Sunday, 30 June 2013


I'm typing this from my house at last!  So happy!

Seriously, the place is nice and I'm really happy to have my stuff back rather than being sat in a room away from my main PC and my guitars.

That aside, it's been a while since I posted anything.  The week was largely uneventful; I'm learning the systems in place in the department and how the team at Hursley fits in with the other teams around the world.  It's a big, sprawling thing to get this stuff working the way people want it to and my team forms a small but no less important part of that.  Another thing I'm learning is how the in-house systems work for testing... there's a lot of code to read and it turns out that reading code when you don't know the standard libraries is pretty hard; trying to read this code has been the best crash-course in PHP I think I could ever get.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Week 1 end...

So here we are at the end of the first week... I'll admit yesterday was a major wobble but I think I can blame it on being drunk and really tired.  I'm still feeling a bit under it today but since I'm only tired I'm not being anywhere near as melodramatic about it.

Aside from that... it's all still a bit info-dump-y at the job right now.  I'll actually have something to do once I get in on Monday though, even if it is only preparing some documentation about the various systems involved in what we do.  It's needed though, and that makes me happy.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Not things with stuff...

So right now I'm not at all happy with the way my placement is going.  I understand that IBM is a massive company and that the systems in place are complicated... but I haven't done anything.  Literally no work since I started.

As much as I hate to trot out something that's a cliché among gamers these days... I didn't sign up for this.  I have learned exactly nothing since I joined and that's the reason I signed on with the whole Year In Industry thing; to learn.  That's what I do these days: I learn.  That's what I want to do, it's what I've spent the past couple of years doing... right now IBM isn't helping.  I've been told a bunch of stuff about the way the JRE testing system exclusive to IBM's internals works and nothing else...

I don't want to quit, that would be stupid right now but I can't see myself doing what I actually want to do in this team.  I'll give it some time and see if anything changes but for now...


Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Information. Overload.

Seriously, there's just been so much stuff to think about and remember for the past few days.  I think all I can remember is a few people's names and where my desk is... I think, I'm not sure about the desk.  Hursley is just so god damn huge.

That said, I'm looking forward to properly getting down to some work; I've been put in the Java Runtime performance testing team... so I can't talk in detail about what I'm doing for the most part.  Just that I'm going to be on the team who do performance testing on IBM's in-house version of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE).

Also I got a company laptop (pretty beefy machine), a fancy lanyard that's different from the other ITs and an IBM branded mug.  These things all make me quite happy.

Aside from all that a bunch of outgoing and incoming ITs went bowling last night, was a lot of fun.  Pub quiz tomorrow so I think a very good night's sleep is the order for tonight.

Monday, 17 June 2013

First day

Pretty uneventful all told.  Mainly the day consisted of Death By Powerpoint and things designed to help the placement students (ITs) get to know each other; there was an icebreaker involving building a 1 metre tall tower that could hold a mobile phone out of only paper and tape.  We succeeded.

Still, this is definitely a good thing; a nice way to ease in to a new job environment and get some of the panicking out of the way without actually having to do anything real.

Now, if you will excuse me... I'm going to go and fall asleep.  I didn't sleep well last night so I'm now tired enough to have fallen asleep very shortly after having got home for about 20-30 minutes.

Tomorrow brings more admin tasks and presentations... oh the joy.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Arrival! (Part 2)

So earlier I said the only things I could think about were food and fear... I've eaten now.

I feel like elaborating is probably a good idea:

Broadly speaking what I have is a fear of failure but not simply failure, it's a fear that I never deserved to be here to begin with.  I've spoken to several other people about this and it seems a common theme among a certain kind of person; we fear that at any point people will figure out that we're faking it (whatever 'it' is) and suddenly we'll have to go and get a job in MacDonalds or similar.

Rationally, I know I'm pretty good at what I do and I will likely be capable enough in this job to at least not screw it up... but there's always the paranoid part that doesn't get that and is scared.

That said, the next couple of days at least will probably be administrative and basic training things so I won't know if I have what it takes for at least a little while.

Until then, I will enjoy my B&B stay and try not to get anything too wrong.


So I'm typing this from a B&B in deepest Hampshire. It took me four hours to get here, plus a bit of walking, maybe half an hour, because there were no cabs at the Chandler's Ford train station.

Right now all I can think about is food and fear.

More later when I've eaten.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

First Post! ... I'm not at IBM yet.

Earlier today I got a call from the guy who's going to be my team manager at IBM when I start there.  I haven't started yet but he called to make sure things were alright and to let me know what (roughly) I'm going to be doing when I start there.

According to him I'm going to be attached to their Java development and testing team as part of a team of people providing metrics for performance.  I'm going to be trying to automate data aggregation from what I understand but this doesn't mean actually using the Java language, which is unexpected.  Apparently I'm going to be working in scripting languages (PHP, Ruby, Python, Perl, that kind of thing) to do this.

Additionally they apparently encourage interns working on other projects together.  I really want to see if I can get some people together to work on something using a functional language but apparently that's a relatively niche things so it might not be doable.  I just really want to keep up my skills with these languages, I enjoy them a lot.

I'm terrified and excited.  Mainly terrified.

More to come when I have more to say... so probably when I've actually started there, for now I'm trying to keep my mind clear and focus on other things I have to do.  Like deal with my new landlord.