The day I turned 24

Today, I turn 24, one year away from a quarter of a century. This last year has brought so much change, so many good times. I have a wife. A new job at one of the best companies in the world. I have amazing friends and family. I have a new home in San Jose. I have an God that has blessed me far more than I could have ever hoped or imagined.

Thank you to everyone who’s been a part of my life. Thank you everyone that has encouraged me and pushed me forward. Many many thanks to my wonderful wife who loves and supports me, to the family that has always been there for me, to the friends that have always been behind me and around me.

It’s been an amazing year.

Welcome to Google

I work at Google.

Over the last 5 weeks, I’ve transitioned into a whole new world. I’ve always been on the outskirts, used the tools, apps, search and everything else. I still remember how I first heard about Google. He described to me as a “Website where you can type things in and it’ll find it for you.” (Brian, I’m looking at you) over 10 years ago. I still remember writing down “www.google.com” on a little scrap of paper, never knowing that someday I’d actually be working for that then little company.

It’s intimidating. Going from a great little company of around 20 people, to a global tech company whose name has become a verb in the english language because of how engrained into our culture this company has become. I’m looking forward the challenge. A whole new set of language, tools, and platforms. It’s so much to learn and take in. At times it feels like trying to drink from a firehose with the sheer quantity of information that is just thrown your way. It’s the kind of challenge I enjoy, and hopefully, will excel at.

As I sit on the GBus with WiFi writing this post and headed for the set of buildings collectively known as the Googleplex, I feel like I’m back in school. It’s incredible to think back on where I’ve been, the things that have happened to get me too this point, and on all the possibilities that the future holds.

Let the adventures continue.

Farewell InterKnowlogy, thanks for all the fish

As some of you may know, this last Friday (August 3rd) was my last day at InterKnowlogy. It has been a fantastic experience working with and being there for the past 3.33 years (1215 days to be exact). But, like all good things, there comes a time a better opportunity comes along that you just can’t resist. If you don’t know already, you’ll hear about it shortly.

I’ve been extremely fortunate to have started my career at InterKnowlogy. It has been incredible to work with people of that caliber, people who are not just technical, but people who genuinely care about the work they do and the people around them. I’ve been invested in and mentored during my time there and it’s to all of them that I owe the experience and skills that I have today. I know that these experiences will continue to shape me throughout my career. So to all of you who who are reading this that have helped me along the way: Thank you!

My best wishes and continued success to InterKnowlogy and all the people that work there,

You rock,

Paul

Sharing Is Broken

I have a big pet peeve on the web. I know. It’s another rant of mine that may or may not turn into a good idea. (Queue appropriate XKCD reference xkcd.com/386/). Here it is: There is no good way to post something in one place, and share it everywhere else automatically, in whatever format is best for the site it’s being posted too.

For instance, I’m sitting here writing this blog post, and I want to share my verbal tirade with the world. Specifically, I want to post it on my blog, which happens to be based on WordPress. WordPress has this nice clean RSS feed feature that cool people like you can use to subscribe to my blog updates. Now, I’m half in half out of this whole ‘Social Media’ thing, and I have accounts on most major sites, apps hooked up on my phone and so on, but it’s a pain to update everything at once. All I want to do is share this awesome post with the world in whatever medium the rest of the world is using, and keep control of my data so that if Facebook accidentally pushes out an update that melts every single hard drive in every one of of there servers, I still have a backup. But that’s another discussion. Unfortunately, RSS feeds don’t cut it because the rest of the world is uncool and doesn’t use Google Reader or some similar app. So, once I post my blog, I put the title and a link and post it on Twitter. Put a mini excerpt and put it on Facebook. Put another excerpt on Google+. Email the parents. Print it out for the Grandparents and mail it. You get the idea. Twitter I can automate. Facebook I can kinda automate via twitter. And Google+ is the awesome social media site without a programming interface in the corner. Damn you Google+. Why do I love thee so much?

We live in the modern age. So why can’t I have a service, or an app, or a tool that takes my post, and cross posts it across the “Big 3”? Heck. I’ll write my post in markdown so the app doesn’t have to strip and process out all the simple html tags out of my post incorrectly. So, until some smart person comes up with a GOOD solution, I’m going run this show on intern power. Good ‘ol human labor.

Blogging Done Right

It’s weird to write about blogging. Its like a recursive, self referencing thought that works in the real world but throws exceptions inside my brain. It something we look at, see many people do, and don’t do ourselves. Blogging consistently is Hard. Capital H. I always have things to say. Writing them is whats hard. Refining them is hard. Deciding if my non-existent-audience would want to read what I’m writing is hard. I’m constantly finding things that I don’t think would make a good blog post, or don’t have the time to write something I feel is worth reading. So I’m not going to try to write good blog posts. I’m just going to write about what interests me. If you like it, great! If not, welcome to the other 7 billion 36 million 776 thousand and 270 people in this world right now. (Don’t you love the Internet? independent research, unverifiable stats, random sites with javascript tickers? Yeah, it’s awesome)

Besides, no one reads my blog anyways. Except you. Congratulations. Hi.

I think this was all sparked by Steve Yegge. I ran across his post on phone screening when I was looking for some guidelines on interviewing people. I mean come on, the guy worked at Amazon and now Google, so you know he’s smart. Then you start reading and realize its half practical, half satire, and all slightly funny at the same time. Just what I needed. If your a programmer and want something entertaining to read, read his tour of programming languages: https://sites.google.com/site/steveyegge2/tour-de-babel

More to the topic at hand, I haven’t posted something on my site since January, and I have a pile of notes just SITTING around waiting to be turned into nice neat, well formed blog posts. But that doesn’t matter, not unless they’re actually turned into blog posts. Which as I suck at doing consistently. Thus The Final Conclusion™ is that I just need to write. Then write more. Then get better by DOING on a regular basis and improving my writing as I go along and not being THAT perfectionist. You know, the one that has to have the perfect article at the perfect time correctly targeted at just the right audience… that doesn’t exist. Like I said, no one reads my blog anyways.

So this is a kick in my own pants. A reminder to not care about what people think. To write about what interests me.