Michael Mechmann
Michael Mechmann


Ain’t there?

Just a quick life update, shouted into the void as ever.

First, the big news.

Arise now, ye Tarnished!

After what I think was the longest period of unemployment I’ve had since I was in college, I was recently hired on at an internet services company that many folks may have heard of — Yahoo! Yes, the same Yahoo that started out pre-Google as the so-called “front page of the internet” and one of the biggest directories of web sites that we used to use before search engines were really a thing. The company has had its ups and downs over the years — bought, merged, sold, split up, hacked, reforged — but despite everything it’s still alive and, apparently, thriving, primarily as many folks’ source of news, and particularly for sports and finance news and stock portfolio tracking. Now that it’s free of Verizon’s disastrous stewardship it seems to be doing a bit better at standing among the big players, so I’m excited to join and be a part of this. I personally have fond memories of Yahoo’s glory days — I was a reluctant Google adopter — so I’m hoping I can be a small part of bringing it back to world domination being a major internet presence.

This also represents a personal career milestone, as I have achieved the Principal Engineer title. Within the industry, and particularly the FAANG/MANGA/whatever Big Tech companies, Principal or Staff Engineer is often considered a significant step on the engineer’s career ladder. Impostor syndrome will always be a thing for me, but I do admit I was feeling that I was ready to make that step up — either that or transition to engineering management, which I was a lot less gung-ho about. I think I like actually writing code too much to be truly content as a manager, even a manager who sometimes writes code. Successfully being hired as a principal at a major tech company really feels validating in that regard. I think I’ll stick to coding for as long as they’ll let me.

Projects, Music, etc.

Unfortunately, becoming unemployed immediately after you sign your very first mortgage and move to a new city is, as it turns out, extremely fucking stressful. I found myself far too consumed by the job hunt to do much else, other than that and play video games (I did beat Elden Ring, which was a lot of fun).

But I’m not joking about feeling validated in my career now that I’ve found a job, and between that and spending some of my first paycheck to splurge on a new stereo amplifier and speakers for my turntable, I’ve been feeling a lot more musical lately. Also, as we sort out the storage in my WFH office/crafts room, I’m finding myself itching to get back to hands-on projects as well. So maybe, just maybe, life won’t throw me a huge curveball and I can get back to doing the other things I love (knock on wood, etc.).

I did, however, have to wipe my gaming/music PC, and when I did I finally took the plunge on making Linux my primary OS. The truth is, gaming is actually viable on Linux, and has been for a while, but especially now that Valve is doing serious work to support as many games as possible on the Steam Deck (which runs Linux internally). I’m dual-booting Debian and Windows 11 (which is really feeling like a mistake tbh), because there are some things like FL Studio that sadly still only support Windows. But the point being that my music production is a bit interrupted as I get everything truly set up and figure out a good workflow that keeps things as much in Linux as possible (I did what I could to disable the more heinous features of Win11 but I suspect there’s only so much one can do).

So, overall, the future is looking a bit brighter. I hope to come back with more good news soon enough.

I leave you with this picture of fog rolling in over the San Francisco hills