Working at The Mill (VFX House) has been an interesting experience over the years. When I first joined the team, I was tasked with introducing DevOps practices within the development team, and later rose through the ranks in the Engineering team to look after significant parts of the global infrastructure. While I do enjoy the work, and the people I work with, the tech has often felt a little backwards, as more emphasis was put on traditional IT approaches and systems, than Cloud or automation technology.
That doesn’t make it a bad place to be, it just meant a harder challenge sometimes to introduce the right technology such as getting us started using containerisation.
One thing that has never changed, was the shear amount of work left to do. Several times over the years, I’ve tried to put together a full todo/task list, using tools like Trello, Jira, Email, Notepads and the like. The lists always grew to be excessively long, that I knew I’d never get to half the things on the list and while the experience is often cathartic, they’ve never lasted through the daily change in priorities, this weeks’ latest fire.
For the first time however, a fire grew so large, that it was decided, we were going to fly in senior engineers from around the globe, to the New York office, to do a spot of re-networking to hit a deadline.
Despite the stress, and long days (at one point I passed out on a couch in the office for a few hours, after working for a silly amount of hours straight), the experience was great. I got to see how one of our international offices worked, meet people I worked with in person (some I’d only heard their voice), and break down some barriers.
At the end of my stay, I took a few days off work as holiday before flying back to London, to get out and explore the city. I can see why people compare it to London, it does have a lot of the same feel, and much more metropolitan than my experience of Florida.
I hope to get the chance to explore a little more, and it would be great to visit our LA office, and see what goes on there. There was something very ‘Mill’ that the NY and London offices share, but also a unique cultural feel that represents the city they live in.