working at widemile and blogging in web 2.0 worlds (post bubble)

A few of you know I work at Widemile now as a Systems Administrator. For non computer people, that means I play with computers. For those who care, I spend some time doing helpdesk trying to keep employees happy, and then secretly make cookies in the server room…. or, well, try to build awesome scalability using lots of different tools. I like startups because there’s no corporate mandate that we use IBM such and such, or that we have to use Oracle or any business oriented requirement. Although at my last startup the thing with Oracle did happen, which was kind of silly, but that’s another story.

So I get to leverage useful and flexible stuff, which usually amounts to open source software, to make everything work like magic. On that note, props to Adam and team at HJK Solutions for iclassify and being generally classy folks. If you’re scaling anything up at a startup, you need these people in your life, I’ll vouch for it.

The tech stuff is only interesting to tech people who are used to facing situations where people want miracles. My father was a commercial pilot and used to always say “We’ve been doing so much, with so little, for so long, that now we can do almost anything with nothing at all.” It’s pretty true, as most people just don’t get their desktop, let alone what goes on in the server room.

One of the things I find cool about widemile is that we have a professional blogger, Billy Shih, working for us. Billy blogs on all things multivariate testing related. I see more and more companies joining and building communities, sometimes in cool ways like Dell Ideastorm. While at times company blogs are well written and come off more corporate than organic, it’s great to see real information and opinions come out of a place that you work for, rather than highly positioned marking pieces that always make me, and I assume most of my peers, immediately glaze over. As an employee I also get a weekly email from him about what the tubes are up to. When I listen to colleagues talk about weekly HR emails about new policies against using off-white paper for clients whose names begin with the letter P, I feel fortunate to be in a place with real culture and humanity.

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