Chik Fil A? - I was talking with an old buddy of mine. He said his cash flow was bad. Previously he had planned to leave his old job, collect a severance, and start a n...
There are some good things about the job. I get a captive audience when I speak on a system that I know well. People are very interested when you know what you are talking about.
Here is the downer. The customer wants project management now, not analysis. Doh! If I stay, I will be figuring out releases. Not that I cannot perform such tasks, but do I want to?
This might be my opportunity. Run for the hills and get back to my true love - software development.
The downside to my new task is that I do zero development. No programming is involved. My products are Excel spreadsheets, live demos of the application, and system requirement captured in Microsoft Word. Not too exciting for someone like me who likes to code a lot.
I do see some of the value in what I am doing. They people trying to design the new replacement system do not know a lot about the old system. That could make it quite difficult to do their jobs.
Luckily this analysis position is not the end game for me. I plan to eventually move onto a C++ Windows application position. However that job requires some security clearances that I have applied for but not been granted yet. I am biding my time, remaining billable (and receiving a paycheck).
Our project has some software requirements tracking software from IBM Rational called ReqPro. I don't have the software. We have a separate requirements/analysis team on our project. They all have this software. Some other security team did an audit and found people like myself without direct access to the requirements. Not good. Now my mission is to install ReqPro on my machine.
So what do I do? My manager said call the customer help desk and have them open up a ticket for the install. I tried that twice. They refused. LOL. I ended up submitting a ticket online for the install. Then I got word that my access to the software was approved, and I was supposed to download and install the thing.
I accessed our Symmantec Software Portal, which knows what software I am authorized to grab. I selected the Rational Utility Selector. This brought up a window in my browser to schedule an install. The only problem was that I could not see any OK button to confirm my request. The window was a weird one in my browser. It would not leave the client area of the browser window. I could not scroll in the window. What gives?
I tried to change my screen resolution in the hope that I could see the whole window. Nope. Screen resolution maxed out. Then I figured I might be able to change the Zoom ratio in my browser. That did the trick. Are these guys trying to prevent me from installing the software? So I get an install scheduled. After a few minutes, a program starts up. I choose to install my software. Then I get an error message stating that my machine is not authorized to get this software.
Oh boy. I can't take this much fun.
I reached out to a senior developer on the team. Turns out he got loaned out to another project. And he was working on high priority problems there. Another junior developer was still on vacation. We have another developer on the team, but she is too new to figure out trouble tickets fast.
So I had to put my work on hold and do the research. Then there were some deliveries with incorrect documentation. I had to attend to those too. I tried to go out to lunch. But my cell phone kept ringing. When it rains, it pours.
Eventually the junior guy came off vacation. And the senior developer was back from rotation on the other project. And my team lead returned. Whew. It is good to have a team.
Did all the normal stuff. Put in details from my job and prior job. Added my college education. But that "0 connections" in the bottom right hand corner was bugging me. It was time to make some connections on LinkedIn. I figure I should just connect up with people I know.
I started with another guy from my last job who said he had to create a LinkedIn account during his job hunt. Then I started asking people whether they had LinkedIn accounts. Most of my colleagues are older. They are not connected with social media. But some had account. They usually added me as a connection.
It was going too slow. Then I figure I could just search for people on LinkedIn, and make connection requests from there. That is also hit or miss. I think some people put email addresses they don't check very often. So it might take a while for them to get back to me.
I have been checking out people I know on LinkedIn. Not people I want to make a connection with. Just people I want to check up on. I noticed that when people have over 500 connections on LinkedIn, their profile just shows 500+ in the lower right hand corner.
I also started looking for trends on how many connections people have. Those managers who are a few levels above me all seem to have around 500 connections, or 500+. It figures as much. People who have risen up that high must have a lot of contacts. However I noticed another curious trend. Those people at the very top, such as CEOs, seem to not have as many connections.
The real question is how many connections do I need to be able to impress potential employers? I want to signal the correct information to them. 500+ connections might mean I spend too much time on LinkedIn. Too few might signal I am not well connected. So what am I shooting for? Maybe 100 connections? Or perhaps a little more? We shall see.
Here are the Oracle topics I have seen needed for jobs that I have researched:
But when things get tough, I get going. Time to double down on my studying. Maybe sit for a few Oracle certification exams. Install the Oracle database on a couple of my computers. And get cooking!
I started working on two efforts we are making in a maintenance round. The first one got handed off to another developer to code. I took the next one. As soon as I figured out what files I was going to change, I checked the files out.
The other developer completed coding. She had a bunch of Clearcase problems. I had not heard back from her about my checkouts preventing her work. I got a bit worried. Eventually she came forward and asked for help. She got the warning message that I had the files reserved. She just did not understand it.
I was able to undo my checkouts to let her put her code in first. Now I will need to merge my changes with hers. That's okay. At least I know we are both working off the same branch. Check your files out early. Check them out often. Use this as communication with other developers as to what you are changings.