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Monday, April 25, 2016

And so, it begins

Well, Friday last week was the last straw.  All I could do is stare at the code, and sit while the cramping between my shoulder blades slowly made its way up into my skull.  Zero productivity.  Less than zero enthusiasm.  No way to produce a professional-level result.

So, I emailed my agency, told them I was going to close things out and leave, and managed to give my boss a 2 minute heads-up between his meetings.  And then I went the Hell home and had a few beers!

I haven't emailed out a single resume', but those automated resume' search bots have found me and I've already been in contact with a couple of headhunters.  All of the jobs are real development projects, by the way.  Design, write, test, deliver.. that's my kind of job!

With any luck 4/29 will be my last day here.  I need about a week off, then go full-press on the job search.  I'd prefer to stay in Austin, but I'll go where the work is, as long as they have bus service!

Today - no real muscle tension, haven't ground my teeth all morning, feel enthused to create a documentation roadmap and prepare thing for a professional exit.  Downloading some large files so I can write code at home, to keep sharp and continue to grow my education.

Oh, and learning Nuke video editing software and Houdini visual effects software.  I don't want to be an engineer for the rest of my life!

More as it happens...

Friday, April 22, 2016

Losing my remaining marbles!

This job will be the death of me.

Imagine being a writer, and you've ben hird to write, so you're told.  To start and do a nice piece that goes into the commercial product, great!

But then, your boss comes over and hands you an immensely thick book - 98,000 lines - and tell you that your new assignment is to read through it, write a synopsis of the important major and minor points, and create some diagrams to make it easy to follow.  And you have about 3 months to do it, and it's on a topic you're not real familiar with, there's alien jargon throughout it and it's some of the most boring reading you've encountered in your life.

Welcome to my job, only it's programming and not writing.

The stress is incredible.  My mind is not set up to tediously plow through tens of thousands of lines of other peoples code, from the instant I get into the office until I go home I have a near-continual stress tension headache, and all I can think about is going home and having several beers.

So, resume' updates and possible two-week notice coming soon.  I'm going to try to last another month but no promises, I need out of here!

In the meantime, working on my 5-year plan to change careers and get the Hell out of software engineering.  Between music, writing, and video editing/visual effects I should be able to support myself decently, don't need to be rich, just pay bills and afford beer.

Damn, I hate his job.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Stress is not good for a body..

This job is going downhill fast.

I was originally told I would be doing programming and bug fixing when I signed on.  And for my first month here, I wrote code - a nice Windows CE firmware updating program. 

Everything was going well until I finished the little app and they gave me my next assignment - which has NOTHING to do with writing software!

Instead, I'm going through all their existing code, trying to extract the critical algorithms and produce diagrams/spreadsheets/text documents that would allow a third party to re-implement their application on a different operating system.

Yep, a reverse-engineering job, the kind of job I actively AVOID.

For this kind of job, you need to enjoy - or at least have the patience to - sit down day after day and read over thousands of lines of Other People's Code, threshing it to determine which code is the "meat" - the core algorithms that make it work - and which is either user-interface-specific or operating-system specific and thus not critical to the basic functionality of the application.

You need someone with a lot of doggedness, a fast learner, and who isn't going to be upset because they AREN'T CREATING ANYTHING NEW OR FIXING ISSUES OR DOING ANYTHING CREATIVE AT BLOODY ALL.

I was born to write code, damn it, not produce pretty pictures.  I *can* do it but not as my primary job function!!!!

So far, every day of the past 10 days has resulted in a nice stress headache and muscle cramps in my shoulders and the back of my neck - which Tylenol barely touches - and takes all weekend to fade.  This never happened when I was actually writing code.

My gut feeling is that I'm likely to hand in my notice within 2 weeks of this posting,  My living expenses are low and, while I will lose my insurance, if the foot is healed up enough I can get along fine.

We'll see how long my patience lasts.