Joining Blue Bottle

Bryan Bischof bio photo By Bryan Bischof Comment

After several months of extremely casual job-searching, something clicked. And in some sense, that which clicked, was that confirmation-bias-makes-destiny’s-work-easy job.

The lead-up

I found this opportunity on one of the job forums. I was cruising and looking for anything that jumped out. I was really taken aback when I saw that Blue Bottle(BB) was hiring a data engineer. As most know, I’m really interested in coffee. I’ve been interested in the domain for more than five years now, and in that time, I’ve really gone out of my way to understand the industry as an outsider.

While I know a lot of people are “into” coffee, I think that this undersells my passion. I’ve genuinely wanted to work with coffee data for some time, but unfortunately, I haven’t really found any datasets that got me charged. Last year, I tried to contact Cropster, but I struggled to find a reasonable vector. Some other things I’ve thought about is collecting data on my own coffee consumption, but obviously this isn’t exactly huge. (I do intend on building some visualizations of my coffee drinking throughout the past couple years, as per my coffee bags.)

I shot off a cover letter to BB and was a little hesitant. My biggest concern was truly that the job seemed very focused on ETL and maybe not enough ML/Eng.

In comminique

They got back to me, we had the standard phone calls(the one with their digital lead was especially fun), and I got invited on site last monday. Due to a string of less-than-thrilling on-sites this year(I’m planning a write-up of those), I was quite nervous.

To skip ahead a bit, I told my friend Jeff monday night that “if I don’t get this job, I don’t know anything about getting jobs.”

The reason for the above statement was that I essentially killed my interviews. I felt confident in my answers, extremely personable that day, exuding excitement, and genuinely like I had skills to contribute. I got a little side-tracked in one interview, but otherwise I really felt on.

The next day I got an offer. And in-fact, signed it the same day.

Future perfect

I really can’t speak highly enough about the opportunity to be doing data-engineering and data-science for a coffee company. I feel like a dream has come true(sorry, I know this is corny).

While this means I’m leaving IBM a little earlier than I would have liked, I think it’s a good time for that anyhow. Despite there being a lot left to learn there, I think the move will dramatically benefit my mental health. One of the best things about Blue Bottle: it’s still in the East Bay!!!

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