Friday, January 23, 2009


NetApp had a company party this afternoon, and for a while I shared a table with K., who I worked with some years ago at another company, and C., who was an intern last summer and now works for us full-time. C. went to San José State -- K. did too!

K. reminded me that I had helped hire her way back then. I won't tell you how old she is, but I remember a conversation we had one day in the cafeteria: We were talking about housing prices, and she said something like, "I think people around here have just accepted that it's OK to spend $250,000 on a house." I thought it was ridiculous to spend a quarter of a million dollars on a house, but obviously that conversation happened quite a while ago.

K. is now a "director" at NetApp -- not as in "Board of Directors", but like a high-level manager. She looks terrific, by the way; as far as I can tell, she could be 25 or 30, except I remember our conversation about housing prices.

This made me think about R., who was my intern in 1980. He's now a vice president at NetApp -- not technical at all! He seems happy about being a VP.

And I remembered S., someone else I helped hire at a former employer. He is a founder or chief technologist or something at a startup -- he's done one or two startups....

A few months ago I was saying that if all my interns became VPs, I'd wonder where I had gone wrong -- people work with me and they end up leaving technical work and doing management instead.

But really, I tell myself, it's probably not my fault. They probably actually wanted to be managers, directors, VPs, whatever.

So I guess it's OK; I'll be happy for them.

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