Sunday 7 November 2010

Part of the network

Went to see The Social Network today. It was good storytelling and even if tones down some aspects of it (there were too many comments from characters which they could only really make if they see into the future), life can be as strange or stranger than (pure) fiction. I enjoyed it a lot, probably because it struck a bell with what I know about computer science reference, the hacker culture, startups. Also probably because I "was" in there in 2004 when Facebook just started to take off abroad, and I had to have an email address to sign up. ;)

Of course, a lot has changed since then, and I have changed a lot too. For example, I did have a (disastrous) interview with Facebook earlier this year, and a similarly bad (but slightly more encouraging) one with Google. Despite not being a CS major. And despite never applying there, but they came and asked me.

The outcome of those interviews are not really surprising for me, but before both of them there was a time when I had to seriously consider - what if I DO get the job? Would I like it? Could I go from hobby to profession? Would I regret "giving up on Science"? Well, whatever were my thoughts at that time, it does not matter, since I'm still "here". But looking at the movie, the atmosphere, the offices, the workstyle... I feel I could give it a try. :) (no, not the "coke off a girl's belly" type of parties, that's the business section of the company I don't especially care for)

So what would it take to get a job there? I feel if I had a few months off, let's say at least 3 or 4, I could polish up on the things I needed and could - not necessary ace it, but - do very well for a not strictly speaking professional. If I had to and I wanted to.
On the other hand, if I take that much time and dive into any area of physics (which I supposed to do as my chosen profession anyway), how much would I gain? Could I ace that? I really hope I could.

But I find choosing between these two paths that seem to be open (even if just a tiny little crack) very difficult, since they are almost have nothing in common. I've found no good personal measure of success yet, maybe that would be a good start.

And in the meantime, if I'm not inclined to pick up the arrogance, but I think I can still learn some creativity and perseverance from this fictional "Mark".