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Oops i didn't post for a week.
Things that are -- or have been -- on my mind:

  • Attempting to make myself seem sufficiently palatable as a higher-level employee on paper that I can get promoted.

  • Deciding who is the next winner of the Awesome Cup, and writing a reasonable valedictory speech to pass it on to the next winner. (Made more difficult by my distance from many of the awesome things that happen in YouTube.)

  • YouTube Gaming launch was last Wednesday. I've done a lot of participation in reddit threads since then. In particular, one of my recent threads made best of reddit, where it got 400+ upvotes; my comment got 190+ upvotes; and my internal re-post to G+ got 120 +1s. Overall, it's probably one of my more popular/widely read pieces of writing since I started at Google, if I were to guess. (The post is at available here.)

  • Sleep schedule being all screwed up.

  • Forgetting to post this entry for like 24 hours.

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I'm so sorry your sleep schedule is screwed up. Was it any better last night? It seemed to me like you slept pretty hard.

oh, kelly, by the way, Julie wants you to sign a copy of 4 to 16 characters. she won't stop reading it. again and again and again. (She saw a book that was autographed by Charlie Stross, and realized that she has a book she likes that was written by someone *she* knows and kind of just melted from there.) are you coming to the party on the 22nd of September?

Oh my goodness, did I somehow not sign Juli's copy? Of course I will sign it! But as for the 22nd, sadly, Tuesday nights are really bad for both λ and me. But please keep us in mind for shindigs in general! Maybe we can get together sometime soon regardless.

How is your back doing?

The back is not particularly happy with me, sad to say, but I'm mostly walking about on my own, etc. which is really the best I can ask for at the moment. I advise you not to grow older; it seems that more and more of this will happen with time, and I personally do not approve.

(Then again, consider the alternative. I'll take growing older.)

From the bits that I wrote/stole:

"For the past 6 years, the Awesome Cup has been a fun way to recognize excellence within the YouTube tech team. The cup has been passed between members of the YouTube Tech org for various projects and achievements that exemplify awesomeness."

It's traded off about every quarter, between members of the tech team; winning it is one of those "pyrrhic victories" to some extent: one of the jobs of a winner of the Awesome Cup is to select the *next* winner of the Awesome Cup. This is probably easier if you're in the main YouTube office, but being in a vassal office it's really difficult to get a good sense of who's doing awesome things in the org: I can see the big projects, but not the day to day stuff that would get missed.

You can see a photo of the cup at:

Attempting to make myself seem sufficiently palatable as a higher-level employee on paper that I can get promoted.

What are you doing now, and what would you be doing if promoted? That's the problem with huge organisations, you're still only a small cog in a very big machine. The alternative is look for a new job. If Jess was so averse to California, I'd say apply for a transfer and once over here, look for a good opportunity. Boston has a big-enough tech community that you might find something challenging, although with less security and probably less money.

I'm doing the same thing now I'd be doing if I got promoted, I'd just be doing it with more money :)

More seriously, when I was hired, it was known that I was on the borderline between two job grades, with the expectation that I would be going up for promotion in the next 12-18 months. I'm now doing that, as expected, and in general, I'm a solid candidate in many important areas, but because I do more organization, investigation, and analysis than actual coding, I'm a bit of an odd fit for a SWE role at Google, which makes my promotion something other than an obvious shoe-in. Still, given the requirements for promotion, I think I'm a strong candidate.

I'm really not that worried about it, but the process at Google when going for promotion is to really present your accomplishments, with details -- to the level of code references, bug references, individual commits, etc. -- such that a technically skilled committee of your peers have the ability to determine if you're meeting the requirements for promotion. This is the part I'm doing now; I'm 3 pages in, and about halfway done. (After I finish, I'll probably have to back and cull some of this; in reality, I can expect committee members to spend about an hour on my packet, but not 3, so I need to be concise as well as compelling.)

I think that I stand out exceptionally within the organization: I have been recognized by peer bonuses (small financial + significant social cred) 13 times over the past 13 months. I've received the awesome cup for my work. I was nominated for a Google-wide citizenship award (though I didn't win that.) I was a winner of the Awesome Cup (see other thread). I have strong support from within the org of what I can do, and am doing, to improve YouTube.

So overall, I don't think that getting promoted will be hard. It's just a step in the process that is somewhat stressful.

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