Sunday, September 17, 2006

A New York Story...

There is one interview that I never blogged about. After being at Boeing for about 3 months, I was contacted by Joel Spolsky of Fog Creek Software. I had applied there when I was looking for jobs my senior year of college. Since Joel is internet-famous for running a fun-to-work-at company and for his musing on software development practices... I gladly accepted the interview. Yes, I was torn about only being at Boeing for a few months... but this was an opportunity to work at a small software company in Manhattan, so I thought I would give it a chance.
I was a West Coaster in Manhattan, so I figured I'd better get some of the touristy stuff done during my short 2 day New York excursion. I walked most of the way around Central Park, then made my way over to Times Square. I had to buy some pirated stuff from a "street merchant" while I was in Times Square, so I picked up a DVD and then a fake Rolex. The exchange went something like this:
  • Vendor: You want a watch? $200.
  • Me: How about $5?
  • Vendor: How about 2 for $20.
  • Me: How about 1 for $10.
The exchange was made, and I was the proud owner of a real fake Rolex. I went out to dinner with a friend, then called it a night.
I woke up the next morning bright and early (time zones and jet lag to blame), got ready, then headed over to breakfast. Of course, I'm proudly sporting my watch as I head into the corner deli. I get some coffee and a scone (or some sort of pastry), sit down, start reading my book and waiting for my interview. I figured I had to leave the deli around 9:30AM to make it to the office on time. I looked down at my watch, and its 9:10AM... lots of time left. I go back to reading. Check my watch, and its still not 9:30AM. I go back to reading. I check my watch. Still not 9:30AM. Am I hallucinating? or is time standing still? I stand up, and go look at the wall clock... its 9:45AM. I'm going to be 15 minutes late to my interview. crap. What happened? Well, I guess fake Rolexes only run for 18 hours before the finely machined pieces fall apart and quit running.
I ended up making it to the interview on time, but was subsequently eaten alive. The questions were hard, and I folded like a cheap Rolex. Oh well, I got a free trip to Manhattan and a good story.

Another Mashup

Its Sunday afternoon, and I have a few choices.
  • Watch my fantasy football team get pummeled.
  • Do homework.
  • Make another mashup
This is the Seattle Special mashup. Its 2 local startup companies.
    - This is for news and blogs. You read stories that interest you, and it personalizes the content for you automatically. Its pretty sweet technology.
  • - I've written about
    before (and you can see their widget on the right hand side of my
    blog). A great system for sharing information with your friends. They call it "Social Discovery."

So what does this littlemashup do? It takes your Top 25 tags from bluedot, and uses Findory to show blog posts that are related to that tag. There is definitely some room for improvement, but I just kind of wanted to get this pushed
out of the door, since I have a feeling I'm going to be the only one using it. Of course, feel free to email me or comment here with suggested improvements.

Without further ado, here is BDindory. Wait, that name is lame. Maybe I should call it Findotry. Whatever. Here is Bluedot+Findory.

-- EDIT: 17:10PDT 9/17/2006 --
Right now, this only works in Firefox. I don't know Javascript well enough to be able to diagnose and fix the problem. I've tested it in Internet Explorer, and it doesn't work. I don't know about Opera or other browsers. You can report your findings here.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Would you have thought...

Basically anything that exists in a city is duplicated at Boeing. We've
got our own medical facilities, our own fire department, our own
airports (kind of), our own news network, our own police department
(well, security department), etc. Most of these actually seem normal,
Think about about it. What does a normal police department do? They fight crime by:
  • Writing parking tickets
  • Giving away speeding tickets
  • investigating possible criminals

(I know its not an exhaustive list, but I'm going for comedy, not completeness)
You guessed it: Boeing Security does all of those things. I've actually gotten a parking ticket before... but getting one isn't really a big deal. They leave the ticket on your windshield and it says something to the effect: "Your manager will be notified." The more parking tickets you get, the more severe the consequences become. Thankfully, I'm not familiar with the upper-level consequences yet, but I hear you can get get unpaid days off (I thought that sounded like extra vacation days, but my manager informs me that these are bad things).
I haven't gotten a speeding ticket yet, but I was talking to a coworker the other day that has. It sounds like the consequences are similar to that of a parking ticket.
And, the readers who have been around for a year or so, will remember the time that I was investigated by Boeing Security. Luckily, this perp was innocent.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

A Sad Day...

I'm going to start this with a disclaimer: This is my opinion and interpretation of today's news. If you quote me as a "Boeing source" or anything like that... you're probably braindead. Don't do it. Talk to these people if you want Boeing's opinion.

Again, one of my favorite parts of Boeing is now gone. Boeing Commercial Airplanes President Alan Mulally resigned from Boeing today to become the CEO of Ford [#]. Does this suprise me? not really: Mulally was just recently passed up for the (in my opinion, much deserved) promotion to CEO of Boeing. The spot was given to Jim McNerney (formerly of GE).
I've met a few of the executives over the course of my 2 years (including my internship) at Boeing; they come talk to the young groups around the company fairly often. Alan seemed to have the most passion for building airplanes. He seemed to have the most love for Boeing. Sometimes when I see other executives talk, I feel like its just lip-service... but never with Alan. He was always genuine and he was always packing a huge smile... you could tell he loved what he did. I miss him already. (I know some of my friends will miss him even more).
That said, do I think Boeing will change much? Probably not. There are tons of excellent leaders in Boeing, of which Alan was one (a big one... but only one). Do I think other leaders have a passion for building airplanes? Yes, there are definitely others: Carolyn comes to mind, and so does Mike Bair.
I've never met the man who is replacing Alan, Scott Carson, but I have seen him speak to a group of interns. How do I think he is going to do? I think he has huge shoes to fill, but I think his feet will grow to the challenge. Anyways, here's to Scott: Congrats and good luck. I wish I had advice to offer him, but he's probably fairly prepared for this task.

Anyways, those are my brief thoughts on today's news.