Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December updates

I wrote in November that there had been some unexpected events messing up my plans. Well, this month brought me even more "excitement" and surprises. Unfortunately, not all of them are positive. The biggest upset is that...

I've been laid off

December 5 was my last work day at Fandom (former Wikia). There was a company meeting in the evening, during which they told us that things hadn't been going great and that we got invitations in our calendars to smaller meetings where they'd explain to us the details of the situation. I wasn't paying too much attention to the exact words because I was working on a big programming task that I wanted to finish that day. Without suspecting anything, I went to a smaller room, perhaps only noticing that most of my team went elsewhere. There I found roughly 15 people all sitting in silence and in a stern atmosphere. Then our chief of engineering and chief of HR came in and said that they were sorry to announce that we were all being laid off. They didn't give us much explanation. The rest of the company left the building in the meantime. We were called out one by one to sign some documents while they were wiping out our computers. I went to pack my stuff from my desk and that was pretty much it.

I wasn't particularly sorry to lose the job, even though I liked it a lot; perhaps even the most from all my jobs so far. The thing that hit me the most was the way they let us go: without any prior notice, without a way to say goodbye to others, without thanking us for what we'd been doing. I'd never heard of anything similar happening in Poland before. I guess I had to learn the hard way not to have too much trust in my employer and always have a plan B. I think more people felt similarly, because they left bad reviews on Glassdoor. Around 70 people were laid off across the globe.

Every cloud has a silver lining

Surprisingly, there are a couple positive sides to what happened. Firstly, they are paying me until the end of January, even though I don't have to work right now. Perhaps it's not very long, but being on this paid vacation has been great so far. Secondly, they let us keep our computers, which in my case is pretty awesome, because my 8-year-old PC is not getting any faster and now I have a late 2015 MacBook Pro that I can use. Lastly, I think I already found a new, perhaps even better, job.

New job

I'm supposed to start at Allegro (which is like Polish eBay) in February. I haven't signed any documents yet, but it should just be a formality. I'd been sporadically going to interviews even before losing my job. I didn't expect getting a much better offer, but I'm of the opinion that knowing the job market, the questions they ask at interviews and work conditions in other companies can come in handy. This notion might have saved me from being very miserable right now. Anyway, going to interviews, I'd sometimes get a job offer that I'd reject, but it would give me a sense of security and self-esteem. Allegro was one of those offers. Fortunately, they still hadn't found anyone when I was let go of. All I had to do was ask if the position was still open.

The nicest thing, that I haven't mentioned so far, is that I'll be working part time, or 4/5 full time if you will. It means that I'll have one day off each week. One full day! How much faster can I go with my own projects right now? I think at least twice as fast. And should I decide to switch to full time some day, it should be rather straightforward. It's much harder to go the other way and reduce the amount of hours you work. Obviously, working part time will give me less money, but the salary is high enough for me as it is and I'm really excited to try my new schedule.

I'm getting married

Yes, you read it right. Me and my girlfriend decided to get married in March. It's just a bit more than two months from now. We've been together for a good couple of years now and we thought that it was high time we took our relationship to the next level. It's going to be a civil marriage, because neither of us is particularly religious. We're not organizing a huge wedding, just a dinner for the closest family. We'll think of a bigger party for friends when it gets warmer here.

Updates on my projects

Thanks to my unexpected vacation I've been able to work on my own stuff quite a lot. My Facebook Gallery project is getting to an end and I really like what I've done so far. I probably need a week or so at the beginning of 2017 to finish it, so I won't give you too many details right now. In short, I updated the libraries it was using, I revamped the UI, I sped up the synchronization process almost 3 times through RxJava 2 and I refactored the hell out of it. Left to be done is some more synchronization corrections and unit tests and then adding Facebook Audience Network. After it's ready, I'm going to try to sell it on CodeCanyon.

I completed 28% of the Unity course on Udemy that I wrote about last time. The whole thing is 52h, not counting coding time. I really like it and I'm learning a lot, but I watch it on 2x speed because of the way the instructors talk. Perhaps the only thing I don't particularly appreciate in the course are the parts explaining C# programming, because they're targeted at absolute beginners. The rest is pretty awesome. I'm not sure if I'm going to complete the course or just its 2D part and then proceed to rewrite my Blobby Volley game. We'll see. In any case, rewriting Blobby Volley in Unity will be my next big project and I'm hoping to finish, at least a basic version, before I come back to real work.

My friend got me to buy and play TIS-100. It was a part of Humble Bundle. The game is basically an assembly language simulator with a bit of a plot, so its target audience is quite limited, but I enjoy it very much. I've managed to beat 16 levels so far. I'm hoping to solve more when not working on other stuff.

That's pretty much it, folks. I should be able to show you something more tangible instead of personal life news next time. Come back in January for more updates and wish me luck for the married chapter in my life.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, looks like a lot is happening in your life. Good luck at Allegro or wherever you end up working!
    Congrats on deciding to get married :)
    And yeah, TIS-100 is awesome.