Archive for August 11th, 2010
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It’s been a while, but I’m still alive


It’s been quiet a while since I’ve posted anything on my blog. It’s hard to always post information, though I felt I’ve done a good job posting relevant information I’ve researched over the past two years. It’s about time I start getting back into it – though in the mean time it’s time for a little life update. So if your here for a technical blurb – read no further since this won’t have any source code embedded in it, or post-mortems of any applications.

For the past year I’ve had an awesome job at Amadeus North America, working on an excellent new cutting edge product for the travel industry. It was a great learning experience, getting to delve into the world of rapid agile development and learn new tools such a Google Web Toolkit (GWT). I developed countless strong relationships with many coworkers, picking up plenty of coding ‘style’ and quirks. Things that I directly contribute to my coding style today, and definitely something that I’m proud of. Most importantly, I have a real issue making code without writing unit tests (Thanks @RyanNorris!) and feel sick to my stomach if I ever try to check in code without JavaDocs. Looking back, I can honestly say I loved my time at Amadeus. The long days, even the stressful ones, helped me prepare for being a real software engineer – learning more than I ever had in school.

Then I meet the Lookout team…

Lookout” is right, because these guys were insane. I grabbed some food with them while at a conference in San Francisco. Never in my life had I had such an awesome nerd-fest day. Conventions where always interesting, and you always meet interesting people – but these guys where real. They didn’t just talk the talk – they actually did very impressive things day in and day out. Much to my surprise, I had things to actually add to the many interesting talks the evolved through the night. Even more shocking to me, I was asked if I’d ever considered relocating to the west coast for a job.

I remember thinking, “Yikes, these guys are just being nice, it’d never happen”. I talked it over with my girlfriend the next morning after arriving on the red-eye. Lots of words where thrown back and forth using with “it’s probably never going to happen, but…” We agreed I’d go along with the process, like the many other times I’d been approached by companies. It never worked out before, so I wasn’t going to make a big deal of it, or even think of it as anything but a remote possibility.

Then came the phone interview… I always hated these things, they’re worse than face to face interviews because you can’t see the other person expressions. Are you talking to in-depth? Not in-depth enough? Does this person just not believe you? It’s just hard sometimes to gauge peoples reactions without being in the same room. I remember walking away from the phone interview thinking, “Damn… That either really sucked, or went really well.” Luckily, it went well and I got an email asking if I could come out to San Francisco for an interview. This is when everything really started to him me, could I really be getting the dream job I’ve always wanted?

To shorten this post, since I’ve already babbled along for too long – I came in for the interview and ended up doing well. Some of the most interesting interview questions I’ve ever heard where asked, like “How would you exploit this code?” from Anthony Lineberry. After the interview, I actually ended up getting an offer that blew my mind away. It was settled, there was no question in my mind that I wanted this job. My family kept reminding me, sometimes your favorite hobby isn’t the best job… Thank god that didn’t hold true :)

So I up and moved to San Francisco, got an awesome apartment with some killer roommates. Now i’ve been a part of the Lookout Mobile Security team for almost a month now. Officially I’m a “Security Response Engineer” (I know, that’s bad ass, never thought I’d have that title..) and getting to learn more and do more thing with Android and other mobile systems than I thought I’d get too. I know get to do for work, what I did in my off hours, it’s quiet possibly the greatest adventure I’ve gotten a chance to take on yet. In the short time I’ve been here I got to even goto Defcon for my first hacker convention. I got to take in tons of great talks with many smart people, and even help with some of my coworkers presentations; “App Attack: Surviving the mobile application explosion”, “These aren’t the permissions you’re looking for”.

Anyway, just figured I’d use this as a kick off post as I get back into the gear with blogging again. For now though, I’m going to get back to doing my part with this awesome team in keeping mobile safe and developers smart.

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