Sunday, May 09, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

Tomorrow is the beginning of my last full week with Alphawest - I'm working up until the 18th, a Tuesday. Soon will come the "last" events, the last Monday, the last team meeting, the last lunch from my favourite local salad bar. I've already removed a lot of my personal effects from my cubical - some stuff transferred to my new office, some to my home. I already have my new business cards, and I'm aiming to hit the ground running. Happily TestLogistics (my new employer) is not in thrall to Microsoft, and they do not use Exchange: they use Google's commercial mail offering, which means that I can use any mail client I choose. In fact, no one is going to enforce a Standard Operating Environment, or expect me to comply with one. The great advantage of working with a team almost all of whom are "technical" is that there is an expectation that we can all take care of our own environments in a responsible manner.

This doesn't work in larger companies, because as soon as you have a significant contingent of clerical staff, you need to take steps to prevent them bringing malware inside the perimeter, unless you can prevent them using Microsoft products, and those seem to be the default choice for most companies. I can't think why - Microsoft makes ugly, expensive software, every bit of which can be replaced with something cheaper if you just bother to check the options. IT managers protest that using Microsoft is cheaper, while they pay exorbitant licensing costs, and waste hours of staff overtime patching, fixing things that patching broke, and dealing with outbreaks of malware. What they really mean is "the Microsoft certification exam was easy, and managing this stuff gives me a job for life".

I plan to enjoy the freedom to select my own tools to enable me to work more efficiently. I've set up OmniFocus for task management - I live by my to do list these days - and I hope to reduce Windows to something that I only need to run Visio. And only I plan to use that when a customer insists - Omnigraffle should meet my day to day diagramming needs. The thought of a working environment that is not bogged down with Managesoft, Active Directory, and never ending antivirus scanning routines is very appealing.

Roll on the 18th

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