So after a phone screen, Facebook doesn't want to hire me. I'm not too surprised, since the screen didn't go remarkably well; I'm starting to wonder if there's some kind of impedance mismatch that keeps companies over 150 from hiring me. I'm not too broken up about it, though: while it would have been nice to work in Palo Alto again, it was a Java job (I hate Java, which may have stuck out over the phone); the CEO is a nutty 24-year old, the company is amoral and vaguely evil, and as an independent enterprise they're pretty well doomed and their only hope is to get bought out completely and let Microsoft take the rest of the loss. My interest was purely as a way to start working with multi-terabyte data sets (and work in Palo Alto, which is convenient and close to my old Danger pals).
On the other end of the spectrum, I had an interview today with a company in San Mateo that appears to like me quite a bit. The job is working in Perl, and they have a dozens-of-terabytes data set that they need to make a roadmap for, which is precisely what I've been studying for the past couple of months. On top of that, remember Erlang, the programming language I've been learning? that I said no one would ever pay me for? The director of engineering is a big Erlang fan and has suggested it to one of the server engineers as a way to solve some of their problems. In fact I may have made an impression by talking at length very articulately about possible solutions for their large-data problems.
So yeah, that's looking like it's probably a good next step, certainly for a while at least. San Mateo is within my nice compact geographic range, so I can get home for dinner and aikido and everything. It wouldn't be Danger, but nothing will be again, and I think it will be a while before we see that kind of energy in one place again (though this time, maybe I can catch it). That energy coalesces around seemingly boneheaded ideas, so eventually maybe I'll just need to start joining companies I think will fail. There is also, as one author recently said of Google's Android project: "In other words, Android is a conservative design. It does nothing to disabuse anyone of the general view held by most programmers today, which is that the era of interesting software is over." While that's harsh, it's definitely my feeling. There's interesting software out there, but most of it is bloody boring, everyone using Java and the same large frameworks of functionality to make applications that do their job really well and make you want to slit your wrists for being so damned dull. If interesting programming is like crafting fine furniture, most of what goes on today is like assembling crap from IKEA.
Well, shit. If I get a job, I'll probably have to go to work. *whine*