Already T**stra is beginning to fade into an unhappy recollection. Considering that I congratulated myself on my good judgment in getting myself a place in an Australian household name on my CV, I’m feeling a little (a lot) foolish now. I have worked for places with as pathological environment as Telstra before, but very seldom, and my job-hunting process has sensitized me now to the cultures of the corporations I’m approaching. I guess it is a tautology that in a large corporation, anywhere in the world, the effectiveness of individuals varies inversely in proportion to the size of the company. And lets face it, Telstra is the largest employer in the whole of Australia. Anyway, if you want to do architect level work in Australia, you pretty much have to give up any ideas about going near a compiler. I can’t see how I could be an effective architect without first-hand understanding of the technologies I’m using, and how else to get those than to use them?
So after four months of what should have been a smooth transition back into work, I have come out the other end with my sanity barely intact. Not a single thing I did there was used, and some of it was probably worth my time. I shouldn’t be surprised since it seems that understanding of, or experience in, the software lifecycle is not a necessary pre-requisite of participation in the management of a software project (here). I have even been told that it is an actual impediment to you getting a job on a project team.
This miasmic feeling of despondency is deepened by my reading matter at the moment. I’m reading “Red Rabbit” by Tom Clancy, which tries to bring to life the feelings and thoughts of people trapped in the midst of the KGB bureaucracy in the early eighties. Oddly I feel that the environments described were apropos in the extreme to my own situation. It heartens me a little to recall what happened to the soviet regime, and at least you can opt to leave Telstra without fear of banishment to Siberia. I guess the Telstra equivalent to a gulag work-camp in the Siberian tundra, would be a revenue protection assignment in the billing systems maintenance department, a fate I adroitly sidestepped only a month ago!