Adobe

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These are a few articles (stories) that I've written, just to share my experiences as an Adobe employee for over a decade. I like the company, and all companies have good and bad quirks. But these are just my observations on what I found amusing or memorable about my experiences there. Definitely not to slam the company, or many good people who have worked there -- just because I sort of journal on life.

Here's a few articles on Adobe: Adobe : 14 items


Unicode, I Am A Witness -
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Strange how some of the little things you do can ripple, and have much wider impacts. (Though my contributions were minuscule to the overall effort). My company was collaborating on an idea that encouraged kids to share their experiences with bullying through art and stories -- and they wanted to emoji to support an effort to flip it around by targeting those that witnessed bullying to be empowered. I had a small part in their success.

Open Floorplans -
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Open Floorplans: a really bad idea brought into popularity by idiots and bean counters. An allegory quote is, "As the CEO of a start-up, I instituted an open bathroom policy and took down the stalls. People started quitting, and profits began to soar. Productivity was not effected because we don't really produce anything. We're a start-up." (Adobe went to Open Floorplans while I was there, to the grousing of most but a few corporate sycophants).

Macromedia -

Inside Adobe -
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"Inside Adobe" comes from Adobe's internal corporate website, which is called, "Inside Adobe". Why is it called that, instead of "Adobe Insider"? Because years earlier, when Apple created the Macintosh, their internal developer documentation was called, "Inside Macintosh". So anyone familiar with that, would vote for that nomenclature to sort of parody and pay tribute to Apple.

Chinese Fire Drill - How not to impress HR. Of course, if they can't take a joke, then they don't impress me either.

Adobe: Snackpocalypse -
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Free Snacks, along with Free Soda's, is a cultural norm at Adobe. But like many things at big companies, it's not what you have, but it's about which direction you are headed. Little things can go a long way to annoy your base. When other people hear free snacks and sodas, they think "Wow! What a great company!". And it is pretty nice. But if you ask internal people, most of them complain about the snacks/drink situation, because every couple years, Adobe figured out how to make a good benefit worse.

Adobe: Beer Bash - It's easy to get jaded, and kind of hard not to. But one thing that helps is trying to look through the world through baby eye's (look at things like this is your first time seeing it). Adobe has some awesome benefits, and they often rank in the top-10 places in the bay area to work... and the bay area ranks in the top of the nation, and our country is ranked pretty high as well. But like all large companies, they're constantly shifting things around, and many of those shifts aren't always for the better. Some people leaving, some going (not always voluntarily). So you get a two starkly different views of things, those of an old-timer (OT) versus the wide eyes of a new timer (NT). He's some examples of what that means.

Adobe for All -
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There's this program called "Adobe for All" -- which originated out of the Adobe for Women efforts. These were/are efforts that allow Women to shadow execs, Women to have Women speakers, and stuff like that that are denied/discouraged for men. Later, the "for All" really meant all minorities... straight white males need not apply. They try harder, and are slightly better than a Google or a Facebook at not being completely anti-white-male douches about it... but only slightly better. There's still an undertone and history that makes it fundamentally bigoted and flawed from the premise to the implementation. Men at Adobe know that while they created and built the company, they are second class civitizens, in the name of diversity indoctrination and hypocritical efforts to be politically correct.

Adobe Culture - The first thing to realize about Adobe is that it is not a single company, it is a series of acquisitions. Most of Adobe’s products were incubated outside the company: Photoshop, Illustrator, PageMaker (InDesign), DreamWeaver, Flash, Premiere, and a myriad others were all through acquisitions of outside companies and products. Other than Postscript, Fonts and Acrobat, just about everything came from somewhere else.

San Jose is 3 primary towers (and a few out-buildings), and they're building a 4th bigger tower. But figure a 150 people to a floor (x 12 floors x 3 buildings): a product is often a floor or three, with an HR floor, Legal Floor, IT floors, Finance, etc. It's pretty modularized. That means that some products decorated and even laid out their floors, their way. Kind of the same way they run their teams. SF offices have fewer and bigger floors, but you still get clustering by area. And that's just the ones that are on main campuses. If you're an acquisition that has buildings in another geography (Seattle, Salt Lake City, Austin, Denver, Boston, Minnesota, NYC, Hamburg, Romania, or one of the India Offices), you're even more "on your own".

What that means there’s no pure "Adobe culture", there’s a lot of different histories and cultures and teams, that have to woven together. And thus, anything that’s true for one team, might not be true in another. And that gets down to the tools they use, the way they code and interact, the policies they choose to follow, and what’s tolerable behavior. There are some overarching Adobe'isms and values (in theory). But generally, the VP of the product, is beholden up to the EVP of the BU, and the teams below run according to that VP's quirks/style/history.

2019 Adobe email is hard - I was changing roles in my company, so I asked IT (a) can you create a new email address so that I can leave the old one as an OOO (Out of the Office message) to tell people where to go for support on their old problems (and I'd set the OOO message on the old one). Should be easy, right? I put in the request 2 weeks before the job change:
  1. They said they could do that, but only by changing my entire identity. I griped saying I really only wanted a different email, but if that's the only way to do it, I was fine.
  2. So they were about to do it and they emailed me all the things that were going to break by doing this. I mentioned thanks and would take them on, but I really had just wanted another email address (and re-explained what I was trying to do). So they cancelled the order, and asked me to talk to another group (communications).
  3. The other group said that I can't just add an email address, so sent me back to the first group, which had cancelled my order. So I asked them again could they please put me back in the queue... but they didn't get my order in for days to change the ID.
  4. Instead of creating a new ID, they copied my old ID to my new one and instead of leaving on the OOO message, they set the old address as a forwarder -- so I not only didn't get a clean email (I had 80,000 emails that I had to clean up manually to start fresh), it was also still getting all the old roles emails, and those people weren't getting messages on where to go for support.
  5. I asked them to fix it (please leave an OOO message on the old account and re-explained why). They said fine, it was fixed.
  6. What they had done is turned on OOO message on the new account, and since the old account was forwarded, they would get the OOO message (as would all the new people).
  7. I asked them to fix it again, and again laid out what I was asking and why. I need an OOO message on the old account, not the new account. The old account should not be a forwarder. Just let me do my new job with a new email account. Please. They said that I should have asked for that in the first place -- I pointed out that I had in the last 7 support tries. They assured me that this time they fixed it.
  8. What they had done is broke the old email completely, so now it just threw an error (there was no person in Adobe with the old email address). I asked them to please fix it.
Sometimes is what #AdobeLife is. Well meaning people that are superficially helpful, but too stressed/overworked to read a fucking email, and with systems in place that won't allow them to the most basic things like fix an email address.

2018.04.30 Swalwell goes to Adobe.png
Swalwell goes to Adobe - Eric Swalwell spoke at my work. It was billed as a conversation with him about his role on some tech committees, and his experiences in congress. That sounded interesting. Instead he brought shame to my company, his district, my State, and my Country for not laughing him off of his soapbox of caustic stupidity. The guy whined about Trump, shared his retarded view on guns, and mocked an Octagarian coworker with far more accomplishments than Eric has, for not being up on Twitter (where Swalwell shit-tweets and gets rolled over by people smarter than him. Like 14 year old trolls). I went to the company gym and took a shower after watching him, and still felt dirty.

2017 Sonoma Fires - So we had a company/team offsite in Sonoma. We came up on Sunday, then woke up Monday (2017.10.08) to 8 fires all around us. I got up at 0-dark-30, and did my normal swim and it smelled like someone was using a pellet smoker. But as I was doing my laps, I could taste it, and it was sort of irritating my lungs a little. Then I went back to my room and watched the news while getting dressed... we were surrounded by fires, and they were all out of control. Time to get outta dodge... (or Sonoma).

2013 Redwoods Ziplining - In 2013 (10/2), my work had a team event that included Ziplining in the Santa Cruz Redwoods (Mount Hermon Adventures). What the heck, I went, it was fun and pretty. Nice crew.


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