Friday, September 21, 2007

Back into cutting code

Well I have landed on my feet pretty well here in London, weather has been good, met lots of friends and family and have found work easily.
My first contract was found in 2 days, was only a short contract to help out a media company for 3 weeks. It was basically fixing some issues in a custom built CMS implementation. gone wrong.
1/2 tier design, SQL in the aspx's, no testing of any description, no documentation, no arguments checks on public methods, no reliable source control... it was not too good.
Fortunately the people there are absolutely wonderful and the application was pretty small so pretty easy to hit the ground running. Hopefully I helped them out and gave them what they needed and was good value for money!

Well 3 weeks didn't eventuate as I got offered a job by another media company for better pay, longer contract and seemingly better code base/practices/procedure's.
My recruiter for this particular job has not really impressed me. I was confirmed for the interview 90 minutes before it occurred. I was casually dressed and ill prepared. I was given the wrong address and sat waiting in the wrong reception of the wrong building of the right company for 35 minutes as we couldn't get hold of the HR person. Luckily the IT guys i was doing the interview with figured something was up, notified reception and sent me along. I then proceeded to meet the Lead Dev and Architect, while i got grilled about things like Nhibernate, WCF, SCSF and heaps & stacks....

A: Not written more than 10 lines of code in any given day while i was in the states,
B: not really being pushed at my existing contract,
C: an awful experience leading up to the interview
..I was pretty horrific in my interview and answering of most questions (well at least i wasn't happy with some of my answers.. yes there was an exam)

I left, having met some nice guys who seemed to know what they were talking about, and was a little disappointed that i hadn't been better prepared.

Any-who I get a phone call about an hour later; I somehow managed to get the job.
I told the current agency I was working with that I was cutting my contract short, which they were fine with, and accepted the offer.

So I am back to
Win form apps (CAB influenced)
N tier dev (where N is greater than 2 ;) )
TDD (TFS and Nmock)
Agile Dev (team is stilling learning... but who isn't!)

soon to be introducing for IoC either
Castle/Windsor or

And new for me is
Video on demand
Oracle (which I have already learned that triggers can NOT modify data in its owner table.. apparently...)

The pay is OK, was aiming for a bit more, but what really pissed me off is my agent gipped me on putting me on day rate not hourly (bastard) and then didn't tell them I have a holiday booked for mid October (Rugby world cup match in France!!)
Oh well worse things can happen.

So all is good in the city of London, just need to find a nice studio to fill with new computer, new guitar amp and a huge new bed... then I will be very happy.

I did have an excellent experience with one recruitment agency called GCS, specifically a guy called Doug Viney. If you are a good, experienced .Net contractor looking for work in London talk to this man. He is very professional, personable and very efficient. He came recommended to me and I highly recommend him too.

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