Three Months Free posted

Welp, I've now been free from the corporate world for a little over 3 months now.

Ha. Man it rules. It was scary and a little stressful of a move, but I am so, so glad that I dove in.

No more Microsoft Office, no software audits, no B.S. meetings, no re-orgs, no safety e-mails, no ethics surveys, and most of all no seemingly pointless PHBs in upper management.

It's funny, ever since I left Pioneer, I feel like a real live adult employee rather than an intern. Everything I do actually affects the company. Everything serves a purpose and we don't waste energy on the things that don't. I mean, in 3 months I've worked on more projects than I did in over 4 years at Pioneer. wtf.

It's interesting how much I've improved as a programmer. I mean, I haven't really learned a lot of new concepts, but I actually use the concepts now. I think that all I needed in my job was some variation, creativity, and apps that I can actually relate to (rather than biochemistry and farming for example). That's what makes me shine.

So anyway, here's what I've been up to.
Mac, UNIX, Ruby on Rails, Application Architecture, DB design, and a tiny bit of server admin.

And here's what I think about things at Red 5

I hate to say it, but I absolutely love being in a Mac environment. I haven't written any desktop apps, and probably won't, but web development and everything else is so intuitive. Things just work so well. I love the built-in desktop management - dashboard, expose, spaces, etc. They're all so useful and so fluid. And I love how (most) things just work right out of the box. Mail, weather, calendar syncing, etc.

I absolutely love Coda and Adium. These 2 things alone are about enough to make me buy a mac for home.

I like that fancy mouse quite a lot - except it's a little weird on right click. Plus the trackball on top gets clogged pretty easily - and you should be able to scroll diagonally with it... but it's pretty nice - I love the pinchers, ha.

There are some things that I think suck about Mac though. My biggest beef is the keyboard. First of all, the home row nubs are too small, so I always mistype. But the big one is that the Apple/Command key location is retarded. It sucks so so bad. I mean, it would totally rule if you had little thumbs poking out of your palms, but unfortunately, I don't. That location is seriously awkward and awful. Plus, now I accidentally hit my ALT key on my home PC all the time.

There's no way to sync my phone on a mac. Everything mac is expensive - hardware, software - everything. And can someone tell me why app installs are mounted as "drives" wtf? Makes no sense.

Another thing which I find not very intuitive is the title bar that always stays in the same spot - instead of at the top of each window. I mean, it sort of makes sense to have a menu only for your focused window, but it's awkward when you have 2 monitors. Every time I go to the menu above firefox on my left monitor, it doesn't work because coda has focus on my right monitor.

Finally... that damn pinwheel. When something's locked up, I don't want to see a happy little rainbow pinwheel spinning around. It's way too happy of an icon for something that totally sucks.

But yeah, I really want one for home now. I just can't decide if I want a laptop or desktop. I do have 2 giant monitors at home that'd be nice to use with it...

I love rails. It's totally fun and made me a good programmer again. It generates pretty code. It's rapid development. MVC completely rules... but I don't quite know what I think about Active Record yet. It's nice, but not scalable. That's really my only problem with rails... and the only way to fix this is to throw more servers and money at your app. Plus, the rails community blows. Some peeps are good, but overall, most aren't very helpful.

Being in a unix environment all day is pretty fun. Having a terminal window open literally all day makes me feel 1337, haha. However, now I try to tab complete everything I do. I'll be typing a URL, writing an IM, or blogging and hit tab to try to complete whatever it is I'm typing, haha.

I like that I have the option to either use the Mac OS or terminal for anything. For example, searching for code within a directory is much easier in terminal.
find . -print0 | xargs -0 grep mymethod
Oh, plus port installing is amazing. I never knew.

Red 5
Being in a small company is pretty hilarious. We often times blast funk music throughout the office. And things like the coffee maker might take out the phone system. But we're much more free and encouraged to try new things, you can get involved with more of the company/projects, and I can wear/say basically whatever I want and not worry about offending my coworkers.

There is, of course, small company B.S. - but it's much more manageable and up front than corporate B.S. And there's also no dewski, friday bagels, biscotti from kate, and no good bathroom to hide out in for 15 minutes. But overall, it rules for everything I've outlined above. Plus the people there are cool. And weekly massages, whaaat?

Man it's nice. I'm really happy here.
I hope we start rocking it cause... I never wanna go back.
Tags: Pioneer, Red 5, Work


  • I think my favorite part about rocking the non corporate jobs is how easy it is to get things done. I remember working at the WB and having to have a meeting about a meeting and then document both meetings and the plan. Then we would take the plan and have a meeting. and then probably meet about the resulting changes. etc.etc.

    In all seriousness - I was a great worker and i think i only created a couple thousand lines of code. It just wasn't a environment to get things done.

    However at skinnycorp - we are like "hey. wanna migrate everything to django and then back to php" and its done. No meetings. No unneeded beurocracy, no annoying rules that may be great for a industrial warehouse - but don't for engineers.

    Its awesome. I have a fear that someday skinnycorp will get hit by russian missiles (cuz its 1987) and i will have to go back to doing java at some corporation as an entry level coder. I would cry for hours.

    harper posted

  • Since it's so much faster to get things done, maybe you should request a shitter that no one can hear you doing your business in. Don't forget you get to have beer in your fridge and being told your kind of fruity because you drink Amber Bock and eat at Taki.

    Nathan posted

  • I am jealous... the corporate world is making my eyes bleed. Nothing gets done in big corporate business.

    luke posted

  • yeah but... wth is a phb

    jimjim posted

  • The Pointy-Haired Boss (often abbreviated to just PHB) is Dilbert's boss in the Dilbert comic strip. He is notable for his gross incompetence and unawareness of his surroundings, yet somehow retains power in the workplace. />

    The trait list on that wikipedia entry is pretty hilarious - and sadly right on.

    derek posted

  • Dude, working for a 'corporate master' is fracked up. Look at me, spent 23 years of my life working for people that don't get had HUGE balls to do what you did and I wish I could get off my ass to do the same thing. You will thrive in that environment, I always thought that Pioneer was just plain STUPID where you were concerned. You could have done so many awesome things for them and they put you in a hole with the rest of us mushrooms. Oh and the fact that you have a nice package helps things...

    Rico posted

  • i honestly don't mind working for a corporation most days, there is a ton of shit that sucks, but there are also good stuff like job security and advancement opportunities...i guess it just suits my personality a little better than some people...with all that said, i am still really grateful that i have an outlet like truespin to be more creative and do cool things

    nick posted

  • oh definitely. there are advantages/disadvantages to both. for me though, the advantages of a small company seem to far outweigh those of a big corporation. like you said, that always depends on personality, etc.

    one of the things that was definitely nice about being corporate was the job security (most of the time anyway). but now... that's something that i have to keep in the back of my head.

    and this blog wasn't really meant to battle the 2, it was more just to say what's up with my new job and how i like it so far.

    derek posted

  • haha, yeah, sorry...i definitely don't want to start a battle between the 2, it just felt like the pro-corporate side was woefully underrepresented...

    nick posted