Lars Wirzenius: Oliotalo, 2004
- October 27: Leaving Oliotalo
- June 15: Resignation, I hate my job
- May 06: I hate embedded programming
- March 26: First four day week over
- March 24: Working four days a week
- February 17: New headphones for work
- January 27: Satisfied client
- January 21: Remote embedded development
- January 15: Things about programming they didn't teach at the university
- January 12: Looking up
- January 7: Hectic
- January 5: Back to work
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Next week, I will be working for Nokia instead of Oliotalo. In June, I decided to find a new job and Nokia is the one that I chose.
I had several reasons for wanting to leave Oliotalo, and several reasons for wanting to stay. Reasons for staying: Oliotalo is a nice company, and its start-up difficulties would seem to be over for now; the future is bright. The people are wonderful: likeable, smart and know what they do, and Kaius is a kind of dream boss in that he is at the same time a competent programmer, manager, and salesman. He also has courage and vision: few managers would not only allow an employee to design and implement a programming language but who think it is a great idea and who can sell it to customers as a good thing.
On the other hand, Oliotalo is still a small company, meaning that everyone needs to stretch in several directions at once, which is quite stressful to me. The embedded platform we mostly use has severe problems and dealing with a crappy platform instead of actual program development is extremely stressful. Development of my programming language had been mostly reduced to fixing bugs in the bindings specific to the embedded platform, which is pretty boring and also stressful, as the bugs always happen in when there is a hurry. What actual development of the language or the libraries there was need for, I did not actually have time for, since I had to deal with the platform specific bugs, so we used a sub-contractor to do the interesting parts.
In short, too much stress and too little fun.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
I have now resigned from Oliotalo. I need to give two months's notice, and additionally, since I want Oliotalo to do well, I have agreed to stay on for an extra two months so that the company has time to find and train a replacement for me. Well, I guess I'll do the training. Thus, I'll stay on until the end of October. What I'll do after that, I have no idea whatsoever.
This wasn't exactly an easy decision, but I think it was necessary for me. I'm not feeling relieved right now; if anything, I'm feeling more anxious and depressed.
I can't remember when I've last felt good about my job. Every time I think things are beginning to become better, something stupid happens again and drags me down again. Right now, after a sleepless night too many, I can't see any way out except resignation.
By the way, if anyone from Aplicom is reading this: calling my boss about things I write in my log that upset you really is not the way to deal with the problems I have with you. Anyone with half a brain would know that.
Thursday, May 06, 2004
I have today come to realize that I hate embedded programming. People who design embedded hardware and software platforms seem all to be demented and evil. Having additionally to deal with dozens of easily breaking wires and cables doesn't improve my mood at all. Since my job consists entirely of embedded programming, I'm this close to getting a new one (if only I knew where to search).
And to think yesterday was such a nice day. Blah.
Friday, March 26, 2004
The first four day work week is now over. It went quite well. I spent a quite delightful day off on Wednesday and this was the first week in ages when I wasn't furious with everything and everyone Thursday and Friday. I claim that the experiment was a success and will continue this practice unless it becomes a problem.
Wednesday, March 24, 2004
Starting this week, I'm going to be working only four days per week. This doesn't actually reduce my work load, I have merely rearranged my work hours to not happen on Wednesdays. Instead, I work longer on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. I'm hoping this will both make me more productive and give me more free time.
I have found that I tend to get up to speed with coding only some time in the afternoon (assuming a semi-normal awake/asleep schedule), but then I can easily go on for a couple of hours longer than a normal eight hour work day would allow. Either way, I'm then too tired to do anything productive in the evening, so having two hours less free time on the evening of a work day means I don't sit and stare at IRC as much. Instead, I get to spend all those hours on Wednesday. I also save over two hours per week on commute time by not having to go to the office.
After two long work days, however, I do need a day off to recover and that's why I chose Wednesday as the day off.
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
After I had such fun listening to music with headphones at home, I decided to buy a second pair to use at work, and they are already working their magic. I had the most productive work day in months yesterday. I still have quite far to go until I at the level I was four years ago, but I'm working on it.
Of course, four years ago I wrote at best 1500 lines of C code per day and did 90 hour work weeks and hurt my back and psyche pretty badly. I'm not trying to recreate that situation, but it would be nice to not feel like a sloth all the time.
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
It always feels good to wrap up a project so that the client is satisfied and glad to pay the bill. Woohoo.
Wednesday, January 21, 2004
I just realized today that it would be possible to build a development environment that would allow me to mostly develop things on the embedded side without leaving home. That would be nice on days like today when the temperatures are -19 degrees Celsius. I would need:
- A machine to sit on my desk at work. It must be silent and have a sufficient number of serial ports. Call this machine the em-station.
- All the embedded boxes connected to the em-station via serial ports and whatever. This allows me to see what the boxes are doing.
- Something to let me control the power on all the embedded boxes from the em-station. This lets me boot the boxes up remotely when they get stuck.
- A robot to flip the switch on an Aplicom C-series box to allow installation of a new Hedgehog binary. It should also flip it back to allow running of the binary.
- A clone of the Aplicom AC Floader software that does the actual download of the Hedgehog binary.
- A web cam to allow seeing the LEDs on the Aplicom box.
- A Linux version of the ARM C compiler we use.
Not entirely impossible, I think, though perhaps a bit unlikely in our current financial situation.
Thursday, January 15, 2004
If I ever write a textbook for programmers, it will contain practical advice. I will explain in some detail the benefits of having your own ear protection and cultivating a tolerance of people indulging in generating recreational toxic fumes via fires in fire hazard locations. The cozy picture of programmers calmly sipping beverages in clean, quiet offices is a lie. A lie, I tell you!
Take today. We were dragged into a six hectare warehouse to debug one of our embedded boxes, which attached to a warehouse truck. There was oil, there was dirt, there were signs warning against fire and smoking, there were people smoking, there were people using power tools to shape metal, there was no ear protection except hands and fingers, there were three year old nude calendars, and, most importantly, there was nowhere safe to put a laptop. A huge electric motor is not very safe, even if it is supposedly mostly shielded against electric intereference to the external world.
Monday, January 12, 2004
After a shaky year and half, the firm seems to be doing pretty well. The boss is, finally, optimistic, even if there are some bumps still ahead. I'm not doing so well, I'm heavily stressed out, and have trouble sleeping, but that will hopefully pass soon.
Customer installations are nice, because they indicate that systems are going into production and things are about done. On the other hand, there are always a bunch of loose ends and tying them takes time and effort.
Wednesday, January 7, 2004
Work is, again, hectic. Too much to do, too little time to do it in. On the other hand, this is good, because it means we've got paying customers. It should become easier after this month, hopefully.
Monday, January 5, 2004
I returned to work after about two weeks of vacation. I'm feeling much better about work now than before the vacation. Not at all burned out, as it happens. This is good.