Several years ago, a friend I had worked with at Microsoft gave me a call. We were on the same SQL Server development team for several years. He was deciding if he should leave Microsoft and join a startup in his home town of Los Angeles. I had left two years earlier so he was looking for some outside perspective. I told him he should go for it. It was a great chance for him to grow and to return home.
A few months later, he called me back. He wanted to tell me about what he was working on. The project was a site for viewing shows online. Fox and Universal were the primary investors. They were using Ruby on Rails and he knew I had lots of Rails experience. He thought I might be interested. I had no desire to move to Los Angeles and besides, Hollywood had a poor track record when it came to online services. Maybe if they were in Seattle, it would have been worth considering. I wished him well and didn’t think much more of it.
My friend was working at Hulu.
Needless to say, I was very wrong about their prospects for success. Hulu has become a premier site for online video. They have an excellent customer experience. They are doing a good job of balancing traditional media with the rapidly changing distribution models. There is still a very long way to go but I believe they are on the right path.
About two months ago, I got another message from my friend. We hadn’t talked in awhile. I figured he wanted to catch up. He did and he had some news. He told me about what he had just posted to the company blog - Hulu would be opening a Seattle office.
I’m really excited to say that I’m the first Seattle employee. I’ll be working in the new office on Hulu clients for devices. I also hope to have a hand in growing the backend service. Although I was happy working as a freelance mobile developer, Hulu felt like it was too special to pass up. I’ve been using Hulu for two years. I dropped my satellite subscription over a year ago. So I’m going to be working on something I very much want. Hulu along with Netflix is redefining what television will become. I’m thrilled to be a part of that.
So my independent goals will be put on hold for the time being. I don’t think I could have found a project that is better than what I’ll be doing. I’m excited to be part of creating a new office and carving out an identity for our team here in Seattle.
We’re hiring more developers and QA engineers in Seattle. Please contact me or Richard if you are interested!