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Job satisfaction September 14, 2008

Posted by April Ayres-Griffiths in Uncategorized.
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Those who know me well know I’m a pretty mellow person generally.  In most situations I’m content to go with the flow, and roll with the punches (metaphorically of course, since I’m certainly no heavyweight boxer – I have trouble opening a jar of pickles).  Lately I’ve been doing a lot of thinking regarding what exactly makes me happy in my job.  

Naturally, this involves a lot of thought about where I am now, versus where I was at several years ago,  Outside of work, things are wonderful.  I’m married to a delightful woman (my wife Melody), and things generally are happy and fulfilling.  

In the sphere of work, however, I am starting to find things wanting.  I used to do a lot of production support work, and helping other software developers.  I guess you could say my job involved making sure everything from development, to testing, and then finally production goes smoothly.  By and large, although there never quite seemed to be enough hours in the day, I went home from work with a sense that the place was better for having me there.

I’ve come to realize just how important such a payoff is for me personally.  A decent salary is one thing, but if you are not leaving work at the end of the day with that feeling that you accomplished something, eventually you start to feel like there is little point to the job you are doing.  Sadly that seems to be the situation that I find myself in right now. I do work with a wonderful bunch of people, however I’m finding it harder to get that payoff.  

So now is a time of contemplation.  What can I do to make my job more interesting, more fulfilling? I do have a lot of experience that is going to waste right now.  I’ve worn so many hats in the past, that just being a “Software Developer” is feeling too restrictive.  There are other forces at work (no pun intended) that make me feel this way, but I’m certainly not going to go into those in such a public space.  

I suppose it is about finding a balance, and finding a path in my career that gives me back that feeling that what I do, means something.  If I can find that feeling again, then things will be better.  

In the meantime, I am so very thankful for the love and support of my wife, Melody.  She makes everything else worthwhile.


Samsung J700i and Video tinkering September 7, 2008

Posted by April Ayres-Griffiths in Uncategorized.
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Well, I finally upgraded my phone from a black and white Nokia, to something a little more up-to-date.  It’s a Samsung J700i, which is a nice little black slider handset released this year.

Not bad for $99.00.  It’s call quality is good, and is the first phone I can actually hold a meaningful conversation on whilst in the supermarket, or walking down a busy road.  

It has a built in MP3 player, Camera, and also plays back MP4 video clips.  I bought a 2Gb micro SD card for it and have started to put videos on it.

Melody and I have resurrected a project we were working on to build a generic converter for video files to various mobile formats, including the AMV format used by many so called “ChinaPods”.  I reworked the code a little yesterday, so that the software works with “profiles” for each type of device, and one simply specifies what the target platform is.

So far (with our custom build of ffmpeg), it is generating videos for my Samsung phone, and for the Chinapod (erroneously labelled an MP4 payer), which Melody bought in Canada.

I might start a development blog for the project, but there are too many projects and not enough time!