Niall’s virtual diary archives – April 2003

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30th April 2003

Jobs, jobs & jobs

Wednesday 30th April 2003: 2.00pm. Wow, eight and a half weeks into job-finding! I even stopped looking for work about two weeks ago now having concluded that after 152 jobs applied for and no interviews, England would not give me a job! Since then, one interview did appear (though it's unlikely I'll get it), and today another has appeared too (in only two hours in fact by telephone). Anyway, more on that in a minute.

So what else has happened in all this time? It occurred to me actually that this is nearly the longest time between entries in the entire nearly five years history of this diary (its fifth birthday is in two weeks). And trying to answer that, well, it's hard - there's been so much, yet at the same time so little.

One thing absolutely for sure is that I didn't intend to still be here. I ran out of money about two weeks ago in that I can no longer cover the costs of moving myself. I had full intentions of departing for Ireland, home and a solitary existence for the next year or so but things conspired to keep me here a little longer, then a little longer again and so on. As a result, I have imposed myself upon every friend and relation I know in London now, and am going to have to start reimposing myself on them again. It doesn't help when I don't have any money - if I had, I'd start a journey of visiting various people up and down the land and getting a bed that way (also good to see various people I haven't seen in ages).

One unpleasant experience of the last month was the reaction to my article as mentioned in my last entry. While the email feedback was massive and very supportive (a lot of people are in pain out there, and it makes me angry), the Contractors UK bulletin board response (which someone told me about by email) was vicious and personal, including the usual childish quoting of this diary out of context. I have a full transcript of the dialogue which I shall put online here when I get my computer back (I really do miss being able to work on my own computer and setup). Indeed, in many ways the CUK board response reminded me of how my class at Trinity College Dublin treated me, and indeed a number of other occasions have happened in between with no written record. I seem to be able to rub people the wrong way!

What surprised me at TCD and indeed continues to is how a body of educated middle class people can be so immature. I can understand a mob of completely ignorant people behaving this way, but this was a professional group most of whom should be between thirty and fifty years old. At least the TCD lot were terribly young (eighteen), and I put it down to them having had too much pressure to succeed in examinations for much of their teenage life (and thus not having had enough time to have fun and mature) - and indeed made that a central point in my article about Trinity College Dublin which caused my departure and was even included in TCD's subsequent difficulties with the Irish government about endemic bullying.

However, as with TCD, it quickly emerged that there were two or three ringleaders. I went after them and their support fell away quickly. If there's anything to speak about the dark heart of mankind, it's somewhere in that. I know there are plenty of psychological studies investigating how Nazi Germany could be, and they make depressing reading. However, more importantly, the man who masters the ability to control others in this fashion will most certainly accumulate power and quickly to boot. Also, yours truly and those like him would be for the chopping block, which is ... uncomfortable.

Anyway, no more about that! I'll add a link in here to the transcript when I can, no point adding it now because FrontPage doesn't like you mucking with the site in parallel to it (it'll tend to undo your changes). Ok, onto other stuff of the last month of happenings - back to the job front. Coming up on the 12th is a trip to Oslo in Norway for an interview no less. The company is Trolltech who make Qt (the heart of KDE and more importantly, Tornado) among other things. For a week or so, I agonised over moving to Norway which is cold and dark during the winter which is precisely the opposite of what I'm inclined towards but after much thinking time (of which I have plenty), it's clear to me that I could directly influence the direction of Qt in a favourable direction for Tornado. There are a number of fundamental & wide-ranging changes I'd like to make to Qt's superstructure and I know from dialogues with support that there's no impetus for these within Trolltech. If I were to be allowed to make these wide-ranging changes to an experimental fork of Qt, this would bode extremely well for Tornado.

And after all, let us be clear - my primary concern for this period of life is getting Tornado out there. I must take every step and opportunity available to me to make it happen sooner rather than later as if I don't, I wouldn't be leaving much time left over for raising children (which is the other major project I'd like to undertake before I'm dead). I take the view that you can place yourself optimally for the likelihood of being in the right place and time, and it seems to me that while the direct benefits of working for Trolltech are obvious (ability to influence design & direction, my code will be used by 100,000's of programmers and millions of users, and lastly of course INCOME!!!) there are many other potential benefits too. I won't list these, some are obvious, but most are part of a game plan best kept private.

This is of course weighed against the disadvantages. The first is that they will not pay much and Oslo is expensive. The second is that it's bloody cold and dark up there for much of the year. The third is that it's yet another language to learn. Fourth would include friends and family being so far away and fifth - I'd have to give up smoking there . Lastly, I'm somewhat concerned about any ability to have fun up there because while it's not Sweden, it does share a non-central European viewpoint on life - still, I'll determine this on my trip there in a week and a half. Ultimately, I'm okay with a life of reading books for a few years if needs be.

Right, time to go study for the telephone interview in 45 mins. All be happy!

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