UPDATE: See my review of the iPod Touch.
The company I work for, Navarik, has been amazingly supportive during my medical leave for cancer treatment. It has always been a great place to work, even in the darkest depths of the dot-com bust in which the company started in 2000 (I did freelance editing work for them back then, and started as a proper employee in 2003). That's because the company's founders—university colleagues of mine—created a culture where people are important. It's the main reason I wanted to work there originally, because in the technology industry, you can't necessarily predict what kind of work you'll be doing in the future—but you can judge the culture of your employer pretty easily.
While I've been here at home recovering from surgery and pumping my body full of chemotherapy poisons, everyone else at Navarik has been working incredibly hard on some fascinating and powerful software that will help many people in the maritime shipping industry and elsewhere around the world do their jobs better.
This afternoon my daughters and I dropped by the office for the first time in some months. Coincidentally, it was the same day that the management team presented each employee with a Navarik-personalized iPod Touch (what's the plural of that? iPod Touches? iPods Touch?) as thanks for that effort. Amazingly, I received one too. The accompanying handwritten note from our CEO brought me (and my wife, when she read it) pretty close to tears.
This is not a new thing, nor a token attempt at recognizing the great people who work for the company. I'll write about my impressions of the iPod Touch tomorrow, but my impression of Navarik has only been reinforced: it would be hard to find a better place to work.