Anyway, to the point of the blog post. In early November (2012), whilst I was preparing my Security Onion presentation for IrissCon (why did I bother when my MBP died on-stage), I received a very interesting and personal email via LinkedIn. The email came from a "Senior International Belief Instigator" (let's call him the SIBI - to save me typing) at Riot Games and the email was literally awesome, it hit many of the key points that you'd hope for in a recruiter email but it also had a wonderful tone. In my ignorance, I knew of League of Legends but not Riot (yes, I am embarrassed by that). I receive a lot of mails (some from so-called "top" tech companies) through LinkedIn that resemble mass mailings or show that the recruiter has done no researched, however, this mail showed that he had
- researched my background
- seen what I had or hadn't done in the past
- developed a feeling for what I might like to do and I guess, developed an inkling that I may not be doing what I truly "loved"
To cut a long story short, I said (twice)
"No, thanks, sounds great but I'm not interested. I've a lot to do here where I am now."
but was eventually given the line that gets most people,
"Sure, why don't we just meet for a pint in Dublin!"
I then started doing my research, checking out the game and learning about eSports (I knew it existed but I'd no idea of the sheer size and the incredible growth) - I gradually became very excited. So on the night of the 2012 Riot Games Christmas party, I had a pint and learned a lot about the technical and engineering challenges that Riot were and are facing. I left that pub feeling like a kid in a candy store or something like that :p
Over the course of the next 6 months, I chatted to many folk within Riot (primarily on the Operations and Security teams and the SIBI, of course) and this included a very quick trip to LA for a round of interviews and dinner. That candy store soon grew to something like this -
So despite being pretty happy in 10gen, witnessing remarkable growth, learning MongoDB, developing a security awareness/educational program and helping drive new security features, something was missing and my heart was pointing towards the challenges at Riot.
To be honest, the overall interview/headhunting process was pretty unreal and I feel incredibly lucky and humble that Riot chose to talk with me and see if I was a fit. The one thing that struck me throughout the process (and this is very abnormal for many "awesome" techies) is how un-arrogant or humble everyone whom I talked to was. Don't get me wrong, I was drilled and I had some tough questions but the atmosphere was welcoming and relaxed (the 48 hour round-trip to LA was memorable and without jetlag).
Now I keep thinking,
"I get to play computer games at work"
Tomorrow (15th May, 2013) is day "numero uno" of many I hope and yep, I'm a little nervous but man, so excited! In my opinion, I think there are few morals to the story -
- Answer those LinkedIn mails, you never know what might happen.
- If you're a recruiter, do your research and personalise your communication. You never know what might happen, plus a pint is always a good start (well, in Ireland anyway).
- There are some cool technology jobs at the minute and luckily, for me, some are in Dublin :)
- I'm incredibly lucky (currently waiting for someone to wake me up with a kick to the balls) and I'd two great companies who wanted me to work for them. Thanks to both 10gen (Meghan - I'm still going to do that Kerberos blog :) ) and Riot!
- I can be bribed with a