*** NOTE/DISCLIMER: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my current employer's or any of its employee’s view in any way. I also won’t mention complete names of my colleagues or company names, you have to guess or just know ***
Today is my last day with my current employer. I worked for this company for almost 1.5 years. Not much, but during this time I worked with many great people and I gained unique experience. I just read my post on leaving my first job and I actually enjoyed the structure in which it was written. In this post I will express my thoughts and impressions of working for this company.
In summer 2011 one of my former colleagues who had left SS years before me wrote a mail asking if I’m not interested to move to another country. He said that he remembered me as a good developer so he wanted to recommend me for a position in Austrian company where he worked at the time. Now he works for MS. Since I felt myself young and limitless I agreed. I had first interview over Skype. Not sure if I impressed interviewer, since I wasn’t strong in my Web skills, which has probably decided on the team to join. But seems that he liked me. Around that time I got married and we were heading for Europe for our honey week. Next interview was scheduled for the time when we planned to be in Vienna. This was the first time when the company saved money on me. This interview went much smoother and I’m sure I have impressed guys.
One of the most toughest questions was salary expectation. It is obvious that estimating salary expectation for living in another country you have no clear idea about is hard. Forums/government papers and reports help but not extremely much. I made my number and it fitted into company’s rage well since I got an offer with exactly that number.
BUT it definitely wasn’t the reason to move. I knew that cost of living in Western Europe is high and for money I got in Ukraine I can buy lots of goods. You know what? Higher cost usually means higher quality. This is absolutely true for Austria. But even this wasn’t complete portion of my decision. I guess primary reason was to try new experience and plus it was a time to change my learning curve as well.
II THE BEGINNING
Unfortunately it takes ages until Austrian government issues long term visa for 3rd world country. I had my interview in Summer, but started to work in Winter. I didn’t know what to expect in Austria and knew very little about the company I was joining. Whole move was very exciting time. Our parents had tears in their eyes while we were waiting for the flight. I understand them – it was not possible to know if we were going to return back or stay living there. It is still not known.
This time was very much different from anything I would have had if I stayed in Ukraine. Me and wife had great chance to travel across Europe and we have a daughter being born here. I anyway plan to have a blog post on how it is to be foreigner (developer) in Austria, thus wait for it. Now I will concentrate more on career.
On my first day I was assigned a bug in search engine. But since I didn’t have credentials to most of the systems and tools and I knew nothing about the domain I have fixed only 2 days later. Fix was one line change in the config. I remember how Sebu helped me right from the beginning. This was colleague support you can only dream about. Managers wanted to try me out, thus assigned a project with middle importance and priority. When I finished with it I remember none was really expecting it to work completely properly right away. But project itself turned out to be a success. This is how I proved myself to be reliable worker producing quality software.
And I started to enjoy it. Every piece of code I was assigned to write received lots of my attention. I cared for the code quality much. I even tried to have my code 100% UT covered.
The company I joined is specialized in online entertainment, and I started in sports betting section of it. Biggest difference to what I had to do back in Ukraine is that this company is product company. We produce our own product and make money for ourselves. Team which I joined is responsible for developing/extending/maintaining whole bunch of services (maybe 40 or more) within enterprise SOA architecture.
It is pretty normal that there was room for learning when you start in new company. I definitely gained new experience in tools and the way how software is produced and deployed to production. Plus it was a move to more “webby” things for me. My team is doing production rollouts almost each weak. Millions people use our web site and we change something behind the scenes at the same time. Great.
I didn’t change my team for the entire time in the company and I don’t regret. I know that there were people who got tired or stopped enjoying their work or there was something they didn’t like. But I like the team very much. Every developer in the team is highly skilled and experienced.
Sergey, Sebastian and Simone are three developers from whom I gained the most knowledge and have taken something from them. Other developers Predrag, Lukasz, Alex, Raphael and Vladimir were very kind to me and it was pleasure to work with all of them. Some just joined the team, some left and for some big career journey just started.
For sure I improved my English, but there are two other languages I improved, like German and Russian. Before this company I never spoke Russian. But things turned in a way that I’ve significantly improved my verbal Russian skills in Austria. The most collaborative with me was Sergey. It was eye opening how frequently he has new ideas and knows about new features and tools. Thank you.
I would like to thank all developers with whom I worked and also our testing team. Without testers we wouldn’t be able to produce quality software.
It was also a pleasure to work with product owners, delivery managers and other departments of company.
Special memories will stay with me about the DB dev team. It was joy.
IV OTHER THINGS
I will definitely miss Friday lunch walks to Greek restaurant. It might be surprising but except of improving my dev skills I’ve learned how to play table soccer. Not that I play like a pro, not even comparable to guys who work here for years, but quite acceptable. I think you can even tell how many years person worked here when you look at his/her wuzzler skills.
Also I will miss this year’s action day and numerous parties throughout the year. I say I “will miss” since I will work in place where people probably don’t like parties, sport activities that much, but I have to try before claiming anything.
V THE END
If you read my post on leaving my previous job you will understand that I left not because of money or dissatisfaction but because of new experience and new opportunities. I’m very happy about my current team and satisfied with work I do. On the other hand things have changed for me. My daughter is now 18 (... Days!) and understanding that I will have to support her (and likely her sibling) changes the way I think about money.
Nearly 3 months ago I was contacted by some UK company looking for .NET developers for work here is Vienna. They titled e-mail with solid salary number, which was so attractive it would be silly not to try. First interview I had on the phone with some Indian interviewers. My questions on what this is about were somehow avoided. True conspiracy. But after they were much satisfied with my skills all the cards where turned. This company is just man in the middle connecting me with something big.
VI THE FUTURE
After some negotiations with man in the middle and and direct interviews at UN I was offered a job as a contractor. I’m officially starting my own business from 1 of July being registered here in Austria. I even have my own European VAT identification number. And can accept business opportunities from whoever I want. Well, not that I will have much time, but it is just nice to realize this.
I was in healthcare and then moved to gambling and now will dig into atomic energy. There is a rumor flying around about how depression it is to work for those guys and how it is difficult to change bureaucracy things. I see myself as a changing force aimed to make more things being done. And I’m looking forward to it!
It was great time to work for the Company.
I miss you all!
For me it is time to bet and I hope to win!