No. of Recommendations: 21
Fools,

Just thought I'd post an update.

I've accepted a new contract position with a major corporation in the North Dallas area. My current employer has me doing cellphone development - something that's a little out of my comfort zone. The latest stuff has been Android development, which has been interesting. But they also seemed reluctant to renew my contract last spring, making me jump through some hoops and telling me they would review it again in 6 months ... and generally made me feel like I should wonder why they were even keeping me on.

So when this recruiter contacted me about this local position working on the same type of Windows device drivers I'd been working on in years past, I said yes. He set up a phone interview and 38 minutes into the interview, the manager told me he'd make an offer. I accepted the offer Friday, 07/16/10; turned in my resignation Monday 07/19/10 (they didn't walk me out the door because the team lead said he's been 'leaning on my experience' - surprise); and then left on a previously scheduled vacation.

The money is not an increase. I get more hourly; but since I get no paid vacation or sick leave pay it's about a wash or maybe a little less. But hopefully since I'm doing something I know - or at least think I know - I should feel more comfortable in this new position. In fact this is probably the first position I've ever taken where I am already more or less an expert in most of the technology involved (thus the short interview process).

I'm on vacation now as I write this. aj485 and I stopped in Kansas City, KS on the way back to have dinner with impolite and dianakalt. Of course this came up and I realized I'd posted on my Facebook page; but not on TMF...

Once I return to work Monday, I have one more week with my current employer. The new job starts on Monday, 08/09/10. (Great start date!)

FWIW, I've been receiving 3-4 headhunter calls or emails per day in the past 4-6 weeks. Now that may just be unique to my skill set; but to put it in perspective, I've probably had more inquiries in that period from recruiters than I'd had since my last employer went under on 10/31/08 - even though I was actively searching for about 15 weeks before accepting my current (soon-to-be-previous) position.

- Joel
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No. of Recommendations: 0
Congrats, Joel.

Fuskie
Who thinks this is a good climate for contract work...
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No. of Recommendations: 4
Joel, congrats on the new job! Even better, congrats on letting the old job know they couldn't just keep jerking you around, 6 months at a time. That uncertainty is no fun to live with, especially if they come up with hoops and such at the end. I hope the new job is great, and less stressful. And I hope your soon-to-be-ex company regrets the way they treated you, because they've let someone really good get away. :-)


--Booa
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As a fellow software engineer, I understand where you're coming from. I felt a little pressure at an old position I held...they expected me to get up to speed on stuff faster than I felt was realistic. I took some training anyway and stuck around for a year. got some experience in new tech, then hit the market and got a nice salary increase. Gotta watch your own back, especially in this market!

Congrats on the new gig and I hope it ends up being a good one for you. Sounds like it!

Mike
back to the ones and zeroes
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No. of Recommendations: 3
DrBooa,

You wrote, Joel, congrats on the new job! Even better, congrats on letting the old job know they couldn't just keep jerking you around, 6 months at a time. That uncertainty is no fun to live with, especially if they come up with hoops and such at the end. I hope the new job is great, and less stressful. And I hope your soon-to-be-ex company regrets the way they treated you, because they've let someone really good get away. :-)

Honestly I don't think my soon-to-be ex-employer will see it that way. All I can hope for is that they'll see the exodus of employees (I'm not the only one leaving) from this group as a sign that things need to change. But the problems are partly cultural and come from their parent company - which is not in the USA.

Ironically they KNOW they have problems. They do regular Great Place to Work surveys (http://www.greatplacetowork.com/what_we_do/employee_survey.p...) and they've known for a long time that they've had serious problems. In fact, they score in the bottom quartile in a number of categories. Unfortunately I don't think they have been really willing to fix them. They talk about the results in a public meetings after every survey; but they want their regular employees to fix the problems themselves. (They actually berated us about it in the last one I attended.) Unfortunately I don't think the employees CAN fix these problems - those fixes have to come from management. And doing things like forming "Fun Committees" to address things like home/work-life balance just doesn't cut it. (Seriously? If you're being pressured to work lots of irregular overtime, do you really want to attend committee meetings so you can plan how you can spend more time with your coworkers...?)

I've actually been quite interested in my latest project and I think it's been pretty well managed. They weren't putting too much pressure on us and it's an interesting and new (at least to me) technology. My project lead was doing a lot of good management practices that had seemed lacking on my previous projects. Unfortunately his last day was the Friday before I tendered my notice.

At least I can honestly say I'm sorry to leave. There are a lot of good people working there and I would like to learn more about Android. But I also really liked being a Windows device driver developer and I'm hoping my new employer will be a better place to work. (At least it was a good place to work when I worked there back in the '90s.)

- Joel
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