Working again

I started a full time job last November. I’m a UCAR employee working for USGS. The job is 100% remote. I’m working on a project to modernize and replace legacy water use tracking and reporting software. The stack is PostgreSQL, Node.js, Nest.js, Vue.js. All deployed on Amazon web services.

I wasn’t able to get them to hire me as a contractor, but I’ve had very little interaction with UCAR outside of timecards and benefits. UCAR has good benefits and seem to be a good company. My only complaint is that the base salary is a bit below market.

This has been a large change from touch game development in many ways:

  • Working 9-5. There is certainly a lot of flexibility in my schedule, but much less than before. This took a while to get used to again and I’m still not thrilled with needing to be up at particular times for meetings and needing to coordinate vacations around work.
  • Javascript. The backend is typescript, but this has still been a big change from working in C#. Modern javascript/typescript is much better than it was in 2007 when I last worked with it. However, it is still a downgrade from C# and Linq. I do have to admit that it is a useful skill to improve.
  • Working with other people
  • Getting paid

The difference between this job and my last full time job is also significant:

  • Not having to dress up, pack a lunch, commute, and be trapped at the office makes the work so much nicer.
  • When I want to take a break, I can do something that I really enjoy instead of wandering around at the office.
  • It is harder to leave work behind at the end of the day, and I’m using my own hardware and A/C.
  • Zoom meetings are less frustrating than in-person. If they start on a topic I don’t care about, I can get some other work done.
  • I also feel like this job is doing something useful for the world. I’m more motivated by making a system for scientists than I was creating software at Raytheon. Even when I was working on the GPS project (which I though was going to feel useful), I was working on such a tiny component and the pace was so slow that it still didn’t seem like a good use of time.

Overall, the job is going well. I tentatively plan to stick with it for a while. I’d like to work fewer hours and have more flexibility on time off. I hope they will be OK with some leave without pay for the occasional long trip.

Fair Dice Roller

I have finished an HTML/javascript version of the fair dice roller. The fair die roller makes a die or dice less random by tweaking the probability of each roll so that the rolls come up in the correct ratios sooner. Check it out here. Or look here for a lot more detail about what this app does.

Continue reading “Fair Dice Roller”