I was preparing to write this last week but felt a bit meh about describing the amazingness of the last few months of my life on an old and dated blog design. So here is a new one! You can read more about this design on my other blog. :)
Anyhoo so, if you happen to follow me on Twitter, you may have seen my announcement that I recently accepted an offer from Blizzard Entertainment to join one of their web teams as a Front End Engineer! :D I’m super excited about this opportunity and YES that means Chaz and I will be moving to the Southern California area!!
How did this all come about? Every so often I would peruse the Blizzard Careers section for openings related to web design & development. Blizzard has always been a company I’ve admired, ever since I first picked up Warcraft III years ago. Not only are their games amazingly made but their websites have also always followed the same level of quality and attention to detail. They are all about making the experience from game to website seamless and that standard has always impressed me!
So one day, back in February, I noticed there were a few openings for Web Front End Engineers across a few of their teams. I had recently redesigned my portfolio, so I went ahead and applied! Fast forward a couple weeks later and an email from a Blizzard recruiter pops up in my inbox: “The hiring manager has reviewed your portfolio and is interested in speaking. Would you like to set up a time?” UM YES. (Obviously my reply was more professional.) A phone interview was scheduled for the following week.
The phone interview went very well and I heard back two weeks later from the recruiter that they wanted to bring me out to their headquarters in Irvine, California for an in-person interview! This was my favorite part of the whole process. I flew out on the morning of April 14th (a Sunday) and arrived in Irvine in the mid-afternoon. After checking into my hotel, I drove to the Irvine Spectrum Center to chill out for an hour or two. Grabbed dinner at The Veggie Grill (delicious) and then walked around.
I had brought shorts and a tshirt to play tourist (since I was hoping Cali would be warm in April) and, even though it was only 55F I stubbornly wore them anyway. Someone actually stopped me at one point and exclaimed, “Aren’t you COLD?!” and I was like “Hell no, I am from Kentucky so this is balmy to me.”… but I eventually gave in and bought a sweater from the Old Navy at the center because I was in fact a bit chilly. :P
The day of the interview was AWESOME. I dressed sort of business-casually (Blizzard is a tshirt-casual company, but I still wanted to be pro) and headed to their campus. I didn’t take any photos while I was there (aside from one pic of the big orc statue) but there are several blog posts out there (like this one) that have galleries. But I will say that the interior of every building I visited (down to the elevators) were decked out in Blizzard art! Super cool.
The first part of the interview was a 1.5 hour skills test. Can’t divulge anything about it, but it was really fun to do and I enjoyed it. :D After that I got a mini-tour of several of the areas (museum, cafeteria, gym, offices, lounges, etc) from my recruiter before I was handed off to the manager I had spoken with on my phone previously. We ate lunch in the cafeteria and had an informal interview, which was then followed by two more group interviews with other members of the team. Everyone was friendly, easygoing, and passionate about what they did, which was really awesome.
By 4pm it was done! I was able to ask some final questions of my recruiter and then I went back to my hotel. Changed back into my shorts and tshirt (WHO CARES. THERE ARE PALM TREES HERE.) and drove the beautiful 10 minute drive to Laguna Beach! Had dinner at La Sirena Grill and then drove down the coastal roads until I found a public beach to park at. I didn’t end up going onto the sand (because ugh it really WAS cold at the time) but I watched the waves for a while and thought about how nice it would be to live close to something like this. :D I flew back to Kentucky the following day and I was reeeeeally sad to leave.
A week later, my recruiter called to tell me that I would be receiving an offer that week. :D I had to wait until everything was official before I finally made the announcement on that Friday. I start my new job on June 10th and I am SOOOOOOOOOOO EXCIIIIITED! My last day at my current job is May 31st and my best friend Jessica and I will be road tripping it to Cali the following week. We’re going to be following several roads along the iconic Route 66 and we are stopping at places like the World Largest Catsup bottle and other quirky things. :D
Chaz will be staying here in Kentucky for a few months to wind down at his job and finish packing everything up at the house. I hope to complete a LOT of the packing before I go so there won’t be much left to do and it will be smooth. I’ve already got one room done (the office) and I have a really crazy organization system going. Each box has a number with a colored sticker. The number is matched to a spreadsheet I’m making that lists the contents of the box so we know whats in it. The colored sticker depicts what room the box belongs in! I also have a sticker system for furniture and big items, but we’re only taking a few pieces with us. The rest will be donated or sold. This all feels like second nature to me because I moved tons of times throughout my military childhood. ;D
Reading back over this I realized that I made this whole thing sound like I breezed through it with no problem but I’ll be honest and say it was very agonizing! Waiting days to weeks to hear back about an opportunity that will literally change your life is not an easy thing to do. XD But I did it and it turned out AWESOME. I really can’t wait to see everyone again that I met in April, dive into projects, be challenged, and do other fun Blizzard stuff.
So there you go! I’m looking forward to what my future holds. :D