Work

Movin’ on

For those of you who haven’t already heard, I turned in my resignation at Boston Scientific today. My last day will be March 14th.

I’ll be starting at UnitedHealth Group on March 19th as a Web Developer.

Now before anyone gets the idea that this decision is some kind of knee-jerk reaction to the recent layoff unpleasantness, let me just say that it’s not. It’s related to the layoffs of course, in the sense that I wouldn’t have been looking for a job right now, but that’s it. Once I’d actually interviewed for the job and had gotten a feel for it, I’d already decided that I would take it if the offer was acceptable, whether or not I was laid off.

The big plus for me with the new job is the type of programming work involved. At Boston Scientific, the work is mostly with event-driven real-time applications, primarily written in C/C++. What I’ve always liked most is working on database-driven software, and my main strength is in Java. The new job is doing Java webapps, heavily database-driven. So. The choice was pretty clear.

What this means is that for the next couple of weeks, I’ll be spending my spare time knocking the rust off of my J2EE skill set and reading up on Spring and Hibernate. Beyond that, I’ll be making sure everything is cleaned up at Boston Scientific to make sure nothing is lost when I leave, a task that should be pretty easy as I’ve just done that in the week leading up to the layoff date.I’m actually pretty down about leaving Boston, partly because it’s still a good company to work for, but mostly because I have the best manager and co-workers imaginable. I hope I’ll have the chance to work with a group like that again someday.

Anyway, this calls for a night out in the next couple of weeks. I’ll let you know when there’s a time and a place.

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Five weeks gone by . . .

I expect that within twelve hours of posting this, I’ll finally know whether or not I’m still employed by Boston Scientific. Either way, it’ll be a relief to have it over with.

I said in my last post that I hadn’t volunteered to be laid off, and that I was fine with that decision. However, I realized I was lying to myself. I mostly rationalized the decision to not volunteer because it absolved me of the risk should I have a hard time finding a new position. However, once I realized how many people had volunteered and how many people had managed to find positions in unaffected departments within the company, I realized that I really did want to be let go. Damn. So, for the last three weeks I’ve been living with the knowledge of my mistake of not volunteering and what it could potentially cost.

At this point, I’ve decided that I will be leaving the company soon, whether it’s by my choice or theirs. With the number of my coworkers who will be gone and the completely different scope that my department will have in the future, I realize that this is the perfect time to move on. The cost of leaving on my own is a very substantial severance package. The choice to volunteer is obvious in hindsight, but of course that doesn’t do any good now.

So, hopefully tomorrow I’ll be posting about my newly found lack of employment.

Wish me luck.

Layoff update

There’s not much to tell, but in case you’re curious (and I know at least some of you are) here’s an update:

The basic story is that I won’t know anything about whether or not I’m staying with Boston until February 15th, when I’ll either sit in my cube fidgeting all day, or sit in my cube fidgeting until they take my badge, tell me to pack up and escort me out. So.

People were allowed to volunteer to be let go, but I decided against doing so. While it would be disappointing to miss out on the substantial severance payout, I wouldn’t mind staying with the company. Of course, I’m still fairly certain that my name will be on the list of those leaving, and since volunteering would reduce my severance somewhat, my decision was largely made for me.

So, there’s not much news. I have one phone screening coming up this week, but other than that I’ve not yet started looking for a new position. I expect that I’ll be starting to do so next week. It’s a process I hate, but I’m in a much better position overall than I was last time I actually needed to find a job, so I expect it to go fairly well.

Details aside, my only real feelings about the looming specter of layoffs is that I want it to be over. As I’ve decided to forgo volunteering, there’s no other action I can take, but that fact doesn’t stop me (or anyone else) from listening for any bit of news or speculation, and then churning it around to add my own speculation to the mix. I’m trying to avoid it, but it’s a pretty constant hallway conversation. Even though I’m not particularly worried about what will happen, I find the constant presence of the topic to be pretty stressful and a real waste of mental energy.

Regardless of what happens, I expect that you’ll find me much happier on February 16th than I am today.

Looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffin’ glue.

Well, for those of you who don’t read the paper, I received a bit of potentially bad news today. Looks like Boston Scientific (which now owns what used to be Guidant and is my employer), has decided to lay off between 500 and 600 people from the St. Paul division, mostly in R&D. More than likely, that’ll include me.

I suppose there’s an outside chance that I’ll not be among those let go, but considering that my department is flush with people who have good working knowledge of existing product lines as well as more software experience than I have, and I’m still fairy new to the company with no real knowledge of anything outside research, I think it’s a foregone conclusion that my name will be on the list.

If that happens, it will be a little stressful, but it looks like the severance will be pretty generous so I won’t be in a panic for a short while at least. I’m also feeling fairly confident about my prospects as well, so this might be a good opportunity to move on, which sounds strange seeing as how I’ve only been in this position for 15 months, but there it is.

I’ll have more to say on this subject in a week or so . . .