Goodbye Moto, Hello World
It's official, today is my last day at Motorola. The last (almost) 5 years have been a roller coaster, but it's time to step off. I have a new job that starts Monday and I'm excited to be doing something new.
I was originally hired to create tools and manage APIs for an in-house version of Linux that was to replace the ancient OS that was on the original RAZR, ROKR, et. al. We were days away from shipping that phone when the new CEO, Sanjay Jha, announced that Moto was going all-in on Android. For the last 4 years, my team and I had been making Android tools, working on open-source projects, doing presentations, and supporting developers.
There was always some question about why Motorola did that when Google had their own developer organization. The truth was, we did it because we could. We had talented staff, we had budget, and we had the support of our CEO. He knew that the secret to success for Android was a healthy developer ecosystem with tons of great apps. So we went out and supported the community as best we could.
Along the way, I …
- … met lots of great people. Motorola has a lot of great people. They also have a lot of people who would be at home in the US government.
- … avoided learning Six Sigma
- … traveled to Brazil 3 times to hang out with my team. I developed a taste for cachaça, especially the good stuff. I have an appreciation for many things Brazilian and can even understand some things written in Portuguese.
- … visited Beijing during the coldest week on record
- … tried to convince The Powers That Be at Motorola that unlocked bootloaders are not Bad Things
- … smoked a Cuban cigar at 3 a.m. outside La Recoleta cemetery in Buenos Aires. It tasted like every other cigar I've ever smoked (bad). This was moments before a drunken collision with my boss' boss that had both of us sprawling on the cobblestones. I was black and blue for a month after that.
- … visited Mexico City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Montreal, Toronto, San Diego, and Washington DC. All interesting in different ways.
- … visited the San Francisco Bay area entirely too many times
- … always missed out on Eclipse Summit Europe but it wasn't for lack of trying
- … evangelized Eclipse and open source both inside and outside of Motorola
- … spent several birthdays away from home because October is conference season
- … racked up air miles on United that I may use some day
- … accepted an industry award for my teams' efforts that I'm quite proud of
The acquisition by Google pretty well brought MOTODEV to an end. I'm not bitter about it–not in the least. We always wanted to open-source the work that my team created but Motorola's bureaucracy prevented us from doing that. The first thing that happened when Google took over was to create a plan to move all our tools into the Android Open Source Project. The code is there now and anyone who wants to use or improve it can get at it.
The MOTODEV organization itself was gutted in the August layoffs. Most of the people have said their goodbyes elsewhere. There are some people left doing other things. The website is still around, but it's not being improved. I was laid off in August along with my co-workers, but I was asked to stick around to make sure transition was smooth. The last year was very stressful, so I was relieved when the layoff call came. The severance package is generous. At least on paper. If it all hits my bank account I will have nothing but happy memories of the last 5 years and best of wishes for those that remain behind.
The new job is a company called Klocwork that is based in Ottawa, Ontario. I'll be traveling a lot and I'll make use of my passport, NEXUS card, and Global Entry. They create software tools for embedded and desktop developers and they match up nicely with my skills. If you are a developer, there's a good chance you've heard of them. I will still be working on Android and dabbling in tools. I will also be doing some Eclipse work as an individual contributor on the Eclipse for Mobile Developers package. The HR manager at Klocwork said they have 4 policies, one of which is "don't be stupid". I think I will enjoy that.
Even though it's raining outside, I can see a ray of sunlight peeking through the clouds. It's going to be alright.