xela: Photo of me (me)

Have I mentioned that I love my new job? I think I in fact may not have.

Well, I do.


I was just getting ready to leave about fifteen minutes ago, when I heard my VP and a business-side co-worker having a frustrated conversation. A frustrated conversation I was pretty sure I recognized the gist of, from having heard hundreds of conversations like it over the years. One of those conversations people have when Microsoft has once again led them down the garden path — straight into an ambush.

I wandered over and made sure I understood exactly what they were trying to do. And then we essentially did

Doctor, it hurts when I do this!"

Don't do that!
And I got at least a chuckle out of everyone. And now I get to them find a way to do that task that doesn't hurt. Or at least, doesn't hurt as much. And I get to go home feeling genuinely useful.

I like that feeling. And I've been getting it a lot more here than ... well, certainly than at my last job.

xela: Photo of me (Default)
So, how do people use LinkedIn? I only send invitations to people I actually know and have had, in some sense, a work relationship with; I only accept invitations from such people, or from people the quality of whose work I consider myself to be reasonably well-informed about, via their reputation among our shared friends.

My rationale is that, if Zoe gets in touch with me saying there's a job at Yves' company she's interested in, and could I introduce her? I want to be able to honestly tell Yves either that I know Zoe's work first hand, and she's excellent, or that I know her work's reputation, and it's excellent.

This means I decline (or simply don't respond to) around 20% of the invitations I receive. But I keep hearing that the point of LinkedIn is to expand your network as much as possible. Am I being too conservative?
xela: Photo of me (Default)
I am in the market for a new job, and would appreciate your help. My resumé is at http://www.mit.edu/~xela/resume.html — feel free to give that URL to anyone who might be interested.

I am looking for one of two disjoint types of work
To quote the 'Objective' section of my resumé: To manage a top-notch team of technical professionals doing work that matters. We built a fantastic team at TERC, and I played a big role in that, recruiting and motivating a group of really smart people who did great work. I'm good at managing and motivating nerds, and really good at helping non-technical people understand and articulate how technology can help them achieve their goals, and at translating that understanding into coherent technical requirements. And I truly love this kind of work.

Or

A job with regular hours that would leave me both the mental energy and the time to finally finish my degree. (The point of which would be to improve my odds of getting the first kind of job.)

Please let me know if you hear of anything that might suit me. Thank you.
xela: Photo of me (Default)
I would like again to thank everyone who commented on previous drafts.

New revision at http://xela.yakshavers.net/resume.html. That's the URL I will start giving to prospective employers on Monday, so if you know anyone who might be interested in me, feel free to pass it along. Mostly this is fine-tuning of the last version, except for the Yakshavers section. Please if you have any further comments, and especially if you see any glaring problems, let me know.
xela: Photo of me (Default)
Had a fantastic day Saturday: got out, saw people, hung out with friends. Sunday was for the most part a lazy day around the house, until the evening when I learned of the untimely and rather horrible death of a man I did not know as well as I would have liked. What always struck me about Greg was that he always seemed such a fundamentally decent guy. And he was about my age, which is a little unusual in my social set, so I may have paid more attention to him than his quietness would otherwise have drawn. But I remember, when I sent out mail that probably reached around a thousand people announcing a dinner to celebrate the one year anniversary of my release from the hospital after my stroke, Greg replied, saying he was sorry he couldn't be there and congratulating me on my progress. just a little gesture of kindness — I remember that at the time it brought me a slight smile, thinking how perfectly that seemed in character with what little I knew of the man.

The manner of his death made me shudder. He made the 911 call, trapped in his house while it burned. I remembered finding myself on the floor of my room when I had my stroke, trying to drag myself to the phone, unable to lift my head off the floor or even crawl; gasping for breath and unable to get enough air no matter how hard I tried. I imagined it must have been much the same for Greg when he called 911. Except help did not arrive in time and he never did find enough air.

So I went to bed last night with a heavy heart, and didn't sleep well. Woke up ungodly early, and by 8:00 was sitting at my desk, doing paperwork. That's what I do when mortality makes its presence felt: I work. I've actually been consulting a little lately, and around 11:00 got a call that WAN installers had shown up at a client's office without bothering to schedule it with anyone first. Called a cab, got dressed, got to the client's within 20 minutes, and had everything organized in fairly short order. Spent the rest of the day at the client doing other things, then went to the datacenter and worked til almost 10:00 pm. So overall almost certainly the most productive day I've had since before my stroke.

I wish I'd known Greg well enough to cry for him. Instead, I'll retreat from the precipice into work. Greg was a geek; I think he'd understand.
xela: Photo of me (Default)

Having decided yesterday I'd rather be snowed in at the Zocalo if I was going to be snowed in, that's exactly what I did.

Well, that and unpack and organize and re-arrange furniture and hang out with housemates and just generally have a relaxing day. Well, except for the part where I was awakened at 6:00 a.m. by my phone getting email that our machine room was overheating. (I slept through the first alarm at 5:00.) I shutdown some non-essential machines, decided that as long as it stayed below about 40C it wasn't worth anybody going in to the office in a raging blizzard, and went back to sleep. Early in the afternoon Robby, who lives much closer to work, decided it would be a scenic walk to go to the office — for which I am most grateful. So he went in and reset the A/C (which is the usual cause of these events.) One consequence of all this is that we have a classic graph of what happens in a computer room with closed but not airtight doors when the A/C goes down for a few hours, and is then restored. I find the shape interesting:

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