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.
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:
- They had some server components written in C++, and
- 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
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
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.
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.