Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Hottest Latest Stuff (2/27/08 edition)

Well it's t-minus one day until it's time to move on to my new job. The transfer has been relatively painless thus far, and I have turned over pretty much all of my projects. Here's what I gather from my turnover process:

1) I didn't document enough
2) If I had documented enough, I would never have finished half the things I did.
3) Trying to condense two and a half years of hard and sometimes inspired work into two and half weeks of turnover is an impossible task.

So I will have to leave it as it is. Hopefully things will not completely fall apart when I go. I would have to think that they won't. People are never irreplaceable. Sometimes it takes longer than other times to replace someone, but whatever knowledge they take with them is probably going to be offset by the wealth of experience that the replacement can bring to the team.

Today's job market is completely different from the market of 20 years ago. Today, turnover is a reality. No matter how 'great' a job is, people leave it. People go elsewhere to do new things, different things, more interesting things, to meet new people, see new places. Back in the good old days, people would get a job, then work there until their gold watch and pension kicked in. People might switch once or twice, but certainly not every couple of years. Before the internet, it wasn't clear necessarily clear what jobs were even available, as the only way to post a position was by using the newspaper. Think about how many jobs were listed in the Washington Post "super jobs edition" that used to come out, and compare it to the number of jobs that are available on a quick search of,,, or Heck, even Craigslist has a ton of job postings. The flow of information, the ability to email resumes or store them online for searching - this has completely changed the nature of the game. I had an interview with a company recently, and they remarked that I had been at my current position for "a long time". Two and a half years doesn't seem like that long to me, and I said as much, to which the interviewer replied that 18 months was the average in my field.

Anyway, I guess I feel bad for leaving without "turning everything over", but not too bad, because if I had been able to turn everything over in two and a half weeks, it would mean that I sucked at my job all that time. Hopefully, if/when I leave the next job, I won't be able to turn everything over in two and a half weeks.

By the way, I am really excited to get somewhere new. My current position has been all about breaking down and finding old stuff that wasn't good, and not so much about coming up with new stuff, so it will be refreshing. My creativity will hopefully be cultivated a little more actively. Plus, it's sports! So much more fun than e-learning. And theoretically it will help me in my quest to start a software company. We can dream...

What else is happening? Well the save-the-dates are on the way around the country. Jena put in a lot of time and effort to make them, and I helped a little bit, (but mostly messed up), and they look amazing. I hope people actually look at them and don't just throw them away. We also booked the church and had our first meeting with the priest, so that's exciting. That was the LAST BIG THING that we had been stressing about. Next up, things that are way more fun and exciting, like registries, and honeymoon planning. Awesome!

Now added to the list of books I am reading is Made To Stick, by Dan and Chip Heath. So far so good, although they seem to think that The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell was a really good book. I tend to be a little less enthusiastic about it than they are, but they are published authors, and I am just, well, a guy who reads books, so I will have to defer to their judgement. Making good progress on Midnight In Sicily, which has rebounded despite an incredibly murky writing style, to be a really fascinating read about the mafias reach in Sicily and mainland Italy post WWII.