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Charlotte: Week 1
July 16, 2010

Well, week one is down. The week at work was pretty non-eventful, I'm not really able to do anything because I still don't have all the proper levels of access. All I've been able to do is review an older version of the code base that resides on my PC and test-drive a testing version of the application, but I can't actually get in and change anything. I at least got my ID badge on Wednesday, so I can finally come and go without being signed in. The good thing about work is that they have all the amenities you need right on site. There is a food court, a gym, and a convenience store on the ground floor beneath me. A connected building has a cafeteria, a full Starbuck's, another convenience store, and various medical offices.

Outside of work, I have pretty much stayed inside my apartment. It's growing on me, but it's not yet fully there in terms of being "home." I went to a church nearby last Sunday. I'm not sure it's the setting I want; the pastor is good, but I want a more traditional service and church setting. I don't know if I'm going back this Sunday or if I will try somewhere else.

Hopefully, things will start to feel more normal next week. It would be nice to be able to do something at work. At least getting there and getting home is easy. The office is not much more than a stone's throw away from my apartment complex. I've even carved an alternate (almost backroad) route to get home a bit quicker, as Harris Blvd is extremely busy during afternoon rush hour, but it's not so bad in the morning for the amount of time I need to be on it.

In Charlotte Now
July 10, 2010

Well, today was the day. The movers arrived at my Greensboro apartment around 9:30 this morning, got loaded, and we were in Charlotte by noon.

Big thanks to my mom and dad for helping me move. I could not have done it without them.

Now, it's all about settling in. It's almost 8 PM now, and the reality of it is starting to hit me once again. The reality has always been there, but sometimes it weighs more heavily than others. Tomorrow morning, I won't get up and go to my church, I won't see my church family, and I won't have lunch with my parents after the service. I'll miss that. I plan on going to a church nearby in the morning, but I won't know any of the faces. It won't be the same.

Monday morning, I'll get up and go to a new place of employment. I may not have been satisfied with my old job, but I did like the people I worked with. I miss them already.

This change is almost too much all at once. But I trust it will become more comfortable, perhaps as early as tomorrow. That's my hope, anyway.

Moving to Charlotte
July 1, 2010

It looks like I'm on the road again. Last week, I was offered a position as a developer in Charlottte, and I accepted. I start on July 12.

I had the opportunity on my last round of job searching back in 2007 to go to Charlotte, but through great fortune I determined I was not ready to make that move. In hindsight, it was the best decision both professionally and personally, because I later discovered I was not as knowledegable of a developer as I perhaps thought I was and maybe would not have lasted very long in the cut throat contracting market of the time. I later found a position here in Greensboro that allowed me to grow and learn as a developer in sort of a self-directed manner, as I was working alone (sole internal developer for a small web marketing company) on many different projects of varying scopes where I could constantly try and learn new things without someone looking over my shoulder saying "this guy is a no-talent hack."

Of course, the downside to that is that I had nobody looking over my shoulder saying "this guy is a no-talent hack."

You see, being able to exchange ideas with and receive guidance from perhaps more seasoned developers would have also been very welcome. There is no doubt I learned a great deal going it alone, but there have been many times where I practically stumbled across better ways of doing things, usually after spending a great deal of time doing things no so well. The methods worked, but they could have been better all along. If I was working alongside other developers, I could have learned those lessons much sooner. As it was, I had to rely on "dumb luck" (along with development blogs and Q & A sites like StackOverflow).

Still, the past 2.5+ years have been a very valuable experience for me, and now it's time to move on. Now, I get the opportunity to go work for a large financial institution with several other developers and grow and learn even more, and hopefully at the same time offer some of my own expertise. I'm anxious and nervous, but I'm certainly more confident of my abilities this time around.

On the personal front, I'm also anxious. My mom and dad are here (in Summerfield). My church is here. Since the end of January 2008, I have been a sponsor of my church's youth group, helping my friend as he leads it. Every Wednesday, I've been there with the teens and have of course been on tons of activities with them. They're all my friends now, and it is hard to leave them. I won't be too far away; I will still be able to come up to church every few weeks, but I won't be able to see my parents, my church family, or the youth group every week as before. But hopefully I can connect with a church in Charlotte (I've already spent a considerable amount of time on the web looking) while still travelling home from time to time.

At any rate, while I'm nervous about the new job and sad to leave my home, I just want to get on with it, already! I realize that Charlotte is just a better market for developers, and it has been that way for a long time. It was true before the economic collapse in 2008 and 2009, and it is even more true now, since at least the job market for developers has recovered considerably in Charlotte (unemployment figures overall are still sky high), while it is pretty much dead here in Greensboro/Winston-Salem. The opportunity in Charlotte is good, I will still be close to home, and all this time thinking about the move is grating.

Wish me luck.

Song O The Day: Treasures, Thievery Corporation.

I'm Anthony Pegram. This site is a place where I can talk about things that interest me in music, video games, programming, and other parts of life. It's also a place where I test the latest and greatest in programming technology. Thanks for stopping by.