AndroidOdnetnin's Blog - Jan to Mar 17 (16 followers)

PermalinkWeek 12: The End of My Highest Stress
Time Played (hh:mm:ss): 41:28:34

This week was the completion of my company's website. This was, by far, the most frustrating, most aggravating, most time-consuming project of my life. This is a project that the client (my boss) wanted to be treated like a client, but didn't want to be treated like a client. Where the client had NO vision to what he wanted, but "knew he'd know when he sees it". After a solid two months of this garbage, I finally published the damn thing. FINALLY! I'm sure there will be new things to piss me off at my job, but that will be one thing less.

Speaking of my job, I had another job interview last Thursday. I don't know how I did, but I know a couple of things. One, I had to, on a whiteboard, map out every function and connection of a form from memory (which was actually kind of fun, except for the other programmer in the interview shooting skepticism every now and then). Two, one of the other interviewers, one of the project leads at this job, is one of the two programmers who was at my current job and left me 6.5 years ago. Interesting, right?

I still haven't heard back from anyone, but... I'm still hoping that that's not a bad thing yet. These were larger companies, most of them came about in the last two weeks, so... I'm still calm here. Here's to another week!

Games Played
Dragon Age: Inquisition (Xbox 360) (Xbox 360) - 07:04:47
Gems of War (Xbox One) - 05:48:11
SMITE (Xbox One) - 04:16:11
NFL Blitz (Xbox Live Arcade) - 02:51:46
Resident Evil 6 (Xbox One) - 02:50:34
Magic Duels: Origins (Xbox One) - 02:47:12
Microsoft Jigsaw (Win 8) (Windows (Windows 8.1)) - 02:08:11
Battle Islands: Commanders (Xbox One) - 02:06:55
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas 2 (Xbox 360) - 01:54:11
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron (Xbox 360) (Xbox 360) - 01:54:06
One Piece: Pirate Warriors 2 (PlayStation 3) - 01:50:16
Zumba Fitness Core (Xbox 360 - Kinect required) - 01:18:19
YouTube (Xbox One) - 01:17:52
Clicker Heroes (Xbox One) - 00:37:34
Lies of Astaroth (Xbox One) - 00:31:39
Battle Ages (Xbox One) - 00:22:36
Xbox Fitness (Xbox One - Kinect required) - 00:22:07
Battle Islands (Xbox One) - 00:19:29
Beach Buggy Racing (Xbox One) - 00:18:36
Happy Wars (Xbox One) - 00:10:35
Fallout Shelter (Windows, Xbox One) - 00:09:33
Happy Dungeons (Xbox One) - 00:09:06
AirMech Arena (Xbox One) - 00:07:32
Frozen Free Fall: Snowball Fight (Xbox One) - 00:06:01
Shred It! (Xbox One) - 00:05:15

Games Completed
Posted by AndroidOdnetnin on 27 March 17 at 14:11 | There are 4 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
PermalinkWeek 10-11: The Whirlwind
Time Played (hh:mm:ss): 65:04:26

There was a time in the not so distant past where I didn't have a ton to do. Then, for a solid two weeks, everything came around at once.

First, there were the potential job opportunities. In the past two weeks, I have been able to have two phone interviews and three in-person interviews. I've also been able to line myself up with another in-person interview later on this week. Actually, for the in-person interview this week, I found out that the project manager/lead for the team I am applying for is one of the programmers that left the company I am currently at. Small world, right? But, for the interviews that were in the past few weeks, there were two that I felt went pretty well; One of which the hiring manager's wife had a baby the day before I went in for the interview and the second I just straight haven't heard back from (not worried yet). The third, however, I walked out of not feeling confident in. I had been preparing myself for a lot of questions, mainly about how I work, what I work, etcetera. The CEO was in on this interview and I got a question that hit me from the side, "Does your company know that you're job hunter? You are the only programmer there." I talked my way through it (saying more or less that they didn't know, save for one person), but I think I came off as a guy who really doesn't care about his current employment or work. You'd think that eight years would say something, but I already know I'm probably not getting a call back from that company... I have a feeling.

These past weeks also had my wife and I filing our taxes. As we are now married, we thought to go in as a conjoined filing. That was a new and sobering experience. Not necessarily due to what I know we're getting back in taxes (Refund! Huzzah!), but due to the fact that I know now that my wife made more than me this past year. Now, this is not a sexist thing or a marital thing... I just was upset that an office assistant who also worked 1-2 months part-time at Boston Store made more than a programmer for a company of 8 years. If that doesn't add fuel to my fire, I don't know what does.

My wife and I also saw three separate movies in the past two weeks which included Sword Art Online The Movie: Ordinal Scale and The Great Wall with our normal gaming buddies (in which [for the latter] we were the only five people in the entire theater) and Table 19 which my wife and I saw together for our monthly Date Night.

The Saturday before was a LAN night with our gaming buddies. A bevy of randomly selected Xbox One games played in a single room of an apartment until 1:30a. Followed up the next Friday with Bingo at the casino for my sister-in-law's birthday. Gaming sessions practically all day on the Saturday after.

Everything happened. And then nothing...

Sunday came and my wife and I had nothing to do. A session I screwed up saw to that as I was supposed to be in that for 2-3 hours. We realized... we were bored. So, we went out around town. Nowhere in particular. Just around. It was the most relaxed I think I had been in awhile. No schedule. No appointments. No anything... just me and my wife out having a good time.

We'll see what this week brings.

Games Played
Dragon Age: Inquisition (Xbox 360) (Xbox 360) - 09:02:26
Gems of War (Xbox One) - 05:53:55
Overwatch: Origins Edition (Xbox One) - 05:52:59
Clicker Heroes (Xbox One) - 03:55:46
YouTube (Xbox One) - 03:45:55
Red Faction: Guerrilla (Xbox 360) - 03:35:57
Netflix (Xbox One) - 03:09:32
Taptiles (Win 8) (Windows (Windows 8)) - 02:31:27
Castle Crashers (Xbox Live Arcade) - 02:01:38
Singularity (Xbox 360) - 02:01:24
NFL Blitz (Xbox Live Arcade) - 02:00:50
Magic Duels: Origins (Xbox One) - 01:41:20
Coffin Dodgers (Xbox One) - 01:36:23
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Vegas (Xbox 360) - 01:31:18
Evolve (Xbox One) - 01:27:53
Sunset Overdrive (Xbox One) - 01:25:39
Final Fight: Double Impact (Xbox Live Arcade) - 01:23:19
Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One) - 01:18:09
Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition (Xbox Live Arcade) - 01:13:41
Battle Islands: Commanders (Xbox One) - 01:08:02
Microsoft Jigsaw (Win 8) (Windows (Windows 8.1)) - 01:06:00
Tomb Raider - Definitive Edition (Xbox One) - 01:05:46
Diablo III: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition (Xbox One) - 01:03:29
Xbox Fitness (Xbox One - Kinect required) - 00:58:32
Tomb Raider (Xbox 360) - 00:55:24
Zumba Fitness Core (Xbox 360 - Kinect required) - 00:51:27
Ghostbusters: The Video Game (Xbox 360) - 00:33:29
Battle Islands (Xbox One) - 00:23:05
Battle Ages (Xbox One) - 00:22:39
Adventure Pop (Xbox One) - 00:22:04
Beach Buggy Racing (Xbox One) - 00:14:49
HoPiKo (Xbox One) - 00:08:09
Microsoft Sudoku (Win 8) (Windows (Windows 8.1)) - 00:06:09
AirMech Arena (Xbox One) - 00:04:35
Microsoft Minesweeper (Win 8) (Windows (Windows 8)) - 00:04:07
Frozen Free Fall: Snowball Fight (Xbox One) - 00:03:14
Happy Dungeons (Xbox One) - 00:02:04
Happy Wars (Xbox One) - 00:01:51

Games Completed
Castle Crashers Achievements
Coffin Dodgers Achievements
Posted by AndroidOdnetnin on 20 March 17 at 20:40 | There are 2 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
PermalinkWeek 09: Renewed (Late Posting)
Time Played (hh:mm:ss): 22:19:12

I have moved another step towards moving away from my current job. After the feeling sorry for myself and then the strengthening of my resolve last week, I set myself up with a meeting with another recruiter within one of the recruiter companies I was working with. She was eager to meet me due to my humble response to the "junior developer" status. She felt that there was something more to me than what the tech screen and the resume seemed to say about me. I met with her on Monday morning and had a lengthy conversation. She found that I was earnest in wanting to become better, but my "soft skills" were what she felt she could market better: determined, humble, charismatic... other personality traits; These she felt she should also market for companies to "take a chance" on me. I left the meeting feeling pretty good about this. Then I arrived at my current job an hour late.

After completing all of the billable work for my current company, I opted to quickly write the same message to the other recruiter company to whom has been very upfront and helpful with me. They called me about an hour later to talk. We talked for a short while and said, "This is actually fine. Don't be down on yourself too much. There are a lot of junior developer positions available that we, actually, have a hard time filling. Many of the graduates in the software development area of expertise find these jobs beneath them; They become a poor fit due to their attitude, or they don't want to take the job. We'll work with you through this."

Between the two, within the week, I had five job interviews lined up (all via phone) during the work week.

All of the phone interviews seem to be getting easier more manageable. When I first started doing them, I walked into the unknown. I hadn't been properly interviewed in years, these were all new experiences, I didn't know what I was doing. Now, every time I do not know the answer to a programming question asked on the screens, I give them the closest I think I can explain it (or say I don't know), write down the question, and research it later. I am no longer deterred by my knowledge; I will not let this beat me! Eight years at a company should not leave me in the state I am in now.

The weekend helped refuel me from the bevy of work related things going on. Since my dad's birthday is March 6, we decided to get the family together to celebrate with seeing "Logan", going out to eat, and then playing Jackbox a bulk majority of the rest of the day with the entire family. Sunday was then WWE Fastlane at the local pavilion. My wife, brother, and mother joined me for a Pay-Per-View of our favorite, longrunning soap opera.

Well, I have another week of work coming up, another week for trying desperately to keep my achievement streak alive while going through all of this, and an actual in-person interview coming up on Thursday. Wish me luck!

Games Played
SMITE (Xbox One) - 05:20:30
Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition (Xbox One) - 02:00:45
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (Xbox 360) - 01:51:19
Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition (Xbox 360) (Xbox 360) - 01:49:04
Fallout Shelter (Windows, Xbox One) - 01:43:54
YouTube (Xbox One) - 01:42:43
The Jackbox Party Pack 3 (Xbox One) - 01:42:08
Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One) - 01:23:26
Castle Crashers (Xbox Live Arcade) - 01:20:49
Drawful 2 (Xbox One) - 00:56:56
Disney Infinity (Xbox 360) - 00:31:43
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes - 2.0 Edition (Xbox 360) (Xbox 360) - 00:26:46
Disney Infinity: Marvel Super Heroes - 2.0 Edition (Xbox One) - 00:25:49
Disney Infinity 3.0 Edition (Win 10) (Windows (Windows 10)) - 00:24:00
Adventure Pop (Xbox One) - 00:19:41
The Jackbox Party Pack (Xbox One) - 00:19:39
Posted by AndroidOdnetnin on 09 March 17 at 16:33 | There are 2 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.
PermalinkWeek 08: A Minor Bout of Depression
Time Played (hh:mm:ss): 33:24:53

So... I hit a really dark place this week. For the past month or so, I have been trying to leave my job of 8 years. 6 years of this have been as the sole programmer for the company, which means this is a job where I single-handedly (from a production/programming stance) kept a company that deals in web services and assets afloat. In my research to find a new place of employment, I have found that I am making well below what I should be making as a developer of any kind, so I've marketed myself out to a few recruiters and have worked my way through a few tech screens, some aptitude tests, and THAT is when I found the hard truth.

You see, in the company I have worked for 8 years, I have had to become a "jack of all trades". The client calls up, the sales team sells them what they need (regardless of if we have done it in the past), and I have to provide a solution. I like a challenge, but it's normally a situation where you crash course what you need to do, then move onto the next project. When you are dealing with 200-300 clients all with very specific needs, these snowflakes allow for very little retention. But I get the work done and meet the expectations of the client - I always find a way.

The screens and aptitude tests, however, paint a different picture. I have a wealth of languages under my belt, but I know most (not all, mind you) from a low level. I have the work experience and drive to learn all that a client needs, but many of the clients I work with are using languages that are out of date. I can show I can learn the next new thing, but I never have to apply it at work so there is no retention. I have low team working aspects because I am the only programmer. I have a low understanding of the production cycle because my company makes it up as they go. I have a low understanding of source control because I use it for personal projects, but I've never used it in a work capacity. Most of my knowledge has had to be self-taught as I am the only true tech guy at my company, but if I want to go to a conference to learn more, I have to spend my vacation.

At the end of three phone tech screens and two aptitude tests in less than 20 days, I have shown that after eight years at the company I work for, I have proficiency akin to a "Junior Level Developer". This... this hurt me really badly. I went home from work early... I went to my bed with my cat, and I slept for the next 2 hours. I was numb for the next 4 hours. "What have I been doing with my life?"

Honestly, without my wife keeping up on me to try to keep me in the light, I don't know how I would have gotten through to the next day. I'm not suicidal (so don't worry about that), but could I have gotten up to go back to a job that was failing me? That thought was the catalyst. The job was failing me. I can learn anything I want, but never get to use it. I can't force what are "best practices" if people at my job don't listen to me about these practices and they won't adopt them.

After a weekend filled with tabletop gaming and a Xbox 360 LAN with friends, my mood started to lighten and I moved past this issue of pride and pity I was feeling. "If I have holes in my comprehension, if I am testing at a Junior Developer level, then I'm going to find me a Junior Developer job. It is clear, now, that my current job won't get me what I need if I'm at that level after eight years." I swallowed my pride on Sunday, contacted the recruiters who have been contacting me, and have decided to work on the next stage of my career. It may be a few steps back from where I thought I would be, but if I have to step back to move forward, that is what I will do.

Games Played
SMITE (Xbox One) - 10:41:21
YouTube (Xbox One) - 09:22:53
Fallout Shelter (Windows, Xbox One) - 03:40:41
Halo 4 (Xbox 360) - 01:52:50
Dragon Ball XenoVerse (Xbox One) - 01:11:24
Dead Island (Xbox 360) - 01:10:30
Left 4 Dead 2 (Xbox 360) - 01:08:58
Tomb Raider (Xbox 360) - 01:05:41
Sacred 3 (Xbox 360) - 01:03:16
Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360) - 01:00:07
Need for Speed Rivals (Xbox One - Kinect enabled) - 00:36:34
Xbox Fitness (Xbox One - Kinect required) - 00:24:01
Adventure Pop (Xbox One) - 00:06:37
Posted by AndroidOdnetnin on 27 February 17 at 19:55 | Last edited on 27 February 17 at 19:56 | There are 2 comments on this blog post - Please log in to comment on this blog.