I realise only now that my previous place of employment was such a stifling environment. I was always quite insecure about my abilities as a software engineer. In the years since I left I have come to terms with the fact that I’m really quite talented, but that I was never afforded the autonomy and space to make the changes required to evolve and fix the software I was working on. I am so much more successful now.
Yesterday I announced to my team that after more than sixteen years of service to MBS, I am leaving the company. Some people were visibly unhappy with the announcement. During my time here I’ve seen others make the same announcement and noted that it was hard for them to say the words. While I certainly don’t think it was easy, I thought it was easier than expected.
I suspect that the people who were unhappy with the news are so partially because I’ve become their go-to guy, and partially because they might be fond of me. The latter I can’t help, but regarding the former, I’m sure that they’ll quickly find that everyone is replaceable. It might take a few days, but business will continue as usual.
Over the next few weeks I will be moving to Exeter. I’m arranging for Robin to live in and take care of my home here in Amsterdam, just in case the exit from the European Union by Great Britain will not go entirely smoothly or if things don’t work out well with the new job that I’ve found in Exeter. And then I’ll move. There is a lot to be arranged and a lot to be wrapped up, a lot of which isn’t entirely clear to me yet, so it will likely be a chaotic few weeks.
In the meantime, my pendulum swings between excited and terrified, between happy and sad, between confident and diffident.
My company just moved to another office and it’s been an interesting process. The last time we moved offices was quite a few years ago and I remember that to have been a pretty smooth transfer. Admittedly, we were a bit smaller then. This time it didn’t go quite as smoothly.
Yesterday, upon arriving at the new office, which is in an area of Amsterdam where there are currently many construction projects, I found that the building we’re in is still under active construction. It turned out that not just our building, but also our office was still under active construction. Small things, like water in the kitchen was missing and we only had one sink in the bathrooms that provided water. But more legit things like missing toilet doors and only two working electricity outlets. The latter was exciting, since we connected everyone to these sockets and it was a miracle that everything was sort of up and running.
We started unpacking boxes, arranging desks and clearing some of the mess. By the afternoon, when most of that had been done, the office actually started to look kind of nice. We still had construction workers roaming around, drilling everywhere, and everything is kind of covered in a perpetual layer of dust, but it was turning out alright.
The whole place has a bit of a dead-tech, post-modern, industrial feel to it, but it looks kind of cool. Hopefully I’ll be able to take a few cool photos once things are looking a bit more presentable and I can share what the office looks like. Until that time there is a lot of freewheeling, troubleshooting and unusual shit to take care of. Hurrah!(?)
This week started with my birthday, but unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to really celebrate or enjoy it. At work, two new developers started on the day of my birthday, and it was my intention to get them settled as quickly as possible so that they could hit the ground running. In the past, we’ve had people start who didn’t have the welcoming or productive start they deserved. So I wanted to do better. I think I succeeded, and after having a short review of the week with them individually today, it seems they feel the same way.
It meant a lot of scrambling, running around and fixing things. It also means I didn’t settle in any rhythm this week, which usually leaves me tired. Jim is arriving shortly, and tomorrow I’ll have the chance to really celebrate my birthday. Hopefully that will soothe some of the stress of the previous couple of days.