Seattle is a city full of terrific restaurants with amazing food. And after living there for four years, I’m pretty happy that I probably ate at ~80% of them. But that means that there’s still probably over a dozen places that are really tasty which I didn’t try out. Even in my last few weeks living there, I was finding little gems, in the form of lunch trucks around the city or small places in Pike’s Place. Given that SF has at least an order of magnitude more restaurants, and the average quality is higher due to the inherent competition, a new strategy was needed.
This week was my first week at Stripe, and so far it’s been a thrilling experience, even though my mind is still coping with the overload of information it’s been subjected to. The people have been extremely friendly and welcoming. The office is both great and in a great location. The food is tasty and the beer selection is spectacular.
I wanted to outline some of the details of my on-boarding process, and compare it to my previous on-boarding at Microsoft. Also, as someone who’s been using various enterprise technologies from Microsoft, I was very curious to see what the equivalents are in a small company, so this post will outline many of them.
Back in high school and college I used to write. Sometimes quite a lot. Sometimes only for myself and sometimes I would publish them publicly. The things I wrote were varied: thoughts, ideas, speeches, articles, reviews, technology etc.
After I joined Microsoft I wasn’t writing as much. I stopped doing public speaking, so that dropped off completely. Thoughts and ideas were the first to go. And for a while, I attempted to keep a technical blog (on my newly minted MSDN address), but that was also rather short lived. Slowly but surely, the only things I would write were Facebook posts, and even those were mostly check-ins and photos.
The excuses are many, and none unique: time, laziness, complacency. Carry a notepad with me; what am I, a savage? Pen and paper are for my parents, I keep everything digitally. But obviously I’m not carrying a laptop with me all the time. And typing on the phone, while appropriate for text messages, is rather inconvenient for anything longer or formatted. After all, nobody reads the things I publish, and nobody really knows about the things I don’t.
Somewhere along the way, I lost track of why I was writing in the first place. It was to organize my thoughts. It was to improve my communication skills. And it was for me to keep a history of things that I would otherwise forget. It was never about getting other people’s attention, and if a post I wrote helped someone, great; but it was never a goal.