Systems engineer……a bit routine, but a good job.

I work in Munich as a systems engineer for a large computer company….it means that
…I don’t know what it means. I’m working….doing…putting the software together for
the consumer machines. From day to day, I build what we call images…Windows and the
right drivers for our hardware and misc. programs which we decide to use…we put it all
together and make a cd. That’s what we do..what I do…our whole team does the whole
process of testing and making sure the whole quality is good.

I was working as a contractor with this company, found out about this job, and sent an
email flagging my interest. I’ve been doing it for almost 2 years. I keep doing it because
I like it…I see possibilities to advance. Yeah, it makes me happy to work with a good
team, which we are…when my paycheck comes in…sometimes when we are faced with a
problem and we solve it, it makes me happy and proud.

The routine bothers me, the sort of feeling that you do something, you finish it, and
then you just start over again, doing the same thing…and it bothers me that we are
depending upon others to do their job and sometimes they don’t. Maybe we aren’t
perfect….it’s just a matter of controling and driving, not that they deliver the wrong
product, but that they deliver it at the wrong time which screws up our timing.

I don’t think of quiting, not now…maybe my current position but not the company. If I
quit, I’d end up working in a totally different field…something not related to computers
and this is one of the best companies. I feel accomplished from my job…I can walk into
stores and say ‘I did that’. My immediate boss is good and we have a close
relationship…our BIG boss just left for another job…he was ok, he got things done, but
he wasn’t a people manager. He didn’t know how to manage people that well…I’m actually
glad to see him leave but I’m a bit anxious to see what we’ll get. The changes could have
already happened and you never know what you’ll get. But then again, everybody moves up a
notch…..

I feel that you shouldn’t stay too long at one position…maximum 3 or 5 years and then
you should change…you might burn yourself out. It could be just slightly
different…just something a bit different. It will help your motivation.

Difficult to say what I’ll be doing in 5 years, when I got the job with the contracting
firm, they asked me the same question and I gave them the standard reply, and then 6
months later I did something different. You never know…right now I don’t have
plans..just take it as it comes. But I see myself older and wiser and in a better position
than today. Maybe a project manager or running a team…something like that. In 30 years?
Rich, fat, big car…I don’t know…bald…or maybe something totally different. I don’t
have any plans that stretch that far. I’m not 30 yet. I’ll be 60 in 30 years…maybe I’ll
be thinking about retirement.. who knows, 30 years from know, the retirement age may be
55…might be 75…..