Just for kicks I decided I wanted to update my resume.. I thought it would be a bit nostalgic to go through my work history and reminisce on my previous work experience. What I enjoyed, what I hated.. where i would be if i stayed at a certain company, etc.. I began to realize how truly import work experience is on a resume, in comparison to education or strategically placed keywords.
In the past 15 months at the company I'm at, I learned a lot about the business of software development.. software development as a discipline.. know what I mean? I noticed that small things that I didn't have at other companies go a long way with what I have at this company.. For example, some places I worked at that didn't have a version control system in place added a lot of frustration to the development process that could have been solved if just 1 person put there foot down and said "we're learning SVN!"
Another thing I've grown accustomed to is bug/time tracking software.. I have a reference for how long certain tasks took me to accomplish, which in turn makes me a smarter software estimator.. I once thought software estimation came with experience, but I've been doing this for a while and without a reference, i essentially was making guesses based on how long I thought I could do something in.. now i have to take into consideration design, learning, unit test writing, and questions from QA/PM.
I'm grateful for all the opportunities i've received that I know i wouldn't get at other companies, but as you would probably guess, nothing is truly perfect. I've had to work with some really pompous, obnoxious, arrogant developers that wouldn't help you with problem just because they have the "if you're working here, you should have that knowledge" attitude.. I've had to learn how to deal with these people in different ways than I'd deal with cool people, but as soon as I leave the building, I don't want to have anything to do with them. And it's unfortunate because I'm a very personable guy that enjoys the company of others.. expect when they're being douche bags.
Now that I've finished my resume update, how should I feel about where I am today in my career? Well I have mixed feelings.. On one hand, if i didn't do a masters, i probably would still be in web and not mobile, but i'd have more industry experience. But I did do my masters and missed out on 3 years of industry experience that would put me in a lead developer position regardless of where in the software engineering discipline I ended up. Now that my resume is nice, shiny, and new, I'm hoping to land some contract software development work so I can add to my experience.
The one thing I'm having trouble with right now is figuring out what I should charge as an hourly rate for my expertise, and how much of my free time I'm willing to give up in an effort to make more money so I can make ends meet. I'm seeing a lot of numbers thrown around and I think I'll have to settle on one based on how much traction I get through my blog or through linkedin..
I decided that since I've been cutting ties to all microsoft products and paid software in general, I used Google Docs to redo my resume.. it's a bit more work than using MS Word, but I was surprised at how well the resume came out.. I didn't want to put MS Office on my mac, even though I have a copy and they use it at my work religiously. I know at some point i'll need to break down and use it, but for now, I want to learn the ins and outs of google docs.
I've also decided it's time I update my portfolio on the website.. I want to know if that gets me any closer to landing me more contract work.. or even if portfolios for software developers are worth investing time and effort into.
So yeah, check out the hire me page or the bio to see my new resume and get an idea of what I do and how long I've been doing it for. I'll be updating my blog a lot more often now.