There are two forces at play here: the pushing forces at my existing company, and the pulling forces of my new company (and its environment).
- Management doesn't respect engineers. Since the CEO is from marketing background, he trusts people who are similar to him. RnD is usually at the receiving end for all the blames and shit, while the marketing people take the credits and all the cool travel perks.
- The Linux packages used by our products is very dated (most packages are from year 2000). This issue is much more serious for Linux systems because they change real fast. Needless to say, for my co's products, a lot of known bugs and security holes are wide open, inviting exploits. However, our technical manager is too afraid to change anything that is not broken.
- All the staff are getting a 10% 'pay deferment' recently. In other words, all the employees' salaries are cut 10%. The management blames the world economy at large and said they will repay the deducted salary when the company's financial health improves. I am doubtful about that because it has a track record of not keeping promises. In fact, just a few months ago there were a few big business deals went through in the order of million dollars, and curiously employees got nothing at all. But when bad time is looming close, it swiftly puts the employees in front to cushion the blow. I can't deny those pointy-hair bosses are smart in someway.
- No viable/value-adding projects ahead. I have finished my satellite demodulator project and the software was released Friday. After that my manager tried to talk me into a terrestrial DVB-T demodulator project. Although technologically they do differ, from an embedded system perspective, the difference is trivial. The demod chip can be viewed as a black box with a few modulation-specific outputs. Those outputs are handled in a similar fashion by firmware and thus there isn't much new stuff to play with.
- My current place is in the east of Singapore. I rent a room in a 2-room flat. The landlord stays in the other room with his wife. Although he is a nice person, the problem with him is he is a heavy smoker. I am always choked by cigarette smoke seeping through my door when he smokes in his room. No, diplomacy doesn't work here.
- Phone programming seems something quite cool. During the interview, the manager showed me an OpenMoko phone. It is always interesting to play with new toys.
- The CEO called me up personally and invited me to join his company. Note this doesn't mean he will be good to me or will put RnD at higher priority, but heck, at least I have a hope.
- The offer is of course having a higher salary than my existing job, or else why bother?
- I was told my job will be doing PoC (Proof of Concept) and technology transfer only. That means I have relatively more freedom to do things I like and choose technologies as I see fit.
- The new office is at the west of Singapore, close to Biopolis.