After that, I had lunch with the person who started the day after I did, on his first job in the country, having just been moved in from Microsoft China. It's a private conversation I won't recap here, but suffice to say he's had quite a bit to get used to from the move. As with all my other co-workers, I wish him the best in everything.
Yes, all of them, even my former supervisor. It does me no good to hold a grudge. It does me no good to wish him ill. What do I care of the failure he "deserves"? It does not help me. Of course, forgiven and wished-well is no contradiction from "retain a healthy fear of", and I suppose it helps me be calm about it that I have the freedom to never work with him again.
Honestly, that's the general thing that has me feeling the most in-good-spirits right now: everything I hated about that job is over. And as my boss observed two weeks ago, that was most of it, because I wasn't getting to use my actual skills, specialties, or experience. I enjoyed the things I got interested in, when I found half a pattern to producing a bug and managed to push it into a reliable, repairable issue with a clear root cause. This, of course, took time away from just testing the main user scenarios; I felt I got enough coverage on that, but apparently management got annoyed that I was finding all these semi-elaborate edge cases (which are only implausible when you take all the steps- there were easier partial repros, but these always reproduced the issue when I filed them) and then making them either decide that these crashes and problems were acceptable, or they had to find time to fix them, or possibly delay the product. Apparently, this is my fault. Please excuse me while I choose not to apologize for finding bugs in the software I am testing; I was under the misapprehension that this was my job.
That said? Test isn't what I want to do. I want to write software that solves interesting problems, not drop-dead trivial input-output or obnoxious and finicky UI automation that breaks every time the team writing the UI- which isn't our team, so I they aren't accountable to me in any way- changes something. The most demoralizing thing that happened to me at Microsoft was the training session supposed to get me enthusiastic about the idea that there really are interesting problems to solve in test, mostly because it boiled down to "once you've had a few promotions and five years of experience, you can start doing interesting things that entry-level devs do". That does not inspire me to reach those higher levels, that inspires me to really want to quit and get a dev job.
The only reason I hadn't was the assumption that with no dev experience (all test experience) and this economy, I wouldn't be able to get a job in a reasonably timely manner. I'd take the risk if it was just me, but Rakeela, and to a lesser degree blackvoiddragon, are depending on my income, and no matter how bad the stress got, I couldn't take that kind of risk.
Maybe I should have. My blood pressure is unhealthy. This is partially dietary, and I intend to fix that (step 1: get used to beans; step 2: ration cheese; step 3: lots more veggies; step 4: live happily ever after), but the impact off stress can't be ignored. Would y'all believe that being unemployed is significantly less stress than I was experiencing in that job?
It probably helps that I already have three companies trying to hire me. Courtesy of a personal reference for two of them, but Amazon sent a recruiter after me two days after I dropped my resume into their career system. Getting attention that quickly, with no internal reference, has done quite a lot for my confidence.
I've got two advanced technical phone interviews (which is Google's first round, Amazon's second) scheduled on Monday, and an in-person interview at a medical research firm nebulously scheduled for Tuesday. (It will be on Tuesday, but the time hasn't been nailed down yet.) I'll probably start sending resumes out-of-state by Thursday, but I might not get a chance to get very far on them.
So, I know this economy is supposed to be terrible and all, but I think I'll be okay. It helps that I at least avoided the worst of it.
I've migrated to DreamWidth. The original post is at http://kistaro.dreamwidth.org/465914.html. View comments at http://kistaro.dreamwidth.org/465914.html#comments; go ahead and use OpenID to post your own.