Year 1 at the worlds oldest company, GE


Earlier I tried to log into the task board at work. Y’know that board thingy that has the cards that represent the work you could’a should’a would’a done but you’re still in the middle of that other task thing that is no where on the board. Anyway, as soon as I opened the page I was greeted by an awful terrible thing… something so rotten it will keep you up in cold sweats… you’ll never look at a computer screen the same way after seeing this thing… It was the password reset screen! Hi, I’m Cliff. You’re here because your password just expired and I’m here to remind you not to use the same one over with just two characters transposed.

It’s that time of year when stock options start to vest and you begin to lose access to critical systems while mis-keying your new uncommitted to memory nonsense word that most include at least two digits, one capital letter, begin and end with a letter, and rhyme with “silver”. You must also compliment this nonsense word with random answers to common questions like, “other than pink, fuscha, green, red and yellow what is your favorite color?” and, “what is your first car which everybody remembers you driving from high school because you crashed it into a tree?” These hard to guess combinations will guarantee that everyone but you can access your sensitive accounts as you struggle to remember the proper casing for the name of the city you grew up in. (was it “Mt Holly” or “Mount Holly” or did you get totally lazy and key in “mount holly”?) A few dozen call to IT and a couple hours later and you’re right back to trying to recall your first pet’s name while setting a new gobble-gook phrase that you’re sure to remember since this time it reminds you of the lady at the grocery store that hooks you up with extra paper bags without charge the $.10 fee.

So what have I done this past year? I’ve managed to write an Android app which my team is hoping to finish and publish as part of our mobile platform. I’ve picked up the Kotlin language. (…and put it back down once I realized how over-committed my schedule became.) I learned nodeJS/TypeScript/Electron by fire. I helped to organize a mobile workshop. I helped a developer’s hangout. I’ve done several product demos. I’ve basically been Mr. Mobile Phone-pants around the office. I would say that I’ proud of my accomplishments but I don’t really feel like I’ve accomplished anything.

Overall I really love working at this company… it’s not something I thought I’d every get used to. I mean, let’s be honest… this place is not known for anything fancy like social networking or streaming video, or fancy cartoony game characters or anything. AS a matter of fact, the first thing that comes to mind when hearing or thinking of the GE brand is some sort of chore I used to try to avoid when I was younger. That said, I am blown away with how much fun I’ve had over the last 12 months. Here’s hoping the next twelve are just as exciting!

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