Llama Land

adventures and madness

a new hope

Last week, after 8 years, 6 months, and 25 days, I left NVIDIA. This was the longest that I’d spent working anywhere in my professional career. I don’t have any regrets. I accomplished a tremendous amount during my time there. I created an entire, fully functional automated test infrastructure, literally from nothing.

It wasn’t an easy decision to leave, but it was definitely time to move on. The culture (not exclusively, but especially inside the group of which I was a member) had become a poisonous cesspool of politics, intellectual dishonesty, manipulation & back-stabbing. My manager for the past few years had done his best to shield my team from a lot of the madness, but ultimately he lost the political battle, and everything quickly degraded into chaos in the past two months. I could have potentially tolerated a change in leadership, and even a change in direction, if it was being driven by sane, rational, honest goals. However, in reality, it was really anything but, and there was no clear, well thought out plan or roadmap for my group. Just high level powerpoint slide decks, full of buzzwords, and a ridiculous number of vague answers to pointed questions. When new leadership expresses no interest in understanding pre-existing tools & infrastructure and is hell bent on effectively hiring up an entirely new team to replace everything, then the handwriting is on the wall. I’m quite willing to rewrite tools on as needed bases, if new requirements make the rewrite the best path forward. However, replacing everything is never an engineering best practices driven solution. That’s a political solution, and not one that I’m willing to tolerate or be a part of. As I told my ‘new’ manager at NVIDIA just a few weeks before I turned in my resignation, I enjoy solving complex, meaty well defined problems. I’m not afraid of challenges, or putting forth much effort to accomplish great things. The key here is that I want a sense of accomplishment in everything that I do. I didn’t want to turn back the clock, reset, and replace something based on poorly defined requirements, and emotionally driven demands.

After a surprisingly productive job search, I ended up accepting a position at Netflix, in their Cloud Engineering team. I’m a part of the group which strives to continuously improve the reliability of the streaming services for Netflix’s millions of customers. Its a new world of challenges for me and I look forward to them eagerly.

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