Long Time No Blog: I Won a trip to New Zealand

So I started looking at positions in countries other than the United States to get a bit more breadth to my life experience. Inevitably I decided that European markets, Southern Australia, and New Zealand were likely the only options that had agreeable climates, stable governments, burgeoning tech job markets, and of course, spoke English.

As luck would have it, the city of Wellington NZ shortly there after held a contest. You submit your C.V. and they will invite the top 100 folks to New Zealand. So I, along with 43,000 – 110,000 other world citizens submitted applications. The LookSee Wellington team whittled that down to a subset that were invited to submit a 2 minute video. Which I did. The LookSee team then further whittled it down to roughly 1000 folks they put before companies in Wellington. The companies then voted on the folks. The top 100 folks in terms of votes, were invited.

I garnered 3 votes and won a trip to New Zealand. LookSee took care of the plane flight, the hotel, and provided excurisions, a welcome breakfast, and a farewell party for the top 100 tech talent from all over the world! I spent a whole week there.

The Interviews

The only stipulation for this free trip to New Zealand was that I had to interview with the companies that nominated me. I interviewed with three excellent companies. All of them were consulting companies.

I was impressed with the operations and the interviews at all three companies. They had developed DevOps expertise as well as one being an Advanced AWS Partner. The people were sharp. The work they seemed focused on was supporting various facets of the National Government of New Zealand. One company, had an entire floor that was a self organized open office space that was really cool. I interviewed with 5 of their team members. What strikes me about New Zealanders is that they a) gave me their undivided attention b) were extremely easy to converse with c) were extremely knowledgeable about their business and the technology aspects of DevOps tooling.

It was such a cool trip. To have part vacation, part technological emissary… was pretty amazing. The group of folks that put this together, as well as the international group of folks that I was selected with (the inaugural LookSee Wellington Class… hinting that it would become a yearly event) were amazing. The networking opportunities were extensive. I spoke with folks that were IT advisors to the Prime Minister of New Zealand even. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.


Breakfast and Welcome by Mayor Justin Lester

Closing Dinner