Here’s something I didn’t expect to be writing: I like interviewing for jobs.
How often do you get to sit down with a team of people from some other company for an an hour or two and talk about their business - their goals, the challenges they face, past successes and failures?
Unless you are a consultant, the answer is probably not very often. Rarely does one get a peek under the hood into the guts of someone else’s business.
But it is a very enlightening experience, these teams are faced with generally similar sets of problems and they have taken different approaches to solving them. Often there are no clear right or wrong choices - rather costs and benefits to be weighed based on the needs of the business. Actions, consequences, data, analyses.
The process has definitely provided a fresh perspective. And fresh insights.
For example, I use my work laptop almost exclusively as a portal into “the cloud.” I’ll save the details for another post, but that can actually be a pretty expensive choice. If I need a development system, I spin up an appropriate VM in AWS EC2 or GCE and connect over a VPN or SSH tunnel. Which is great when you are a startup getting those instances for free. But if you are an established business paying list price, that’s a few hundred dollars a month in costs. Multiply that by a few dozen developers and your business is spending a lot of money.