Chicken Counting – Job Hunt

So throughout this process I’ve maintained a very disciplined don’t count your chickens attitude.  Which is good because so far there would have been far more disappointments than cheering.

So I am not counting my chickens today either following my second interview, but I am starting to look up recipes for chickens if you follow my metaphor.

I am not sure what information I heard and saw today would be considered confidential.  I will give an overview of the exciting bits here, but either at a high level or a low level.

Team and Management

The team seems very good.  I have met David, Karl, Terry, Cliff and Paul plus the manager Michael.  That is about half of a 10 person team.  They seemed both confident, casual and knowledgeable.  That is a good combination.  The interview today was mostly for team fit I think.  (Interview is likely a strong term for what occurred.)

I think I did alright.  I just hope I communicated my enthusiasm.  I don’t get gushy in person, but there is a lot about this job to gush about.

Management wise I also saw no red flags.  It looks very demanding, complex and pressure filled, but I prefer that to the alternatives.  I also think the manager keeps most of the BS away from the team and lets them work.  Part of today was also selling me on the company.  It was interesting that Michael didn’t paint a 100% rosy picture.  Of course no environment is perfect.  It is a good bit of honesty to reveal a couple of warts.  None of those warts were worrying.

Technology

The technology is awesome.  The scope and scale is impressive.  Furthermore it is leading edge.  That is exciting and worrying.  It seems though that the full backing of the company and their partners is there for this offering.  That is great.

Questions that arose include:

  1. Why is IIS a critical part of the infrastructure?  I cannot see how it fits in.
  2. Why are encoders needed after broadcasts are received?  Don’t them come appropriately encoded?  (My guess is they come as some flavour of NTSC signal (r something more modern) and need conversion to an IP based encoding.)
  3. The underlying server OS seems to clash with the middleware platform.  I wonder how that works.

What is very exciting is the amount I will need to learn tech-wise.  This is a challenge I am confident of excelling at and learning is always one of the best parts of the job.

Data Centre

The facilities were very nice.  And huge.  They have equipment for the service on three floors.  Each floor is a bit smaller than the NCC Data Centre.  But it looks bigger – partially due to the 18′ ceilings.  They also rack much more compactly than we did so they fit more per square meter.

Especially impressive was how clean and organized it was.  I was quite proud of the cabling at NCC, but it looks like a dog’s breakfast compared to the way they have theirs organized.  There is someone who take pride in making that look that good somewhere in the company.  I bet everyone is just indoctrinated into that mindset now.  They would be shocked at how some other data centres are run.

Monitoring

OK – I saved the most impressive bit for last.  Go pull out your Watchmen TPBs or think back to the movie if that isn’t too painful.  Ozymandias had a bank of monitors in his Antarctic retreat.  Imagine that, but larger, with current technology and cooler.  That is the monitor room.  I kept expecting Bubastis to wander out from around a corner.

I even got to see it in action as there was a minor problem during my tour.  The monitor person had isolated the problem feed and was looking for a solution.  During the 5 minutes I was in the room it seemed to get solved.  The techs were professional and quick.  There was no panic.  That was very impressive.  (I want to highlight that it was a minor issue as well – let’s not start slagging my potential future employers.  🙂 Entirely within the realm of the reason that IT folk like me need to exist.)

The bad

It isn’t perfect.  That also makes me happy.

The big issue for me is that there is no parking.  It won’t be an issue during the summer, but ice is not my friend.  So I’ll need to work on a solution for that before the fall.

I also got a PFO from AIMCo today just before my visit.  I interviewed with them on May 10th.  I had given up on that position.   But it means that one of my other options is officially gone now.

This job doesn’t have a set start date.  They are trying to determine the date before the end of the month.  They sound confident for August, but I’m willing to let it stretch until September.  Coordination is always tough during the summer holiday season.  But the job is really there.  Provided I didn’t burn any bridges today I should be able to get it.

Finally I booked the parkade for two hours, but I was there for 2.75 hours.  That is good because I think it means that they didn’t rush me through anything.  But bad because I racked up a $35 ticket.  Nuts I say.

To sum up

Yay!  (Cautiously.)

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3 thoughts on “Chicken Counting – Job Hunt

  1. Suellen says:

    Well I’m sure you will be roasting chicken in ni time. And perhaps it’s just as well that AIMco didn’t hire you. I’ve heard they’re a bit of a gong show right now anyway.

  2. Robin Turcotte says:

    that is great! my only question is for what company is this for?

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