Life appears to be full of little twists and turns. Four years ago, I finished my last contract at Intel, then spend the next few months finishing my degree. The week I graduated, I accepted a job with Canonical, initially doing QA testing on netbooks (for the same team I worked with while in my last Intel contract), then switching to ARM testing when our team spearheaded that effort for Ubuntu. That began best job I have ever had. Then it ended, rather abruptly. Largely due to market shifts and stabilization of the ARM port (our team was disbanded and moved into other platform teams, I just didn't find a spot to land in).
Less than two weeks after being let go from Canonical, where do I find myself? Back at Intel. And (as seems to be a running theme here), I found myself in way over my head. Like treading water with lead boots on. To say it looked dire is...well...putting it mildly.
My new job involves writing automation scripts in TCL to program and monitor FPGAs. On Windows 7. I will spare you readers of the gory details (largely because I am still wrapping my remaining brain cells around them myself). The first 7 days, I seriously wondered why I was picked for this particular position (and why I accepted). It wasn't like I didn't have other offers (average of 10 a week for Linux jobs). This was way out of my comfort zone.
To start, I knew next to nothing about TCL (I'd heard about it, nothing more). So, Monday I bought a book (Barnes & Noble rocks - shameless free plug). By today (Friday), I have figured out enough of the idiosyncrasies of the language to get my first script working (read FPGA state, reprogram, check for errors). The next step will be to make this script easier to interact with so it can be called from a master program on the fly.
I could have been much further along, but the first 1.5 weeks were largely spent with getting basic necessities (accounts, lab access, cube, still waiting for a standard issue laptop, etc). The funny part is that most of the information in the system about me was based on my last contract, so manager approvals were misrouted. Oops.
I still feel like I am in over my head, but at least I now have a rock to stand on. I am really starting to feel like I can do this job, and do it well.
But I still hate Windows. Just saying.