The times they are a-changing

by Matt 11. June 2008 17:24

It’s been a little while since I last posted. Well, not counting the two posts earlier today. And, admittedly, since Smallest Child was born, I’ve struggled to hit double-figures in a single month, and oh-my-god, I’m writing a meta-blogging post.

I always promised myself I wouldn’t blog about blogging, but you know what, I’ve been doing this for (very surprisingly) over 2 years now. So I think I’m entitled to the occasional self-indulgence. Feel free to wander off now – this post is going to be very light on techie stuff.

(My first post was 25 May 2006, not that you’d know if from the blog software I’m using – for some reason, the Posts Archive list starts in June 2006. This blog runs on Single User Blog, an Open Source project started by Mitch Denny that I had a lot of fun hacking on and learning 2 with. Of course, I never did have enough spare time to implement/fix everything I wanted to (such as conditional gets on the rss feed – ouch) and you know that when the creator of the platform abandons it, it’s time to move on. I’d love to write a new platform, WCF and LINQ based, but I don’t have the time, I wouldn’t finish it, and I think Minima has already done it, so I’ll probably be off to sometime soon. I just want to migrate without breaking anything.)

Anyway, there’s more interesting things to write about. Namely, a change of jobs. I’ve had exactly 3 jobs in the last 13 years. One year at a database solutions provider that went bankrupt. 5 years as a C/C++ cowboy developer at a company that creates a finite element analysis suite (and whose website is beautifully, wonderfully, still running on the same dev box, with the same university domain name). And 7 years at a rather large online bank.

And I’ve left. I’d reached the point where there wasn’t much else I felt I could get out of being there – I’d ticked all the boxes I’d wanted to tick. I was a Principal Developer, but had moved away from writing code. I’ve had a brilliant time there – it really was a great place to work (despite what we used to say. We weren’t happy unless we were complaining). I’ve learnt an awful lot, and I’ve shipped a lot of software (there are a number of really important pieces of architecture that I’ve had my hands on that I’ve really rather proud of).

Plus, my wife and I work for the same company, many miles from home. Putting 2 kids in the car for 2 hours a day is a bit rough. Plus First Born is starting pre-school soon, and the child care just doesn’t work out when we’re both working.

So here I am. In London, living away from home contracting. My wife’s also just handed her notice in, and it’s all change Chez Moi.

I’m currently working on a 6 month contract down in London for a rather well known media company, building the back end processing system for pushing TV programmes out onto the Internet. Cool. My contract is for me to be an Application Architect, but I’m kind of on secondment to this project right now, so I guess I’m a dev of some sort. But it’s really good. I’m 3 days in, and have already been pairing, writing test-driven code, and checking stuff in; I’ve been productive, which I was expecting so soon.

“Team Agile” as my ex-boss puts it. He’s not bitter.

But enough navel-gazing.

I’ve got me a new laptop, and quite clearly, my eyes are bigger than my belly. It’s a Dell Inspiron 1720. Yep. 17 inches of goodness. Er, screen. And that’s a whopping 1920 x 1200 resolution. I’m all awash with screen real estate right now; it’s lovely. And the 4 gig helps, too. Check it out:


This isn’t a laptop, it’s a desktop with a built in screen! It’s even got a numpad!

And it’s just as big and heavy.

Yeah, I’ve sacrificed some convenience for raw power. Oh well. I’ll get over it.


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