From the 20th of september 2006 (more or less) to the 19th of september 2008, I worked in Colmenar Viejo, Madrid, at Rastertech España as product leader for TeraVial, though I prefer to call it he who pushes a big stone. Continuing an old inheritance of Visual Basic, Visual SourceSafe, MFC C++ and MS Access, slowly a migration started towards Python, saner C++, C#, Subversion and SQL servers.
The TeraVial software is mainly for a very specific market niche, the maintenance of roads, and making a broad generalization, you could say that TeraVial aims to replace the paperwork of the people doing the hard work (through PDAs and automatic report generation) apart from providing a graphical and user friendly vision of the huge amount of data a maintenance firm can accumulate about their roads and motorways.
I was in charge two years, since that's the time I was requested to stay by Roberto Sala, director of the firm. After a year I already saw that this kind of work was not for me, but I dislike breaking promises. I break them just like anybody else, but maintaining a job position doesn't strike me as something difficult to do. My leave was planned months in advance to avoid any possible problems.
Even though I've never left a job for just one reason, maybe what affected me most was that being the boss you stop programming, and I'm deeply a coder. Even if you can negotiate with clients, lead a project or juggle while playing the violin, if you don't do what you like, little by little deep inside you die. And now that I'm writing this, I see that all that died won't grow again, necessary process to become an old geezer.
I find it hard to appreciate what would be my biggest achievement during those two years. Regarding clients, maybe managing the sale of TeraVial in the maintenance of the M-50 motorway in Ireland, expanding the firm to the international market. But I don't really know about that, and I keep my doubts about any possible merit. What I know is that in the middle of technical and social chaos of the development team I could make it a little bit more logical and improved its quality, something proved by the expansion of the team and the fact that it kept working correctly after my leave.
As strange as it may sound, I find no better pleasure than seeing how I become dispensable. It means that you have done the changes you were meant to do, but after you leave they don't fall down like a house of cards. Well, who knows. Maybe now that I'm not there everybody thinks "Ah, that guy finally left", but at least they are too polite to tell me. I want to think that for the firm I've been one step more in the ladder to reach its destiny.
Anyway, I keep visiting them from time to time to coerce my ex-coworkers to go with me to the Kashiwa restaurant, where I tend to eat without measure.