Friday, October 12, 2012

Time for a change

I've been considering this for several months and now got an opportunity to make a change. This post describes my next career move and why I decided to do this.

The history

The past four years I've been working for a software company that builds a product suite around Human Resources and Salary. The suite contains anything from salary calculation and HR registration to Employee and Manager Self Service systems. I was hired to help bring innovation and new technology to the existing team and work on the next version of the product.

As you might know we started with Silverlight 2 beta shortly after I joined the company. We worked on this product and upgraded it all the way to Silverlight 4 in two years time, until we decided that we needed to move away from Silverlight. For the past months our team has been working on delivering an ASP.NET solution.

My role has been to lead the team from a technical standpoint and architect the framework underlying the application. I've been happy to do this, however I still decided to change.

The Why

There are several reasons, some of which I'm not comfortable to discuss online, however the most important ones I can discuss.

The first reason, to me, is inherent to the assignment I had. If you complete the assignment, in this case developing a framework and getting a team up to speed on using it, you can't help but ask "What's next?". Unfortunately the answer was, "Finish the rest of the product." To me, this didn't (and still doesn't) sound very appealing. If you've been working on highly technical generic code and all of a sudden you're expected to do repetitive development, somethings got to give.

The second reason is more personal. I find it important to keep improving myself and I didn't see myself being challenged enough to improve on the skills I think are important to improve on as a senior developer, mainly soft skills. At some point you can get to comfortable in a certain situation.

The What

 So the final question is, what am I going to do? I've though about this and figured that in order to improve on soft skills a more customer facing role would suit my ambitions better. As I still wanted to be doing technical work as well a consultant role was the obvious choice. However I didn't want to be working with just another 'hour-factory' where you're just expected to bill as many hours to a customer as possible and I didn't feel much for being just another SharePoint 'specialist'.

I've been looking around and thinking about different routes to get what I'd like until an opportunity came along that I really liked. As of October 15th, I am working as a Senior Consultant in Enterprise Search. I've been working with enterprise search technology between 2004 and 2008 and I enjoyed it very much and always did want to go back to it and now I got the chance!

So what does a consultant in Enterprise Search do? I'll be working for customers that want to use Autonomy technology within their organization. Assignments can range from a simple advice all the way to a complete one off implementation for the customer. I'll be working multiple projects at a time and I'll be working with different programming languages and platforms a long the way.

So what about Developers 42?

What does all this mean for Developers 42? I will try to continue writing posts as time passes. However it does mean a change in direction for the topics I'll discuss. As I'll be using multiple programming languages, chances are I'll be writing more about my experiences with those.

Further more, as I explore more of the world of Enterprise Search and it's surroundings, I might be able to give some insight into what goes on in this field of expertise I'll be a part of once more.

I do hope you'll still be following this blog and to learn and teach together with you.

Follow me on twitter as well.