So what’s new with me? I just spent 2 hours migrating content to this new domain. Yes I got a new domain! Well, I bought it 4 months ago. I wanted but it’s already taken. I think I could’ve paid about $300 to buy the domain name off of whoever was holding it at the time. Ah well.
I’m back in Canada for the time being. I haven’t had a ton of time to relax and unwind yet, but so far it’s been great. Not having any priorities on my plate really helps.
The strange thing about Evernote is that the spacing ends up being huge when I publish posts to Postachio. I will hopefully get the hang of Markdown someday to avoid having to do a lot of guess and check. I just learned how to show Excerpts, similar to the Read More.. in Wordpress. It’s not as nice because it word wraps everything to the amount of characters you want to show. Ah well.
The other thing that bothers me is that I can’t change the creation date for posts to something in the past since it’s all Evernote based. I guess I could by reusing Evernote notes that I made awhile ago, but that seems a bit overkill. (Edit: I just found out that I can edit dates via the Info icon in Evernote. Sweet!)
I chose this Simple theme because it looks good on both mobile and desktop. I would have preferred the Apex theme, but for some reason, it only shows the very last link in the site-nav.
The other really cool thing about Postachio is that you can modify the look and feel with CSS very easily. Wordpress allows this too, but you have to pay for it.
This Winter in San Francisco has been a blast. I ended up exploring a good amount of the neighbourhoods in SF, something I didn’t really do in my past few terms in the Bay Area. A ton of eating out, which is not the best thing for my wallet, but it was completely worth it. The food quality in SF is spectacular. Online shopping is a great experience, as always.
In terms of work, I learned a ton. Rdio uses Xamarin C# which allows shared code between Android and iOS. Because of this, I was able to work on both platforms fairly easily. It was quite the ramp up in the beginning since the code isn’t set up like a normal Android project (I worked mostly on Android). My project was playlist editing on Android, a well contained feature that I was able to complete within a couple weeks.
What really surprised me at Rdio is the lack of a QA team. With all the companies I’ve worked for in the past, QA would always be the ones to verify that a bug has been fixed, or the new feature is working correctly. Rdio heavily relies on in-company dogfooding, and a handful of beta testers. This is probably due to the fact that Rdio doesn’t use any sort of agile process. We don’t do standup (although I didn’t do it at Instagram either), and rely on weekly meetings.
Another problem that I noticed was better feedback on the Android side for dogfooding. This was very similar on iOS. Most designers and PMs (who would have the most say with strange looking layouts or font sizes) use iPhone. Product was much more verbal during the iOS meetings that I attended. This is something I noticed when I was at FB/Instagram, as well, in terms of team dogfooding. It’s even worse because employees get a free phone & phone plan. It’s very obvious that most people will choose an iPhone as their main device. I won’t go into too much details, as it’s still an open problem.
Rdio’s culture is mature and fairly laid-back. Many people are in their late 20s to mid 30s, with children. Most people keep to themselves and I wouldn’t call it a “fun" culture. It’s more serious and people tend to keep to themselves, although there are watercooler/microkitchen chats. This is not a bad thing in any way, and some people prefer this type of culture.
I guess I had a bit of a culture shock when I got to Rdio, as each of the companies I worked for previously had a fairly fun culture. Lookout had a fairly young crowd, Freshbooks had a really fun culture as well. Facebook is difficult to compare to since it’s such a big company, and of course it is much easier to meet people your age at that sort of company.
This term made me reflect about the type of company I want to work for. Should my social life be submerged with work life? It was certainly fun to have that at Facebook. I was very, very tempted to return for this term, but I pushed myself to “try something new". That is the Waterloo co-op way. You have 6 work terms, why not try as many as you can? Well, going to a new company and ramping up (both technically and socially) gets old. If you had such an amazing time previously, don’t you want to maintain those relationships and continue to be happy? The response would be “I can always keep in touch with them". But it’s not the same.
Remember that going back to a company doesn’t mean you have to return to the same team and work on the same things. You can always try something new. If you’ve already reached your goal of the type of company you want to work for, or the team you want to be with for a long time, then stick with it. That’s why I’ve already decided (for the most part) that I’ll be returning to FB for my last co-op in the fall. We’ll see how the 1 hour commutes treat me.