New job, offense and defense in software world

I changed job again recently, to be more precise, I made the change at beginning of the month. So today marks the conclusion of first 3 weeks.

I felt fairly good so far, both in terms of environment and the work. It’s a bit different from what I did in last few years, as I engaged more in product support (still software world). I consider this to be more defense type of work, esp. the part of trying to keep application up and running, vs. the development work I did in the past (more like offense). Both are important. Some new tasks include handling customer requests (technical, second or third level if we look it from level of support). We can say this is a bit like defense too, because sometime people literally threw problems or questions at you (or me).

I did give it some thought before making the change. I’ve been doing software development for the most part in last 15 years (first 8 years at Siemens PLM Software formerly UGS or Unigraphics). I’ve done some customer support here or there, mostly when I was with Autodesk. Most recently I was doing development at Mercy. I still like development. But at the same time, at this stage of my career, I like to think about what I am good at and what I like to do more. I think troubleshooting, and problem solving are definitely in my comfort zone. I also need to step out my comfort zone a bit (aka customer support). And I like to learn more on production, operation, devops (the new buzz words, essentially the automation of deployment and production), and last but not least security. So here comes my rationale. I think in some of the places like google, the job is really refined and one thing I am interested is “site reliability engineering“. Another good thing about current place is it’s a decent size company and has some interesting problems: both technical and non-technical. So here comes challenges.

Let’s see how I do as time goes 🙂

PS: I heard about the news about my old company’s incoming layoff. We went through a similar exercise last year when I was there. At that time I was relatively new at the old place. And I was a bit scared. I think this expansion/shrinking is a way of IT life nowadays. Ironically, I got call from a recruiter and she told me the news I already heard. I recall last year some recruiter even sent email to my working account. Just a fact of post linkedIn world. Also another of my old company had a layoff recently too. See my post at uudaddy.

PS2: I think in software development there are also both defense and offense. Maintenance, fix bugs, and refactoring can be considered as defense. New features, bells and whistles can be considered as offense. Both are important as if we don’t refactor, or maintain, soon or later the code or the software will become unmaintainable 🙂

PS3: in the soccer (or football outside of US), we have seen players moved from middle field to defender position as they age. Similar can be said for software work, from development to support, from new development to maintenance.

PS4: did Sony release Play Station 4, really? Just kidding. Another thing I want to say is this transition does not mean “I am no longer a coder”, a more precise description is I will do more diverse things, from coding to anything else related to product support (applications, and customer), whatever it takes. In a fancy term, I will get a more holistic view of application in production. 🙂