Return of the infrequent blogger
So… As I get older I seem to be getting worse and worse at this blogging malarkey but its ok, because these days I don’t really have an awful lot to say. Sure, I could write a bunch of technical posts about web development and conversion optimisation but this has always been a personal blog about me – Andy Warburton and my funny little corner of the world. So that’s what I’m going to stick to.
Last year the wife, sprog and myself upped sticks and moved to Amsterdam after I was offered what was possibly my dream job working at Booking.com. This job is great, I get to make changes to the website and prove their value by testing them, live on millions of daily users. I’ve done this kind of thing before, but never on such an amazing scale.
What makes it better is we work in an environment free of ego. There are no managers telling us what to do, we consider all ideas to be equal whether they come from the CEO or the guy that makes the coffee in the cafe. That is, until we put it to the test and actually measure it’s value. Our mission is simply to make the website better for our users. It’s a huge responsibility and a massive challenge, but it’s also incredibly exciting, especially since we have amazing real-time data sources for tracking our experiments.
This alone would be enough to make me happy, but the job comes with another awesome perk; I get to live and work in Amsterdam. This is a city that has a reputation as being a haven for drugs and hookers, but it’s so much more than that. Step away from the red-light district and you’ll find a city that has a brilliant public transport system and awesome facilities all over but has magically managed to maintain a relaxed, almost village-like atmosphere. A city that’s friendly, safe and chilled-out and has none of the stuck-up snobbery you associate with places like Paris and New York.
The only thing I miss from home is some of the typical British food, but that problem was recently rectified when Marks & Spencer’s opened a new food hall just five minutes from my office. They have proper Cheddar cheese, bacon, pies and bread – and many more little things that I crave from time to time, M&S literally made my life here complete.
I LOVE Amsterdam and I love my job. Somehow I’ve managed to find the perfect home/life balance, working for a great company in a great city. I don’t think I ever want to leave.