Thursday 19 July 2018

The down and dirty

The past few weeks and months have been dominated by one major thought... the job applications/regrading or whatever they want to call our recruitment campaign.  Not just for me but for a large percentage of my colleagues and fellow trainees too.

So (a couple of weeks ago now) we were faced with the next hurdle on the way to it all being 'real' - salary negotiations!  Eek!

Now I'm not going to go into details of the how much we all got, cos that's not for public consumption.  Suffice to say that a colleague was offered more than me and I negotiated to get the same figure, as did another colleague.

But the whole process feels just 'weird' - sordid somehow.  I know it shouldn't, it's normal practice in outside industry, but in a civil service setting then it feels wrong to be negotiating at all. (dyed in the wool civil servant here, it'll be 29 years this year!)

But I can't complain, as the resultant figure is close to the maximum payable for staff of that grade out in the 'real world'.

Still don't know when it will take effect from, though.  The reality of this process is taking soooo long though, I guess it will only really feel real once I see the numbers on my payslip!

One step at a time....even baby steps are still steps.

Thursday 5 July 2018

Leaving me a Basket Case

Argh - sometimes you get those days/weeks/months where the whole rollercoaster is just too much.

Last week was one of those.  (this post even sat in a draft half-done state during the whole rollercoaster ride as I was too rattled even to finish off my post)

For a couple of weeks now, I've been left as the sole developer in charge of my project.  Ongoing for a period of 4 months while the senior is off on shared parental leave.

Now - some or maybe even many of the expectations I've got on me are my own, I have a list of things that I should be able to put work into fixing.  But, faced with the responsibility for it all on my own, all of a sudden the knowledge began to leak from my brains.  And, the more I worried about it, the more panic set in and the less I could think straight.  When asking colleagues to help, I didn't even understand the questions they were asking to help me, let alone their potential solutions. Argh!!

So - eventually - I opened up - not directly to the people I should have approached in the first place, but to helpful colleagues, one of which has been with me throughout the whole of this journey, from my early OU days, he was my 'Man that Can' for coding queries.  They agreed to provide some assistance, albeit from a distance, and encouraged me to meet properly with my own team managers and iron out what's actually expected of me rather than worrying over a self-imposed list of stuff to do that would 'prove myself' somehow.

Met with the managers at the start of this week, and I have the beginnings of a plan, some of which does still include working through my 'list', alongside a little additional work to help out another team.  In addition I've been working on some issues that happened in the 'live' system and doing a bit of preventative work to stop them happening again.  Ironically the stuff I'm working on is in an area of code which I previously saw as my weakest area, and my confidence there has grown massively.

I'm still double and triple-checking cos, you know, I'm still me at the end of the day... but I'm sure that confidence in my own code will come with time.