I missed Scoble’s talk about his book at work today. I had planned to attend but work priorities intervened. I was also a little alarmed to see the animosity displayed towards Amazon by a couple of his posters who are authors who think they are not getting good treatment from us. That’s not how we want to be seen and its definitely not indifference. Everyone is empowered to point out problems and demand they be fixed. We all work together on that. Its one of the things I like about working there.
Its much more fun to work at Amazon than, say, Microsoft. If I meet someone and tell them where I work, the response I get is usually something like “Oh I love shopping on Amazon!”. Cool. If I worked at Microsoft I expect I’d mostly get “Why doesn’t this thing work on my computer”. Nobody loves Windows.
The Amazon website is probably on par with Google in terms of raw computing power required. To me its amazing that it works as well as it does given the volumes it handles and the level of individual customization it does. It is definitely way beyond the bounds of how most software developers think about building websites. This is also fun because it feels like we are always breaking new ground and my creative side needs that.
I’d go nuts if all I had to do was hack out another lame J2EE piece of garbage. What does Sun know about massively scalable web applications anyway – do they have one? Right. Thought not.
I expect Scoble would also want to know why I don’t blog about work. That’s easy. I’ve been fired one too many times for opening my mouth at the wrong time about the wrong thing and my family isn’t too keen on moving again anytime soon. We’ve moved every other year for the past 6 and we’d like to settle down a bit.
(History: Cheap Bastards, Inc fired me for mentioning to one team mate that I didn’t think the planned approach was sensible. He snitched and I was shown the door for not being a team player)
I’m not up for another job hunt anytime soon. I’m older now, have a kid entering school, I’m hyper-experienced and skilled (read “overqualified”). I’m not satisfied with working most places. I don’t fit the “young workaholic” model. I don’t much care what crummy new language most people are learning this month, and I’m definitely tired of being introduced by the B-School CEO of the fluffy startup to investors as “the smartest guy in the company”. If I’m the best we’ve got, then we’re hosed. At Amazon, I’m about average. This is great.
Plus, if I tell you too much about the inside of Amazon, I have to kill you.