Leaving Green Hat

Friday was my last day working for Green Hat Consulting. I start my new job tomorrow, and this is something I’m very excited about …but more on that later.

I’ve been at Green Hat almost seven years (!) working as an enterprise integration consultant. In 2002 during the dot-com bubble-burst, shortly after I graduated, I was forcibly ejected into a job-seeking situation, and Green Hat Consulting is where I ended up. So it’s not exactly a career path I chose. It chose me. Since then I’ve been sent to work at various different client projects, each of these being very much like starting a new job. Seven years working at the same company almost seems like a lack of ambition in today’s job market, but at Green Hat it’s felt like I’ve done seven or eight different jobs over the years.

I think probably my most enjoyable assignment was the year and half spent working at Alstom in Swizerland, not just because I got to enjoy two full seasons of snowboarding, but because I was able to take a lead within the small team and get stuck into some really juicy development work involving JSPs and applets. But there’s been good times on every assignment, and I’ve met lots of great people.

Back at the Green Hat headquarters I’ve seen a lot of people come and go, so that has been a constantly varying experience over the years too. These days the development of GH Tester is really stepping up a gear, especially GH Tester version 5 which adds some spectacular features for BusinessWorks developers. I wish them good luck with that, and I’m sure Green Hat will continue to go from strength to strength.

Swirly Sweden

I was sent to Sweden last week to give a training course in GH Tester . This was very stressful for various reasons, and hard work. I spent the whole three days in a hotel/conference centre just outside Arlanda airport near Stockholm, which seems like a terrible wasted opportunity to go see Stockholm or do something more interesting, but in between working and stressing there was no time.

I think the training course went well though, which is quite satisfying to look back on. Other good things about the trip…

There was a funny guy from Finland on the course. We got chatting about how he goes on big moose hunting expeditions. Apparently as a young Finnish hunter he partook of the tradition to drink a cup of blood from the first beast he killed. Warm and quite salty he told us.  He also talked a lot about saunas. Apparently in Finland there is ludicrous ratio of saunas to people. One for every family. And when farmers settled into a new area of the wilderness, they would build a sauna first, and then the farmhouse.

I got to fly BA from the new Heathrow terminal 5. I didn’t approve of Heathrow expansion, but they’ve done it now, so might as well enjoying being in a nice modern airport. I also enjoyed BA’s headrests on the way out, but not on the way back (Headrest designers please design them so that you can rest your head to sleep. It’s not rocket science)

And this view over Sweden on the way home was nice.

View over Sweden’s swirly lakes

I was looking at the swirly arrangement of these lakes on the Stockholm map So here’s a challenge for you: See if you can work out exactly which lakes on the map we can see in this photo. I couldn’t.

UPDATE: There’s quite distinctive little island in view in the photo, which wasn’t rendering properly before on the map. Having fixed this, it’s clear that the view is looking North Northwest with plane being about here.