[LAD] What do you do for a living?

Chris Cannam cannam at all-day-breakfast.com
Fri Nov 12 21:58:59 UTC 2010

On Fri, Nov 12, 2010 at 10:50 AM, Patrick Shirkey
<pshirkey at boosthardware.com> wrote:
> On Fri, November 12, 2010 1:55 am, Chris Cannam wrote:
>> I like Google because they annoy Gordon, and that means more
>> entertainment for us.
> All this anger. I suspect they rejected him at some point.

I would be very surprised to learn he had ever applied there.

I think actually his is the sort of complaint Google should be making
a note of -- it's clearly made up of a number of small irritations
that just happen to cross most of the spectrum of things he might use
their services for.

It's not that everyone else necessarily agrees with him, but that one
person's irritations might be things that grow to be everyone's
irritations over time, and might become things that a competitor can
take advantage of -- just as Google originally took advantage of the
overdeveloped search interfaces everyone else used to provide.

> Me, I've been rejected three times by Google. I'm getting used to it now.

It is perhaps an unbalanced world in which anyone feels they have to
apply more than once to the same employer.

I worked for a while for Yahoo.  That was... not bad.  The day-to-day
wasn't so different, but the ready availability of very clever people
with specialisations in whatever subject you wanted was a very
attractive point.  I know a few people at Google, some of whom moved
from Yahoo, and on the whole they like it there, I think for similar

Ten or fifteen years earlier, I might have been writing that the
people I knew at Microsoft felt the same way.  These companies work
quite hard to enchant their developers and please their employees
generally.  Employees are very expensive.

(I don't know anyone at Apple.  Apple is a mystery to me.  I imagine
it's much the same, but I would like to hear any stories about forced
injection of reality-distortion drugs, etc., you might be able to
offer.  Anyone?)

Anyway, for my part -- I work in a university, at the Centre for
Digital Music at Queen Mary, University of London.  I'm unusual in
academia in that I'm employed as a developer rather than an RA or
postdoc (I have neither MSc nor PhD).  It's in a pretty grim part of
London, but it's by far the most interesting job I've ever had and, as
I've been here for over five years now, it's also the longest-standing
job I've had in 17 years of commercial work.  I was hired partly
because of the commercial experience on my CV, but mostly on the basis
of my work on free software projects.


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