Friday, 20 May 2011

New job

OK, first things first. Here's the long promised post about my new job.

It's quite a funny story how I ended up here. In this post from December about my 30th birthday, I mention the band I hired for the party, the Red Hand Blues Band. Between their sets we chatted and I learned that the double bass player, Martin, runs a development company. He mentioned, conversationally, that they were keen to find some programmers who were interested in working from home or part time. After that (and a tequila with tabasco and orange!) we both carried on with what we were there to do and didn't give it much further thought.

In January I sent my CV to the recruiters I had been working with ever since moving back to SA and, as an afterthought, to Martin as well. I heard back from the recruiters, went on a few interviews; eventually I was one interview with the CEO away from accepting a job with an online contract managment firm.

Cue an email from Martin to say that my CV had ended up in the junk folder, but if I'm still looking would I come for an interview. I almost didn't go, but he seemed keen and I didn't have anything to lose.

After the longest, most comfortable and most in-depth first interview ever, I was really torn because both positions felt like a good fit. Martin was also very keen to get me on board, and during the phone call where I told him I had to weigh my options and make a difficult decision, he told me he'd be buying a computer for me to work on in good faith in the meantime.

The biggest deciding factor that made me choose this job over the other is the diversity of projects they do (rather than maintaining one piece of software like in the other company) and the diversity of technologies they use. The focus is on my own core skill, ASP.NET, but there's a lot of scope for learning new things. There have been several occassions that showed me it was the right decision. Not least of all the boss' amazing attitude towards family and work-life balance when it transpired I was already pregnant at the time of the interview!

It's a small development company, doing mainly web stuff, but for an office with 7 people (one of whom is a designer and one a copy writer), we maintain some seriously heavy-weight clients.

I'm enjoying the work, I'm loving the people, and I'm seriously appreciating the very human and honest managerial style.

I am a little in danger of being that annoying new guy who thinks they should change everything to what I'm used to, but it can be a little frustrating to not have source control or coding standards. While it's a good exercise for me in relinquishing control and adapting, I like to think I do bring some good suggestions that at least give food for thought even if we don't implement them straight away.

So, that's the story of my now-not-so-new-anymore job, and what I believe to be the divine hand in leading me to it.

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