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jdavidb (1361)

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J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.

Journal of jdavidb (1361)

Friday December 07, 2007
11:23 AM

Career change

[ #35057 ]

After nine years with the wireless phone company (nearly ten), I am departing today.

This was my first job. Ever. I never had a summer job as a teen.

Here is where I learned Perl. Here is where I learned to love Perl. Here I also learned to love UNIX. Here I learned to love O'Reilly books (I put together two heavy boxes solidly packed with them yesterday, and I actually left some). And here I came in contact, via the Internet, with the worldwide community of great programmers that daily provides insight, support, help, and humor.

I'm going to be moving to East Texas, to the Tyler area, taking my family (wife plus four kids) to live near my in-laws (with whom I get along with almost as well as my own family). I've lived in Dallas/Fort Worth all of my life, all but one year in the exact same suburb.

I've never really moved away from my hometown before, and I've never left a job. I'm nervous, and already nostalgic for what I'm leaving behind. But I'm looking forward to the move. :)

Monday I start my new job. I'll be working for a smaller company that has been servicing a retail industry for the last 25 years. They have an impressive software package, recently rebuilt from the ground up over the last two years and released this year. I'm sure it was liberating to get away from 25 year old design decisions. :) The company was purchased this year by a technology outfit in Fort Worth that wants them to expand the package for other industries.

The software suite is written in Java Enterprise Edition. I'll officially no longer be a Perl programmer as a career. But I've officially not been a Perl programmer here for a long time, either; it's just that there's a lot of legacy Perl code, and I occasionally produced even more. :) Actually, truthfully, I've been doing mostly maintenance here for quite some time, anyway, so I haven't felt like much of a programmer at all.

And you never really cease to be a Perl programmer. In 2003 I was a PL/SQL programmer. I still used Perl to write support utilities for myself, every single day. I expect that will continue. Plus, the Perl community contains some of the world's best programmers. When I'm musing on a software design issue in any language, I'd rather have two good Perl programmers looking over my shoulder than one hundred of any other language. So I'll still be here, posting about what I'm doing, and occasionally asking for opinions if anyone has one. And meanwhile, I use Perl in my daily life all the time, and I've got a personal website or two supported by it.

For the first month or two, I've got a lot of ramping up to do. I'll need to be learning Java all over again, which shouldn't be hard, and learning Java EE for the first time, which also shouldn't be too hard. I'll be learning the build system for this large software suite and digging into its components. I probably won't have a lot of down time, and will probably be pretty silent here and elsewhere except for possible occasional technical posts.

Farewell, wireless phone company. But Perl, you're coming with me.

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