Posted on October 16th, 2011 in Work Experience | Comments Off
Sorry for the pun, but I just had to.
So I haven’t posted in a while and now that my situation has stabilized, I finally feel that I can write it all down.
April 26: I announce my resignation to Hint Innovation
I had already been looking for a new job for a while, but none of the jobs were appealing to me. I was very picky for two reasons: I had excellent conditions at Hint and I’m a good developer which gives me access to many opportunities. A week before giving my resignation, a company I had never heard of contacted me through LinkedIn (through a recruiter). The conditions were fantastics, the pay great and I would have the opportunity to build and lead my own team of developers. When I received the offer, my job satisfaction at Hint was at all time low so the decision was quite easy.
Handing my resignation was harder than I thought, but I had to do it for both my sanity and my career. Hint was my first job, I worked hard there, had very good friends and many good memories with everyone including the founders (as I’ve mentionned before, I was the first employee so we were close). Fortunately, everyone was very understanding and my last weeks there went well.
May 16: I start my new job
You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned the name of the company yet and there’s a reason for that. I didn’t ask enough questions during the interviews and the reality was an awful development environment lead by a tyrant CTO. My job was to kickstart a team of developers in Montreal that would be working with an established team in Florida. I was flown over there along with a web designer in order to learn as much as possible about the work to be done and familiarize with the team. We had two weeks to accomplish that, but we were had 2 meetings, totaling 2 or 3 hours max, and then promptly assigned a cubicule to work on our own. Any attempt to find out more about the application, the processes or the policies were met with anger from the CTO. Most other programmers appeared clueless about what they were working on and a lack of leadership and management meant that most of them could do nothing and no one would notice. The company scored at most 3 on the Joel Test and a big 0 on my own scale for a productive environment.
So I come back from Florida having learned approximately nothing and with little clue about what to work on. Furthermore, the servers were protected from access from other countries and any attempt to get them unlocked felt into depth hears. The last drop was the questionable endeavors of the company, probably legal, but not morally acceptable (in my mind), I didn’t want to be associated with any of it. That’s when I started looking and, fortunately for me, I was terminated along with the whole team in Montreal with a more than generous compensation package.
August 8 – September 9: My short stay at mConcierge
My search for a new job went well, lots of companies interested in my services, most of them have crappy offers or conditions, then comes mConcierge. Decent conditions, an interesting product and a great opportunity for career advancement. Somehow, I don’t feel right going into this job, I can’t quite put the finger on it but there’s something I don’t like about it. Since I couldn’t come up with a reason to turn down the offer, I decide to give it a try.
First day in, I have already done more than during my entire stay at the other job (1.5 months). Lots of work to do and enjoyable challenges. I’m doing good work but after a couple of weeks I still don’t enjoy working there. Part of it is the crappy desks and chairs I was given and the annoying office layout, all things I could have probably asked to change if I really wanted to stay, but I knew I wouldn’t be staying there too long because of that other thing I still couldn’t identify. I decide to quit for a second time this year.
September 12: The biggest decision of my programming career
I had talked with Code Génôme while I was looking for a way out of the USA job, but even though they liked my resume, they didn’t have a job for me at the time. At the beginning of September, they contact me offering me a job and presenting me with a big decision: either I stay at mConcierge, work on improving the environment and hope that the “thing” goes away OR try my hand with Ruby on Rails while accepting a sizable pay decrease (with an aggressive salary increase over the course of a single year, making me up to par with what I had with mConcierge).
Best decision ever!
I love working again, even though I’m not making as much money and I’m not yet at 100% with the new framework. I should mention that I was very curious about Ruby on Rails and had done some test projects on my own (see survvit), but I had never done a full fledged RoR app. I knew, however, that I liked the style of Ruby and Rails. So I took the job, I see the temporary pay decrease as my payment for the opportunity to learn a new framework and being happy at work. I went from programming with .NET on Windows to programming RoR on a MAC (although I feel I’ll be switching to Ubuntu eventually, I don’t like Mac OSX). I’m learning a lot and I think that’s my key to an enjoyable work environment: learning.
During my last months at Hint, I wasn’t learning anything useful, I wasn’t learning while at the job after that and even at mConcierge I was not learning much. Now I’m learning a lot and my productivity is increasing every day and many times I feel much more productive than I ever was with .NET.