The most significant thing I found here is the time comes very quickly. It has been almost one month since I arrived and still this is the most thrilling experience for me.
On Monday we had the Presidents day, a public holiday here. Sounded like the Queen’s birthday (in the UK and countries of commonwealth) for me and I had a discussion with Tom Cooney about this event. The fact is this day is not as significant public holiday as the Thanksgiving day for instance, but on the other hand you should enjoy a day off. Tom said there were more days where people celebrated birthdays of some important presidents like George Washington or Thomas Jefferson, but the presidents day is just a merge of all these days together.
I had also a day off. I wanted to enjoy as much as possible, I also wanted just load some testing data from Friday to a test environment. I did it and was ready to have a great day, but as I found later on, I accidentally populate the production project with this testing data. I am always little bit nervous when I work with important clients and the changes I do should affect them significantly, but this situation happened. Actually for the first time, but happened. I was investigating quick impact (fortunately testing data were correct) and I hoped the next load should fix everything. It didn’t.
Everything seemed all right, but there were some unexpected things. When somebody make a mistake, there are probably two ways how to cope with. To do nothing and believe in a miracle, or try to solve it in a constructive way. Even it was little bit unpleasant, I definitely decided to spread the information what I did probably to all people in the company and also proposed some solutions. Unfortunately there were some technical issues, but on the other hand the communication through all relevant departments was very good. I described everything to Ross who understood the situation very well and was very happy we were strongly focused to solve this issue as quickly as possible.
Due to technical issues it took longer than I expected, we also had to wake up some people in Prague and Brno, but the fix was done and the customer seemed very happy about that. L2 support and OPS did a great job to fix it even they had Monday evening in the Czech Republic. I was very appreciated about that. Thank you.
Wednesday was also very busy day, but in a different way. When I came to work, I was was involved in some meetings with customers, even I didn’t expected to be there. But it was great. I think from my point of view to understand the customer properly is one of the most important thing, and it is sometimes a big fun. On that call there was also Filip Stastny. Almost everyone here recognizes me as a replacement for him. I always describe myself as Filip, but more skinny. We had a separated call afterwards and because there were two Czechs and one American, Filip proposed to speak Czech. It was just a joke, he added. Tom was very happy he had not to learn Czech language in next few minutes.
When I returned from these calls I found another Czech people in San Francisco offices. Martin Matula and Jan Kurik. Both of them are very skilled architects. Hope they enjoy San Francisco very well. Juraj on the other hand acclimatized very quickly. He helped me a lot with the Monday incident and also he is able to enjoy food almost all the time. Ross was very happy we handled the incident very well. The greatest thing here is you should sometimes work under really big pressure, but when the results are great, everyone is extremely happy.
For lunch we had our favorites crêpes. We went there with Petr Cvengros, but we met also Pepa Vitek and Aaron Myhre coincidentally. The waitresses have already known us very well. Aaron was considering to sit next to me due to my positive approach, Pepa on the other hand was wondering about writing a blog about the same situations what I experience, but from his point of view. The most interesting topic during our lunch was a discussion with Jagjit and his plans to go with me to the Cliff house. I was wondering why he wants me to take to Cliff’s house, but he told me about place called http://www.cliffhouse.com/. I definitively want to go there.
For the evening there was prepared a Happy Hour sponsored by one of our department. I had some tasks what I had to finish, so I went there little bit late. I had some problems to find that place, but Juraj was waiting on me in the front of the entrance. I showed my ID and went downstair to find some people from GoodData. I found Romeo and Cliff. We had a short conversations about some projects and drank some beer.
I also met Matt Curtis there, our new sales engineer from Boston. When I saw him for the first time, I thought it is Neil Strauss, probably one of the most famous pickuper in the world (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Strauss). I am not interested in this area, but couple years ago I had a chance to read one of his book and I must say it was written very well. I showed picture of Neil Strauss to some people and everyone thought it is a picture of Matt. So, welcome to GoodData, Matt.
The atmosphere was very good, I took some pictures of my colleagues. Romeo approved me I can publish on my blog and there were couple of interesting discussions. With Matt Curtis we discussed about Boston, New York and some other topics. They was also Holly who confirmed her surname Szkoropad really means “almost falling” in some roman languages. She was on lunch with her father and was asking about that. There was also Cindy Au from support and Hector Hung. Cindy told me I am an extremelly positive guy and some people think it is a great attitude. Hector seems to be extremely calm person, but he is very nice. He told me he fells sometimes very bad when people in our team have to implement projects during our days off (sometimes), but he also definitively wants to meet all of us if possible. He was on a trip in Asia.
After I happy hour we moved to a different place where our Czech group found a great place to sit. Holly and Ray joined us. I talked to Ray, we remembered some situations from past. We were comparing some cultural difference between the USA and the Czech Republic. We discussed about some recent visits and their reactions. When somebody from the USA visits the Czech Republic, especially Brno, he (or her) should expect very hospitable people there. The restaurant where we ate was really good, I ordered some Angry Prawns. A little bit spiced, but a very good choice.
On our way home we met a homeless, but he was one of the homeless I wanted to meet. He offered us some newspapers. I remember the conversation I had with the Brazilian woman a week ago about these guys and I decided to buy some for $1 and support him a little bit. On our way back we had talked to Pavel Kolesnikov before he took a bus. He gave me some inspiration how to handle quite difficult problem more easily and it was really helpful.
There are also some really challenging tasks ahead, but I feel very confident with my technical background and I believe I can handle quite easily even it is something completely new for me.