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The third day (again)

Discussion in 'Employment & Jobs' started by tripwire45, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    When you do contract work, you do a lot of "third days".

    To start out with, I'm working as a temp contract tech writer for Keynetics.com. The technical writer that had been with them for the past few months had to leave suddenly. I found out about this job last Friday and by Wednesday, I was on my first day at work.

    Everyone seems friendly and it's an open, airy physical environment. I have a place away from everyone else (but near the elevators and men's room) so most of the time, it's quiet.

    My predecessor was working mainly in MS Word 2007 but it isn't really the appropriate tool for writing to a web-based product. I talked with the developer I'll be working with the most, and we settled on me using LaTeX to generate content. I spent most of today reading up on it and while it does have its complexities, it is really just another markup language so it doesn't look too difficult to learn (it was that or DocBook and I've heard DocBook is a bear).

    Get this...all of the software developers develop on Ubuntu or Kubuntu (Gnome or KDE desktop, respectively) and since I use Ubuntu at home for my main desktop, I'll be switching to Ubuntu at work next week (Freddy would be *so* proud). Have to bone up on Subversion and the bug tracking app they use, to...oh yeah...and I've actually been playing with their product and getting to know that. :wink:

    The developer I'm working with took a few days vacation, so he won't be back in the office until next Wednesday. The manager of the developers who is my direct report has been buzzing around the office the past few days, busier than anything, so I haven't had a chance to talk with him.

    The security at the place is pretty tight. I can't even get external emails. In fact, it's tighter than most large corporations I've worked with.

    You don't really learn much in three days, so it's hard to predict how things will go. Seems promising so far, but after my last couple of jobs, I'm not willing to take anything for granted. If it works out, great...but for now, I'll just maintain a cautious "we'll see".

    Over and out.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

    Sounds good, keep us posted of how it goes.
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

    Sounds good.

    And Subversion seems to be the version control system of choice these days So getting to know it will be a bonus.

    Certifications: ECDL A+ Network+ i-Net+
    WIP: Server+
  4. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

    Sounds like a nice place, i hope it works out for you, even if it is short term! :biggrin
    Certifications: 25 + 50 metre front crawl
    WIP: MCSA - Exam 70-270
  5. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

    The first few days sound good. Seems like you’ll get a better picture next week when the developer is back and the manager has some time to share with you. You sound pleased – so congratulations so far :)
  6. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    I installed LaTeX and Kile on my Ubuntu 6.06 VM and then decided that I might was well install 7.10 in VMware, since that's the version I'll be using at work, then install and practice with LaTeX and Kile on *that* VM (not that how the applications behave would be different from one version of Ubuntu to the next). Actually, I just like installing operating systems and this gave me an excuse.

    I'm looking forward to/dreading Monday. Last week was my "settling in" period, so I wasn't really expected to produce. This week, I need to really get organized and get down to business.

    New job jitters, I guess.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  7. Mitzs
    Honorary Member

    Mitzs Ducktape Goddess

    You will be fine, just go in and do your thing. Don't worry about everything being perfect or all the eyes being dotted. Just do what your good at.
    Certifications: Microcomputers and network specialist.
    WIP: Adobe DW, PS
  8. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Interesting if only semi-productive day today. The "powers-that-be" determined that I should have a "dual boot" machine that boots into both Windows XP Pro and Ubuntu 7.10. I was a little bummed. I was looking forward to doing my job in a completely open source world, but it's not meant to be. Looks like the boss is hedging his (and my) bets, just in case there's some tool I'll need to do my job that works better in Windows.

    Anyway, I had to submit a ticket and one of the IT guys came by right before lunch. He said he'd have the thing up and running in an hour, so I stepped out and ran some errands.

    I came back an hour later and Ubuntu was still downloading updates. The guy's "script" was on my desk as was his CD wallet, but he was no where in sight. An hour passed and he finally strolled in and finished up. Because I had installed 7.10 the day before, I actually helped him out with a "gotcha" when Ubuntu asked for the CD when it should have looked on the Internet for a software package (there's an obscure setting that you need to disable).

    Beyond that, he got me set up with Novell GroupWise email, GAIM, and hooked me up to the printers.

    I installed LaTeX and Kale myself but hit a snag when I went to practice in Kale (it's a KDE-based GUI editor for LaTeX). I wrote some same source markup and compiled it. After I figured out which file extension to use, I still got errors when I tried to view the DVI output. I Googled the error message and found the answer on the Fedora forums, of all places. In order to use the KDVI viewer, you need to install a package called kdegraphics. Sure enough, a few minutes later, the problem was solved.

    I know this is a pretty obscure issue to most of you and you'll probably never have to deal with this particular issue, but for those of you who are new to IT and find yourself suddenly faced with a problem using an application you are unfamiliar with and have no one to just ask what the solution is, it's an example of how the real world of IT works (and keeping in mind, I don't actually work in IT...I just know a few things about it).

    Anyway. I spent the last few hours of my day practicing with Kile. Tomorrow, one of the developers will come by to help give me more of an inside look at how to use it and on Wednesday, the developer who I'll be most directly working with will be back and finally, things will get rolling.
    Certifications: A+ and Network+

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