Today is is my last day as an Oracle employee.
"Fired? Lay offs?" No, I decided to leave.
"What happened?" Nothing, really. I was working with nice people, in a good environment, doing interesting work, getting a good salary. I was comfortable.
"So? Why are you leaving?" A deal popped up that allows me go independent and try something different. Actually, I’m teaming up with a good friend to build Code54. We always dreamed about creating our own little software company, and this is an interesting opportunity to give it a shot.
"You must be crazy! Do it during this economic crisis?!" No doubt. I hope we can make it work on our favor. If I wait for the "ideal" time, I might never get to do it. I was too comfortable at Oracle, but comfort is not what I’m after right now.
This was not an easy decision. I’ve been working at Fuego/BEA/Oracle for over 10 years. I lived all kind of experiences from being a troubled 11-employee start-up to joining the Oracle empire. Thanks everyone!
Stay tuned: In a few months I’ll either be hiring or looking for a job again!
In March, I accepted a new position within BEA, to work for BEA Argentina.
After more than six years in the U.S., my wife and I were thinking about moving back to Argentina. We were talking about doing so in 2008. Then, this opportunity within BEA came across. It was sooner than what we planned, but it was interesting for me professionally, and BEA was helping with all the relocation needs. So I accepted.
It all happened (is happening I’d say) pretty quickly. Me and my family arrived at Argentina a couple of weeks ago, and I started on this new role immediately.
April was a good exercise on getting things done, both in and out of work. Here’s just a summary:
If you work as a software developer for a living, I recommend you get a copy of “My Job Went to India”. Ignore the curious title and funny cover. It’s about planning your career and making yourself a more valuable developer.
I read it right after “The World is Flat” (by the way, a fascinating description of today’s globalized economics), and it was a good 1-2 punch.
Full of great advice. Stimulating and motivating little book. It helped me find the energy to go back to work after taking a week off :-).
The book is divided in 52 concrete pieces of advice. You’ll get ideas for improving your technical abilities, as well as business-related knowledge and inter-personal skills.
A couple of paragraphs I liked, from the Introduction:
For some not-insignificant percentage of IT workers, the safest bet is to start looking for an alternate line of work. […] If you don’t have passion and a drive that would force you to create software […] you’re not going to be able to continue to compete with those who do.
… Software is a business […] To stay employed, you’re going to have to understand how you fit into the business’s plan to make money.
And this one below made me laugh, from advice #6 “Be a specialist”:
“Too many of us seem to believe that specializing in something simply means not knowing about other things.”
I would have titled it something like “The Mature Pragmatic Programmer”, as it is a perfect second volume for “The Pragmatic Programmer” (What? you haven’t read it? Stop reading this stupid blog and go get TPP now!).
I’m surely stating the obvious here (I hope!), but what seems obvious for some people is not so for others.
Work Experience should not be expressed in years. There’s a quality component to it that is more important than quantity. Some people learn very little over several years of “experience”, while others learn and grow a lot in a fraction of the time.
The amount of experience is still important. And the quality of someone’s experience is lot harder to measure, since it may depend on many interrelated factors: type of work done, intelligence, interest, motivation, attitude, the environment, and people (s)he worked with.
But please, don’t measure experience in time units alone.
Unfortunately, if you need to hire someone, recruiters do little (if any) to find quality workers. They just care about keywords (like: java, web, manager) and the years of experience associated with each of them.
If you think about it, time is relatively easy to add to the experience of a person: it’s just a matter of time :-).
The quality of a person’s experience, on the other hand, depends a lot on his/her own will.