The search must go on…

It had seemed that my search for jobs had ended shortly after it had started, but my freelance project ended earlier than expected, and while they will probably have more work for my by the end of the month, I would like to be working until that time.

So right now I am looking for more work, especially contract, but more and more the stability of the full time position is looking really good. I have another interview tomorrow for one, and it looks to be somewhere I would like to work.

Tomorrow I also go to Flex Camp Chicago, both to learn more about Flex and to meet people in the Chicago area Flex community. It’s the first real conference I have been to in a long time, and I am looking forward to it.

It turns out that my resume seems to focus on my design skills, which I really haven’t used in the last 4.5 years. I am definitely a developer, and one that knows OOP and Design Patterns. This doesn’t do me justice when I am in interviews unfortunately, so a revision of the resume is in order.

Speaking of interviews, I do have a gripe. I’ll try to stay as positive as possible, but it is going to be hard. I have had several technical interviews over the last few weeks, and two stand out as WTF moments. Here I am, a Flash and Flex developer, and in both of these interviews I am asked about 2 questions on ActionScript development. The rest of them were all on HTML, CSS (in web pages, not in Flex), and JavaScript. After both interviewers told me that they were not ActionScript developers, and they then asked their questions about JavaScript and HTML, I should have stopped the interview right there and asked them if they were going to ask any questions relating to the actual skills that I had. As it turns out, I did poorly on those “technical” interviews, since I haven’t used any of those skills in 4.5 years, and it isn’t something that I want to do with my career anyway. Ok, I do want to learn AJAX, but I already know that I couldn’t answer questions on it now. So live and learn I suppose. The next time I get into that situation, I will be polite but firm about asking if they are going to ask Flex and Flash development questions, and if they say no, then I will end the interview, letting them know that I am not a JavaScript, HTML, and CSS developer.

On to more positive stuff. I have become a developer on the newly open sourced, and I am going to be learning Python to work with it. It’s a language that intrigues me, and in addition to that, learning several languages will inform my coding overall. The Stone Table project is also something that is being taken out of mothballs, Chris Miller and I are reviving it, and I hope that Ken Newquist will also rejoin us.

Enough for now, back to coding!

Keeping myself marketable

It’s day something, 19 21, that’s it. I decided to leave off the days from now on, since it seems my finances are stable again. Starting my own business isn’t ever going to be finished though, so I can’t say my job search is over.

Right now I am doing work with LifeSnapz, and have several roleplaying game writing contracts on deck. I am still looking at one full time employment opportunity, but I have at least one other possible large job that is definitely interesting. Note: Make that three others. Overall, I am really hoping to make this business work.

I am really enjoying being on my own with this. I still have some schedules set by other people, and I still need to meet those deadlines. The place that I work, and when I work though, are pretty much up to me. It is amazing how much I realized the commute and working in an office was taking out of me, now that I am not doing the 2-3 hours of commute a day, plus the hours in the office. I also get to see my kids a lot more, big huge plus there.

If any of you out there are needing Rich Internet Application (RIA), Flex/Flash, or web development work done, contact me through the comments if you don’t know my normal contact info. I’ll get some contact information or a form up soon. Just realized that I don’t have that up.

Is it really “The Grind” when you are having a ball? – Day 12

So my interview is probably postponed until January 5th or after due to the holidays and people being out of the office. This isn’t really a surprise, since I have been through this part of the year when I was contracting before. Since I have the one freelance contract right now, I’ll be fine until then.

Note the nugget of wisdom above for other contract and freelance workers. December, especially the last two weeks of December, is the worst time to find work over the entire year. I suppose that this year for many people that it is doubly so. So if you have the chance to grab a contract or three that will last you into January, do so early.

Here’s an almost disaster turned into a great customer service story. My machine is an HP Pavilion notebook, a dv7 series for those that are interested. I have had it for several months now, and earlier last week, the AC adapter started making strange noises. Today, I thought it would be a good time to call HP service to see what they would do about it. While on the call, the adapter stopped charging my notebook, and I couldn’t get it to work again. (I have since the call, but then, no power.) Let me just say that the HP support person was very helpful, almost too self deprecating, and she was quite efficient, even if her computer systems were slow. I was on the phone just about 20 minutes from the start of the call, to the end where they took my address and were shipping me the new AC adapter. A fairly short, and definitely productive, call and I will have the new AC adapter on December 26th via FedEx. The computer is under warranty, and I was thinking that they would need me to cross ship the old adapter, and so did the support person, but as we both found out, I don’t need to. I keep the one that is acting up, and get the new one later this week. Not that I am going to want to use the old one, but in case the new one shorts out, I can go to the old one for backup. Overall, I would continue buying HP products. A few years ago, I would not have said that. Good job HP.

Happy holidays!

Snowed in, but still on the hunt – Day 9

Hello again,

So yesterday I posted a question of do I keep up the hunt or not. Sleeping on it, I realized that I was not as comfortable with my current status to stop the hunt. Today, I am going to follow up with my recruiters and see where things stand. The interview was postponed, or so I assume, since I have not heard from the recruiter who was setting it up (bad form there, always keep your clients up to date).

I am going to take a step back though, since I have my freelance project that I need to get cracking on. Today will be mostly a work day, to get that project really started. I have a decent proof of concept working, I now need to get it past the prototype stage.

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