Meanwhile at work


It’s been four months since the last transmission, said essay concerning mid-life, written at that time that I resolved to be more regular and frequent with my updates. Look how dismally that’s turned out. I’m sorry.

Of the list of ready excuses, the one that immediately pops to mind is: I’ve been busy. Believe it or not I’ve been named CIO of the company I work for (though I’m not sure whether the position is interim or permanent.) If it sounds like I should be enjoying many more perks, it doesn’t. It just means that my scope has gotten wider and I am tackling bigger problems. Truth be told, the title hasn’t quite sunk in, even though I’ve been carrying it for these same four months. As I said, I am too engrossed with the work to give it much thought. And the pay? Ah, yes, the pay. Hmm-hmm. The pay. Hmm-hmmm….

As for the work itself, we have had a big software release of a product that my team in Davao had been developing at a furious pace since January. It hasn’t been easy because it’s meant to replace a system that’s currently running. And, to boot, it’s not a standalone system as it syncs with part of the old system. Aside from the features we have had to put in, we have also had to worry about migrating data and training users. My team is young, everyone half my age or less — the price I pay for being so old — so I am doubly proud we got it out on time. (If I am being vague, I apologize — it is intentional, non-disclosures and all that.)

To think that I left university life three years ago, and with that, the prestige of teaching and research. Instead I exchanged it for working with a small team of six developing software for a national chain of convenience stores (well, you should know what it is.) The project wasn’t without its pitfalls and heartaches, but we managed to release the product when the original team had abandoned the enterprise, just when our boss had considered closing down our satellite office. That six turned to eight, then to nine, then to fifteen, then twenty-one. And now the boss wants the number at thirty. Thirty!

And just in time, that very last batch that I taught at the university, those tyros whom I took through the basics of C (all exams open notes!), was wrapping up their program of studies. In my mind I already knew whom to pick, and though not all of them said yes, I am still happy with the clutch that ultimately signed up. And then some. How strange that my students should now be my colleagues, who in many ways are better than me at what we do! And yet…how profoundly satisfying.

Like a proud parent who has seen his children grow up, I realize I am old.