The Fragility of Contracting

I’ve been rather quiet for a few months. That’s because I’ve been working for a large investment bank in Canary Wharf. It’s no so much that the work takes up more of my time than other contracts I’ve had, but more that the incredibly restrictive firewalls banks have around their networks have meant that I have far less ability to keep in touch with things during the working day. I understand security is so important to them but, wow, it’s hard having to live with it.

Working in the finance sector is lucrative, but not much fun (which, I suppose, might explain why they make it so lucrative).

But all that is about to change. On Wednesday, the project leader told me that the bank were letting all of the contractors in the group go. It had come as a complete surprise to him too – he had just received an email telling him to let us know. That’s the way things work in the banking sector.

I’m not sure if it was a slow reaction to Brexit or an extremely quick reaction to Trump or something else completely. But we’ll all be leaving at the end of this month.

Which means that I’m looking for a new contract. So if you’re reading this and you know of a team who are looking for a contractor then please let me know and we might be able to work something out.

Because of way this was timed, I think I’ll probably be looking for something to start at the beginning of next year. I’m going to South Africa for a couple of weeks at the end of the year and it seems pretty pointless to do a couple of weeks at a new job before going away for a while and forgetting everything I’ve learned.

But it would be nice if I didn’t spend all of the first two weeks of December watching Netflix. So there are a few possibilities I’m considering:

  • Could I find magazines or web sites that would pay me to write articles for them?
  • Could I go into a company for a few days of consultancy (perhaps an architectural review or something like that)?
  • Could I do a code review for some of your companies codebase?

Or, the most likely option:

  • Do you have colleagues who could benefit from a few days Perl training? Have you been vaguely thinking “you, know it might be nice to get Dave in to run some in-house training”? If that’s the case, then the first couple of weeks of December would be a great time to get more serious about this.

In fact, if there’s any way that you think I could be of use to your company for a few days in December or on a longer-term basis from January, then please get in touch.

Articles

I’ve been writing articles about Perl for a number of years. Because I have written for many people, the articles are currently spread out over a lot of different sites. I’ve decided to do something about this.

There’s now a new articles section on the site and over the next few weeks I plan to pull all of my Perl articles together in that section.

Currently, it just contains the seven articles that I wrote for perl.com. If you read them, please bear in mind the fact that they are all around ten years old and may well no longer reflect current best practices.

This coming weekend is a long weekend in the UK. This means that I may well find the time to republish a lot more articles.

Modern Perl in Linux Format

A couple of times, I’ve complained here about the standard of Perl articles in the British magazine Linux Format.

Following the second of those articles I got into a discussion with Graham Morrison, the editor of the magazine and he offered me the opportunity to improve matters by writing my own short series of tutorials for them.

The first of those tutorials appears in issue 151 of the magazine which will be appearing in UK newsagents about now.

The series is called “Modern Perl” (in an attempt to distance it from their earlier tutorials) and the first article is about how easy it is to write a database application using DBIx::Class. The second article will take the same database and build it into a simple web application using Dancer. That will hopefully be in issue 153 (skipping an issue). There will probably be a third article in the series which will add features to the web application.

I’ll find out what my rights are to the articles and hopefully I’ll be able to put them on the web at some point in the future.

If you see a copy in your newsagents then please consider picking it up. And if you enjoy the article, then please let the magazine know.