Out With The Old, In With The New: Employment Edition

One of my favorite sayings is “the only thing constant in life is change.” In keeping with that I’m running a series of posts dedicated to the change we see happening around us. I’m going to try to highlight both the big things and the little things. Fortunately, I tend to have a lot of both going on.

Even though, in part at least, this series is going to be about “hey look at this cool new toy I got”, I don’t want it to be entirely flippant. Sure, there may be interest in things I’ve found and why I like them for someone else looking to purchase the same thing, but at the same time, I’m a philosophy minor, and I do want to try to be a bit more profound. I’d like to write some posts in this area that are academically, or at least thoughtfully profound. I also feel I should also let you know some of the more profound and meaningful changes going on in my life.

In keeping with that last idea, one of those meaningful life changes is finally being done with Northeastern University and having moved on to full time employment as a software engineer. On one hand, I suppose this isn’t a big change. I’ve worked for my current employer for the last two years, starting as an NU co-op. A year of that time was full time employment, and so being back their full time doesn’t seem drastically different. However, it does feel drastically different for me. There’s something to be said for knowing that in 6 months time I won’t be going back to NU again for classes. This is a change I am very glad for, as I feel like this is the point in my life where I need to be right now. For a while I’ve always felt like my life didn’t quite fit who I was inside. I felt that I was being forced in to a situation that didn’t quite suit me. For now, at least, I feel like I’m precisely where I need to be.

My Office: The Athenaeum Building in Cambridge, MA

I’ve been working full time for a month and a half now, and I’d say I’m pretty well settled back in to it. I’m never abundantly excited to get up in the morning to go to work, but I don’t hate it either. I really think it has more to do with not wanting to wake up than anything, because as soon as I get over to Cambridge that feeling disappears. I really enjoy my coworkers on many different levels. They’re all extremely kind and gracious, and they’re all incredibly talented and knowledgeable, not just in the field, but in a variety of disparate interests as well. I always feel engaged when I’m at work, and I know that if I need an expert (or something approaching an expert) in any particular domain, there’s probably someone around who can help me out. This company has afforded me not only great opportunities professionally, but great opportunities for my own betterment and edification in general. I find myself in their debt in that regard, and only hope I can repay some of that in my own way as the years go on.

It occurs to me that I should probably tell you all a little more about the company itself. We’re called Pivot Inc. and we specialize in instant messaging solutions for the financial sector. Our particular specialty is in analyzing and developing to add functionality on top of basic IM services to allow traders to better utilize their time and capitalize on the information they’re receiving. We do this in a number of ways, but the piece I’m particularly attached to is our Structured Messaging which allows us to take the plain-text communication medium of IM, and turn it in to a data-rich messaging platform. This opens the door for a ton of features like market specific data views and trade processing, which we also do. In truth, we do a lot more than this, but I don’t think I have the time or inclination to make you go through it all point by point (please do visit the website if you’re interested in knowing more about our product though). Structured messaging is the backbone on which all these features sit, and is a piece of the application that I did some significant work towards.

I expect there will be more to talk about in regards to my position at Pivot as time goes on, either things I learn about software development or a specific piece of technology that I want to share, or if something particularly cool is going on with the company or the product. For now, though, you have an overview of what I do and why I enjoy doing it.

More soon,

– B

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