My first day at the office
Monday was my first day at the office. "The office?" you may ask. Yes. My first-ever day at an office, to be precise. So far, all work I'd done had been telecommuting. Sitting at home in the safety of my room at my Mac (or even with a borrowed PC), making my own work hours. But for my Uni degree, I need an internship that I can show, and I wanted a real, physical job site for once. Since my sister was just about to drop the job she'd had for the last half year at a web design firm (she got a job as a technical writer through a throwaway comment in my blog), I took the opportunity and sent them my CV, went in for an interview and got the job.
It's a nice gig maintaining one of several sites they're doing (a database of current events). It's PHP code that's already running fairly solidly by now, with enough room left for me to add new features, polish things and refactor some naturally-grown code. The people there are nice, if not the usual kind of wacky geeks I tend to hang out with. Moreover, it's only about 6 miles from home, which means when I'm not coming over directly after Uni, I can take the bike to work. Finally! Exercise!
It'll take me a bit getting used to working with a Windows text editor again, and of course Windows' window management works completely backwards from the point of view of a Mac user. I'll just start using maximized windows, curse a few weeks and then everything will be fine, it's just computers. I'm using a pretty nice editor called HTMLKit, which is basically a syntax-coloring text editor with a simple FTP client built in, which should also make things more comfy. I've fixed the colors, and once I figure out how to get the file list on the side, I'll be a happy camper.
Another boon in this job is that the site's usability is fairly good. There's one or two little things I'd make more obvious, but nothing that'd cause me to write a rant or wear a brown paperbag over my head.
Apart from the coding, the job also involves maintaining the site's content. I've already added lots of new events for this month, which gave me lots of interesting and novel ideas for enhancing the workflow -- the luxury of coming to a project that's already past the teething problems. I'll also be doing the occasional raffle, editorials and reviews, which should be lots of fun, not to mention quite different from the usual maths and programming stuff. I can imagine the content-adding becoming a little tiresome in the long term, but there's always something to program in that case.
Of course, any of you who happen to live in the Rhein-Neckar area and hear about an interesting concert, theatre performance or whatever fits the description "event" in a non-programming context, feel free to let me know.