Today is my one year anniversary as a Software Engineer at Google.
I went to Las Vegas. It was very…. (I think an adverb is the best description for the city.)
I went to Seattle. It was a lot of fun to see my good young friend Sam, not to mention all of my other good friends. It was a wonderful trip.
I started at Google on Monday and have been very busy. They are sending me to their headquarters in Mountain View next week. I will be staying in San Francisco. I’m learning a lot, and it’s very intense.
I have some great photos from Las Vegas and Seattle, not to mention here and NYC. It’s been very busy, but I’ll try to post some photos this weekend.
I’ve been fairly busy at the new job in the past several weeks. We have been hard at work on The PhotoShelter Collection, a new edited marketplace for photos. It’s a very exciting product, and it’s a fantastic site for both image buyers and photographers.
The photo archive portion of the site is going strong. PhotoShelter provides a great solution for photographers to archive their photos. I feel strongly that photographers should not just store their digital photos in their home or studio–even if they don’t use PhotoShelter’s Personal Archive, they should store them somewhere else. (I started to use the archive product before joining PhotoShelter.) And if you have a significant number of slides and negatives, get them scanned. It’s easier to dupe a digital image than film. And dupes of a digital image don’t degrade in quality.
My job is going well. This week, I finished my second month of employment. Yesterday was my first release, a new version of our Apple Aperture plug-in. There are no major changes in the plug-in; the release mainly comprised of fixes for Aperture 1.5.4.
PhotoShelter is hosting town hall meetings on photography and business called, Photography 2.0. The tour hits six cities and has good speakers. Not to mention a reception at the end of the day. I recommend checking it out.
Monday, June 11, was my final day at Time Inc. I started working at Sports Illustrated, a division of Time Inc., over 11 years ago.
Last Thursday, June 21, was my first day at BitShelter. It’s first product is PhotoShelter. PhotoShelter is an archival system for photographers; in a way, it’s a “business in a box.” It’s a great tool for photographers, and I think it really fills an important need.
It’s an exciting company and a big change from Time Inc. For example, Time Inc. has around 10,000 employees; BitShelter has less than 15. Time Inc.’s headquarters is in a building named the “Time and Life Building;” BitShelter has a small office off of Broadway. Time Inc. was founded in 1954; BitShelter was founded two years ago.
I left Time Inc. with a lot of fond memories. Not only did I get to visit any number of sporting events, but also I got to travel all around the world. I even got to attend three Olympics. Most importantly, I forged friendships I will keep with me for the rest of my life.
Time Inc. recently announced plans to cut staff. One of the best write ups I read was in the New York Post, Time Drops Bomb, by Keith Kelly. The article indicates that the staff will be cut to 289. However, I personally know several people over the past weeks who are leaving Time Inc. for one reason or another in addition to the cuts described in the article. For example, one person who was at Time Inc. for over 30 years resigned after being asked. The rumor mill at Time Inc. has stated that around 500 people will be leaving Time Inc. in the near future in one way or another. 500 people works out to around 5% of the total workforce.
As a socialist, I could write a rant about companies who break their social contract with longtime employees. As a capitalist, I could write a rant about companies who have to resort to mass cuts because of poor management. Yet neither rant would allow people to retain their jobs.
I sent the following email message to the SI Edit staff yesterday:
To: SI Edit staff
Subject: Happy Holidays
Around a year ago the technology departments at Time Inc. started reorganizing and my responsibilities changed to include working on projects for all of Time Inc.’s publications in addition to Sports Illustrated. While this change happened a while ago, I didn’t get a chance to send all of you a note sooner. Of course, the holiday season is a perfect time to reminisce and say thanks.
I started at SI in 1995, when we were still on the 18th and 19th floors. The week after I started the last pages of SI were produced on Atex, and I still remember one of my first, and favorite, tech support calls from an AME:
SG: “SI Operations, Sam speaking”
AME: “Yes, I’m having some trouble with QPS, can you come down and take a look?”
[I scampered down the spiral staircase from my cube on 19 to the AME’s office on 18.]
SG: “Hi, you called for some help?”
AME: “WHAT THE F*CK IS WRONG WITH THIS F*CK*NG SYSTEM? WHY THE F*CK ISN’T IT WORKING RIGHT? I JUST CRASHED AND LOST ALL OF MY F*CKING WORK? I WANT YOU TO GET THIS F*CK*NG THING WORKING RIGHT F*CK*NG NOW.”
SG: “Ummm… Can I take a look at your computer?”
AME: “NO, YOU CAN’T LOOK AT MY F*CK*NG COMPUTER. JUST GET THIS F*CK*NG SYSTEM WORKING NOW. WHAT THE F*CK IS WRONG WITH IT?”
SG: “Ummm… How about I come back after you leave?” [Near tears]
AME: “YEAH, WHY DON’T YOU DO THAT?”
Most of the challenges I have encountered over the years have been a bit less traumatic.
All joking aside, it has been my privilege and pleasure to work with some of the most talented people in the country on the best sports magazine. I’ve learned a lot, and I hope you have enjoyed working with me as much as I have enjoyed working with you. I look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.
According to my benefits records, I started at Time Inc. on August 7, 1995. That’s over 11 years ago. I’ve been at Sports Illustrated for all but the past few months. It’s an interesting change.