First days in San Francisco

A few days ago I arrived in San Francisco and accommodated in a beautiful apartment in the center of the city. David, my great flatmate, gave me keys and gave me some initial necessary instructions.

The reason why I am here is a business trip for the company I work for. When I arrived I was very tired and as you should expect not far from I opened the door from the apartment I went to bed. My goal was to sleep as much as possible. Unfortunately I woke up quite early, probably due to jet lag. There was only one thing I could do – to go on balcony and observe Alcatraz Island where is situated the famous Alcatraz prison and which is directly visible from the place I stay. I also log in Skype and platform and checked all my projects if they finished properly. There is a time gap between San Francisco and Prague. The difference is about 8 9 hours so I expected all projects had to be done in their daily synchronization.

I also had a nice call with my team lead – Jirka. We talked about my first impressions and about some projects, he gave me some good advice. He was impressed with my talk about Alcatraz. I turned my laptop webcam on and we should observe this beautiful piece of San Francisco together. I wanted to go to work, but I had to wait to David who was my guide for the first day until he wake up. When we were ready we left the apartment and went directly to the office. As a right tourist I took my camera with me. David wasn’t excited enough with my idea to take as many photos as possible during our walk, so I packed my camera back to my backpack. Unfortunately there were some great photo opportunities like two rapping Afro-americans directly just in the downtown of the city. They recorded their rhymes to they cell phones and it was really good so I must hope I will meet them again during my walks. :)

Before we came to the office David showed me some restaurants and places. We also saw a farmer market really close to the office. We went to the office and I was going to introduce myself. I recognized one of my colleague Jagjit very quickly. He was really nice and showed me the whole office. He was surprised I was able to recognized almost everyone. I was really happy to also see my recent Czech colleagues who moved to San Francisco for a longer time. As a Silicon Valley tradition there is a full equipped kitchen with lots of food and drink. Everyone should help himself. After discussion with Cliff I am also sure I will be able to help with many important tasks. I am glad and appreciate to have this opportunity.

On thursdays we have company lunches at the office. We had crêpes that day and it was really good. The service in our office is amazing and I hope I won’t be spoiled before I leave. There was a great presentation about some of our frameworks. It looked really great and I am very excited to have a final version and use it. Unfortunately first day I was struck by jet lag and I was ridiculously tired. I showed one of my automated solution to some of my colleagues and they were impressed. I got a chance to present it before whole team. I was really happy about this chance.

We have a special department with ‘jedi’ engineers. They prepare proof of concepts for potential customers and they have a very special hobby to fight with their lightsabers. It is quite interesting to watch their duels. Time to time they must cope with some special requirements from potential clients and sometimes we help them to finish some really challenging tasks.

When David and I finished we went home together. He showed me laundry and we went shopping. I reduced some limits on my card to make sure there won’t be any potential fraud. I bough some things and when I wanted to pay I found I set these limits to very lows values. Fortunately David helped me and I hope it will be all right next time. When we finished our shopping I went directly to bed and slept very well. Next morning I felt great even I woke up really early.

I decided to walk to the office by myself. I though I used the same way as before, but when I was just in the middle of Chinatown I knew I got lost. But it was great opportunity to see some new things in the city. I was walking through Chinatown and admired their decorations. I also saw San Francisco Bay Bridge, which is really similar to Golden Gate Bridge. I was walking till I found Powell Street. One of my colleague’s name is Stephen Powell and I recognized I was close to the way which David showed me day before because we crossed that street. After while I was on the right path and went to the office quite early.

I met Roman Stanek there and we had a talk. It was great to have an opportunity to ask him some questions. After a while I went to scheduled meeting where I could present my solution. I was happy I wasn’t nervous. There were also some people from partner company from Canada. According to further feedback I am sure it was a successful presentation. During the day I worked on some challenging tasks and it was great because I learned many new things which should be useful in future. With our Czech group we went to buy some lunch and ate at our office.

I had also a great discussion with our consultants. Mike and Courtney. I shared with Mike my ideas about projects I should help with and he seemed excited. There was also another guy – Ravi. He recognized my European origin. I counted up to three on my fingers and he recognized I did it the same way as we could see in Inglourious Basterds movie. Third best performance. He loves that movie so I recommended him to watch Django Unchained.

The most interesting thing happened in the evening. Roman had a special visit. A group from a Czech startup community arrived in San Francisco and visited GoodData. They had a presentation and discussion with Roman. There was also some beer and with my colleagues we tried to drink some. The drink scaled so quickly and we were laughing a lot to various situations. We had a great discussion and it was so great so I went home really late, at 10pm. I fell asleep very quickly. I would like to notice when I crossed the streets I saw San Francisco has a great night life. There is a super bawl final on Sunday evening. I expect empty streets, but if they win there should be some peaceful riots.

I have been writing this article on my first day off. My plan was to walk through the city, especially to see Golden Gate Bridge. I woke up quite early and went to complete my goals. It was really great, San Francisco is very beautiful place. There was a lot of fog all round and the atmosphere was really special. I went directly to the bridge and it was a spectacular construction. I decided to cross the bridge and wander all round. As I said many times, it was really nice. On my way back I saw some parks and monuments. Unfortunately I was quite tired due to long walk. San Francisco has quite steep streets so it was difficult sometimes to get from point A to B. I was happy when I was back to our apartment. For tomorrow my plan is to explore downtown and some other parts as Chinatown.

The great thing is the longer I am here the more I like it. It is exactly as I expected if not better. There is a lot of energy in this city and here my confidence to do a high quality job increased significantly. I believe in myself much more and I am ready to prove it very quickly.

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