September 19th, 2006

mini, for driving articles

Derailment avoided

I stumbled across this job description a week or two back. Firmware Engineer at Tesla Motors. My first thought was "ok, they're trying to be hip and advertise to joel's readership, that's kind of cool". Then I read the details...

You wouldn't know it from my current resume, but between my hobbies, my embedded work at Cygnus, and the deeper parts of my development upbringing (summary: when you start coding on an IMSAI front panel, anything higher level feels easy :-) I'm actually qualified for this job. Realizing this startled me. I'm sure that they'll have better candidates, of course, from people who actually do this for their careers... but I do interview well and if they're looking for enthusiasm too I might have a chance...

"The successful candidate will split their time between the auto shop and the office. Testing involves driving an electric sports car." That sounds like a huge amount of fun :-)

Of course, my current job is
  • interesting and challenging
  • filled with interesting people
  • makes a difference, potentially at world-scale
  • well-aligned with what I'm demonstrably good at
  • actually in New England
I think five years ago I'd have taken it, though...

One could however argue that electric sports cars lead to electric mundane cars and trucks, which leads to vast reductions in foreign oil dependency, which leads to a reduction in terrorism (or at least enables telling the middle east to sod off, which works as a first approximation) which makes it important in the longer run, while being mostly fun in the present. And it's not like California lacks interesting people (Tesla is right off El Camino in San Carlos, a little north of Palo Alto...)

In the end, I settled for writing a cover letter (and not sending it), and eagerly awaiting the car actually showing up on the market (unlike the T-zero which never really made it out of prototype and technology demonstrator mode.) I did also check on linkedin to see if I had any introduction shortcuts, and did, via an obvious-only-in-retrospect path.

So no major life derailment today! I'm sure this leads to an interesting mix of "aww" and "whew" reactions from the people in my life :-)

update 2006-09-27: The posting is gone; last I looked it had had over 1000 hits so I'm sure they filled it...