February 22nd, 2008

Sepia, RB Office

Relocation thoughts

Edit/addition at 11:20

As I mentioned earlier, albeit nearly hidden in my report on Capricon, I had a phone interview last week with a large Seattle company (but not THAT large Seattle company, the other one). The first interview went well and they scheduled a second phone interview, which had to be rescheduled when the interviewer didn't call me last night.

The problem with the second phone interview not withstanding, I've been looking into some of the details of a possible relocation to the Puget Sound area.

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I've embedded some questions above, and would be very happy to hear any advise related to them. To be clear, at this point there is no job offer, and even if there was a good one, there is no assurance that I'd take it.

{If I'm feeling up to it and don't think it would be otherwise dangerous, I may post some of why I'm more up to taking this step than I might have been even a few weeks ago. Of course anyone who reads the newspaper probably has a decent guess}

Sepia, RB Office

Why I am thinking of leaving my job

Just a quick note explaining why I would consider a good offer for employment away from my current job.

The short answer is, "I'm not sure how long my company is going to keep me." Now, I'm not personally at risk of a lay off or being fired -- probably just about the opposite -- but my division is not doing well. All but one of the new development projects has been canceled, leaving us supporting the maintenance on several products in the field, and not much else. The remaining project is in trouble and I could see it being canceled soon if the primary customer gets sufficiently dissatisfied. If that happens, my team will probably drop a bunch of people. I very well might not be dropped, but the job remaining would be made up of my least favorite parts of my job and some very uninteresting and repetitive parts of other people's jobs.

Unfortunately, each time I look, I'm not seeing nearly as much demand for senior software people in the Chicago area as I'd like. Now I'm not surprised. The major software employers traditionally have been my company and it competitor in Naperville. Both are suffering, not hiring and letting people go. Beyond that is the downtown business (banking and trading) companies and a number of much smaller shops. Even the ones that are hiring are advertising for people with 5 to 10 years experience, and if they post a salary it is considerably less than my current salary. I'm not taking a cut in pay if I'm still actively employed, even for decent security.

So this leaves me looking elsewhere, and getting encouraged by getting one positive response.
Sepia, RB Office

Other Seattle Comments

As mentioned below, I've been doing some virtual poking around Seattle in relation to the interviews I've been having in the area. During this poking, I've been reflecting on places I spent time when I was there in 1995 and 1997 -- not so much 1999 since that was a short trip.

One of the disappointments from my web searching is that it looks like two of the more or less local chains that I remember enjoying meals at in 1995 or 1997 seem to be mostly gone. Of course it could just be that they are too well hidden for me to find a web presence that indicates more locations.

The first was Mitzel's American Kitchen. I remember this chain of Bakers Square class restaurants had really good food, for a decent price, when I ate there. The other thing I remember is that they were the only place I ever saw that the wait staff used wireless PDA like devices to take orders. I thought that those devices would make communication between the floor and the kitchen very efficient.

The other place as Cuccina Cuccina. They were, at least in the mid 1990's, a "hipper" Olive Garden, with a more eclectic Italian menu (less pasta and red sauce) with a bicycle heavy decor. I seem to recall that they also had a few Cuccina Cuccina fast kitchen (or some similar, and probably equally overly repeatingly redundant name) that were carry out places.

Alas, both seem to have dwindled to few stores according to the websites I can find.

On the other hand, The Keg seems to still be going strong.