Programming is a wonderful mix of art and science; source code is both a poem and a math problem. It should be as simple and elegant as it is functional and fast. This blog is about that (along with whatever else I feel like writing about).

Sunday, February 10, 2008

An Early Update into the Life of a Consultant

I've now been on my current contract for about 2.5 months, so I figure it's a good time to come back and post an update.

The work isn't that challenging. The complicated problems are on the backend, and that team is constantly frantic and has been falling behind as the codebase becomes larger. Unfortunately, I'm not on that team, and can't help out. All I'm doing is making XML-RPC calls to the backend and displaying the data to the user. My days are currently spent waiting, either for something to be finished on the backend so I can finish it on the frontend, or for a bug to be found so I can fix it. On some days, neither happens.

But enough of the bad. I don't much care for complaining.

The people are great. The developers I've been working with and talking to are talented, and the managers I report to are very technical. From a personnel standpoint, this is just about ideal. However, I've begun to think that this might actually be a problem. Sooner or later, this contract will end and I'll be moving on, possibly never working with these guys again. I'll have to start over, left to hope that the people at the next contract are as talented and fun as they are at this one. This is the life of a consultant, I suppose.

This has led to me eating lunch by myself, eschewing the chance to get close to my coworkers and managers. This is probably unwise, but I feel it's a natural response to the situation I'm in, where I'll probably be leaving them soon. I should try to make an active effort to change my behavior and start spending more time socializing with my coworkers, starting at lunchtime.

And things are looking up, workload-wise. The current project is close enough to being complete that I'm apparently going to be placed onto another one this week. I think this is excellent, and hopefully I can slide over easily to the new project and get its wheels moving as fast as possible. That should feel pretty good.

No comments: