What is a Software Engineer…..taking it easy.

I’m a British software engineer working in Munich for a big American IT company. I joined the company straight out of university (after a spell of travel and unemployment). They were the first company to offer me a job, I really had no idea what I wanted to do within the IT world.

I worked in the UK for nearly four years before taking this post with a different business area of the same company. I chose the job because I could live abroad, rather than because of the work. I can’t say that that was a mistake because I’ve had a brilliant time in Munich on a personal level, but the career advancement I’ve achieved in the last year here has been minimal. I work with Oracle RDB on VMS, which is pretty unexciting in CV terms, but that isn’t my driving force; I don’t feel part of the race to get the latest technologies on my CV.

My job varies between extremely tedious and annoyingly busy. On balance I think I’m happier during the really busy times; no time to think about how bored I am.

My immediate leader is my friend of some years, so I find it hard to think of him as my manager. We are peers in a project sense anyway. Above him is a guy working in the UK office. We have a good working relationship. He does the stuff that I have no desire to get involved with (politics, planning).

I intend to leave my job as soon as the time is right for me personally (i.e. when I’ve had enough of Munich). The financial package I’m on out here is very good too, so I have little inclination to go elsewhere (most probably back to UK). But I need more intellectual stimulation, and I’d like to care about the products I work on (I have felt this way in the past, but I don’t about my current work). I have an idea that I’d like to go into games programing, but I don’t know if I’m cut out for it.

I have no plans for the future beyond six months really, but I suppose that in 5 years I’d still like to be technical, but enjoying something of a guru status on some hi-tech product (not someone’s dull business re-engineering project).

In thirty years I think I’d like to be a writer of fiction. I can see this fitting in well with being a house-husband married to a woman bringing in the cash (until I get published of course).