Yesterday, an agent got in contact with me regarding a possible Java application development opportunity. He wanted to call me yesterday but didn’t call me back, so I did today. Talked for a while and shared what I’m looking for.
As a developer, I have always prefer to develop internal products over external products. There are many reasons and they are as follows: the perceived stability, the customer base consists of my colleagues within the same company which can translate to easier communication, better understanding of the requirements because I’m inside the company, ease of managing the software and hardware needed to run the application, and reduce the need for me to run all over the country to perform deployment, maintenance, etc.
All that is in line with what I am looking for in life and that is stability. If it is an external product, the chance of it failing is higher, and that tend to raise my anxiety levels. The need to suddenly travel down to customer’s office to provide support at odd hours also will raise my stress levels.
I know that by being part of the process to develop external products allow me to grow better and faster on a personal and professional level because it is uncomfortable. So is developing internal products. At the end of the day, it’s all about opportunity cost and your definition of success. My definition of success is that I can kick back and relax, read a book, play a video game, watch a show or hang out with friends whenever I want. Yours maybe or can by different. We are all different.
But it is important to remember and be aware that kicking back and relax is only achievable if there is financial security or stability, part of my personal value.
So you see, for me, doing internal product development allow me to have a job, which give me that financial security, and give me more stability in terms of less chance of me being called to support the customer at odd hours, which will most likely upset my me time. It is a win-win situation for me but finding such a job is difficult in an economy as small as Singapore. And if I do find one, there will always be trade off on something else. This potential opportunity, well, the office is located on the eastern side of Singapore and that means I need to spend at least one hour and a half commuting. So it’s something that I need to ask myself, is it a worthwhile trade-off.
That lead me to the next point.
My current project is now approaching the testing phase. Next week, Monday, my colleagues and I will be heading down to the customer’s office to deploy and test the application in their environment. Right now, all is good and working in our office environment but that’s not real world.
In a way, it’s a good thing that there is some kind of heads-up. I have sufficient preparation. So far, at all the jobs that I am on, I always get so stressed up by the need to travel to customer’s office. My first job need me to do that. My second job also need me to do that. Now, my current job too. If I am to distill why I get so stressed every time, it is really all about being in a new environment. I hate going to a new place without amber mental preparation. I know the why, the what, and the how. This is how I am able to tune it out and focus on the now.
And it’s very obvious that there will be an increasing need for me or my colleague to go down there going forward to do user acceptance test, deploy patches, support the users, etc. Just the thought of those things have already stressed me out. However, this drudgery is all part of being a software engineer.
And now you know why I didn’t want to keep doing this line of work and want to build up sufficient savings so that I can do a mini retirement and focus on writing. Software engineering is also a form of creation but it takes so much more out of me than writing due to the other aspects.
So what about you guys? Have you found out what you want in life and determine what you should be doing to get there? And have you put those plans into action so that you are on the path to get to the place that you want to be in?
Like someone more hardworking, more daring, and smarter than me always say: The Only Person You Should Try To Please Is Your 80 Year Old Self.