Sunday, June 10, 2012

New job, new thoughts

Now I am working in my new job for a week, my new employer is called Complete Innovations, it is in Markham, it is .NET house, I am working in a mobile team, we are using mobile web technologies, such as HTML5, Knockout framework, Kendo UI, and Sencha, ... all those are pretty new for me. I have a lot to learn. And most importantly, this company follows the Scrum/Kanban agile process, which is what I am really interested. And finally it is located in Markham, which is only 10 minutes drive from my house, this is a big plus. During a week's working I feel I have a lot stuff need to learn and catch up, very exciting to me.

My last job was working in Grapple Mobile, I've been working there for more than 2 years, before Grapple, I worked in QuickPlay Media for 4 and half years. Two years ago when I decided to leave QuickPlay, I heard of the mobile Web technologies, like PhoneGap framework, since then I feel that javascript will be the future trend to develop mobile apps. And then I heard of Grapple mobile, it acquired a small startup company called Cascada, which provides a solution to develop mobile apps using HTML/CSS and javascript, and they were doing that since 2005, a lot before iPhone/Android came out, even long before the PhoneGap. I really admired them, so I decide to join the company. At that moment, their not many company heard of PhoneGap or see the trends of javascript, I feel I was complacent with what I was doing in Grapple.

But things changed, when last month I got the bad news that Grapple will shut down the Toronto office and move the whole team to UK, which means I was laid off. So I started to look for new jobs. During the interview, I feel I fell behind the trend during this two years, almost every company I was interviewed are using or knowing PhoneGaps, and they are also using HTML5 and javascript framework, like Sencha, jQuery Mobile. Some of them I plan to investigate, like jQuery and HTML5,  and some of them I never heard of before, like Sencha, I even have an idea to build a MVC framework using javascript, which is exactly Sencha already provides!

And one more thing is I found embarrassing is my iOs skills is not strong as I expected, but the market for iOs is so hot. I got many recruiters email or phone calls looking for iOs developer. If my iOs skills is strong enough, I definitely can easily find a new contractor job.

So why I fell behind? One would be I am over confident about myself, and maybe arrogant; and I stop tracking the mobile world news and technologies; I did not prioritize well: I spend too much time on Agile/Lean/Kanban, they are good, but I should focus more on the technology side; I ignore the importance of iOs developing, when I realize its importance, it is just too late; and most importantly I seldom contact with other mobile developers, like my previous colleagues, to exchange ideas.

Last Thursday night, we had a party with my colleagues in QuickPlay,They are all very cool guys, compare to them I feel I am far behind, they are all good, and they are so young, I feel so lucky that I have those friends.

These are what I learned from the party:
- Keep humble, always keep an eye on the trends;
- Manage focus, focus more on iOs and mobile web, especially HTML5, javascript, jQuery, phoneGap, etc;
- My problem is I spend too much on learning and thinking, but less time on doing, I need to do some stuff.
- Last and most important, try to use your network, keep in touch with friends, and try to get update as much as possible.

This laid off is very good opportunity to know my situation, and I know what I need to improve myself. Now the most important for me is always having a beginner's mind, keep humble, handle my current job first. Then next year I will review my situation again.