Tag Archives: vancouver

100 days. Work starts tomorrow & how I got hired

Today is my last day of doing nothingness……as my friends would describe it since I’m not in school and they all are! Hope you’ve all been studying hard! =p

Also, at the time of this post, there are officially 100 days left to the start of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games.

I mentioned in a previous post that I would give a quick synopsis on how I got hired and I just realized I had forgotten.

From my perspective, living in a city that has been selected to host the Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. I was present at GM Place during the IOC’s final vote on July 2nd, 2003. The atmosphere there was euphoric! Here’s a photo from the event [picaday] Back in 2003 though, I was a bit young to realize what it really meant.

Fast forward to Spring 2009. After spending another cold winter in Guelph I decided that I needed a change and if the opportunity to work were available I would take the year off for it. I finish the year in Guelph and packed my stuff away in storage, courtesy of a family friend who is also a professor at the University of Guelph. After returning to Vancouver, I snuck into a 2010 Olympic Job fair hosted by UBC and met with OBSV, VANOC, and NBC.

A few weeks later I was contacted by NBC’s HR dept and an interview was scheduled at the GE Capital offices in downtown Vancouver. One of the first things I was asked was, “If you are currently studying in Ontario, how do you plan on working for the Olympics?”. Subsequently she listed a bunch of dates. November to March, January to March, Feb during the Olympic/Para-0lympic games.

BTW, the plans to attend my cousin’s wedding in Hong Kong and travel China in mid-October were getting booked around the same time, so my answer was more or less, “I am planning on taking the year off if given the correct opportunity, and the November time frame is…well…perfect”. From there, the usual HR interview was done. (What do you expect, why would you like this experience, what do you know about this…that…etc).

After a general interview with human resources, I was told I would be meeting with the VP of Technology of NBC-Olympics….right…now and I was brought to his office as he was in town for the week. We went through my resume and talked about previous IT experience at the University of Guelph and other prior jobs.

For those of you who do not watch 30 Rock or do not know in general. NBC-Universal is owned by General Electric. (I did not know that at the time of the interview….how embarrassing, but this isn’t business, this is IT…I guess it didn’t bother them that much). NBC follows most of General Electric corporate mandates for IP solutions and networking and GE’s main vendor is, Cisco Systems. Despite Nortel being the official sponsor of the 2010 Olympic Games. NBC will still be using Cisco equipment. side note: Nortel is no longer a sponsor for the 2010 London Olympics. Cisco has taken that role since Nortel is bankrupt.

After a lengthy discussion about Cisco equipment from phones to routers and switches, we also talked about a variety of support tactics and general knowledge of other computer related things. About 40 minutes later I headed home on the bus.

A month and a half later, a few dozen emails sent around, and a Skype conversation with a few people at Rockefellow Plaza in New York and I am now privileged to be part of the NBC-Olympic IT team.

I’ll see what I can comment on during contract as some sort non-disclosure will probably need to be signed! (Knowing me I’ll get lazy and not post anything for a while anyways)

PS: Cisco will be featured in this week’s 30 Rock episode

PS: Some of you do know that my father works for 2010 Legcies Now and he had no influence to my hiring. All he did was give me my support to take the year off.

UPDATE: Nov 5th, 20:00 – Fixed minor spelling mistakes and little things….

Semester is officially over

I wrote my last final exam this morning at 830. My last 3 exams have been at 830am, 3 days in a row. Brutal!
I fly home to Vancouver on Tuesday, April 21st.

From now until I leave, I have lots of things to do.

  • watch the playoffs w/o school looming over me Go Canucks Go!
  • graduating friends from the IT helpdesk who are leaving for the real world, job pending for many
  • Lots of Guelph friends to say by to….just for the summer?
  • clean up my room then pack it up and store it at a friends place
  • once again. HOCKEY! Go canucks Go!

Thankfully the weather outside is beautiful so I can now enjoy full shorts/t-shirt weather. I’ll find something to blab about next week

SMILE to the CAR

For those of you who don’t keep up with the news. Google Street View will begin capturing our major metropolitan areas by car, archiving everything they see to the internet forever.

Personally, I’m happy that they are finally giving us Street View in Canada. Sure their vehicles will time and energy to drive around, wasting gas at stop lights, but I think it will benefit in the long run. It gives people a better visual sense of their destination.

Try finding a little store or restaurant that you’ve never been to before. Simply take a look on Gmaps before embarking and take a peek at what your destination may look like. Hopefully, when you’re close, you wont be holding up traffic behind you as you stroll down the street at 20km/h, trying to read the street numbers. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen that.

In terms of having personal property indexed and viewable on the internet. It doesn’t bother me at all however I’m sure there we be a lot people who dislike the idea. Much like the idea of having CCTVs scattered throughout the city. Articles have been posted on CBC/CTV and have already seen a fair amount of resistance from the paranoid.

Tip to the public: just live your daily lives and pray that the google street cars trucks don’t capture you doing something stupid on the street! (like tanning naked)

For the paranoid
Now Google does have license and facial blurring technologies in place to protect people on the streets and car owners, but for those who are concerned about their properties appearing on the internet. There is not much you can do, other than filing for an online removal request, contact your local MP/MLA and protesting like we Canadians love doing…..or try and sue.

For the political-legal-types
According to CBC, the Privacy Commissioner has been contact by Google and they will work as a team to make sure that no laws are violated. On a side note, I did some research and found out that British Columbia does NOT follow Canada’s Privacy Commissioner’s laws and has its own minister to regulate this. This is why there is a version of streetview that exists in BC. See below

For the keener (the person who can’t wait to virtually drive!)
If you live in Vancouver, Whistler or Squamish, you’re in luck. You can get a sample of what Google Street View’s cameras may capture in the next few months. Simply visit canpages.ca and type in a name of a business in one of those cities. The coverage in Vancouver seems to be all of Downtown Vancouver, a portion of the Mt. Pleasant section, and a variety of major streets recorded. Most of Whistler and a portion of Downtown Squamish are also included in their website.

If you don’t live in Vancouver/Whistler/Squamish and have always wondered what its like there, or, live in Ontario, or don’t have the money to travel accross the country, here’s your chance to get a virtual view of the west coast!  (yes, this was directed to those who keep dreaming about coming here and never do)


CBC – Google Alerts Canadians about Street View Filming
CTV – Street View coming to Canada amid privacy concerns
Google Maps / Street View