Hi folks. I was going to apologize for taking so long to post an update, then realized it's only been four days since my last one. It feels a lot longer than that, but an apology probably still isn't necessary.
Very, very busy at work the last four days, but today it calmed down quite a bit. I took a risk and cycled in to work today - it would have been bad if it ended up being another in-until-10pm workday, but I lucked out and should be able to split in a few minutes. Probably before I finish this post!
Can't talk too much about what's going on, unfortunately... hopefully I'll be able to let you know around August, by which time nobody will remember anything ever happened. Still, I console myself by thinking that it's better to be too busy than not busy enough; I'd rather lose the occasional weekend than my job.
I had fun last night. Some folks from Cerner are in town for the Eclipse conference, which is held in the Santa Clara convention center. I got to see Chad Moats (my architect and mentor for much of my time at Cerner), Brad Reynolds, Frank something, TJ Virdi, Amber Beerends (sp, probably) and one other person who I hadn't met before and whose name I promptly forgot. I swung by their hotel after work and picked up Chad and Brad. We drove to downtown Mountain View while Frank, Amber and the other person took the VTA.
We chatted on the way down, and I was pleasantly surprised to hear Brad might be interested in moving out here. Apparently he moved to Colorado several months ago; he's still working for Cerner as a remote associate, but now is thinking of getting a job by where he lives now or even heading for the coast. We talked a while; I love this area as much as when I first moved here, and now have some knowledge to go along with it, and it felt good to be able to answer his questions about the job market, housing situation, weather, and all that good stuff. Chad sounded generally envious of my situation but isn't going to be moving any time soon; he and his wife (Brenda? I always forget her name) recently bought a new house out in the country.
I've seen downtown Mountain View from the train on several occasions, but this was my first time on the ground. The main stretch is called Castro Street, and there's a great variety of restaurants and interesting stores there. We walked up and down while waiting for the train to arrive, eventually settling on an Italian place that seemed conventional enough to satisfy Brad.
The others showed up and we all got re-acquainted. Amber is pregnant again, still looking lovely. I really enjoyed my conversation with all of them. It sounds like things have calmed down a lot since I left; there's a more deliberate process in place and less frantic scrambling. Plus they're no longer trying to replicate a Win32 application inside a browser, which is good. There's been a lot of turnover, both at the top and the bottom. Most of the big names on 2004/Web Experience/Whatever have left Cerner or been re-orged; there's also a lot of froth among new hires, with the result that some people are becoming Architects at Level Six. (It may be a consolation that I would probably be among them if I'd stuck around.)
Overall, everyone seemed happy and satisfied with the way things were going, which I was glad to hear. Though I'm no longer there I still have a great deal of fondness for the people and the company, and it's good to see them doing well.
Oh, and we polished off a pitcher of Guinness.
When it was over I drove Brad and Amber back to the hotel, then headed home. I realized I'd enjoyed the whole evening without worrying about what was going on at work, so that was a good feeling. It's always pleasant to reconnect and socialize, and even if none of them follow me out here I'm glad we can stay in touch.