May 2020 Update

Here’s a few quick updates.

It goes without saying that now is a hard time to be interviewing. I’ve been looking at the rates of unemployment by week and it’s disarming. Personally, I’ve seen what I thought was a VERY strong interview pipeline dry up over the past couple of months with the spread of COVID. But being in that head space has paid dividends. I’ll be starting a new role – Product Manager at Facebook! I’m incredibly excited. Here’s some of the reasons why:

  1. Overcoming personal obstacles (a focus on what I could control) – A big part of this excitement is that I’ve improved my interview game (historically not a strength) and had to dig deep within to make this happen. I get way too nervous and psych myself out all the time. I am sharing this good news somewhat reluctantly as I know how much suffering is around us all, including among readers here. The keys for me were keeping my eyes on the prize, building/sticking with the right strategy to get what I was aiming for, and staying positive despite the uncertainty. Not so different from battling cancer, actually.
  2. Working with amazing people – Every single person I’ve met (including the interview panels) has had an amazing aura of kindness. It’s not at all what I expected. The prospect of working with sharp, creative and kind! people always gives me juice!
  3. Opportunity to do good – I’ll be operating inside one of the most influential machines driving society today. I’m overwhelmed – in a good way – by considering what good I might I do in the world with this opportunity. That’s the big question I’m sitting with right now.

I’ve been improving my sourdough baking skills. I even started a Facebook group around it that seems to be taking off (I’m learning a lot!). I don’t even love bread to be honest. But I do love the

process of perfecting craft. All the better if it brings some joy to others! In particular I’ve been working on my crust (see left – so proud of that one as I had failed so many times to get there*). It’s gratifying to see the evolution of an always improving end product.

This weekend Michelle and I celebrate our 10 year wedding anniversary. I’ve been thinking about what an interesting timestamp this is. Ten years ago I was early in my ‘Tech career’, having recently pivoted from academic (molecular / computational biology) research at UCSF. I was still two years away from fatherhood. And I was 7 years away from a cancer diagnosis. Michelle has been my rock along the way. Love you Michelle – next year maybe we’ll do something more romantic than leave the house. I’m excited for what the next ten years will look like.

*The key is pre-heating the cooking vessel for 1 hour prior to baking.