Its been about four months since I joined Grene. What a difference this experience has been compared to the years at Effigent!
The last few years at Effigent were completely spent on managing people. I was hands-on for the most part. But the role was primarily managerial. My current role is 100% technical. At Effigent, I would tell my team member, "Insert a thousand records by using an Excel file and macros and then test the app for performance and reliability". At Grene, I have to insert those thousand records by using Excel macros and test the app myself!
These last few months have made me get back in touch with the very low level details of programming I had probably lost touch with over the past few years. I was thinking about application usability, customer satisfaction, requirements collection and streamlining the process. Now its mostly about getting the app to work functionally.
I feel that the thrill of programming is in seeing something you have built work. As a manager, I rarely experienced that thrill. Yes, you manage the project, you manage the people who do the programming, you test the app, but you never feel the ownership of the software that has been built. It is quite second-hand. As a programmer, it feels great to experience that thrill these days.
The environment was also very different. In Effigent, hardly a minute would pass without speaking to someone about something. At Grene, there are hardly any minutes in which I speak to anyone! I am banging away at the keyboard most of the day. I get startled sometimes when I hear my name being called out!
At Effigent, I would be one of the guys patting people on the back for a job well done, encouraging the star performers and boosting morale. At Grene, I am the one who is looking for pats on the back, wants to be encouraged and whose morale needs to be boosted!
The thing I miss the most at Grene is the people. I am mostly alone in my office doing my work. I have coffee alone, lunch alone. At Effigent, it was like one large family. Everything was done with a large number of people. There were people everywhere. At the TT table, at the beer bashes, at lunch, in the lift, even in the loo!