Issue 102

Lori M Olson Lori M Olson Follow Feb 09, 2022 · 6 mins read
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DRD102: Big companies sometimes get a bad rap. But read on before deciding you don't want to work for one.

(image: Alex Kotliarskyi via ProView Global)

OPED — Lori’s Unvarnished Opinion

Lessons Learned Working for a Large Company

Last time, I talked about accepting an offer for my first job at <large oil company>. I worked at that company for the next seven-and-a-half years, and I learned a LOT of really valuable stuff.

There’s not one piece of specific technical knowledge from that job that I still use today. Not one. But I left that job in 1993, before most people even had ready access to the Internet, much less personal email, so that’s not super surprising. It is a fact that a LOT of larger companies will be a step backward, technology-wise, than you learn at school. And the smaller companies and startups will often be a step ahead.

But I did learn tons about career & personal development that has remained useful throughout my life as a software professional for over 30 years. That’s a benefit of working at a large company that a lot of novice new-hire developers might not recognize up front. I received training on interpersonal relations, public speaking, and time management. I even had some intro stuff on project management (of course that was all waterfall process, but useful for a while).

At the time, I definitely thought a lot of it was a waste of time and effort. Today, I am grateful for it all. I know how to modify my behaviour to negotiate and communicate with all kinds of clients. I can get up on a stage in front of hundreds of people to speak knowledgeably about my work. And I’m working for myself, getting shit done, making plans and prioritizing projects and tasks, day-by-day.

Small companies just don’t have the time or budget to train people at that level. Large companies do, because it’s way cheaper to promote from within, than it is to go looking for talent with those skills outside. The large multinational companies are playing the long game with their staff. Small and startup companies just can’t afford that kind of investment in their personnel.

Something to think about, as you embark on a career in software, or ponder your next move.

‘Til next week, be careful out there.

I saw this ebook from MacStadium the other day. It’s useful, if you are running automated builds for your apps, which you are going to need because making the leap from Intel-to-Apple is not as straightforward as you first might think.

That said, if you are not running automated builds for your apps, why not get started with the RubyMotion Testing in Depth course we’ve offered for a number of years. At the very least, it will provide a guide as to what should be on your checklist for test automation.

SPOT — Spotlight On…

There’s nothing we like more than a concise tutorial which focuses on just the one subject we are trying to learn, particularly if we are trying to learn it in a hurry. A great example is this tutorial on DragonRuby touch input by Damascus, Syria-based phenom Rabia Alhaffer. It covers all the major areas of the subject including the use of the virtual keyboard. Each topic is accompanied by easy-to-follow example code.

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TALK — Talk of the Tech

“It’s fun playing with fire…” 🔥 is how Amir wrapped up the conversation on the Motioneers Slack regarding a recently-reported resource deallocation problem. Cool.

And from the Discord there’s an interesting conversation on Ruby vs Python which will be particularly valuable if you’re transitioning from one to the other.

GAME — All Things Gaming

Something which tends to get lost in the conversation at times is the relationship between DragonRuby and it’s spiritual forbearer, Ruby. So it’s nice to see that somebody has jumped in to make the former a bit more familiar to practitioners of the latter.

Specifically, Justin Collins recently pumped out DragonRuby: Object-Oriented Starter. As he says, “[t]his post walks through structuring a game in a way that is a little more familiar to Rubyists”.

Also, Amir has provided a heads up that the next version of the DRGTK is due out “around Feb 20th”. In it VR support has been ‘consolidated’, the ability to render triangles has been added as well as access to the Runtime directly via C-extensions. And no price increase!

APP — All Things App

Okay, here is our dirty little secret: we still struggle with picking the right data type for a given variable. Uh, yeah, we know the difference between a string of text and a bunch of numbers 🤦, but the finer points of when you should use Decimal, say, instead of Double? Not so much. Thankfully Jesse Squires has just ridden in brandishing a new article entitled Decimal-vs-Double? Whew, just in the nick of time. We’re just glad that we’re not the only ones who need an article like this.

Do you have a DragonRuby-related product or service you would like to get in front of well over 1,200 raving DragonRuby-istas? If so, please get in touch...we would love to help get the word out 🗣 in a sponsored spot like this!  Sponsored

TWIL — This Week I Learned…

Ah, the much maligned—misunderstood at least—tweet thread as teaching tool. Candidly, we think that the world has yet to fully wake up to this, but that’s not the case for Amila Welihinda, who is using it to describe a veritable cornucopia of better CLI tools. He starts off with bat which is, get this, cat but with syntax highlighting. And it only gets better!

HAHA — And They All Laughed

(image: Grady Booch via Twitter)

That’s a Wrap!

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“Large corporations welcome innovation and individualism in the same way the dinosaurs welcomed large meteors.” — Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert