It has been forever and a day since I posted here. I apologize for the fade, my 4 or 5 readers must be thinking I'd joined the silent masses of bloggers who can't overcome the inertia and fail to post ever again...
As I described in my last post, January was not the best of months for me, and neither was February for that matter. After the layoff, I launched into the job search with zeal and quickly remembered (It's like riding the bike :) the familiar rhythms of the horse and pony show that is any job search.
There was definitely work to be had out there, but much of it was well outside the city, only barely accessible via a bus line that dropped me into the middle of a very pedestrian unfriendly industrial park. Eek. I interviewed a lot, and even had a close call at MIT but in the end analysis they had further cuts and couldn't hire for the job for another month or so which put me out of the running - I have a hungry mortgage to feed after all :)
In the end, a recruiter from a company I'd never heard of before - The Trizetto Group called and said they were very interested.
They're a Windows shop, which initially made me shy away from the idea, but they do a LOT of Perl for their core process automation stuff which I'm reasonably fluent in, and it would be an opportunity for a total technology reboot - not something one gets a lot of chances to do in one's career. So I interviewed there a couple of times and it worked out.
In a lot of ways, it's been really great. They're right across from the Chinatown gate in the picture above, so I can just hop on the bus outside my door for a short ride to Sullivan Station T, then another reasonably short subway ride to the Chinatown stop on the Orange Line. I've been enjoying the chance to explore Chinatown more fully. Where else can you stop off at the market next door before work and grab a can of white fungus drink, or some dried cuttlefish snack? (Why you would want to is a different matter altogether, though I do enjoy the cuttlefish :)
The work has been exciting and challenging as well. I was really, REALLY out of touch with the modern Windows environment. My last real experience working in depth with it was back in the Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 98 era and it has come a long, LONG way since then.
The hours have been long at times (I joined toward the end of a release cycle and it's a major crunch) but I've been learning a ton about Installshield, .Net, ASP.Net, Powershell, the registry, and in general the vagaries of working in the Windows environment.
I'm not suggesting that everyone should ditch the comfort of their Linux or Mac environments. Heck, if I had my druthers I'd be hacking on one of those for a living.
In my opinion, many geeks (and I was very much guilty of this) have institutionalized the hatred of all things Microsoft, and in so doing have had their heads in the sand for so long that they've failed to notice a truly powerful environment evolving out of the muck.
I'll get off my soapbox now. I guess that's about it - life is generally pretty good. There are times when I wish I could be spending time with my lovely wife or my friends, but I'd rather deal with that than the alternative!
Hopefully I'll have something of substance to say again soon. Stay tuned!