Editor’s note: This post was hastily written my first week on the new job, and sat in draft for 2 months.
I owe Hugh (one or two time poster on this very blog) at least one Very Fancy Hat for introducing me to a SpaceX recruiter.
Huge and I showed up to college orientation on the same plane, he in his fedora and tie fighter jacket (made with real ties!), and kept running into each other on campus. Sophomore year we picked up two other strapping young lads and moved into a small off-campus apartment. And thus “13th” was born, a 3-year tradition that had its fair share of ups and downs, and more than enough smalltime college stories that we’ll all remember at some point.
Digressions aside, Hugh asked me if I wanted to send my resume to SpaceX. I had discussed with him my grievances of my job; he could relate in some aspects, having pledged his first few years to a national lab for research. I wasn’t looking for an established group anymore; NASA had filled that role quite nicely. I was certain that my skillset had grown enough to be useful, but I was almost sure that the economy and education domestic and overseas had flooded the market. I still think I’m right about a flooded market, but there’s always a place for a geek-of-all-trades with competent communication skills.
So after a few days of touchups over my winter vacation, my resume hit the SpaceX inbox, and within a week I had a programmer’s test that flooded me with memories of AP Computer Science. A week after that, I had a phone interview. After two weeks (and several agonizing late nights with the application materials), I had a site visit and in-person interviews. I had a great time and apparently, they did too: I got an offer about two weeks later!
2 months later:
This is literally the best job anyone in aerospace with less than 5 years experience could have. I have learned more about software engineering in 2 months than I did in the last 6 years. Everyone is younger/my age, technically gifted, undeniably committed to the company and to mission success, and eager to fly as many rockets as possible. All I have to do, is keep up.