I've been at my new job for just on a month now, so it would make sense to tell you what I do and who I do it for.
I work for the imaginatively-named Software Innovation, who develop software for the engineering industry. The suite is called Coreworx and it is a web-based project collaboration system targeted at what is called EPC - engineering, procurement & construction. (Feel free to rewrite the crap Wikipedia article. In fact, because anything you write on the Internet is archived forever, if the article is good when you read this, assume that it was my request that caused someone to make it good.) It handles document management and workflow, and automates what previously was the time-consuming process of managing reams of paper from suppliers, consultants, designers, engineers, and people who just like wasting paper.
Our website has a cute elevator pitch which explains things in just the right amount of detail.
The recruiter who told me about the job had me hooked when he said they were looking for "a developer with a personality". My role is in the Professional Services team, so I'll be going out to our customers, all around the world, consulting on requirements, planning, installing, configuring, documenting and troubleshooting our software. To date it's mostly been learning, but I've already thrown myself in the deep end with some programming and am starting to look at planning a new deployment.
It's great working at a company that not only has a pool ladder, but often has the CEO at the top of it. He's got his own cue in a case. That's bad-ass.
Software Innovation are based in Kitchener, which as you can see, isn't Toronto. It's a 60 minute highway drive in light traffic to get to the edge of Toronto, and then it's another 20 mins on the subway to get there.
Kitchener was known as Berlin until that pesky First World War thing. There's still a lot of German influence, from the yearly Oktoberfest and the schnitzel houses to New Hamburg just down the road.
The city is often referred to as Kitchener/Waterloo, because the city of Waterloo, literally 5 mins up the road, grew into Kitchener, and reciprocally Kitchener grew into Waterloo. It's one big area with two local governments. Kitchener had lots of factories and now has lots of homeless ex-factory workers. Waterloo has two universities and RIM, the people who make Crackberries.
It has snowed twice since I got here, but only small flurries. It's going to get cold. Bring it on!
When Fern and I moved out here, we stayed in a hotel for a couple of weeks and looked for an apartment. A lot of people didn't have room for a couple, or weren't interested in living with one - their loss, we're great roommates!
As life often goes, we went from a week of nothing to two great choices. We ended up moving into an apartment block called the Conestoga Towers, living with a guy named Chris. He has the Wii, we have the TV (see below). It's a good combination. He's finishing a PhD in urban planning and is here till April.
As the job will take me on the road a lot, it's possible that I could work from home for the rest of the time. Depending on what happens with Fern's job search, we're thinking of moving back to Toronto when that option becomes available. (She's currently temping while waiting to hear back on a bunch of PR and marketing jobs.)
I've been going to weekly improv classes at the Bad Dog Theatre in Toronto. It's been a bit harder since moving to Kitchener, which makes a 3 hour class into a 7 hour round trip, but the classes are great fun. More to come.
I bought a 37" LCD TV. 1080p, oh, yeah. To fuel it, we upgraded cable to Rogers HDTV and rented a PVR. It's nice to not have to download TV to catch up on Prison Break and House that I miss by going to improv.
I also bought a guitar. I was going to buy a cheap guitar and then buy a nice Maton acoustic when I'm in the Southern Hemisphere next, but this one is nice enough that I might not bother. Not only does it have XLR and 1/4" output, it has a built-in digital tuner. How cool is that?
We haven't named it yet.