… you’re probably expecting the famous quote from Monty Python – you can find that here; where you can read a bit more about my last day at Oracle. I do sympathise with Jim Gosling who called his post-Sun blog On a new Road … and here I am, a few months later, definitely on a new road!
I’ve been busy. Here’s why:
Although I certainly had my own thoughts about what the acquisition of Sun by Oracle (Feb 15 2010) was doing to the Sun engineering force, its customers, its engineering culture and to my own career, I was more than a little miffed when said career, which had started over 12 years previously and had taken me from Services in Germany to Solaris network engineering in California and finally to MySQL engineering back in Germany, came to a rather unceremonious end in mid-November of last year.
Even given the fact that my contract with Oracle USA (I was at the time an US employee, even while I was living in Germany – I believe that was in part responsible for what happened) was – like most employment contracts in California – “at will” employment, I was a little disappointed at the apparent disinterest in my continued service being displayed (if my contradictory use of words may be excused here) by the “official” company; my management in the MySQL organisation told me, and I have every reason to believe them, that they were as frustrated with the situation as I was.
Luckily, I was able to return, in a sense, to a job as a Software Engineer at an “old haunt” – specifically, to Utimaco in Munich, after a comparatively short time. As I worked for Utimaco in Linz before moving to Germany in 1998, it was a sort-of homecoming, though I’m sorry to say I wasn’t as happy there as I’d hoped I’d be; apparently both I and the company have changed quite a bit since I left in 1998, and I began to look around again in early 2011.
One thing that’s been obvious to me for quite some time is the immense amount of research and development going on in Austria and (Southern) Germany in manufacturing-related industries such as aerospace and automotive. So even though I had no experience at the time in any of those areas, I started to look into that market seriously, as far as it applied to SW Engineering and myself, and got lucky in late February, when I came across a job posting by my current employer, Green Digit GmbH, a consultancy firm. I had seen one of their ads once before, and it stuck in my memory, so when I came across it a second time, I called them on an impulse. As I learned quite quickly, this is a very small outfit, and the CEO is also the guy who answers the phone in most cases, makes the coffee and conducts job interviews (not necessarily in that order ;-). After we’d chatted on the phone for a while, he asked (I still think he decided to do so about two seconds before) me whether I’d want to come over for an in-person interview the next day (that was before he’d even seen my resume), and I said yes, and I did. My first impression from the phone conversation – that we’d get on well – was confirmed, and after we’d talked for two hours and given ourselves a few days to think about the respective other’s propositions, we signed my contract which began on Apr. 1st.
As I indicated above, Green Digit is a consultancy, so we immediately started to look for a customer for my services, and we were lucky again, because Green Digit had a signed contract from this customer for a 18-month-plus period about an hour after I left their premises for my in-person interview on March 1st.
After a self-imposed “sabbatical” of one month in March, I started working there in April (While I’m not at liberty to name any names, I think it’s OK to say that I’m now working in the automotive industry for a subsidiary and supplier of one of the bigger German car makers, and I’m working on a part of the next-generation infotainment solution), and even though there’s a lot of stuff to learn and expectations (on my part) to overcome, and even though my commute grew from about 1 minute and about 20 meters (when I was working from home for Oracle) to >1hr and >100km, one way, I’m greatly enjoying what I’m doing, and am looking forward to the time ahead of me … or, in the immortal words of Frank Herbert, “surprise me, holy void!”