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In Between Jobs

Published: 03 May 2018

A rock and a hard place.

Today, I am officially in between jobs. Actually, that would be last 2nd April when I gave 30 days notice to the company I worked for; because I haven't really done stuff for them since.

The position I left was “software developer”, quite a broad term. And rightly so because, even if officially, I was a Django specialist, I also had to do some server administration work and some web design— the last one being a misnomer. There really wasn't anything to design any more, but there were a lot of tasks involving copy-pasting non-semantic HTML and working around a ton of JavaScript. It was a fun job!

To be honest, I am a bit apprehensive about writing this because I don't want to come out as bad mouthing my former employers. They are unquestionably good people and, personally, I have nothing against them. But there had to be a reason for me leaving, right? Well, quite frankly, I couldn't see growth— at least for me— in that company.

I started there on September 2016 and left this April, so I was there for 1.5 years; I never got a pay increase and, on a few occasions, the pay came several days late. But more importantly, in all that time, I learned just three things:

  1. how to serve Django applications through Gunicorn and Nginx
  2. how to use class-based views in Django
  3. how to modify Bootstrap modals' behaviour during specific events

Now, for novice programmers, numbers one and two can be important. But I came into the company knowing how to serve Django applications through Apache and WGSI— which still remains my preferred method of deployment (maybe more on that in the future). And class-based views are something that I had already started looking into even before I thought about applying for that job.

I also came into that company bringing with me more than a decade of experience in HTML and CSS and a few other things. And while I was able to use some of those experiences, particularly in documents processing (XLS parsing, XLS generation, PDF generation, etc.), I left feeling that a lot of my other expertise were not really appreciated. As to why that is, I don't want to speculate but it appears Dunning-Kruger has quite an effect in the field of Web Design.

It's all good.

Where I will find myself in the coming weeks, though, is the question! Well, I've already received at least one job offer and, at the moment, I'm collating my job requirements. The pay is nice— more than double the amount from my last job— and there are other perks as well. And if what I did in the practical exam/interview is any indication of what is to come, then there's going to be a lot of good HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to be written. It's a bit sad, though, that there is no Django or any server side development involved but I can always do those things in my own time (I have to, because personal clients!).

There are also a couple of other prospects— two startups. The particulars are still sketchy but I'll know what they're really about in a couple of days. I just hope they don't turn out to be another scam, like the one I encountered the other week following an advertisement from Craigslist (maybe I'll write about it next time).

There are also a couple of projects that I want to give time to. But as with all of my projects, they aren't meant to make money; so spending too much time on them is out of the question. But who knows, maybe I'll find someone who can market those projects and create a demand for them. We'll see.