Here’s my self-indulgent little post about my trip to Raleigh for my new hire orientation when I joined Red Hat this month. I thought you might like to see just a little of what it’s like to join the most important open source company in the world from a West Coast guy’s perspective.
First, I had to get used to the green. Sure, I lived in Seattle for almost five years, but the South is like fluorescent green by comparison.
Next, here’s a view of Red Hat’s cafeteria in their Raleigh headquarters. I used to work at the Intel where Craig Barrett (the CEO) was based and I even worked at Microsoft in Redmond for a short while, but this is quite a bit nicer (if a bit smaller):
Later that first night, I hung out with some of the other new hires at a cool little place right down the street called Cala*Vela for happy hour where my spicy margarita was spicy for real. After that, I just kind of walked around downtown Raleigh around the Fayetteville mall. I got a few pictures of the capitol and the supreme court, each of which is photogenic.
I think it was Tuesday or Wednesday night that I looked around for something else cool to do, which wasn’t hard in Raleigh. There’s a lot of tech and a lot of software. I went to a security/infosec meetup and met some really cool guys (yes, they were all guys) at a real brew pub called Crank Arm Brewing — and the beer was really, really good. We ended up bouncing around a few local places and ultimately ended up at The Pit for a late brisket dinner.
Hey Raleigh is too small for me, but now I understand “the thing” that’s been drawing people there. It’s inviting, warm, and happy. The people are cool and comfortable. The beer is (very) good. The tech is even better. I hope I’ve got a few more trips in my future out there.
The way home was exciting for a guy who’s only crossed the Mississippi a handful of times in his life. The “adventure” started with a killer (I do mean “killer” from a cardiac surgeon’s point of view) chicken and waffles from Beasley’s but then tornado warnings and “severe rain” warnings lit up my phone. I did, as a matter of fact, get completely soaked on the 0.25 mile walk from Red Hat to the hotel; my clothes were still wet the next morning in LA when I took them out of the suitcase. I used to think Arizona had torrential rains during the monsoons — I’ve revised my understanding of rainstorms since the trip.
The most cliche part of the trip (aside from the ‘Vette with the stars and stripes), however, was when I got back to LA. Of course my flight got delayed out of Raleigh an hour or so because of the rain and when I was driving back up the 110 through downtown LA to Pasadena I got hit with heavy, heavy traffic. It took me and hour and a half to get from LAX to Pasadena for a drive that should only take about 25 minutes, which wouldn’t be all that surprising except for the fact that it was almost midnight on a Thursday night. Oh LA. I love you.