I’m Coming Home Via Chicago 1


Thanks to my friend Mark for showing me this awesome Wilco cover. Unlike the original, this works really well for good news.

I’ve been looking for a job in San Francisco very hard for the last couple months since I got up here. I’ve had nibbles, I’ve had bites.

And then, I had the events of the last week.

A few weeks ago, I’d applied for what sounded like a really ideal job at The Nerdery, a great, developer-driven, Minnesota-based company that’s aggressively expanding its Chicago office. Their website did an excellent job of making it sound like an absolutely ideal place to work. I had a first interview that I thought went very well, and I turned in a code sample I was pretty happy with.

I hadn’t heard from them before I left for Chicago, so I was a little disappointed, because the idea of moving back to Chicago to take such a great job had just seemed so perfect. I hadn’t realized how badly I wanted to move back until I was presented with the realistic possibility of doing so.

And then, after I dropped a check-in email to HR on Sunday, the chaos began.

I had my second interview with the Nerdery Monday morning, and loved it. They told me everything I wanted to hear, including that this page of raves from their employees was, in the experience of my interviewers, true. I left very, very excited about that prospect.

Apparently, that excitement set off some sort of alarm that only HR people can hear, because by the time Tuesday afternoon rolled around, I had booked three interviews with SF companies, had two, gotten a second rounder with one of those two and pulled a code sample out of my ass for that one, too.

Between the interviews, conversations with friends and family, and assorted negotiations I’ve done over the last few days (and maybe some yelling at the terrible Northwestern secondary Saturday night), my voice is completely shot. I slept about 10 hours out of 72.

Then the Nerdery’s offer hit my inbox.

I am very happy to announce that this morning I accepted a position as an Interactive Developer with the Nerdery’s Chicago office. I’ll be starting the week after Thanksgiving (when I’ll have to do a week of orientation at HQ in Minnesota).

I’ll be sad to leave San Francisco – This town has been exceptionally good to me in my short time here, and I’ve very much enjoyed my time in the city. I’m so glad I moved up here, even if it was for a short time, because it accelerated my learning in a way that I don’t believe would have been possible if I’d stayed in LA.

Moving up here absolutely put me in the mind frame and gave me the impetus to bring up my skill set far and fast enough that I was able to get this job, and for that, I can never thank San Francisco enough.

But Chicago is home. I may have grown up in DC, but I have never felt as home anywhere as I have in Chicago. The fact that I am jumping for joy to move there in the goddamn dead of winter after 8 years in California probably says something about how much I missed the place.

[By the way, Chicago folk: I will preemptively warn you that I will be whining about the cold this year. Next year, I’ll have my tolerance for the cold back and I’ll shut the fuck up, but please, spot me a winter.]

The logistics of all this are kind of nuts. The current plan is to leave SF on November 12, with my car towing a trailer full of my crap minus about 90% of my furniture, and my dad (who VERY generously offered to help with the driving so long as I didn’t make him miss his 75th birthday party, a concession I thought was entirely fair) and Chaplin keeping me company in the car.

We’re shooting to arrive in Chicago on November 16th, though that will change if the weather gets bad along the drive. Trying to find an apartment is already in motion — god, rent in Chicago is so delightfully cheap — and hopefully I’ll have that squared away before I show up.

I am exhausted. I am emotionally wrung out after the rollercoaster I’ve been on for the last week or so. I have so much insanity ahead of me.

But I am so, so happy about this job and this move.


I can’t just post a video for Via Chicago, because that would be way too easy. So instead, a fond audio farewell to California with an enjoyably random video.

One comment on “I’m Coming Home Via Chicago

  1. Reply Laz Oct 27,2011 9:35 pm

    WOOOOOOOOO!

    Coming back to Chicago(land) was the best thing I ever did.

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