Back in Paris !

After one year in New Zealand, I'm now back in Paris. The trip to New Zealand was one of the best years of my life, I discovered so many things and places, met so many people, that it changed me in more ways that I can really count. It also greatly influenced the way I want to work.

Being back in Paris, I now need to find a new job. I could go back to freelancing, but I don't really want to. Freelancing had its advantages, but also some important downsides. The biggest one being that you're mostly working alone, and jumping from one project to the next.

I now want to work in a team, to teach, and to learn. Sharing with others what I know and learning from them what I don't is one of the most important things I'm now looking in my job.

I also want to be working on one big project instead of countless small ones. When you're freelancing, you're working on a project for weeks or months, creating a website from scratch and making it take a life of its own, line after line. But in the end, you hand it over to the guy who paid you to do it. And you never really get to see it growing. I now want to work on a project that I'll be able to follow, fix, and improve, days after days once it is launched in the world.

In New Zealand, I have been a WWOOFer (Willing Worker On Organic Farms) for over 8 months. All this was possible through the wwoofing website. Now, back in France I extensively use services such as couchsurfing, airbnb or blablacar. I love the way those websites allow people to meet through their services. I've met very interesting people thanks to that and I'd love to work for a company that can help linking people together.

On a more technical-oriented side, I also want to change my tools. I've been making websites for the past 10 years, coding the server side part in PHP. I now want to try something else. I used my time in New Zealand to learn a new language on my own. I first tried Python, but couldn't really go anywhere with it. I then tried Ruby and this was like discovering a new world. Writing and reading Ruby seems like writing and reading prose. I haven't yet build any website with Ruby, but coming from a cakePHP background, I guess Ruby on Rails will seem natural to me. I now use Ruby extensively for my own scripting, be it for changing a subtitle .srt fps, automatically synchronizing my cellphone files with my laptop, batch updating my mp3 tag collection and mostly any tedious task that involves scripting on my day-to-day life. I haven't got the chance to try node.js yet, but that's definitely next on my todolist.

Following the same idea, I also want to get to better use git and its collaborative features. I've only used subversion in a team, and the experience wasn't that great. Or I've used git, but only for myself as I was the only developper and I'm sure I only used it to barely 10% of what it could do. I've also tried to follow the TDD principle of writing tests first and then the code to make the test pass. I managed to do it once or twice, but the whole process seemed so long and difficult that I'm pretty sure I've missed something here, and would like to have someone to show me how they do it.

On a related note, I now try to free as much code as I can through open- source, but I'd like to do even more. I currently only share small scripts without tests and with scarce documentation. I know I could do better than that, but I'll need someone to show me the way.

I've managed to switch from Windows to Ubuntu in the past years and can't imagine going back. Working with your filesystem from inside a terminal and writing scripts to make your life easier is so powerful that I cannot go back to a GUI OS now. I've also ditched a classical IDE, namely Komodo Edit, for something different, namely vim. The switch has been hard at first, but now all the vim keys are binded to my muscle memory and I love vim for all the exact same reasons I love a terminal : you can script your tasks !

This is only a small subset of the technical changes I've already made or am currently making. I'd like to find a job where I'm hired, not for my past skills, but for the skills I want to develop. I currently have a resume where I can attest extensive experience with PHP, but that's not what I want to do in my future. What I want to do is, obviously, not on my resume. That is currently the tricky part I have to face when looking for a job.

As you can see, I have a pretty good picture of the kind of place I want for my next job. Luckily, I'm living in Paris, with a lot of job opportunities and I'm pretty sure I'll manage to find a place that match most of it. If you're currently hiring, and my expectations meet yours, don't hesitate to shoot me an email.

Tags : #paris, #tdd, #git, #ruby, #cakephp, #zealand, #job, #php, #vim

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