Same job, new location: Santa Clara Valley (California)


200 Mathilda Ave @ Sunnyvale

200 Mathilda Ave @ Sunnyvale

Today an envelop arrived at home containing our passports with US visa stamps expiring on Summer 2013. This was the last step before knowing for certain that our 3,5 years in Finland will be followed by a next phase in California. In short, the plan is to empty our house in Helsinki by the end of June, fly to San Francisco during our holidays in July and go back to work in August at the Nokia offices in Mountain View. A collateral damage of this relocation is that I will miss aKademy, OSCON, GUADEC and the Community Leadership Summit that I was really looking forward to attend. At least now it will be easier to visit Jono, one of my personal local heroes.

I’m keeping the same role (MeeGo Community Office coordinator + open source misc @ Nokia) and the same manager. The MeeGo project and all its network of actual and potential connections has been a major reason for this relocation (great Mexican food being another one…) I’m looking forward for the combination of American timezones and European background when collaborating with all kinds of free software players in the MeeGo context. As usual, I’m ready to learn as much as I’m willing to be helpful.

We are living exciting times in our industry, and the Santa Clara Valley is a very exciting place to be! The second most interesting news this week after our US visas was the announcement of the future location of the Nokia Offices in San Francisco Bay Area: Sunnyvale Downtown. Nokia employees spread in the offices of Mountain View, Redwood City, Menlo Park and San Francisco are supposed to join a common building by the end of the year. Sounds like an interesting time for Nokia in the Bay Area, and I’m almost honoured of contributing my little bit in that process too.

Personal life appendix

200 Mathilda Ave @ Sunnyvale seems to be a location open to many combinations keeping me apart from car commuting – something that I deeply hate and have successfully avoided in my professional career. There are several bus stops and the Caltrain station nearby. Plus most of the valley is flat (the areas where we could afford to live anyway) and most of the year the weather is compatible with cycling, even for a Mediterranean guy like me. Also it turns out that my little kids, German native speakers, will have a good chance to have a soft immersion in the bilingual German international school that happens to be in Mountain View, quite close.

Where will we end up living? Who knows now. After some years of rural Spain and some more of quiet Finnish suburbia, Katja and me start missing a bit more of an urban, active and populated context. San Francisco city would be excellent even with the train commute, if it wouldn’t be for the real family life we are having with our 3 and 5 years old children. Maybe Sunnyvale near Downtown can bring that balance? Maybe something affordable and convenient still exists in Palo Alto? Any tips are welcome!

22 Responses to “Same job, new location: Santa Clara Valley (California)”

  1. 1 Berto

    Best wishes for this new phase 🙂

  2. 2 phil

    Congrats for this nice move, California seems to be a great place to live in

  3. Welcome to the bay area! 🙂

    It’s pretty uncommon for families to move to SF, and you rarely see kids (or non-university schools) there. But CalTrain is a decent way to get to it from the south bay. There’s a lot going on in the bay area, so you won’t run out of things to do any time soon 🙂

    Let me know if you want to hang out some time!

  4. Congratulations on the new location, having been in the hood for two months, if you need any info, we’ve got some. You really do have brilliant location for the offices, we did curse the constructions for couple of times during our stay but I guess them being built for you guys explains why it seems to be taking them longer than building the bloody Vatican.

  5. 5 Jack

    Having grown up in San Francisco, I beg to differ about there not being kids. 😀
    Though I did grow up the Sunset, which is very residential.

  6. 6 Ian

    Good luck guy

  7. 7 scifi.guy@TMO

    Hi Quim,

    Welcome to Bay area. With you here, I hope Meego (and Nokia) will get the recognition they deserve in this Apple and Google-crazy land :).

    Here are my 2 cents
    – If you hate car commuting, avoid Freeway 101 at all costs.

    – Caltrain is a very good option for commuting from San Francisco to Sunnyvale, but don’t even think of comparing Caltrain with European railways (Deutsche Bahn for example).

    – While, try Indian cuisine too. You have plenty of choices in Santa Clara/Sunnyvale/Mountain View.

    Good luck.


  8. 8 Archibald Gwashavanhu

    Here’s wishing you well; your family and hoping the cali good life will rub well on you. Keep up the good work.
    From the UK

  9. 9 qgil

    I know Caltrain – not too bad either. I wouldn’t a long train commute for myself but punishing the kids with that twice a day is out of question. The other way works better: whenever we want to enjoy SF we can reach it easily.

    About food, have no doubt that we will enjoy it with all cultural backgrounds! Even an onion ring or two. 😉

  10. 10 Jordi Mas

    Molta sort al Santa Clara Quim

    You definitely will have a better weather 🙂



  11. Pity to not see you at some European conferences this summer, but all the best wishes for the move!

  12. Congratulations on your move! When I moved to the US to work for Eazel ten years ago I lived just across the tracks on Mathilda. Silicon Valley is a fun place to be.

  13. 13 Stormy

    Congratulations! I’m excited for you. Good luck in your move and in finding an awesome place to live.

  14. 14 alvaro

    Congrats!! 🙂

  15. 15 Joseph

    Welcome to the US!
    Nice place to be going. If you’re up for it, perhaps you, John Hawley, and I can grab a beer or something the next time I’m up visiting my parents (they live about an hour east of you).

    cheers! Good luck with the move; moving sucks. 🙂

  16. 16 eppen

    If you dont want to do the long commute from SF (well over an hour!), maybe live near the university cause there is more going on there and you could bike it.

  17. 17 EIPI

    Congrats on the move, Quim. This gives me hope that Nokia/MeeGo will be very big in North America.

  18. 18 Sean Kelley

    Congratulations on the move. Best wishes on your new location.

  19. 19 Joe Buck

    Welcome to our area.

    From your description, Mountain View near Castro St. might work for you. It’s an easy bike ride to where you work, lots of restaurants, shops and two good bookstores, and it’s a transit hub, good if you don’t want to be too car-dependent (with express trains to San Francisco, though they aren’t very “express” by European standards). Sunnyvale wrecked their downtown, they keep trying to rebuild it and there’s endless construction and ill-conceived projects, and further from Sunnyvale downtown might be too suburban for your taste.

    Palo Alto has a lot to offer but is relatively expensive.

    For the real urban experience you’d want “The City”, but the commute to and from San Francisco would take a hell of a lot of your time.

  20. 20 qgil

    Thank you very much for all the tips! Indeed, we will concentrate the search in Mountain View. We just got the confirmation today from the Kindergarten, based in MV’s Easy Street. Not that far from Castro St.

  21. 21 Eduardo

    Hola quim,
    Vaya, te vuelves para california, enhorabuena, seguro que os vais a encontrar fenomenal ahí, saludos para Daniel 🙂
    Gracias por tu facebook message, con el que he descubierto para mi gran sorpresa que tengo una página facebook –la debí abrir hace años y ni me acordaba. Te respondo por aquí porque te envié un email hace unas semanas y no debiste recibirlo…?

    un abrazo, edu

  22. 22 rickb

    Adventure time!

    Santa Clara isn’t a bad place to land. Easy access to some pretty spectacular coastline to the south, Redwood forests to the north. You can get any kind of cuisine in the bay area – Thai, Chinese, Japanese (su-shi!!), Korean, French, Italian, Indian, Moroccan – you can probably even get Russian! Might even get Fin?

    Best and hope things happen for Meego and Nokia. Qt rules!

    BTW, I’m posting this from a Meego SDK installation chroot installed on a VM Fusion Ubuntu image on a Mac.

    Seems to work – no video, though.

    Cheers and best.

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