Thursday, January 31, 2008

Now Where's That Parachute?

Well, following the break-up of the Austin Lab group at EDS, I've now decided to take the next step. I've actually given notice and accepted a job offer at a new company.


This is the first "real" job I've had - I started the week after graduating from UT, and while we've been shunted around to different spots in the org chart and we've moved offices once, I've pretty much been hanging with the same group and in the same cube for almost 15 years. I managed to hold on here through a few economic and tech industry downturns, and I've seen this group grow and shrink pretty dramatically. I'm generally pretty conservative (I'm talking in terms of risk-and-reward here, not politically), so the thought of jumping ship here and going to a much smaller private company is a combination of exciting and scary. But I had come to the conclusion that the new role I was being placed in was not really what I wanted to be doing. I likely would have been checking around for other opportunities at some point (and some friends of mine that are a little more tuned into the Austin job market than I are claiming that that market is doing OK right now, regardless of the overall economic condition).

I'm pretty sure the work at my new company is going to be more suitable for me than what they had lined up for me at EDS, which was more of a development process consulting task than actual technical work. And of course, being at a small company means I will simultaneously have more of an impact on the success of the company and more visibility (for good or bad). EDS has good and bad points, but one thing that's true in a company this big - it's pretty easy to hide. And finally, several others in my group are also making the move - that's the primary reason I'm accepting this offer, as opposed to looking for other outside offers.

EDS certainly can be frustrating (the Dick Brown era comes to mind, as do my underwater stock options), but I'm generally looking back on my time at EDS favorably. Our various string of managers didn't always know what to do with us, but I think for the most part they were doing what they thought was right and trying to do good by us - I didn't often feel like someone was out to screw us.

So I'm sure I'm in for an interesting few months ahead while we dive into a new codebase and try to hit the ground running. That whole "visibility" thing, you know.

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