Wooden anniversary

I’ve been at Sun in Dublin for five years now (well, as of last week or so)… which is actually the longest I’ve worked for any one company. (My previous record was four years with Logica, now LogicaCMG, in Cambridge, but much of that time was spent full time on-site at Reuters in London, and then at the NATS air traffic management R&D centre near Bournemouth, so that felt more like two or three separate jobs anyway.)

When I joined, Sun shares were trading at over $50. Now it’s an event in itself when they pop their head above $4. So what’s kept me here? Well, it’s certainly not the share options 🙂

Primarily it’s the work. Open source software usability still brings a new challenge practically every day, and I’ve been doing it for five years now. I’d also like to think that, along with the rest of the GNOME usability folks, we’ve blazed a bit of a trail… albeit one that’s wandered about a bit, and still isn’t quite sure where it’s headed.

Of course, you need smart and motivated people around and above you to achieve things anywhere, and Sun has more than its fair share of those. That’s not to say there isn’t as much politics, bureaucracy and (just occasionally) downright frustrating dithering as you’ll find at any other company, large or small, but for such a globally-distributed company (the JDS team alone has engineers in Ireland, the USA, Canada, Germany, China, India and New Zealand), we cut through it pretty well. And right now the whole software organisation is pulling in the same direction more strongly than at any other time I can remember.

Dublin is still a decent enough place to live too, even though the locals will tell you that the Celtic Tiger has turned it into a soulless shell of its oul’ self. And only in Ireland would they spend hundreds of millions of euro on a new tram system that has two lines that don’t join up, and a sub-city tunnel to take trucks out of the city centre that isn’t high enough to accommodate a lot of them. But that’s all part of its charm, I guess.

Oh, and we get to choose our own five year service award from a decent enough list– I’ve gone for one of these