Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mmm, osmosis.

I've been working at Tieline Research for about 9 weeks or so now, and the more I do so the more I'm learning. I can't really judge whether I'm learning more working or going to university, as personally I categorise the two as separate kinds of learning. Uni teaches me life skills, theory and good all round practices and adaptability- and this year in honours it's also teaching me about specialising and communicating. Work is more a process of osmosis, soaking in the experience and practices of people who are experts in their fields.

For instance, I'm working with a guy who once implemented a Java JVM on a 16-bit smartcard chip, for no other reason than "to see what it was like" (incidentally, apparently garbage collection took up 4 seconds of processing after the thing was initially swiped :P). Other people specialise in audio development in Java- something which I found to be rather odd at first. I can't actually say what I'm working on due to a Non-Disclosure Agreement, which is a pity- but it's all very interesting stuff and I rather enjoy doing it- a stark contrast to my last job at EFTel.

Importantly, the environment is casual and encourages creativity. The most formal I've seen my boss dressed is jeans and a shirt that says "fat kids are harder to kidnap". The normally-dreaded discussions with CEOs are actually quite funny, with our directors providing free pizza and alcohol on fridays, and one of them being a tech buff anyway means they know their stuff. It's all very entertaining, and whilst there are some drawbacks like the stale air environment created by aircon (headaches abound unless one takes a walk around the block, which everyone does at least once or twice a day).

In any case, it's a pleasure to work with these people, and suck up their experience and techniques for my own improvement- and in addition, there's the constant question of "so David, when's your degree finish..." which is always rather encouraging.


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