New job

Saturday 20 September 2008 19:25 | Personal

Montparnasse Some info about my new job... not that I intend to make it a regular feature (and I certainly don't intend to get ''dooced''!!!) but just in case some of my most faithful readers are interested...

Well... after receiving several offers, I went for the one with... the lowest pay! (not quite... but not far). Basically, it also was the one I preferred and also one of the safest for my CV. In France (at least in Paris), it seems that you have to be very careful with this :-( (Sad but true... I'll write another time about this subject).

After spending years being basically my own boss when it came to pure technical matters, I am now starting a new life as a cog in the machine. This not entirely involuntary... I was a bit curious of working with bigger teams and having to reach a bit of uniformity across the board.

I already noticed that scaling operations is certainly not good for speed: And the reason is simple enough: If you are alone, once you decided what to do you just have to [find the time to ] do it. When you involve 3,4,5 people or more, by the time the idea is understood by all (which can be hard with non-technical managers), validated and dispatched to the person in charge... it will take age and you'll have to wait! But there is a bright side with this system... you are not responsible for everything and this can be far less stressful (ore far more is someone is blocking your urgent task). You just have to be Zen and see! ;-)

On the technical side, well... I have to say... I am still to see at least one server room (I know there are 4 of them across the country). I know how a server room looks like and I am not sure I would be thrilled like I would have been a couple of years ago but currently, the hundreds of servers I can log on seem a tad virtual! (Yes a good part of them are virtual indeed but this is another story). Some of my former colleagues might laugh, if they read me, as the majority of Linux servers are Debian based (grin). Actually version 4.0 seems OK (so far). For hosting (and since it's the core business of the company), it's a split between PHP and Apache Tomcat. Databases are MySQL. They have very heavy weight configuration (with replication, firewalls, VLANs, etc...), loads of scripts and automatic systems for almost everything (installing images, set-up application, all the monitoring) so in theory all the job could done in one click... Obviously, we are talking about computing and I already had to do some DIYs by issuing some UPDATE/INSERT/SELECT on a mysql database. Job would be boring if everything was working! ;-)

My office is at the 14th floor of the Tour Montparnasse although we will move away soon (thank goodness I'm not the person in charge this year! :-) ) to the centre of Paris because the tower is being stripped of its asbestos. In métro, it takes just 30 minutes door to door from our (temporary) accommodation so nothing to complain about. When I think that some recruiters wanted to send me miles outside Paris!