Saturday, 22 November 2014

Back Into The Job Hunt

To quickly recap the work-related events of this and last year: I got hired as a freelancer early last year by the German company I currently work for, as a mobile (iOS/Android) developer. At the start of this year I got offered a fixed contract. After a short while I got asked to 'temporarily' work on a Java project as the iOS project I was working on was a bit overstaffed at that point. That's when things got funny, as suddenly instead of getting more mobile projects, all mobile projects we had been eyeing got handed to other parties and only Java projects remained.

In short, despite having no Java experience beyond the Android-related programming, I have been trying to struggle along in one Java servlet-based project after another. To say that this didn't go well is putting it mildly and led to some sad faces during the last feedback meetings with my employers. After the last meeting it was clear that things weren't going to work out, but I got put on a relatively new C/C++ project which was kinda drifting around at the time. I got to work for about three weeks on this new project before the final meeting, earlier this week.

The difference between working on something you have roughly fifteen years experience with (C/C++ and related) and something you have virtually no experience and very little interest in (Java projects) is like night and day. In just three weeks time I managed to completely retool and improve the Makefile-based build system of the new project and get a cross-compiling setup on Linux and Windows hosts working to Linux and QNX targets across two CPU architectures, despite some fierce resistance from the antiquated toolchain and external libraries which hadn't been designed with a QNX on ARM target in mind. I had and still have a lot of joy in working on such projects, to be honest.

During the meeting this week with my employers this became apparent as well, where sadly the conclusion was that they'd love to keep me on as developer as my performance on the current project had been very satisfactory so far, but that they just don't have more of such projects for me. As a result I'll get a new contract which ties me to my currently assigned project until it's done/its budget runs out, which will be early next year regardless. This will give me the time I need to find a new job hopefully here in Karlsruhe as well which is more befitting to a senior C/C++ developer like yours truly. While it's sad that we have to part ways like this, I'm at least glad it was possible to arrange things in such an amicable way.

Hopefully I'll be able to find a new job by March next year so that I can transition to it without any gaps in my employment and thus income. In case anyone is interested, I still have my Curriculum Vitae (resume, for some :) ) up on my personal site here:

The coming time I'll be updating this CV as it doesn't even list my employment in the Netherlands or my current employment here in Germany. I reckon I can also add 'German' to my list of 'spoken languages' by now.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have some more draft chapters to finish of this Android game development book I'm still writing for Packt Publishing. Call it my other full-time job (which isn't paying yet ;) ).


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