18 August 2006

6 years! Already?

Just realized that six years ago this week, I started working for a start-up company called Navarik. The company was comprised of the four active partners - Bill, Don, Marty, and Orvin - and me. I was the lone employee, the developer who was given the task of turning their ideas into code. There was a business plan; I remember reading it. But where we are today and the systems we are building are so different from the vision outlined in that business plan. I think that’s the key to Navarik’s success - go with the flow but wherever it’s taking us, make sure we do it very well.

We had a small room in Yaletown, with five Ikea desks (which I helped put together on my first day), five Ikea chairs, and two bookshelves. The server was in a corner and Orvin’s old couch was against the back wall. We did not have a kitchen so we had to wash our mugs in the wash room. In the summer, the room would get stifling hot; it was like an oven sometimes. Nutmeg, Don’s cute Shar-Pei, came to work everyday and kept us company. I became proficient at typing with one hand and petting Nutmeg with the other. Our meeting room was the Seattle’s Best Coffee shop across the street.

Six years later, there are over 40 people in Navarik and we have a really nice office with three meeting rooms. I have to say there have not been many dull days working here. In fact, each month brings on a different challenge that keeps me on my toes. New people, new projects, new customers. Always something else to learn and many other things to do.

It certainly doesn’t feel like six years. My role has changed so many times, I suppose, so it doesn’t feel like I’ve been in the same job for too long. This is the longest I’ve stayed with one company, and certainly this company has been the most dynamic one I’ve been with. It’s been fun and I look forward to coming to work everyday. I guess I’m lucky that way.

16 August 2006

Catch up

Checked my blog this morning and realized I haven’t posted anything in over three weeks! Where has the time gone??? It’s crazy how we get so busy and we’re just chugging along taking care of whatever needs to be done that day, then just like that three weeks have passed.

What have I been up to since I got sick...

• I spent a day with my niece Sabrina and her friend Stephanie. They were visiting from Edmonton so I took them to the Vancouver Art Gallery to see the Haida art collection, then we had crepes in a cafe on Granville, then we went to the Vancouver Aquarium where we watched both the dolphin and beluga whale shows. Then we visited the totem poles in Stanley park and walked along the seawall for a bit. Hanging out with these 12-year olds was very entertaining. In some ways they sound so grown up (way more grown up than when I was 12!) but then they run to the guy making balloon shapes and squeal like young kids. It was an awesome day!

• I took an introductory flight lesson at Boundary Bay; this was a Christmas gift from Ed. The weather was perfect, a little windy perhaps. My instructor, Ben, said that he usually lets the student do the take off but because it was quite windy, he didn’t let me do it. Oh well. I still got to take the controls when we were up in the air, flying over White Rock. It was really neat! I banked left, banked right, did a big circle, went up then down. Then Ben took the controls and showed me what the plane can do. Really sharp turns to the left then the right. Then he asked if I want to feel like floating. Of course I do! So up we went then he did a nose dive. I screamed like I was on a roller coaster ride! So much for my mental image of me being a fighter pilot!
That's my plane

• I went to Vernon to race in the OC6 27km race in Okanagan Lake. We had a crew of eight and we did water changes. A hell of a lot of fun. And some bruises to show for it. Plus we won the novice category! We camped at the park and had a great time. Except for the park spinkler system turning on at 4am.
FCRCC Novice crew wins!

• Then there’s camping last weekend in Manning Park Lightning Lake. About 20 of us went for the weekend. Ed and I came in last and drove around the campsite for half an hour looking for our friends. Turns out there’s another loop of campsites that we didn’t know about. Sigh... But aside from that, the weekend was awesome. Tons of food, great company, and a clean washroom! And on Sunday, we hung out by Lightning Lake where we enjoyed Jeannie’s catch of the day for lunch.

I have been busy! Lots of good times!