September 11, 2010

Seven weeks into the job

So, my seventh week on the job has finished. It certainly went out with a bang given that I nearly killed the development server we use to write software and test it before releasing it on the public servers. Luckily for me, no actual damage was done despite the potential for much work being lost. A few files containing documentation and sample code relating to a language we don't even use (Java) were deleted, and the Apache web server had to be restarted (but could probably have continued running without a restart anyway). Needless to say, I have now added more checks to stuff I write...

The first two weeks were spent getting to grips with the software used internally. You can know all there is to know about PHP and MySQL and then some, and you'll still have to spend time familiarising yourself with the way they're used in the workplace: database structures and the purpose of each table and field, home-grown libraries and how to use them etc. Just over 2 more weeks were spent fielding live requests for software improvements/fixes, and since then I've been working on a project that was assigned to me fairly early on and should go live towards the end of this year or early next year. I can't go into specifics about the nature of the project in question until it actually goes public.

Perhaps more importantly than any aspects of the work itself, I'm getting to know my co-workers a lot better now. Having spent years on the receiving end of the advances of salescritters and marketdroids, I will probably take some time getting used to those members of staff in the company. It's nothing personal, I'm sure they're lovely people, it's just the type of job they do that has made my life a misery in the past.

The development team that I work in has 7 members including yours truly. The IT manager and IT support guy are in the same room as us, so that's a total of 8 people other than me, and I can only think of good things to say about all of them. There's always a great atmosphere in the office and we get on well.

While not wanting to count my chickens before they hatch, I'm fairly confident that I'll be staying on once the probationary period is up (end of October). The thing I'm working on now is slated to go live around Christmas or the New Year, another section of the back-office software we use needs tidying up and revamping and I've been given that to do for around June next year, and some work involving Google Maps that needs starting next year some time has also been given to me. In short, it's piling up. I don't think they'd be giving me the work if there was much doubt that I was fit for the job. Of course, I'll have to avoid killing servers for a while now...

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