My Google Gal is Moving to Pittsburgh

Yep;  the Binary Biker is moving to Pittsburgh.  Actually, it’s the Binary Princess that is moving.  My lovely wife is now employed by Google and is relocating to work in their Pittsburgh office on the Google Shopping product.

It all started about six months ago when my wife’s company, for which she has been working about eight years, entered into negotiations with Google.  Early on, my wife and the position she fills was identified as a key person in a role that needed continuity and continuation after the acquisition.  We were flown to Pittsburgh with a few other key people in key roles prior to the signing of the deal to be wooed by Google.  The acquisition was dependent upon enough of the key roles agreeing to relocate to Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh was not at all like I expected.  I was expecting a grungy, grimy, city.  A city scarred and marred by the steel industry that used to be the economic mainstay of the region.  What I found was a growing and vibrant historical city with an urban feel unlike any town in Florida.  I found a city the revolved around the Steelers and the Penguins; a city so in love with their teams that their iconography and presence is ubiquitous and inescapable.

Sure; it’s got dark corners, neighborhoods, and alleys best steered away from; just like any other city.  It’s a city broken up into many little neighborhoods, boroughs, each with their own feel, flavor, culture, and history.  Because of the steel mill history, many of the middle class and blue-collar homes are on the waterfront while most of the upper class homes are further away in the hills.  It’s completely opposite of how Florida works – and I found that neat and interesting.

Google Offices in Pittsburgh

Google Offices in Pittsburgh (click for larger)

The Google offices are located near borough called Shady Side in a plaza called Bakery Square.  It’s the old Nabisco building.  I’ve been there, but have yet to see the Keebler Elves.  Not for lack of looking, though.

Still, there is magic in the building.  I’m not going to go into detail on the internals of the Google office; I’m sure there are plenty of articles and posts about how cool the place is.  They would be correct; it is pretty freaking cool.

I’ve been coding, architecting, managing, directing, and CTO-ing in the field for 24 years.  Based on my experience, I can say that working in an office like the Google office in Pittsburg would appeal to almost every developer I know.  Even their bathrooms are developer friendly, with notes and educational missives printed regularly above the toilets and urinals.  The one I saw while I was there was titled “Testing on the Toilet: Testing State versus Testing Interactions.”  I loved it.

Carey in Pittsburgh

Carey in Pittsburgh (click for larger)

As you know, I am a founding member of the myList team, the awesome social commerce app in Facebook you’re using if you like me.  myList is in Florida and in Arizona.  It is not in Pittsburgh.  I really believe in what we are doing here at myList.  So much so that I am electing to stay in Florida while my wife and daughter move to Pittsburgh.

This is the sucky part.  My son and I are staying in Florida while my wife and daughter go to Pittsburgh.  We’re going to manage just fine, though.  We found a great apartment in Shady Side, less than half a mile from the office and within walking distance of all the great shopping in the neighborhood.

I am going to fly up at least twice a month and spend the weekend with the ladies.  My son will come up with me monthly as well.  Carey and Ashlee will fly down to visit us as often as possible, although that will be more difficult when school is in session.

When I ride to Sturgis this year, I will swing through Pittsburgh on my way back down to Florida.  We’re going to have our houses “live-wired” together – with Facetime or a Google hangout running 24/7 between our living rooms.  All we need to do is walk in the living room to see each other and talk.  We will have dinner together every night this same way.

I’m keeping the dogs in Florida – simply because renting a place in Pittsburgh that will take the dogs is way more difficult than we expected.

It’s going to be an adventure – but we are looking forward to it.  This is the spice of life and I am so happy for my wife – she’s a Googler and proud of it.  And I am proud of her.

2 Responses to “My Google Gal is Moving to Pittsburgh”

  1. Welcome to Pittsburgh! It’s an incredible city to raise a family and I wish you guys the best of luck! I know it will be hard to be separated, but I pray it works out for you guys!


  1. The Binary Biker is Moving to Pittsburgh | The Binary Biker - May 9, 2014

    […] time has come for me to join my wife in Pittsburgh.  A year ago, I blogged that my wife was moving to Pittsburgh because she got a job with Google.  We made the difficult decision that I would stay in Florida […]

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