It has been the strangest year for me, professionally. I had a good job, where i was hired to do C++ in a Windows CE environment, but where i ended up doing the back-end in SQL Server and C#/.NET. Where i also learned about WPF
and was really impressed. WCF is really easy. Dead-simple. But I really love WPF! It feels like HTML/CSS for Windows UI, except more powerful :) Granted, it took me a while to really get to grips with it, it is not as easy as WinForms is. Although it is not complicated, it's just a different way of thinking.
Then i got another offer, from a company where i worked before, long ago, as a youngster, before i became self-employed. I was not really looking, but it felt welcome. I was reluctant somehow, because the other programmers in the company would be leaving, but they promised that would give me the chance to make a new start. I told them i was not going to be able to do it all alone, and needed support. That would not be a problem, they said.
So back to geographical information systems. It sounded awesome! I saw the product they were selling, and we could improve that easily. It was web-based, so that would be my chance to finally get into that. I was looking at all kinds of technologies, thinking of .NET, SilverLight, Ruby and RoR.
When i arrived there was one guy, not willing to share any info with me. I had to maintain and keep 5 projects up and running on my own, while i didn't even know them from scratch. Communication, like in with a client, is not really my cup op tea. I think i am good at explaining a program, sometimes i think i would like teaching, but i am not good at giving commercial info. All i could think off: sorry, i am all alone here, so i think you will need to wait a few months before i can start on your project. Which i assumed would not sound good, but it was the truth, so i kept silent. Which i believe, in all honesty, is even worse. I told our so-called commercial guy that we needed to communicate to all our clients they were going to have to be delayed, i needed to be worked in, i needed time, ... But all he did was trying to push me to take care of his pet-project. The other projects he just didn't care about (or at least: didn't seemed to). At the same time, there were also a lot of requests for changes to the software used inside our own company. And i was looking around at the possible future implementations. New technologies. It was a though, hard, and stressy time. Too many balls to keep in the air, and juggling never was my strong point.
Now, we are almost 5 months further. I have implemented software in VBA for MicroStation and AutoCad. If they had told me beforehand most of my implementation work would be VBA, i might reconsider :) But let's not get into that. I have written one application to calibrate data along a pipeline, in C# and WPF, and show it graphically. That was awesome. We hired a junior, which I try to coach. Not very good i am afraid, with all the work pressure. But coming January i will have a new boss (project manager/commercial) and two more new collegues shortly after. The ambition of my new boss is simple: become the market leader in what we are doing now. Great! That sounds awesome.
The last year i have been looking around at so many new technologies. I have played a bit with ruby. I tried out Ruby on Rails. I want to get my hands dirty. And soon! But we need to soothe our clients first, which means: improving their existing systems, before we continue on and create something new. Has anybody ever heard of WebDev
? Well i hope you haven't, but i need to work in it. It should be extremely powerful, but maybe i just don't see that yet.
Patience is a virtue.