12 August, 2007

Future Aspirations.

I recently had dinner with a previous pseudo-co-worker from my previous contract to catch up on things since parting ways.  I say "pseudo-co-worker" because ultimately when one is a contractor, he/she has no co-workers with only the exception of other contractors on the same project for which they were contracted.  He works for a software production firm primarily in Java, and that little tidbit of information started me thinking.  What I have wanted for all of these years in the profession was to work for a software house.  


I know that some of the open source crowd are going to say "why not contribute to new and/or existing open source project?" to which I simply point out that is isn't the same.  I have written and distributed code under both the artistic license as well as the BSD license, but ultimately it isn't solely about the code, it is about the environment.  Right now, I work in an environment in which there is really one person with whom I can speak and joke regarding code and geekdom in general, and I enjoy that.  I do know however, that much like my previous work associate, I want the whole environment, surrounded by other coders of varying capabilities and disciplines.  


I'm sure some might imply that I have a sort of fantasy view of these environments, but I beg to differ based upon the opinions of others that I know personally.  There is a certain camaraderie in highly skilled engineering/creative homogeneous work place environments which just isn't found elsewhere.  If anyone reading this has ever had the opportunity to read any blogs from the original coding group at Netscape or Apple, you'll know full well as to what I'm referring.


I know full well that there are high stress time periods at those companies and that more so those environments are more conducive to non-family-life encumbered employees, but there are definitely exceptions as such.  


Either way, back to my friend.  I think he pointed out something to me that I feel would me help with my, dare I say, professional environmental depression, that being -- attending programming/tech conferences.  Back in 2000, I attended Linux World in New York at the Jacob Javits Center, and then again in 2001.  It was a blast, by and far.  I do have to say that 2000 was a much better event than 2001 not only because of the IBM sponsored rave, BattleBots, and free (as-in "beer") bar, but because of the people there.  It seemed to go quite a bit more corporate in one single year.  I met many interesting people during those conventions, and even received several job offerings as well, though I didn't take any, as much as I should've since a few were at software houses.   Either way, I've lost my focus of this post, but I can say that I've made it a personal resolution to start heading to more developer related cons, now the questions are, which ones?  PyConJavaOneLUG Radio Live (US or UK)?   I guess time will tell.