October 24, 2007

Time to move on

Filed under: eire,meatspace — SiKing @ 3:20 pm

My old desk

So it’s time for me to make some changes in my life again.

Things got kinda stagnant where I work now: same ol’ same ol’ every day, not much of a career growth that I could see going forward, and the money was falling sharply below the industry average. Once again I am reminded of the great divide between management mentality and the front-line ranks (or at least myself). By coincidence (or perhaps not) I had my annual performance review at the same time. At the end of the review, there was a place where I could speak my mind. I stated that it looks to me like people here get promoted more based on their soft skills rather than their technical skills – we’re talking about software QA. On top of that, I pointed out, the money is much better elsewhere. This, it would seem to me, has the tendency to drive talent out. After hading in my resignation a week later, my boss pleaded that he wanted to keep me at least in the company and he was trying to get me transfered to development where they have more money available. After I thought the offer through, I decided that he was just trying to be polite, because purely from management point of view this did not make sense to me. A company that has no QA (to speak of), is going to burn out their developers too fast, ’cause someone has to test the stuff. Then I thought more about a top-management decision to financially choke QA. Why even bother? I mean, if you are serious about building a good product, you need to invest in QA – I assume everyone in a decision-making position would know that, and if they don’t then the person who placed them there is a serious liability to the company. On the other hand, let’s pretend that someone at the top is intentionally just trying to make things look good so that they could pull an Enron. In that case, again, they are incompetent, because they are wasting good money on a front that could be done by one competent, but significantly cheaper, person. I’m probably too stupid to understand the greater meaning in all of this. As my daughter (8 y.o.) pointed out the other day: “How hard can it be to just push buttons all day dad?”

I normally start off my mornings reading the Metro on the way to work. One of the sections that I particularly enjoy is the letters section. However, recently there seems to be a huge increase of complaints: “I can’t get a seat on the train”, “litter in the streets”, “people spitting”, “ladies putting on makeup”, “I get fined when I don’t purchase a ticket for the train”, “rowdy teenagers”, and I don’t know what else. It’s freakin’ depressing! Sure Ireland has it’s share of problems: the health care system might as well not even exist for all the good it’s doing, and the education system, especially at the primary level, is not far behind. With over ten years of continuous economic growth Dublin is becoming a real metropolis, with all the problems of a big city. But you know what? Overall Ireland is a great place to live! Unemployment is still very low, people here are extremely welcoming of the “new Irish” and other cultures, and you have one of the cleanest environments in Europe. Colourful history in this country, lots of fantastic places to visit, not to mention great beer. I am very grateful for the opportunities that Ireland has provided for me and my children over the last year and half, and I am glad about all the people that I have met here. And for you whiners: if you don’t like it, do something about it. I am: tomorrow morning it’s the Herald for me!

A good friend of mine wrote about an interesting conjecture (in Czech!) a while back. It is a contemplation about computer games and other obsessions. At the end, he suggests that one of the best games, or playing fields, that one should try an excel at is your own self. Perhaps your own mind. I have always worked in computers, because I had that kind of logical mind. I always really liked, almost got an adrenalin rush out of, pushing systems beyond what they were designed to do – this is one of the definitions of computer hacking, the definition that I subscribe to. Psychology has always fascinated me, even though I had very little idea of what it is all about. There are a lot of others out there that share this same mindset, and recently I discovered that there are even several books. So I got this list of books together that I intend to read, and see if they will open (hack?) my mind. Funny thing: while I was putting the list together, searching for the books, Amazon suggested that from my browsing history perhaps I might like The Anarchist Cookbook! I wonder what that says about me … perhaps I don’t want to know.


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