Moving to Amsterdam!
I've done a fair amount of travel in my life, and I've often wondered what it would be like to actually live in another country, rather than just visiting as a tourist. Well, I've decided to find out. I've been planning and preparing for the last few months, and last week I packed up my belongings, hopped on a plane, and moved to Amsterdam!
I've taken a job as a senior front-end developer with an amazing startup company called Impraise. Their main office is right in Amsterdam, although they are a stunningly international team: of the forty or so employees, only perhaps 5 are Dutch! The rest come from all over the world: Germany, France, Uzbekistan, Russia, Poland, New Zealand, Chile, South Africa, America, and many other places as well. I've already had my first week at the company, and things seem to be going very well. I like my coworkers, and I've already made a few pull requests to the codebase. I'm one of the most senior developers on the team, and I'm really looking forward to teaching others what I know — as well as learning from them, since there's always more to learn! This is my first job working primarily on the front-end; every other web development job in my career has been focused on back-end development, so while I think I can contribute a lot of knowledge and experience about quality software development principles, I'm quite sure that there's still plenty for me to learn, as well.
Although I've been telling everyone that I live in Amsterdam now, it's not technically true. At the moment, I'm staying with some good friends of mine who live in Leiden, a very cute city not far from Amsterdam. I'm very grateful to them for hosting me, since I didn't want to rent an apartment sight unseen! I've been going through all the steps required to be a proper expat in the Netherlands: registering with the government, getting a Dutch bank account, signing up for a local phone plan, and so on. I've been told that finding an apartment in Amsterdam is difficult, so it's really nice to have a place to stay while I figure out how to make that happen. It also means I've started making social connections already: I've met a few Dutch friends, and even participated in my first escape room (and we all escaped!). As nice as Leiden is, though, I'm looking forward to finding a place of my own, if for no other reason than a shorter commute to work.
Hopefully I'll be blogging a bit more, since it's a good way to organize my thoughts, and I suspect I'll need to do that quite a lot as I adapt to a new culture and new situations. However, if past experience is any indication, updates might still be a rare occurance. If you want to hear more from me, follow me on Twitter!