Archive for February, 2005
Plan A - Job boards and placement agencies
Looks like Plan A was working, slowly. I had numerous interviews including a two hour telephone interview with Telus last month for a not-quite-optimal position. Seems they want people to work in Edmonton but can’t find anybody up there, and can’t entice anyone from Calgary or Burnaby / Vancouver to move to Edmonton for the contract. Go figure. I lived there for a year back in 1998. It was ok, but Calgary is home.
Plan A also netted me an interview at a place that was priding itself on being a Microsoft Beta Test partner or somesuch, to the extent that they were bragging about putting Microsoft Beta products into client sites. The job was about 60% windows server stuff (which I could figure out, push came to shove) and 40% Unix/Linux. If it had been more like 20% windows … no, nevermind. Who in their right mind would work for a place that actively encouraged Windows on the server side, and Beta versions of Microsoft products at that! (Isn’t that a violation of some beta partnership agreement anyways? Weird.)
I did get one not so bad interview on Plan A. A large international oil company needed to fill a hole left by a vacating contract systems administrator. It would have involved more experience on midrange solaris equipment and helping them along for a while on their multi year server consolidation and updating program. They have stuff running on Solaris 2.51 still in various capacities, as well as Ultra 10’s and such, to name just a few ancient technologies. Amazing what you can find in the dusty corners of server rooms, ticking away performing some service (possibly critical).
Yes, ticking like a time bomb waiting to go off at just the worst possible moment….
Plan B - Direct resume submission
Plan B actually worked out better for me this time around. I got my shiny new resume (more on that later) wound hither and thon and ultimately to the desk of someone who is up to their eyeballs in current and pending projects. Probably they didn’t have time to expend on a full blown formal position filling process, and basically just pounced when my qualifications came into view with barely any effort required by them.
Hey, cold contact sometimes works . . .
This is at a company that I did a little bit of research on and decided they would be an interesting place to work. Turns out that they appear to have the right mix of size of company, culture, people, technology (nice mix of bleeding edge and stable stuff, and open source stuff appears to also be involved in parts of it which counts lots in my books), office location (not downtown), and so forth. Looking forward to getting in there and rolling my sleeves up.
Just a little bit of negotiation on contract terms first, mostly about intellectual property assignments and limitation of warranty and exclusive remedy. Also setting up some commercial general liability and errors + omissions liability insurance. Something I should have had before, and will definitely be covering my butt with this time around. Not that anything bad ever happened at previous contracts, but most of those were via recruitment agencies that had me covered by their umbrella insurance while I was working thru them.
Mambo OpenSource CMS spun off from the commercial product opensourced by Miro International a few years ago. There’s tonnes of open source and commercial templates, modules, components etc for this CMS but core api and dev team stability has been somewhat precarious at times.
Hopefully this formal reuniting will help stabilize and mature the opensource project.
“If you talk, we have lawyers with freakin’ laser beams attached to their heads.”
I can’t wait for WordPress 1.5 — OK, yes I can wait - no need for running pre-alpha when beta isn’t too far off. I want the jitter to settle down because redoing all the customizations is is such a pain. A problem with many open source things that don’t have long periods of stable releases.
Take Mambo for example, it only recently split it’s dev team and code paths into a stable and a new-flakey-stuff. At least now 3rd party plugins / components / modules will now be able to keep relevant and not be left behind every 3 months when the api changes.
Even today, Torvalds operates in a virtual world of e-mails and Web sites. He works almost entirely from a roomy house that sits on a wooded Oregon mountaintop and is decorated with taxidermic specimens, including a piranha and a crocodile.
He gets up early, making strong cups of coffee for himself and his wife, Tove, a former karate champion in Finland. Then he settles in for hours of reviewing code and snapping off e-mail messages in his basement office.
It’s lined with science fiction and fantasy books, including classics such as Dune and the Wheel of Time series. In the afternoon, he coasts down the hill on his bicycle to a quaint village, stops at a Peet’s coffee shop for a latte or Chai tea, and pumps back up the hill.
Then he returns to his computers.
Linus Torvalds apparently has a nice big house in the country and yet he still works in the basement? Weirdo. I understand the need for in-the-zone concentration especially if there are little kids zooming around the house, but he couldn’t get an office with a door on the main or upper floors looking out at nature?