The project is live…

by Rob on

At the company where I work we do quite some projects. And some projects are really big. So it is a great moment when a project is finished and goes live. Sometimes the project-manager is so happy about this that he or she does something nice or fun for the people who worked on it.

So today project “ECRS” went live (I won’t bother you with what project “ECRS” was about). To celebrate that the project-manager brought M&M’s with special texts on them. I must say that I didn’t know that it was possible to have M&M’s created with your own text on them. But really I like the idea very much.

Costum made M&M’s… How cool…

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by Rob on

Currently we are handling an important project with a high priority at the company where I work. So that means that we are spending time and effort on that project. One of the things I was working on was storing certain information in a secure way.

Well, as first the data had to be hashed with SHA256. Not really a problem. With the right libraries, classes and modules that is easy.
Same could be said about encoding the hashed information with Base64. Also that was not very hard.

But somewhere with moving the hashed data to the function to encoding it with Base64 something went very wrong. After looking through the code line by line and reading a lot of related information in books and on the Internet, I had the feeling I was very close to the solution of the problem. But somehow I could not really put my fingers on it.

Hours and hours went by and the end of the working day arrived. Some of my colleagues working on the same project had planned some overtime. As I really wanted to finish off this part of the project, I decided for some overtime as well. Together we had dinner and I had a lovely tasting pizza (with chicken of course :P).

After dinner I continue to hack my source code, but somehow it did not do what I wanted it to do. I started to get frustrated by it, as I was convinced that I was so close to the solution.
Then suddenly, almost at the end of the evening….

Suddenly I saw what was going wrong. Within 5 minutes I corrected my code and the function did what it should do.

Point is that this kind of things are poorly documented and it can take a long time to find something about it (even on the big bad Internet).
Tomorrow I will clean up the code of the function and will start to implement the function into the application I am working on. It is nice to go home after working so long on a solution to finally solve the issue. I felt good :)

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Headaches and such…

by Rob on

What a weird day… It already started yesterday. I had all day this terrible headache. Aspirin or any other painkiller didn’t seem to work. It was really bad. I couldn’t look at the computer screen for 10 minutes without having the feeling that my head would explode.
Luckily at the end of the working day the headache seemed to get less. Yes, seemed… because later in the evening it came back and it was even worse.
I truly hate headaches. They really stop you from functioning in a normal way. Yesterday evening it kept me from sleeping. I was just turning around in bed all the time. Out of bed, back into bed. And again, no painkiller seemed to work.
When after 3am the headache really started to get less, I haven’t been asleep for a single second. And at that moment I was completely over my sleep, meaning that I although was tired I couldn’t sleep anymore.

After sitting with a cup of tea in the living room I made up my mind what to do. At 4am I wrote a mail to Michiel, my team leader at work, that would I started to work from home at 4am, make the hours I needed to do and then jump in my bed and make up some sleep.

Well, that worked. Funny thing is that even due these strange working hours I made some overtime to solve some issues that occurred at the company. Apart from that, there is one big advantage when working from home, you can really can concentrate on what you are doing. And that shows…

I slept during the afternoon some hours very nicely… and deep, it seemed I slept completely through my mobile phone ringing and that is something that never happens to me.

And now? Sure, I am still tired. Sleeping some hours in the afternoon cannot make up for missing a complete nights sleep. But the headache is gone and I enjoyed my dinner really (chicken, a fresh salad and baked potatoes).
Tonight I will take it easy. Looking some of the episodes of the TV series Babylon 5 that I have bought on DvD (sessions 1 to 4). Maybe chatting a bit with Marion on MSN or Skype when she is around. But that is all….

Oh the picture? I made that this morning during the sunrise from my balcony…. Yes, I have a great view from my apartment :)

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Grumpy people….

by Rob on

It always make me grin to see how grumpy people are in the morning in the train…. Must be bad to start your day with such a bad mood…

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A week in the fast lane…

by Rob on

This weeks was one of those weeks that went so fast and were so busy that there wasn’t nearly a moment  rest.

Nicest moments of the week?

Last Sunday I have been with Patrick to the new Transformers-movie (The Revenge of The Fallen). It was a great movie, no matter what some “experts” (yuck) may claim. It was a great to lean back and watch. What an action…  and what a great special effects… and what a very pretty Megan Fox :).

Another nice thing I was visiting the Tropical Museum in Amsterdam. From my mother I heard very nice stories about this museum and she was right, it is a very beautiful museum.
It is a place where you can learn a lot about the countries that were closely connected to the history of The Netherlands. With its many stories and many items this is a museum where hours pass by without noticing it.
I hope to go soon back there, but then with someone who can tell me more about all the things one can see there. And a change to redo many pictures (taking pictures is very hard there to do).

I have a feeling the rest of the month will be a little bit weird. It is the last month of current contract at the company I work now. This weekend I had to write an motivation why they should offer me a permanent contract. I did my best and we will see what happens….

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And another weekend is done…

by Rob on

Another weekend has gone by… and as most weekends it has been a good weekend again. And even when there was bad news where I have to find a solution for (and no, this bad news is luckily not relation or work related), I am able to handle… and I know, someone offered help. But this time I have to do it alone. And I will handle it…

Back to Amsterdam again… another week of working waits. But with the people of the department where I work, it will be Thursday evening again before I know it… and then I go home again.

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Thursday going home….

by Rob on

Today I had a small talk with my team leader at the company.

Last week I had to stay at the room I am renting (just lets say I needed a toilet close :P), so I worked from that room (I can log anywhere I have Internet access and the proper software installed into the company network on a secure way). Apart from the fact that I didn’t feel very well, I moved a great deal of work.

So I asked if it would be okay to work one day per week from home. One day to do undisturbed a lot of work. But there is more for me.
When starting to work on Friday at home early, it means that my weekend start early… even when I do more hours then I need to. Without the time I need to travel home the weekend is there early. And to that without be tired from the traveling.
So traveling Thursday evening home, push on Friday a lot of work and have my weekend (with Marion) early is a great option.
Sure, when needed for a company meeting or some kind of event, I will stay in Amsterdam on Fridays.

During my job interviews there was spoken about 2 or even 3 days working from home. Now I know the company I don’t want that anymore. Sure one day to do a lot of work and roll nicely into weekend is great. But for the rest I want to work 4 days per week in Hoofddorp. I want to stay in contact with my colleagues, this has become very important for me…. so 4 days at the company, 1 day at home… An awesome deal :)

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Yeah for Chris

by Rob on

Chris is the VP of the department Product Development… the department I work for now.

I like the way Chris act and does things. A real English Gentleman, although he must be living here in The Netherlands rather long, because his Dutch is very good.

Anyway, when I heard that Chris his position within the company was on intimidiar base, I started to wonder who would replace him after he would leave. As some people may know I have a rather bad experience on that level.

Today we heard that Chris accepted a permenant contract for his current position. Yeah for Chris!!!!

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Software enigeer…

by Rob on

A month did fly by… and suddenly I realized yesterday that I did work already for a month for my new employer. This means I have passed my trail period and that my contract is expanded for 1 year (to become a permanent contract after that).

Needless to say that I am very happy with this. Apart from the fact of having a good job, it is also great to work together with such a nice bunch of people.

The work is interesting and challenging.  First of all, the area of online payments is very new to me and complete different as I ever thought. Lot to learn there, but as said, it is very interesting.
I was hired as C programmer, but as first I was placed on a important VBA project (VBA is another programming language I know). By now I have also done some work in C. My C is a bit rusty (as I told during the job interviews), but things are coming quickly back. And if needed or wanted I can get a C course.
Also I started to learn Uniface, which can be used as an interface for applications and is a kinda a programming language on it self. Something else I might do a course in.

Bah… enough of those technical things :P.

I said it to several people by now… concerning work is accepting this job one of the best things I have done for several years…

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The last day is coming….

by Rob on

More then 8.5 years I did work for the same company, but tomorrow will be my last day there…. From August 1st I will be facing a new challenge as C and VB(A) programmer for a big international company in Hoofddorp (and no, not the company of uncle Bill from America :P).
I am looking forward to this new challenge and yet it is a weird feeling to leave all behind.

I saw good times and bad within this company. I saw many people come and go over the years. I saw the company change for better and worse. But after tomorrow I will leave it all behind and move towards a new future…. lets hope a good one!


(Credit photo: Rob)

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