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Adapting to Mac

I am a Linux guy. Ever since my first install of RedHat 5.1, I've been hooked. My home router/firewall is a Gentoo box, ffs. For servers, I've migrated from VPSLink to Linode, with a few one off droplets on DigitalOcean. There isn't a machine in my house that doesn't at least dual-boot Linux. In fact, I inherited a Mac Mini when one of the startups I joined closed its doors, and even it runs Linux.

For the last few years, my primary dev box has been my ASUS behemoth. It's nowhere near an ultrabook, but it was mine. Mine in the sense that it has become an extension of my hands. It's heavy, it's massive, and I love it.

Evolution of a Dev (Part 4)

My most recent career stop was also my longest. With the collapse of my startup dreams,

I had to find employment back in the real world. I took a position with a local company that wrote Credit Union software in Delphi (basically Pascal). The only Delphi I had ever used was in writing InnoSetup scripts, so I really had no idea what to expect. Thankfully, I found out my first day that:

  1. They had some server components written in C++, and
  2. They also had a "web" department, which allegedly did internet stuff.

Rather than summarize what I actually DID during my time there, I'll instead highlight some of the issues I encountered, my attempts to solve their problems, and the ultimate reason for my departure. I won't address the fact they were still using Microsoft's Visual SourceSafe for version control. I think it speaks for itself.

Evolution of a Dev (Part 3)

Recapping the last chapter, I'm managing a dev team, doing a fair bit of C and Java development mixed with some TCL and the occasional RPG IV. I've gained a bit of arrogance, but also quite a bit of real-world development experience. Technically, I'm doing fairly well. I've also been able to develop some fairly decent team management skills. Unfortunately, I still have a problem with authority.

During a management meeting, I had a difference of opinion (fairly loudly and colorfully) with the president of the company, and it was decided (surprise!) that my services were no longer needed. By this time, I had moved home and been telecommuting for over 2 years, so logistically this wasn't as big of a blow as it could have been (thankfully). This was, however, the first time I had been unemployeed since I got my first job almost 8 years prior.

Evolution of a Dev (Part 2)

When we last left our hero (me), he was basking in the wonderment that is pure software development. "I wanna go do this fo realz!" So I set about finding a new job, one that would allow me to throw off the shackles of ops and focus solely on writing code.

Luckily for me, I didn't have to spend very long looking. All it took was moving 300 miles away from everything I had ever known, with a wife and our 2 children in tow. An easy decision for me, and since I'm a pretty good salesman as well, they followed with little resistance.

I accepted a position as an RPG IV programmer (because that's still where my only real professional experience lie) and learned what it meant to do real programming work for a real product that was to be purchased by real customers. And I hated it. It was boring.

Evolution of a Dev (Part 1)

I am a career developer. That makes me extremely lucky, since I get to earn a living doing the kind of things I'd be doing anyway. Basically, I have the coolest hobby in the world, and I get paid for it.

I've changed jobs many, many times in my career, and it's hardly ever been for the same reasons. Sometimes (usually), there has been an increase in salary involved. Others, it was an opportunity to move into a different environment, be that technology used, ethos, or a new role to try out. A few times, it wasn't even a choice (early termination due to philosophical differences would be a kind way of putting it).

Tomorrow, a new challenge awaits, in a new place, with a lot of new faces. Starting a new job always triggers a bit of reflection (probably because the process involves reviewing your resume), and this time is no exception. I know I'm not unique, but that's kind of the point. I've been around a lot of devs throughout the course of my career, and (for the most part) it's fairly easy to tell where they are in their evolution.