Thursday, January 06, 2005

Life of Riley

I have been able to observe at first hand the life of a developer. In my previous employment, trips down to the software house were rare and mainly for training purposes. The developers were tucked away, in a dark room towards the back of the building. This came as quite a shock in the second week of my placement, when I was being introduced to all the people behind the office management software. Guided around the building, I was not even introduced to a single member of the development team. Their 'home' was pointed out, and in a extremely geeky attempt to be humorous, was told, "don't worry we feed them". This was my one brush with programmers until now.

The nature of the business I work in, does not allow for a similar approach, with defined roles and employees shoeboxed into their designated area. Support and Development are very much intertwined, heavily rely upon each other. As a consequence, we find ourselves in the same room. So, given an opportunity to observe the development team at close hand, I have deduced the following. Developers are overwhelmingly speaking male. Although this is changing, it is a slow process. They give the impression of independent thinkers, happy to be left alone to their own devices and to be quite honestly, just get the job done. Eyes transfixed upon their individual computer screens, with a few literally plugged in and listening to their CDs / MP3 collections. The business operates a smart come casual dress code, but even this is taken to the limit, with the team wearing to a degree whatever they like. This high level of concentration gives the aura of the untouchables and I was apprehensive to walk over and ask them questions. Preferring to jot down my query in an e-mail, knowing all to well that it would be a few hours before I received a reply and I needed an instant response. Putting a brave face, I headed over to one of them and asked my question, being over apologetic for disturbing them from pressing projects. To my surprise, they were very friendly helpful and gave me the time I needed to understand how to resolve the issue. This small episode proves many things to me not just as an employee but as a person. Never judge a book by it's cover and more importantly, looks and previous prejudice can cloud us from looking at each case entirely on merit.

Now my work blog is beginning to grow, although, I have yet to hear any response from readers, I think it is important to clearly give my writing a purpose. Just to reinterate, the obvious if need be. Mandatory in the wake of recent events, more closer to home. With unshaken determination, I will attempt to uphold the privacy of my employee, work colleagues, and associated employees. For this reason, no real names or locations are given. All observations are my own personal thoughts and not at all the views of my employer or fellow employees. Although giving any corporate style disclaimer on my blog feels so uncomfortable and unnatural, it is essential in the current climate. This blog is not a trade secret, but then again in the same vain is not open public knowledge. Unlike other job blogs, this is not written anonymously, mainly due to the fact that I am constantly craving some sort of publicity, even if in such a shameless self proclaiming fashion.

Let me know your thoughts on this blogging genre and of any blogs you recommend I should read.

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