Three Years at Oracle

Today is the third year of my full time employment by Oracle. And with that
I say hello to Oracle’s one and only longevity perk: five more days of paid
time off a year. Jokes on them though because I rarely take it. Long time
readers of the blog will remember last year’s post on the subject and even longer
readers will remember my first
post about this

Let us review the year.

What Did I Learn This Year?

1. I am addicted to process. I hope to write more about this, but the short
of it is I find myself getting mired in why something happened and how we can
prevent it. Which is helpful in a small way, but in conflict with the guiding
principle of all workers
: getting things done.

2. My patience is growing shorter along with my temper. It may just be a
function of the quantity of work we have left on the project I contribute to,
but I find myself with a shorter and shorter amount of patience each day. The
end result is terser conversations, less guiding hands, and more links to the
development guide.

3. I have a better, if still incomplete, sense of how large scale
applications are built. Before I understood only pieces of the whole. Now, with
another year of experience, I have a much broader and holistic view of the app.
The benefit here is knowing where to put code, not just what to put.

4. The money is in management, but the passion is in engineering. This is
the second year I have split my engineering time with management time.
Management is a lot harder. In some ways, this is frustrating as I much prefer
to be programming compared to making slide decks or charts. On the other hand,
helping keep three sites supplied with relevant work and pushing a project
forward is an interesting challenge. I am not ready to hang up my still shiny
programming spurs just yet, but I understand now why managers make more money
than the people they manage.

What Am I Looking To Explore This Year?

1. Different conventions. Last year we went to DragonCon for this first time
and it was awesome. I want to broaden our horizons and check out some other,
perhaps further away conventions.

2. My investments. I made steady progress this year increasing my
investments. I continue to work with Betterment and I have happily broken the five
figure mark. It is that sixth figure that will be my next challenge. It is hard
to say how much this is helping my ultimate plan, but it certainly
is the right path.

3. Small film projects. Last year I
made my first AMV
which was quite fun, but simplistic. I want to try and
make a few more things this year, AMV or otherwise.

4. Improve my technical skills. Like every year, and like every programmer,
I must continue to improve my technical skills. This year, I am less interested
in the technology and more interested in the design or architecture. To be
sure, I must continue to learn the tools I have at my disposal, but using tools
without purpose is inefficient. I must concentrate on learning how to build
large scale apps so that I can be judicious about the code I write (or need to
write at this point).

Things I Failed at This Year

1. Buying a house. For a second year I remain houseless. This is causing me
increasing consternation, but I remain committed to this campaign. It just may
be I will not find the house that meets my exacting specifications so I must
learn to compromise on some parts or be without home for a very long time.

2. Car maintenance. My car runs fine, and I do change the oil when I should,
but I cannot dodge the feeling that I should be doing more. Everything is still
working, but I feel like I am missing something and it will all fall apart on
me. For sure, the brakes will need to be replaced soon, but how soon is the
part that is vexing me.

3. Writing more for the blog. There are a number of topics I want to
pontificate on, I just need to settle down and get writing.