A little over three years ago, I opened a purple box containing a job offer and some boring forms to sign. It yodeled at me when I opened it. That’s when I knew I’d made the right choice in deciding to join Yahoo!.
Working on Yahoo! Search has been an incredible experience. I can now say that I’ve written code that’s used by hundreds of millions of people around the world. I can also say that I’ve broken code that’s used by hundreds of millions of people around the world (fortunately that only happened once). During my time there I did a little bit of everything, from writing build tools and pushing pixels around for bucket tests to leading frontend development on the September 2009 Search redesign—the biggest in the history of Yahoo! Search—which the team managed to pull off in only a matter of months.
At its best, working on Search was exciting and fulfilling in a way no other job has been for me; at its worst, it was stressful and relentlessly demanding. But whether it was exciting or stressful, fulfilling or demanding, I always learned something new every day, and I got to work with some of the smartest people in the business. As far as I’m concerned, that’s what makes a thing worth doing.
It’s in this spirit that I’m launching myself on a new journey. Not an altogether different one—I’ll still be at Yahoo!—but certainly one that I expect will be both incredibly challenging and a lot of fun. As a member of the YUI team, I’ll get to work on an awesome project that I love, with awesome people from whom I will doubtless learn truly epic amounts of stuff on a daily basis.
A little over three years ago, if someone had told me I’d be this lucky, I wouldn’t have believed them.
Before interviewing for a job, it’s reasonable and responsible to do some research on the people who are scheduled to interview you. This research might involve doing a few web searches to find out more about them, see what kinds of things they work on, maybe even learn about their interests so you can make small talk before the interview. That’s perfectly fine; they’ll be doing searches on you for the same reasons.
After waiting a reasonable amount of time following the interview (one to two weeks), it’s okay to email or call an interviewer or recruiter and ask for a status update. What’s not okay, though, is stalking an interviewer after the interview. Don’t send your interviewer friend requests on Facebook, Flickr, MySpace, Twitter, or any other social network. Don’t post comments on their personal blog mentioning the interview. LinkedIn is a grey area, but it’s probably best not to try to connect with your interviewer unless you’re offered a job (connecting with recruiters is probably okay).
Remember that your relationship with your interviewer is a business relationship, not a personal relationship, and it does not extend to blogs, social networks, and other non-work-related websites. Trying to wedge yourself into an interviewer’s personal life is rude and annoying, and it’s likely to give the interviewer a negative impression of your personality, even if you did well in the actual interviews.
You know how, when something really incredible happens to you that you had always sort of dreamed about but never thought would actually happen, there’s this adjustment period where it just doesn’t feel real? And you feel pretty much the same as you always did, but then occasionally the full realization of what’s happened hits you, just for a minute or two, and leaves you kind of stunned? That’s how the last few weeks have been for me.
I’ve accepted a job at Yahoo! as a Senior Web Developer on the Yahoo! Search team. In the coming weeks, Felicity and I will be leaving the drizzly Pacific Northwest and moving down to sunny Santa Clara, California. We’re both pretty excited.
I remember a conversation Felicity and I had a few years ago when I was feeling depressed about my job at the time, which was pretty boring and unfulfilling. She asked me what company I would want to work for if I could work for any company in the world, and I told her I’d want to work for Yahoo! because it seemed like a really fun place to work.
When I tore open the purple box containing my official offer letter and it actually yodeled at me, I knew I had made the right choice.