Friday, June 30, 2006

First week at the Family History Department

Calvin in front of Utah Capital Building

I've only been gone from Novell a week and it feels like much longer. The first week working in the Family History Department has been amazing. Having never worked for an organization this big, my first day was overwhelming. I always felt like Novell was a large organization (which it is) but I believe there are more employees that work in the The Church Office Building than all of Novell. Monday morning there was a sea of people flowing into the building and I had to quickly move to one side of the flow to get oriented and figure out where to go. The human resources department deals with thousands and thousands of employees so there is a lot of process to everything.

View of Downtown from The Church Office Building

Today I had a break at lunch so I walked over to The Church Office Building to pick up my badge (yes, it took 4 days to get it). Since I now had clearance, I decided to go up to the 26th floor and check out the view. I only had my Treo with me so the resolution on the photos isn't that great. Having grown up in Salt Lake City, it's pretty sad that this was the my first trip to the top of that building!

Joseph Smith Memorial Building Lobby

My office is in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. That building used to be the old Hotel Utah. In fact, when I was a senior in High School, I had my senior dance in the Hotel Utah. I don't remember much about the building back then other than it always looked run down. The Church did a lot of restoration on the building and it looks fantastic now. One of the strangest things about working there is it's a public building. There is always a flood of people (mostly tourists) walking through the lobby and taking the elevators to the top floor for lunch (there are two fantastic places to eat on the top floor; The Garden and The Roof). Yesterday Kevin Ward and I got on the elevator and right after us a bride and groom got on with their photographer. We had to squeeze to the edges of the elevator because the bride's dress filled the elevator. It was very funny. We got off on the fourth floor and they went on to the top. I had been to the building before working there and when people got off on any floor besides the top and lobby I always wondered what they did there... now I know.

The project I am working on is not public so I won't go into the details. I will say that it's a lot of fun. I've been involved in a lot of projects in the early stages but I really enjoy it when I'm involved from the very beginning... the blank sheet of paper stage. The intent is to open source the project and run it as an open source project so I'll be able to share more details about it later.

One other note for those that have made it this far, I really miss the iFolder3 server at Novell! When I first started, people started wanting to give me documents and I had several I had created. We kept mailing them back and forth and I was frustrated with such a primitive method of collaboration. At Novell we just threw everything into the team's metaverse iFolder and we all had access to the latest versions of the documents. It was perfect! Finally I discovered a department Wiki server that I've been able to use for creating and sharing data. In the end the Wiki will work better because I want all of these documents to be public when we go open with it. Still, I had my moments of frustration without iFolder!

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