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tomhudson's Journal: Barbie's got a new job! 23

Journal by tomhudson
Head programmer, senior developer, whatever you want to call it.

It means I have several programmers under me (literally - my office is above their work area - yes, I get my own office, with a real door and a nice big white board) who I'm expected to mentor, as well as some interesting projects to fix and some new ones to tackle.

As a bonus, once everybody's organized properly, I have the option of telecommuting as long as I show up when needed, so on snow days or -40 weather I only have to brave the elements to walk the dogs :-)

Less invasive Google analytics and the goat guy

The subject of IE6 support came up, and how they agree it really is almost nobody. We discussed options for the few customers stuck with it. Basically, since those customers are trying to reach the general public, they really need to have available at least one more up-to-date machine (or be able to boot off a linux dvd that automatically launches a browser).

We got some real-time stats from http://goo.gl/cr4p (facebook) and http://goo.gl.lLIm (goat guy) as examples of how we can develop short urls hosted on our own web sites (for example http://example.com/fun), create a redirect from http://example.com/fun/index.php to a google short url, then have that redirect to the real final page, so as to get some google analytics without having to include a bunch of javascript - and we can drop out at any time by having http://example.com/fun redirect to the real page, or have it redirect to another short url, then to a different page, for different promotions - it's one word in a one-line php file. Even make it rotate based on time of day, day of week, country of origin, whether the user has one of our cookies or not, etc.

It might not be what google intended it for, but I can be a bit creative, oui?

Open source

There's only one linux box there right now - one of the servers sitting in the basement (the server at the co-lo doesn't count), so I will be fixing that Monday as well. In addition, they like the idea that we can develop stuff and give it back to the community - like I explained, for someone paid to look for bugs, it's a job - for someone who wants to use it, it's much more than that. You can't buy that sort of feedback. The "special sauce" isn't the code, it's the people behind it.

Thanks everyone

Exciting times. I want to thank everyone who helped, both with your words of encouragement, and your feedback on things like alphagfx.com, xmlsucks.com, oxid, and life in general. Hopefully, we'll hear a few more "good news" stories soon, because there are plenty of people hurting from this bankster-made crisis.

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Barbie's got a new job!

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  • Glad your insights on code and architecture are being paid for by some one who esteems their value.

    • by tomhudson (43916)
      Thank you, and also thank you for the compliment.

      We may end up using simple css [xmlsucks.com] as soon as I get the parser done. CSS is one of those "it's a pain" things - especially the margin vs padding, and forgetting semi-colons or colons or units. We all do it, and it can be avoided (and the task made easier), so why not?

      • See.

        You just hit on my exact peeves with CSS.

        • by tomhudson (43916)
          It's been one of mine right from the beginning. It was a spec written by people in an ivory tower for other cloud-dwellers, not a robust spec for people who actually have to create stuff with it.

          Fortunately, the pushback in SOME areas is having an effect. Killing off xhtml 2 was only the first step, and it took them almost a decade to realize that it was dumb, dumb, dumb (though the official excuse denies it by giving other reasons).

          When I get the parser done, feel free to use it :-)

  • w00t!!!

    I am very happy for you. Look forward to hearing more, too :-)
    • by tomhudson (43916)
      Thank you thank you thank you. I'm feeling relieved more than anything else.

      It's a new challenge, and I enjoy challenges. Also new people, and I like dealing with people

      • It's a new challenge, and I enjoy challenges. Also new people, and I like dealing with people

        So how do you feel about challenging people? :-)

        Having to start thinking about care for the dogs is awful. I'm grateful that I haven't been in that position, but I know the difficulties of arranging decent dog care, even if only for some days while I'm on the road.
        • by tomhudson (43916)

          It's a new challenge, and I enjoy challenges. Also new people, and I like dealing with people

          So how do you feel about challenging people? :-)

          "I troll, I troll,
          On the net I ho
          My posts raise a stink
          That cause you to think
          I'm good to go!"

          Because that's what it's really about - making people think - including myself. Dialog benefits both parties, and I often gain new insights just by being forced to justify what was originally just a "gut feeling" position. It's one thing to "know" you're right,

          • When thigns were tough with the family, I never knew to expect what I got home. Sometimes folks were happy to see me, sometimes I had to take a deep breath before walking in.

            Except of course for the puppy dogs. For whom the happiness moment was my return :-)

            I unfortuantely loaned my copy of Stick and Rudder so i can't find the exact quote, but there's a great line in there that, "People would rather die than think." Too true.
            • by tomhudson (43916)
              Today the dogs were *so* happy to see me. Then again, they're just happy dogs to begin with :-)
  • Good luck!

    • by tomhudson (43916)
      Thank you - I'll take all the good luck I can get :-)

      Hopefully others will also start seeing the same thing happening in their lives as well, and somehow or other we'll muddle out of this mess of an econ-disaster we find ourselves in.

  • Am very glad to hear this news. It's amazing how things work out sometimes.

    Since you're not claiming experience at this level, some tips. I'm sure some will disagree:

    • Keep a journal. Log every person, their important dates and relationships. Log important events, tasks, achievements and goals. Don't be digital here - use a paper journal and lock it up. Use it to remember that people are important, and to remind yourself to remind them that you care about significant personal details. It's not artif
    • by tomhudson (43916)
      Thank you. Good advice, all of it :-)

      Since you're not claiming experience at this level,

      My last job, that's what I ended up being - both the one that everyone looked to for leadership and solutions, and the one to take on management face-to-face when necessary, and reviewing resumes and sitting in on job interviews, etc ... It usually ends up that way, not because I actively try to be the "go-to" person, but because I make a point of actually being helpful when someone has a problem. Instead of being an

  • That's what matters - I still don't understand why so many people prefer the angst of hourly job insecurity to the idea of building their own business, but, each to our own, eh?

    Once again, congratulations.

    • by tomhudson (43916)
      Thanks. Being your own boss can be fun, but it can also be heck. There are pros and cons to both ...
      • by RM6f9 (825298)

        You're welcome. The ideal, of course, is to find an opportunity wrapped around a product you'd buy and use regardless (I've done that part) and start part-time *while maintaining* what small security might be available in the conventional employment - to use a baseball metaphor, take second, third, and even home with your foot still on first.

        There are several people who love what they do in their primary career so much that, despite radically out-earning it in their part-time business, they continue to do

        • by tomhudson (43916)
          What you say is certainly valid. However, at this job, I'm the one being asked for her opinions (constantly), and I enjoy teaching what I know.
  • by Talinom (243100) *
    Congratulations on finding a job. I hope it is everything you want it to be.

    And keep being awesome.
    • by tomhudson (43916)

      Congratulations on finding a job. I hope it is everything you want it to be.

      I'm having a lot of fun, because I'm doing so many different things at once - getting people organized, setting up and showing them how to use an internal wiki to keep tabs on their stuff (and they're actually using it already - whenever we sit down to discuss something, I create a new page or edit an existing one and describe to them what I'm doing, and how they can change anything they don't like or that I messed up, and don't

Machines certainly can solve problems, store information, correlate, and play games -- but not with pleasure. -- Leo Rosten

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