Friday marked the end of the third week at the new job at CBITs and I figured that checking in might answer some of the questions folks are asking about how things are going. Overall, I’m quite happy with the new job. While I’m sure that there are some curveballs coming my way in the not too distant future, so far it’s been exceptionally smooth sailing.

If I were to choose the thing that I like best about the new job, so far, it’s been that I’ve been given free latitude to fill some technology holes in the existing stack and this has given me the opportunity to brush off some of my old research thinking and make a good start getting the infrastructure up and running using the models and techniques I originally deployed in my context-awareness research. I’m happy to report that I’ve managed to put together a pretty high-performance sensor stack for Android as well as a local control API that can monitor and control other apps on the local device. Sensing & control were two of the three legs of my original context-sensing architecture – I’ll be working on the third leg - machine learning - later this week. All in all, this is work that I was looking forward to doing on my own later this year, so I somewhat feel like I’m cheating by getting paid to do it now. :-)

I’m also happy to report that the biggest downside to this job isn’t job-related, but instead just the process of getting to and from the office. In the decade that I’ve lived in Chicago, I either lived close to where I worked (Evanston) or had the good fortune to travel in the opposite direction as rush hour traffic. Unfortunately for this job, I’m travelling at the same direction as the other commuters at the same time. Riding the train to the office is extremely unpleasant, so I’ve opted to make my commute a good bit longer (20-30 minutes per trip) by taking the bus that stops outside our place. Fortunately, our stop is just after a busy stop where lots of folks get off to take the train, so I’ve had no issue finding space on the way in.

On the way back is a different story. The train is just as busy heading home, so I’ve been returning via bus. The bus stop I use is the one outside the Michigan Ave. Apple Store, so I typically end up playing a scheduling game where I try to pick and choose one of several routes depending on how busy the buses are. In the last couple of weeks, I’ve used the 151, 148, and 145 lines to get home. This isn’t a major issue, but I’m waiting for the day where my luck runs out.

Three weeks in, the decision to take this job seems to be turning out quite well. I’m aware that I’m still in the “honeymoon phase”, but overall it seems like my interests are very well aligned with the organizational interests, and I have sufficient latitude and influence to start making changes where needed. At this point, I can’t ask for any more.

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