Friday, April 17, 2009

SalaryTweeter prototype put live....

Last weekend one of my coworkers and I finished up a prototype Twitter bot we'd been working on. Read more about the PayScale SalaryTweeter.

You'll have to understand some Twitter parlance to understand what I'm about to type... but here goes anyways. To use the SalaryTweeter you can just tweet your salary questions at it. Within a minute, the SalaryTweeter will tweet back at you with the answer. Go ahead, ask some salary questions.

First post in a long time. I'm taking baby-steps back into this... so this is a pretty short post. Maybe I'll have more later.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

My Latest Project Launches: PayScale Meeting Miser

PayScale Meeting Miser
Have you ever wanted to know how much the meeting you were in was costing? Back when I was working at a huge company, I felt like I often had to go to big and boring meetings. More than once I figured out an approximate cost of the meeting, and more than once I was a little flabbergasted by how easy it is to rack up a $3,000 meeting.
Back when I started at PayScale, my coworkers were listing off all of the projects that I would be working on in the next couple of months... and this was one of them. This project made sense to me, and I knew exactly who was going to be using it. me.
So, give the Meeting Miser a try, and see if you think its as cool as I do :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Why PayScale is Better than Boeing

A couple of months ago, I asked a friend if they wanted to come work for PayScale. They responded: "How do you think working at PayScale is compared to working at Boeing?" Well, I answered question... and decided that I liked my response enough to post it.




Our office is in Pioneer Square

Their offices are in Renton, or Everett, or Auburn, or Bellevue, or BFI. You don’t get to decide where you’ll be, and you will be expected to drive between the places

For lunch, you have the option to go one of several cheap and delicious establishments. Most notably is the world famous Salumi. But don’t forget about Tat’s Deli, Bakeman’s, The New Orleans, and many others.

Boeing’s lunch cafĂ©. You’ll be able to choose from rubbery meat, an iceberg-lettuce salad bar, or a Snapple. Nothing delicious; everything overpriced.

You’ll be working on stuff that people actually see, use and find helpful in life

You’ll be working on an internal system to track other internal systems so that “upper management” can complain that we have too many internal systems.

You’re 1 out of 55

You’re 1 out of 155,000

You get lots of stock options

You get ShareValue Trust (which is pretty damn sweet)

You don’t like how something is going? Go talk to the CEO, or the VP of Engineering… their offices are 20 feet away and they’re always willing to listen

You don’t like how something is going? Go talk to your manager, who will talk to his manager, who will talk to his/her colleague, who will talk to one of their employees, who is the person in charge of the project you’re working on… and maybe things can change.

You have a good idea how we can make money? Sweet… we’ll put it into the dev cycle.

You have a good idea? Too bad, the Chairman’s Innovation Initiative got shut down. Your manager’s budget is already too overbooked. Their manager’s budget isn’t doing any better. While the company is on one of the strongest up-swings it’s ever had… every group there is having to cut budget.

Want to go to a conference? Sweet, that sounds like a good idea. Take good notes because this conference looks really good

Um… yeah. Submit your request to the Conference Attendance Core Team for approval. While the CACT recognizes that this conference looks good, there is not enough time to get all the necessary approvals for your request. Plus, do you really want to use Travel Manager?

Remember: A lot of people love working for Boeing; it just wasn't the place for me. There are lots of reasons to work for Boeing, they're just documented elsewhere in this blog.

Monday, June 25, 2007

PayScale on ScobleShow

Its funny about the little things that change when you move to a small company. When I was at Boeing, there were (and still are) dozens of articles written every day about Boeing, most of them being totally insignificant to the company. Now, being at a Startup... every article that comes out is important.
Robert Scoble interviewed PayScale's founder, Joe Giordano, recently for the ScobleShow. Joe talks about PayScale's methodology, our search technology, and he mentions one of the features that we're working on right now: the Job Flower (although, that name is totally unofficial and will be changing :-)). If you want to hear about it, he mentions it at about minute 19 in the video.
Why am I excited about the Job Flower? Because its my first major project at PayScale.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Boeing Pays the Bills

I recently got, what I assume is, my last check from Boeing. As you can see... it is for $0.20 (twenty cents). Yes, I'm glad that Boeing's accounting system is precise enough to notice that they still owe me $.20. Now comes the a great question:
Did they really mail it? or was it direct desposited?
Guess what kids: they sent me a real check.

Is the check worth the paper it is printed on?
I'm going to guess no. This is pretty thick paper and its got watermarks on it. I'm going to estimate that this piece of paper cost $.40

Was it worth the time?
For me, yes it was. This check is comedic-gold. I've been carrying it around for a week showing it to all of my friends.
For Boeing, probably not. At Boeing, we would assume that it costs anywhere between $100 to $150 an hour to get something done. So if we use $100/hour, that comes out to about $.03/second. So, if someone spent 7 or more seconds reviewing this check... then it wasn't worth it. I'll estimate that it took 10 seconds of review to get this check out the door, which is $.30.

What about postage?
So, I guess this means that the envelope is worth more than the check itself. It cost $.33 to mail the check. Tack on a few cents for the actual envelope, and we're up to $.35.

$.40 for the check paper
$.30 for labor
$.35 for the envelope and postage
$1.05 as a total... not including the $.20 they paid me.
$1.25 all together
And to compute efficiency, I'm going to divide what they owed me by the total... and it comes out to 16%.

All that said... I miss all my Boeing friends. I hope you're all doing well. And, if you have a spare 787 Launch Pass... you should probably email me.

Update: Through some more magic of Boeing's accounting system, I just got another check. This one for the staggering sum of $0.88.

Arbitrary Milestones

I am talking to my friend Zaheer on the phone... and I mentioned that I was about to break 60,000 page views to this website (according to my stat tracker). Zaheer visited the site, became the 60,000th visitor to Doing Boeing. Thanks for playing Zaheer. He doesn't actually win anything, but I still think its cool.

More arbitrary milestones:
  • 3 years before May 11th, I wrote my first blog post about Boeing.
  • This is the 140th published post to this blog
    • I wrote several posts after frustrating days at work, but decided against posting them
  • May 30th was my 25th birthday
  • Today was my one month anniversary at my new job
  • I paid my first mortgage payment on June 1st

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Unofficial Boeing Intern Guide

I get this question every year: "What should I do while I'm in Seattle." or something of that nature.
  • If you're working in Renton: you need to go to lunch at Cedar River Smokehouse. Its awesome. They've got great BBQ sandwiches.
  • Go to the intern classes. I used to help run them. They're really fun, and the teachers are good friends of mine. They get some really interesting people to come talk at them. Every once in a while, the speaker brings some free stuff to give out too.
  • Go on every tour you can. Make sure you get your manager's approval.... but s/he should be totally cool with it.
    • Everett factory tour is cool... the non-public tour is sweet.
    • The wind tunnel is pretty sweet too. They don't have this tour ever year, so take it if you can
    • The flight simulators are cool (duh)
    • Surprisingly... the tour of the Bellevue Data Center is pretty damn cool too. Or maybe I'm just a huge nerd and I'm the only one that thinks its cool
  • Don't eat lunch at your desk. Go find other interns or new hires to eat with. I know its nice to get to leave work 30 minutes early... but seriously... make some damn friends.
  • Go rafting with the whitewater club (BEWET)
While you're in Seattle for the summer:
  • Get a sandwich (the Midnight Cuban) from Paseo's in Fremont
  • Get a sandwich from Salumi in Pioneer Square
  • go take a picture of Seattle at Sunset from Kerry Park on Queen Anne
  • get to Bite of Seattle at the Seattle Center
  • Find your way onto a boat for the hydro races at Seafair. You'll love your life if you do.
  • Go to a Mariners game. Buy the cheap tickets and hang out in the beer garden.
If you're old enough to drink:
  • Fremont is the "chill" drinking area. Only one of the bars has a dance floor, and the rest are just bars... and lots of them have decks.
  • If you really want to go "clubbing" I guess Pioneer Square is where you'd want to head (although, I generally avoid this scene).
  • If you want a "fancy" night of drinking and perhaps some dancing: Go to Belltown.
There are some good day trips too:
And... unless you really need to save the money... this is my advice: Spend every cent that you make this summer. Have the summer of your life. When I was an intern, I came out at the end of the summer with about enough money to buy a BBQ.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Done with Boeing

I've made a big decision: I've left Boeing.

I guess I'm not sure what else to say. Why did I leave? Honestly, its because I wanted something new. I'd been at Boeing for 2 years, 3 months, and 10 days... and I felt like I was beginning to stagnate.

What am I doing now? Tomorrow (Monday) is my first day at my new job. I'm going to be Program Manager at

What is going to happen to this blog? I'm not sure yet. I plan on leaving it online indefinitely. Will I keep writing to it? yes. Indefinitely? probably not. I've got lots of material left to blog about, I just have to find the time.