I have successfully completed week one of my new job. The people at the
company are very nice, leaving a welcome card and sweets on my desk the
first morning and buying me lunch that same day.
I’ve been placed in the office of purgatory until the desk ordered for
me comes in. So I am way off in the back corner of the office far from
anyone at all. They’re wise planning has the new desk arriving some
time next month, so I’ll be working by my lonesome for quite some time.
The first two days of work were mostly meetings to learn about the
company, the project and the technical style being implemented. On
Friday I did start working on some programming stuff.
While I was being shown around the office and sitting through the
always dry meetings on company lifestyle, I began to see that the
similarities between my previous job and this one ran much deeper than
the service. At my previous work we named all of our servers according
to a Star Trek theme. This company has their company manual and
internal forms (an Away Mission form for business trips) written in
that same theme. The server room echo’d of both the old way and the new
way at my former job. The room is accessible to all and none of the
hardware is under lock and key. The server room also has the exact same
make and model of portable air conditioning unit in it, the same patch
panels, the same phone wiring harness and, scariest of all, the same
use of a piece of plywood, screwed to the wall studs, for mounting all
phone, internet and extra wiring. Other things that are scarily similar
include the complete disregard for network storage organization, the
intentional use of improper network security and server configuration
to provide easy access to users, and the dual role of network
administrator and support person performed by one individual.
After sitting through 6 hours of technical overview on the new project
and its current state, I realized that, although experienced, some of
the people on the development team may not be very skilled. For those
that are techies, imagine that all windows forms being developed in the
application have, at a minimum, two hidden text boxes to pass the
database and server names around the application. Maybe I’m over
reacting to this, but isn’t that what a global variable is supposed to
be used for? The data structure and the data access layer of the
application are quite good, but the user interface is a disaster. Very
few standards have been selected and consistency is non existant.
Buttons are different sizes. Sometimes two buttons side-by-side have a
space between them, sometimes not.
In three days I have decided that I can not change the way that people
want to build their software when I am not employed as an architect.
Therefore I will be going to work, doing what is required to be
successful at the position, maintaining my high standards for my own
work product, and……continuing to look for a different full-time or
contract position here in the city.
On that note, since taking this job I have had the opportunity to be
placed in 3 different positions in Edmonton or Calgary. I even had one
only a few days before Christmas that was a permanent developer
position in the city that paid about 25-50% more than this job. I also
got a call for a contract position just yesterday. I don’t think that
I’m long for this job if I’ve had this kind of contact in the last 3