2013 Is Here


Hey, I managed to write absolutely nothing last year. This is an amazing achievement.

Having said that, I did manage to do this:

  • Looked after myself, the dog & cat when Pauline was overseas on contracting work.
  • Looked after myself, the dog & cat when Pauline started a new job in Sydney.
  • Made a few trips to Sydney when Pauline was contracting there and after her new job started.
  • Discovered the joys of the Air New Zealand Koru lounge.
  • Rediscovered that I am still quite good at this software lark after all; don’t let the technophiles blind you with jargon.

Different strokes for different folks

What is on my mind?

Not having enough time to get things done the way I want to do them.

Isn’t this everyone’s problem?

Today I started looking over some code from a co-worker. It isn’t done the way I would do it but they aren’t me. Yet, the complete disregard for the company code style is still there. It doesn’t piss me off as much as it used to but it rankles every now and then.

Of course, when you look at some one else’s work you always get ideas about how it could be done differently, possible better.

If I read a document that said ProcessBuilder.start() is now preferred to Runtime.exec() I would look at using it instead. In many ways it is better. I no longer have to understand how the various parts of the command line are passed to the executing program since I can pass a List<String> instead of worrying about whether I need quote (what kind?) around items that should be treated as a single entity instead of separate words.

That change took all of 10 minutes. A good return on investemnt, I would say.

And the visual appearance … awful. It needs a bit of a rethink.

Tomorrow, perhaps.

Job huntin’

Wow, a twelve month contract with an hourly rate of 50-70GBP. That would make a helluva dent in my mortgage. But could I handle the a year back in the UK, Cambridge?

Lets see … 70GBP times 35 hours times 48 weeks gives a grand total of 11760GBP which is around 309473NZD.

And it’s embedded work. Or something like it.

Note to self: follow this one up.

Recruitment Politeness

Well, that job just was not for me. No hint of embedded work at all. The company is squarely placed in the middle of the educational market doing math, physics and electronics simulation software.

Like I said, not me.

The only thing that really annoyed me about the application process is how the recruiter was very keen to get me to send a C.V. He was very keen to see what I thought of the company. And, of course, he was very keen to get my approval to put my C.V. forward.

However, as soon as I said “thanks, but no thanks”, I heard nothing more from him. Not even a ‘thanks for considering it’ response.

I know you can’t expect all that much from a recruiter. They are very busy and “time-is-money” is a very true statement for them. Still, I like a little politeness in my life. Recruiters are not the place to look for it.

Is this the new me?

I have seen this job description and wonder if it is me.

I have the basic qualifications. The idea of managing a team of 12 both excites and frightens me. It is exciting because a team of that size can do really big things. It frightens me because I have only ever managed a team of four before. However, a team of 12 software engineers will be a mix of senior and junior engineers so I guess that I would directly manage a small number of the team with the remainder being managed indirectly. But, I could be 100% wrong. Maybe I need to manage everyone, every day. If so, I don’t think I’d manage to meet that 10% coding requirement.

I am definitely turning this one over in my mind. I have started updating my C.V. which is a sure sign I’ll be sending something in.

Some of the things about the job sounds so weird. A mere three years of team-leading experience required? That seems a bit light to me. Also, why the 10% coding expectation? When you manage a team of 12, it is pretty much a full-time job. I suspect they want to attract someone who is not yet a 100% manager, who still wants to develop. Perhaps they don’t trust non-coding managers. That strikes me as reasonable. You should be wary of those that put themselves forward as managers when their technical credentials for the area they manage is wanting.

The target for this weekend is to get that C.V. off to the recruiter with some suitably worded cover letter. With a bit of luck, they’ll get me in for interview. And who knows what after that.

Things I need to cover off in the letter are:

  • Just under three years as a team lead
  • Moving back form NZ; the why would you want to do that question
  • Where do you see yourself in 3/5/10 years time question

The salary range of 40-80K seems reasonable when you see they are also looking for C++ people and are prepared to pay up to 40K. I may be out of touch but that seems quite high for Edinburgh.

Lets see, I left the UK on 44K in the deep south as a Technical Manager. I guess that wage inflation would have taken that salary to 50K by now, so the 40-80K seems within reason. However, I am sure that the going rate for developers in Edinburgh is well under 40K.

This company must be hungry for the best.

Lets see, eh?

Second day of frustration

This is the second day of frustration I have had this week. Thank god there is a public holiday on Friday. I am having really trouble getting through things.

Productivity low. I’m spending too much time in introspection.

Shit, where is my career going?

Ah, but I don’t really mean career, do I? Come on Gordon, be honest with yourself, you mean life, don’t you?

Well, maybe I do.

I am one of those irritating hobbyless people with little other than work and Science Fiction in my life.

Maybe I’m burning out?