Monday, 11 June 2007

Letting Schrödinger's cat out of the bag

On Friday I journeyed up to the greatest capital city in the world - London (try searching on Google if you don't agree) - and had the final round of interviews with ThoughtWorks. The end result was I got the job (I'm a very happy JMB) - which has already cost me a huge wedge of cash taking my wife out for a celebratory meal in a posh restaurant - and now I am just waiting the official offer before I start the ball rolling (hand in my notice etc.).

I'd like to say what a great day I had: I have never experienced an interviewing process so thorough but at the same time so incorporating. There were several points in the day when I had to stop myself just wandering round the office and just going up to people or sitting at a laptop and pretending to be a real ThoughtWorker (which I will soon be!). I have never felt so accommodated and welcome at an interview before, from the moment I walked in the door and despite the normal sweaty palms I felt fairly relaxed (or at least only slightly anxious) and even for the written tests I was made to feel as comfortable as possible.

What was really evident was the amount of probing ThoughtWorks do to ensure that you are going to be suitable from an environmental/cultural perspective. Though this sounds obvious (and I did half-dismiss its relevance when being told about it) there is a real effort from ThoughtWorks that you understand what life as a ThoughtWorker is like - good and bad. They try and build up the picture of ThoughtWorks as much as possible with all its warts. I really appreciated this, not just for its openess, as working for ThoughtWorks can sound like the development equivalent of getting to play premiership football or getting a Hollywood part, but you still need to understand that it isn't all red carpets and adoring fans but there is work to do and sometimes that work may not be too glamorous.

I'd also add that I was surprised at the level of feedback ThoughtWorks give you; virtually every other company that have offered me a job you get the normal stony faced interview - with a few smiles and laughs at your anecdotes and Dad jokes - and then the short "we'd like to offer you the position" phone call. ThoughtWorks gave me loads of direct feedback - which I must say was really flattering - and when I walked out of the office - and aimlessly wandered the streets of London for the 30 minutes it took me to come to my senses and realise I was hungry and needed to get home - I can't honestly say what my head was more full of the excitement of the job offer or the "they said I was...".

The only downside of the whole thing was, when I finally did pull myself together and get myself home, I had to attempt to excitedly reiterate nearly five hours of information to my friends and family: but hey, if you can't bore your closest and dearest half to death with a detailed breakdown of the logic test - which retrospectively I perversely enjoyed - then who can you?

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About Me

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West Malling, Kent, United Kingdom
I am a ThoughtWorker and general Memeologist living in the UK. I have worked in IT since 2000 on many projects from public facing websites in media and e-commerce to rich-client banking applications and corporate intranets. I am passionate and committed to making IT a better world.