Up and down

16 Nov

It’s been an emotional week. Even though I effectively left Google months ago and have been on unpaid leave since August, it was harder than I thought it would be to log out of my corporate accounts and write goodbye emails. Google was a big part of my identity for the last 3+ years. I am very thankful for the experience. It was the best job I ever had. I learned a ton, thoroughly enjoyed my work, and contributed a lot to the open source community. I have many happy memories and trust that many friendships and some of my code will endure.

I continue to remind myself that as great as Google is, I have an even more meaningful identity as a child of the living God, and an even higher calling than Developer Advocate. My one and only regret is that I was not more vocal about my faith. I was able to talk about the Lord with a few friends and post a few comments about the Lord in discussion forums when it came up. I imagine that everyone in my office knew I was a Christian because I regularly prayed before lunch, didn’t laugh at crude jokes, etc. I wanted to talk with many 1:1, but there were few opportunities for this. Trust must be earned, friendships cultivated patiently. This is not easy for me. I am a cultural misfit in suburban America. That’s part of why we’re no longer living in suburban America.

I am still wrestling with how to use online tools effectively to glorify God in my work. My hero in this regard is my friend techie David Chung (see http://dchung.com/jesus.html). I never felt the liberty to be so bold as a public representative of a secular company, and in most contexts, I did not feel it was apropos to bring my faith into an otherwise technical conversation (on my technical blog or G+, for example) although I noted that some of my peers had no such inhibitions when it came to politics or religion. Now that I’m no longer with Google, I plan to revisit that. I much prefer to talk with people 1:1 and am not sure that it’s profitable or wise to speak to 7 billion people and search engines all at once, especially for those with ideas of moving to or traveling to closed countries. Still, i want my light to shine in such a way that it’s possible for onlookers to identify the Source. If you read my public goodbye post on G+ or the Phi page on my TurboManage blog, you will find pretty strong clues. But I want to share more than clues. Now that I have my own voice back, I should be able to do that more freely.

On a bright note, we were encouraged to spend some time this week with a missionary family with similar interests in photography and technology. Jonathan was a systems administrator for tech companies and will soon be running an orphanage in the jungle. It’s really cool to see what God is doing with other people having backgrounds similar to my own.

One Response to “Up and down”

  1. michael CHANDLER November 16, 2013 at 10:10 am #

    I’m sure it was hard to leave such a good job. Google was good for you and I’m sure vice versa. Yet now you can be your own voice without fear that a corporate position is violated. David, if you were a cultural misfit in suburban America, you sure had a lot of misfit friends in Tyrone! Yet each of them were misfits in the same sense. You did well to reach the reachable in Google and to encourage the few Christians who worked there. Jesus worked very well with misfits. You are in good company.

    Love, Dad

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