Monday, June 29, 2009

Gainfully employed

Three weeks ago I started my new job, working for a fairly large retail company, doing what I do best: building a content management system and a dynamic website. The website already exists, but is in pretty sad shape, code-wise. Like so many other web projects, it was built a little bit at a time, with things being tacked on as needed and no real framework in place to keep things orderly and easily maintained. This is really a great opportunity for me to build a content management system from scratch (sort of - I'm repurposing some older code I've written in the past) with newer technology: components, flash update grids, ajax...all kinds of cool stuff, actually. And I also get the chance to streamline a lot of their code and make it faster, more functional, and much easier to maintain. All in all, it's a good gig, and of course I'm happy to be employed again full time and not have to worry so much about how we'll pay the bills each month. We were managing fine with the consulting business, but I wasn't putting anything away for taxes, just hoping that what I'd already paid out (I got gouged on the taxes for my severance checks) and my not-inconsiderable writeoffs (hello, new computer!) would cover the IRS bill at the end of the year.

This is the first time I've worked for a company this large, though, and there's a bit of culture shock for me. I had a phone conference a couple of weeks ago on a new project that I'm building and not a damn thing got decided. It's now been over two weeks since that meeting and I have yet to get some actual specs on the project. I have just been shooting blindly in the dark, hoping that what I'm building will work, because of course I'm supposed to be working on the project in the meantime. I mean, what? How do I build something that I don't have specs for? Apparently the plan is for me to just put on my "mind-reading" cap and hope for the best.

Anyway, I figured it was probably time for an update, considering I've been drawing a regular paycheck for almost a month now. ;-)

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