A Good Start

My first week at my new job is going to consist of training on what the company actually does. I have worked for several companies and it is the first time that I actually go through the business training this way.

Before I have even asked companies to let me train on what the people do so that I can better understand what the system is supposed to help do, but it has always been considered a waste of my time by them. I have always concentrated on building tools for the people in the company to make their job easier and I have encountered resistance. I have been told that my time is too valuable to try and automate something that a regular employee can do, the return on investment has been pretty much ignored and I was told to just concentrate on other things.

A big fault that many programmers fall into is into believing that they understand the business better than the people that actually perform the tasks. While I do believe that there are plenty of talented people out there that can grasp a business concept from a general overview and have a vision I think that it does not replace talking to the people that actually do the job.

I take pride on being able to talk to people about systems in simple terms. I do not like using complicated language to explain something simple and understand that using technical terms with a non technical person causes more harm that good. If a programmer goes into a conversation thinking that the other person cannot understand what they are going to say, I am willing to be that communication will not happen.

I am very excited that this company believes in making everyone in the company understand their business. All employees, even the corporate people have to sit down and learn the business from the ground up. To me that is a very good start.

Posted in IT

New Start

Tomorrow I will be starting a new job. Even though I have a lot to say about why I left my last job I rather not talk about all the negativity… in a nutshell what was promised was not delivered and I was left with only one choice, to look for another job.

It was stressful to know that I needed to get a new job and I had not planned for it. I should have started looking months ago because for a while I had the feeling I should. I should have trusted my insticts. I stayed committed to a place that was not committed to me. The situations that were internal to the place I cannot discuss here. The personals situations that made my life at work harder I will not discuss in detail, but I do want to record them here for the future. For the first time my personal life was affected by my professional life. I also trusted the wrong people with my opinions and well, once words came out of your mouth they are free to be twisted or misinterpreted.

I had to learn two hard lessons. The first was that no matter how good of a professional you are, without a safe heaven to recharge your mind you are eventually going to hit your limit. The second was that you are “the master of what you keep, and the slave of what you say.”

I am moving away from the consulting world to go back to being an internal resource. This has always been a better situation for me. With consulting I have always loved the work and the clients, but for some reason the consulting firms do not seem to have everything under control or the bottom line is part of their mission statement. There is nothing wrong with wanting to money, but I think the client or product should be the first priority and not bottom line. I think when the priorities are set right, success is a given.

The title of this post means a lot. I am glad to say that the storm is over and a new light is shinning through the stormy clouds that are giving way to a clear sky. I was lucky enough that the same day that I started looking I was contacted by someone that needed someone with my experience. I was also lucky enough to have over six different opportunities come together in just a week, but the first person I talked to had the right opportunity for me.

I am happy because for the first time I have the feeling that I have found a company that will be a place I can stay at for a long career. So many times I have had that dream, that expectation, but deep inside I knew that it was almost an unrealistic goal. My life has changed a lot in the past six months and I have started to feel something that I knew I could feel but was not able to do before. I am able to trust. I always thought that doubt was part of every situation, but now I am learning that in the right environment and situations doubt is not a factor. I think it is mostly because I have a new found self confidence different from the one I had before. I truly trust myself. It might have a lot to do with how much closer I feel to God now, I have been praying for internal peace and it seems that I have been granted just that.

Telling a story

Watching an Indian film I started to think of how when I watch a movie from Colombia or Latin America there are so many details that some other people might not discover or might be able to get. One of the characters in the movie ate flowers constantly and I am not sure if it had something to do with the message, or if the colors had other meanings.

The director is a story teller and with images he not only tells a story but describes a world. That world has many details that at times are missed. The Wachowski brothers in The Matrix introduced many numbers that had meaning to them and also had religious or sci-fi meaning, in Hero Yimou Zhang used colors to show very different sides to a story. Every director uses different elements to tell a story and sometimes we miss the ones that are culture specific.

Religious imagery is very important to a lot of films, but what if you are not familiar with that religion? are you missing something that would maybe tell a deeper story?

Director commentary is a great new feature of DVD`s but how many people actually watch a movie with the director talking through the movie? I have only done it a couple of times and it was a movie that I truly loved.

At times I believe that directors are overshadowed by the actors, and even though we think that a great movie director is someone that has commercial success, I believe that being a great story teller is more important. I am not the movie buff that I would want to be, but I do appreciate the art behind what it is movie making.

I want to encourage people out there to go the extra mile and look up the details that they might not understand in a movie, it might truly enhance your movie watching experience.

Love your job?

I started to write an entry about how important it is to like what you do, and then I thought about necessity. There are a lot of people out there that are doing jobs because they have to and not because they want to. Consider yourself lucky if you actually like what you do for a living.

When I chose a career I tried to go for something that I would always love and computers it was. Granted, I thought I was going to become a video game programmer but after the recruiter for my college lied about the curriculum I ended up just taking the video game part out.

I have worked in professional environments ever since and I am sad to report that the corporate world is full of nasty people. Professionals are not very professional. I have encountered a lot of people that fold under pressure and resort to high school type of behaviour when faced with a real life situation. At those moments I wonder if blue collar workers deal with this kind of behaviour. Then there is the backstabbing, the get ahead no matter what, the do whatever it takes.

I am left with a lot more questions than answers, but I do know that I have to do something that I love or it becomes very hard to show up to work every single day.

Midwest Superbowl

I am a sports fan, but the Bears are making me a fanatic. Winning against the Saints yesterday, the NFL cinderella story, was excellente. I believe that sports have a lot to do with momentum and the Bears were able to finish the game yesterday beating one of the best offenses in the NFL.

There are so many stories around the superbowl now, two african american coaches, two midwestern teams, but the important thing for me is that the Bears have a shot at winning it all after 21 years.

Rex did his job and at least to me he looked like he does not have to start hot to do his job. The run game also worked and even though the defense won this game, the offense did what they needed to do for the Bears to become the NFC champions.

For the first time since I moved to the US I am going to watch the superbowl and not just because of the commercials. Also the Colts made it and I was happy for them. So unless you are from Indiana, or even if you are from Indiana, you should become a Bears fan for the superbowl!