My first month at Hex-Rays

At the beginning of September I started looking for a job. I actually wanted a job to work from remote. Despite the fact that I got several offers, all of them required relocation. So in the end I saw the Hex-Rays hiring announcement on Woodmann and sent out my résumé. From all the relocations, Belgium was the nearest and best connected one and of course it’s a very good job.

The first month at Hex-Rays has been tough on all fronts. Mainly because of the relocation and getting used to work in an office. Now work is proceeding well, but the rest is still difficult. Having one day of sun here in Belgium would help, by the way.

Musil wrote in his life’s work that modern man is spending his life always increasing his level of expertise, remaining with a millimeter of specialistic knowledge which only few people in the world could really understand. The others, talking about his millimeter would only say stupid things and he himself can’t move from his own millimeter without running into the same problem.
I think I found my millimeter in the IT world. However, I can’t stand still on it. I always keep moving with exasperated restlessness.

I have written in the last 2 years at least 5 programs of bigger size which are almost complete, but as I’m now working at Hex-Rays they will have to wait. When I was writing mostly software on my own I did it almost entirely to be active in something. Now that I’m working on IDA every day I feel that my need of being active is fulfilled and I don’t feel the need to write more code when I’m at home. Instead, I feel the need of art.

Why haven’t I tried producing art instead of programming already? Because I have always been capable of judging my own work objectively and I know when the time is not right.

What’s the difference between programming and art? Both need experience. The difference is that one can build one’s technical experience alone in one’s room, without the help of events, social interaction, etc. In a technical field it is possible to make the time needed for experience advance faster. Viceversa, in one’s reflections about life one has to actually follow the time of his own life.

I feel that something is changing about that.

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9 Responses to My first month at Hex-Rays

  1. lallous says:

    Daniel, nicely put about programming and art, I agree with you.

  2. Atanas says:

    Hi Daniel,
    Congratulations for the new job! I send my resume to Ilfak too but with such a competition i don’t have a big chances :) You are the right man for HexRays, so good luck and make IDA even better man!
    Atanas

  3. Thanks lallous.

    Atanas: thanks! Well, I don’t know, but for this particular task I had some specific knowledge. Maybe in the future Ilfak decides to hire more people. One never knows…

  4. Alec says:

    Congratulations!, I’m must say Hex-Rays is hiring really smart people (recently) first Elias Bachaalany and now you, hope to read some of your excellent posts on Hex-Rays blog;)

  5. Andrei says:

    Hey Daniel,

    Congrats!
    Going to work every day and working with people vs. Working from home is a big change :)
    Especially after you have worked from home for some time…

    No more ‘today I don’t feel like coding’ :D

    There are significant advantages however when working with others, especially those sharing the same level of passion.

    Good luck!

  6. Ahmadmansoor says:

    Congratulations my friend .
    I hope u still remember us ,ur friends in exetools .
    can I ask u if u accept to be a tut writer for the IDA ,as u r a part of the best company .
    and I will open a special section just for ur tut about IDA .
    this will be a free advertisement for IDA ,and it will be good guide for this great prog for all.
    if u like this Idea let me know and connect me at my mail .
    Thanks in adv

    Ur best friend Ahmadmansoor

  7. I like your work, it reminds me of my own many years ago. It is a shame you are no longer independent, though I certainly understand the reasoning. I failed at coping with the corporate/managed world a couple times, so have remaining independent. I have always struggled, but I find it the best way for a programmer to keep his passion and creativity. If you are lucky, you may just strike gold.. but its hard for that to happen confined in a ‘day to day job’.

    The flip-side is that a ‘job’ offers security, something being independent doesn’t. Having to worry if I’ll be able to pay my rent each month is frustrating, needless to say ;(. However, there is also contract work you could do for short periods.

    Just beware.. don’t have a breakdown. If you like it there, great. If you find it stifles you, then leave.. but don’t do either on my advice. Also, if you leave, there’s no reason to self-destruct or burn bridges, lol.

  8. Thanks Jeremy. Sorry for the late reply, but your comment ended up in the spam box (strange).

    I _totally_ understand what you mean.
    It’s true that I needed a job and that’s mostly why I’m here, but the experience is also useful.
    To me the biggest problem is that I like to work at home at my own pace, rather than in an office, where I am usually unhappy.
    Now, my apartment here in Belgium is rented for one year, after that time I will think about my situation again. Also, I was hired by Hex-Rays when I was 23 and turned 24 3 months ago. So, it wasn’t too late to try something new.

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