This month is the last month in one of the greatest projects I worked. I’m leaving it with a crying and a smiling eye. The crying eye because I worked with so many great people and the smiling eye because I can see my family more often, especially at the moment.
This project was really great. For me it started two years ago with some meetings in Bonn, Germany. After building up knowledge I started traveling to Atlanta, USA with some colleagues and worked with a couple of great people that have done an amazing job. If one of these is reading this, they will know. After some month the project was getting more intense and I relocated to Atlanta, USA with other collegues and the time still was fun. Beside work there were a lot of evening barbecues and parties going on.
Now the real hard work started. I somehow got into the position of architecting and designing the client framework. During this time I met so many great people from US and India. We had a lot of fun working and playing Volleyball together. One of them now getting married and I wish him good luck and long life. Beside playing volleyball and calling every ball out which was quite funny because everyone knew it wasn’t out. He showed me some hints in planning and poker playing.
Also during this time we had a project lead with whom working wasn’t really enjoyable for some of us. Even I needed some time to get used too. But because he put a lot of pressure on us and played the role of the bad boy, I think we had so much success. Somehow everyone was convinced that he was the black sheep of the team. Everyone projected his bad experiences and failures on him but we as a team together worked really good.
Beside work I was getting used to the US more and more. At some point in time I changed my habbit. Instead of walking down the street to Starbucks or something else I took the car! At this time gas prices weren’t so high as they are now.
Our work environment also changed a lot during this time. But it was getting better and better. From an office without windows to a small room and conference room we finally worked in an office with windows.
During this time I also learned to play tennis and had a lot of fun playing with colleagues and in the Altanta K-Swiss Tennis League. Even if the tennis leasons are expensive with a private trainer they helped a lot and I got to play really good for the time I played. Often we played doubles on the weekend which was very interesting with different skill levels. In the first year I had two really good players with whom we played and they also showed me a lot of moves and gave me a lot of hints. For which I will be thankful. One went back to Czeck Republic and the other went playing golf. But I still played with collegues sometimes after work or on the weekend. During the after work play there were two collegues with really good skills. One had an amazing serve and the forehand of the other was unbeatable. In the US it is common to play on hard courts. That’s the reason US tennis players don’t play well on the European red clay courts. So how will I translate to the play on red clay?
In the second year there were a lot of changes. Members of the team left, new ones came in and the work was still challenging. Beside all sport activities I finally found some good clubs and bars for weekend parties. Because of this long time the team splitted up more and more over Atlanta but everyone still came together for a good barbecue.
Some even got more used to the US and bought cars, like Ford Mustang GT. They even needed a car for each family member, even the unborn. Or put a bid on ebay for certain special cars like the BMW Z9 which was only build one year and shown in the James Bond movie. I missed my chance for a yellow Honda S2000 which still bothers me. So I have to go with a German car.
During the second year the client framework was getting more and more stable and I got a deeper insight into Java Swing, JGoodies Libraries and certain extensions. Which helped a lot to finally change the framework into a direction to make it more usable and failure tolerant. In the end I think it works really well. As with everything I still have some features in mind which would make it the ultimate client framework.
Because the client framework was working so well, I got more involved into the business and worked with some great specialists in this field and beside work. Some took it even to the extreme in and outside of work and biked or dived areas where I would dream of.
You should leave when it is at the best, so you can keep the best memories. So beside being part of such a great project and having fun in the last two years, now is the time looking forward for new tasks and challenges.