While I am not a huge fan of this saying in many cases it can be made to fit and in some cases it just fits. We all know what past is and prologue in this use basically refers to the past setting both the context and stage for current events. So having said that it is time to get onto the story.
I was riding on a train between cities, Changchun and Dalian, on my way to a nice weekend that would take me by the North Korean border with China. The ride was scenic and the train was quiet. As I travelled on this train, with friends, there were many conversations and then there was one last conversation of unusual and a bit startling interest. It started when looking through an iPhone camera roll. Picture after picture of friends and places I knew, there was one that I noticed it jumped right out at me, it was of my second day at work for my new employer, some nine months earlier. I slowly started picking out details. It was a diverse group. I remember stopping to talk to two developers regarding compilers, industry preferences and just how developers rocked. The disconnect that I did not get at that moment was the person showing me the picture on her iPhone and of course I did not know she was there, I did not remember.
The reason we were all out in Jersey City on my second night was that a friend was leaving the Corporate Headquarters to return to another one of our global offices. We drank some beers, cape cod’ers and more. As the beer went down the conversation went on, what a great group of people, they represented multiple disciplines and departments of the company. I tried to simply fit in and found myself gravitating to the developers to talk shop – anyone knowing developers is not amazed by this. I looked out across the Hudson and thought to myself how lucky I was to be at this company and reflected on how the view from Jersey City was a bit better than the view from NYC.
We talked and talked and there was a core group of us left toward the end of the night. I understand, not that I remembered, that I got in a “fight” or better put a heated discussion on how I did not need QA as a developer. As a strong supporter of QA I was obviously showing off for my new developer friends. However, looking at these pictures today I realized something both odd and noteworthy. The Developers that I was talking with became leads on the main product line that I work on – the going away party was for a woman that is the lead on most of the research efforts that I work on and a real anchor for tons of my work. In the background was a friend of mine now and the woman that designed the interfaces for the platform that I designed. The woman that I argued with about QA, you guessed it; she is the lead of QA for the product line that I drive the one showing me the pictures and I forgot she was at the party. In my defense I only knew all of my new teammates for about four hours at the time of this party.
So; On that first night that I met them all I was a rookie, I simply was trying to meet people; and learn about my new employer – little did I know that I would meet some of the most important people as related to my works at my new company, and my best friends in this new company as well. I cannot imagine the success that I have had without them and I think to myself – how weird is it that we all met on this night! OK, time to sleep, headed to the border of North Korea tomorrow!