talks, but not a huge number -- I've had a number of papers I published internally at Google that people have taken lessons from (one even made it into the book, and some others can be found in sanitised form in my Writing section). I of course had the ability to do so at G, but for various reasons I hadn't gotten into the swing of it.
- I happened to find a role that ticked all the above boxes and more.
So, that's it. I continue the journey with bridges unburned, but hands firmly wiped.
Of course, to coincide with being a jobless hippie for a little while, my new bike showed up and got collected today -- just in time for a lovely spell of a few days of showers. Ireland's lockdown is easing to inter-county travel from next Monday, so I suspect this machine will be getting some exercise in the coming weeks. That's about as much as I've figured out about what I'm doing. Which, to me, sounds pretty fine right now.