No, I’m not going to become an “Amazon Blogger” (that territory is well-covered) but I have at-work stories, neither leaks nor marketing.

Point form:

  • My first job out of school was with Digital, the world’s then-second-biggest computer vendor. Now I’m back in the biz. Yes, I think of AWS as, effectively, a computer vendor; my third such employer, including Sun.

    (I remember vividly, in that first job, the convoluted, high-contact process, back then, of speccing and selling and delivering computers; quotes could run to hundreds of pages and invoices to a dozen.)

  • The groups around me where I sit include SQS, SWF, and Autoscaling. Can’t get much geekier than that.

    Three jobs ago, I could tell ordinary people “I help make Sun products better for Web sites.” Two jobs ago: “I help people write better Android apps.” Last job: “I work on making it easier to sign in, because passwords suck.” This job, there’s not a chance in hell of explaining to a civilian what it is I do.

  • Every Mac needs stickers — how else you gonna tell ’em apart? Mine only has one so far.

Chaos Monkey laptop sticker
  • Modern servers are pretty reliable things: The hardware, the OS, the frameworks. Boy, you’d never know it from the conversations around my desk; Multiply a minuscule failure rate by a huge enough number of computers, and well, shit happens. Software just has to deal, and we’re supposed to help with that.

  • I got a tour of one of the famous fulfillment centers. Apparently reporters get them too, but I’m still not gonna say anything. Except for, it made me feel better about the company.

  • My urban-mole technique has advanced sufficiently that the open-air exposure on the walk from train to office is a single street crossing. What I should really do, instead of bike→train→walk, is pedal the whole way.

  • If you want a pretty good high-tech job in Vancouver, Amazon is hiring.



Contributions

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From: Larry Reid (Jan 11 2015, at 19:27)

If you're going to commute on bike, the big question is what does Amazon offer for end of trip: Lockers, showers, bike cage, etc.?

Commuting by bike in Vancouver is 95% a question of desire. Once you accept that you're going to get wet, it's easy. :-)

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From: dr2chase (Jan 12 2015, at 05:02)

On biking to work, I'd very much recommend three things (all things I use myself):

1) fat tires. 50mm is the sweet spot, still allows you to use a frame lock, Schwalbe makes some nice ones with low rolling resistance, reasonable puncture protection, and reflective sidewalls (Big Apple, Big Ben). Larger tires (good ones) have lower rolling resistance, and are less sensitive to cracks and slots in the road surface.

2) daytime (and night time) running lights. Get a dynamo hub (mid-grade Shimano works fine, or you can get fancy with a Sturmey-Archer drum brake / dynamo combo), and either pay retail for head and tail lights, or build your own (to build your own you need to convert AC to DC, doubler-rectifier here: https://oshpark.com/shared_projects/QSplfQc6 -- to make headlights, buy Cree lights and lenses from ledsupply, solder carefully, epoxy to aluminum angle and use P-clamps or bell clamps with long bolts in place of bell to mount. More here: https://dr2chase.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/lights-for-a-beater-bike/ LEDs are current devices, wire it all in series).

3) If you lack a rain coat, this one is pretty good. http://www.amazon.co.uk/Hock-Super-Praktiko-Design-marine/dp/B000PQWNTK Fenders of course are still necessary.

Are you allowed to say which group at Amazon you are in?

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From: Johnny (Jan 18 2015, at 01:59)

If you can plot your course around False Creek, each season will reward you with its own versions of stunning sceneries.

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author · Dad · software · colophon · rights

January 10, 2015
· Technology (81 fragments)
· · Internet (110 more)

By .

I am an employee
of Amazon.com, but
the opinions expressed here
are my own, and no other party
necessarily agrees with them.

A full disclosure of my
professional interests is
on the author page.