Monday, 1 February 2010

In which good news is announced

The past… roughly sixty-six hours have been pretty exciting in my neck of the woods, for a number of reasons:

  1. I met a recruiter downtown regarding a twelve-month contract situated (if memory serves) very near to my home, for a major classifieds website you’ve probably heard of. I was told that my resumé will be submitted, so hopefully I’ll be contacted for a phone interview.
  2. I heard from another recruiter, this one with disappointing, but not altogether surprising, news: the client that had been given my resumé, regarding a front-end position, said they’ll not be seeking an interview with me. Disappointing because it means no job there, but not surprising because the bulk of my skill set lies in back end development (as you’ve probably discovered, if you’ve been following my writing), with less emphasis on front end technologies. My Flash is rusty and creaky; I have no Flex or Air; I could keep going, but I’d rather not, because…
  3. Yet another recruiter got in touch with me about a brief, lucrative contract, working out of my home, picking up where another developer has had to bow out due to time pressures. He wanted to know how I’d feel about picking up a mostly-there project built on Symfony, with jQuery as the JavaScript framework: an MVC framework to which I have minimal (but positive) exposure, and the whipping-boy JS framework of comp.lang.javascript that I’ve never touched (I use Prototype in Project Alchemy and Project McLuhan). Recruiter knew this, passed on what I am familiar with and mentioned that I tested well in his company’s PHP skills test, and the client wanted to get in touch with me anyway. After a couple of hours to look at the source code, I was confident I’d be able to get myself up to speed with Symfony over the course of the weekend. I met with the client on Saturday over coffee, met with the previous developer on Sunday, and, well… I’ve already nailed down two of the end user’s major we-want-this-fixed-by-the-beginning-of-business-Wednesday bugs!

So yes, dear readers, I am (or rather, will be, once I’ve signed the contract) gainfully employed—at least for the month of February! I feel good; I feel energised… and I feel that by the middle of February I’ll have two new things I’ll be able to add to resumé! I think my lack of previous jQuery has been a bit of a sticking point—everybody uses it! So now, I’ll be able to say I can use jQuery.

This gig is going to be a great stretch of my skills. I’ve already hit the ground running (thank God that Symfony’s interpretation of MVC is fairly similar to Zend’s!), so as long as I hit this Wednesday’s deadline, everything should be great… and I don’t see any reason why I won’t be able to hit it.

This was a good weekend, and one that I’ve been waiting for for quite a while now. With any luck, this contract will turn into further opportunities with this client, which will mean (fairly) regular work and more opportunities to expand what I do!

One closing note: Looking at Symfony, I have to say that I’m already pretty much in love with it. It’s got a very similar logic to Zend (and, near as I can tell, is similarly modular, which I like), but it’s got a lot of back-office automation, kind of like Cake and Rails, that unburdens the developers, and it doesn’t appear to be doing so in an ugly an inefficient way! I’m almost mad that I hadn’t found it in the summer of 2008—so many things would probably be different! Project Alchemy would probably be much farther along than it is (I’ve been having trouble with the ORM layer and articulating join logic as associative arrays). Also, it’s kind of a pity that I’ve found it now, rather than long before, because I’m also about to start learning Python, which I’ve been meaning to do, in order to move away from the Failboat that will be PHP 6.

Ahh well, can’t always do everything right the first time you do it, right? Otherwise, you’d never learn anything!

Wish me luck this month; I’m going to be awfully busy!

2 comments:

Avatar said...

Looks like you had great time. Well, good luck. :)

Matthew G P Coe said...

Thanks! It’s been exciting so far… I don’t want to jinx myself and say too much about how I feel about it this early in, but it’s been good so far!

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