End of Line blog

Thoughts on software development, by Adam Ruka

Life update – job and location change (2nd edition)

What now seems like an eternity ago, I published a post on this blog about moving to Spain to work for Amazon. It’s hard to believe that it’s only been 18 months since I wrote that article – it seems almost a different lifetime now. But, life never stands still, and recently there have been significant changes in my life – again.

First of all, I got married to my wonderful girlfriend of many years, Wiola. The wedding and the subsequent honeymoon in the Dominican Republic were amazing. Those kind of experiences stay with you for the rest of your life – I will never forget them for sure.

But that’s not all. I still work for Amazon – that part has not changed. I have switched teams, though, and the location. I now work in the Amazon headquarters in Seattle, Washington state, US.

The move to the States is a huge endeavor, as anybody coming here from Europe will surely attest. The cost of transporting belongings is enormous, to the point that it doesn’t make much financial sense to take a lot of things with you – it’s cheaper in most cases to just buy new ones here than to try and ship your old ones overseas. It’s a little bit scary, but at the same time kind of exhilarating – it’s like you’re hitting the reset button, and starting your life from square one again. In a lot of ways it’s similar to how immigrants came to the US from Europe in the 19th and early 20th century with practically nothing (Except, you know, a few details, like instead of a multi-month trip on an overcrowded boat, it takes you a few hours on an airplane while enjoying the in-flight movies; and you arrive not on Ellis Island to be quarantined for fleas, but to a comfortable temporary apartment that your relocation company arranged for you. And “nothing” in this case means two large suitcases, one piece of cabin luggage and a laptop backpack for each person. But, other than that, yeah, it’s pretty much the same).

The move is also a significant career change for me. I’m still working as a developer; however, I not only changed teams, but also organizations as well – I am now part of Amazon Web Services. It’s not an easy transition for me – I have to make peace with the fact that most of my Retail knowledge is now useless, and there is a huge amount of new things related to AWS to learn and master. And while it’s a little disconcerting, it’s also a challenge and a huge opportunity for me.

So, here I am again – in a place where I have no idea what will my future look like. The last time I wrote that, the future turned out to be pretty great. Hopefully, it will be the same (or better!) this time.