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Working life
By anonimouse (Wed Apr 08, 2020 at 10:14:59 AM EST) (all tags)
Since all the Cool Kids are doing them, it's time for a Plague Update

As you may know I'm a contractor, like JtL and a few others....

These be weird times

 So I started a role for $GovernmentDept in Manchester, at the start of Feb, and crashed at my parents during the week. 

Working for them was a little weird. Despite the fact that they knew I was coming for a few weeks as I had to clear BPSS, nothing had been done with regard to equipment, and getting this was glacially slow, so for six weeks I did little but attend meetings and attempt to make myself useful by being the Best Paid Teaboy in The World. I finally got my PC and MacBook (development system) only to find that even development systems are locked down tight and getting software installed on them is a PITA. Finally I got to the point where I could write some code so I took on my first JIRA ticket.

I was able to produce a fix for it and submitted a PR for my change.

Then we were informed Coronavirus meant they were giving all contract staff a weeks notice so that they could move all their permanent staff to front line duties.

So we documented and archived what we'd done and I finished at the end of March. It is possible that these are the most expensive 30 lines of code I've written, and 20 of those are new unit tests.

Or so I thought.

On Friday I got a call asking if I wanted to work for the same Department on another project.  It's still in the pipeline, so it isn't a go yet, but it turns out they can only ask developers they've got rid of because they can't issue any more secure MacBooks at the moment. Good job I got the call then because I was thinking of temporarily wiping mine and using it for nefarious purposes until I had to hand it back. I'm still waiting for the outcome of this.


The job in Manchester was a bit far from my apartment in London and my contract only ran till the end of April anyway, so I'd successfully applied to the Home Office. Unfortunately they require a higher level of clearance which means that first they have to do BPSS (again) before starting the next stage which takes about 6 weeks. I should hopefully begin this in early may unless they discover a reason not to, or coronavirus fucks it. up. I hope this is not the case as it pays 50% more than the previous role I mentioned.

In the meantime I'm at least partly employed by doing a side project for (of all things) a recruitment agency.
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Limbo | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)
even development systems are locked down tight by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Apr 08, 2020 at 10:22:43 AM EST
Welcome to government work.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

Thanks by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #2 Wed Apr 08, 2020 at 10:40:35 AM EST
I'm used to the situation where you have a locked down laptop for communication and documentation, but not having a development machine similarly locked down to the point where you can barely do anything with it. 

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
I can't install sw on my new laptop by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Apr 08, 2020 at 03:29:52 PM EST
I guess I don't need to install Creative Cloud to half split PDF and color issues, just let the customer twist in the wind while a developer who makes more then me has to waste their time figuring it out.

I guess I don't need to install putty or Filezilla, even if the most common way I get files  back and forth is via sftp. I can just type everything in by hand, every time. My time is free, right?

I do have my old laptop, with a two minute battery life. Eventually I'll ship it back.

[ Parent ]
Federal Contractor by Orion Blastar (2.00 / 0) #4 Fri Apr 10, 2020 at 01:56:41 AM EST
when I was a federal contractor in 1996 they had our systems locked down that if we needed to reset the IP we had to call the help desk.

Visual BASIC had problems with controls unless the user was in admin for the machine. But Microsoft Access worked great.

No CD-ROM either so trying to get an ODBC driver for Oracle SQL/PL was rough. Technician came in to install the driver but we had no CD-ROM because it was locked down so his CD-ROM Oracle disk was of no use. It forced us to output the database to a text file and then download it via FTP and import it into the Access or SQL Server database.

"I drank what?" - <a href="">Socrates</a&gt after drinking the Conium
Limbo | 4 comments (4 topical, 0 hidden)