Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bonding with the new team

For the better part of my 30+ career as a software developer, I've had the luxury of working from home. It's been a great experience and I've loved it. It gave me the opportunity to be flexible with my children's school and sport schedules, as well as the ability to deal with some difficult medical issues within my family.

But alas ... it was time for a change. My youngest son was graduating from high school this year and that afforded me the opportunity to relocate from Michigan to someplace warmer. Earlier this year, a series of events unfolded that allowed me to do just that. As of June, my husband and I have relocated to North Carolina and I am now working for SunGard Public Sector. I am lovin' it here in North Carolina. I am lovin' the new job. And I now realize how much I missed working with REAL people (my dog didn't really give me much feedback with development ideas.)

A few months after getting settled into my new job, I showed up at work one morning and found a giant replica of the Visual FoxPro 7.0 box in my office. In 2001, Microsoft had this box made as a promotional gimmick. There was only one box made. At the time, I was working for Microsoft as a contractor. Several of us from the Fox Team took our picture around the box, which was sitting on the tailgate of my SUV. My license plate is "FOX ROX" and we thought it would be fun to pose with the box, the plate, and the team. The picture has been on my cork board ever since. A few months later, the box was put on stage at the 2001 Advisor DevCon conference in San Diego, CA. It was later given away as a door prize at the end of the conference. That was the last time I ever saw that box ... until now.

Apparently, several people from OSSI (now SunGard) were in attendance at the conference. They didn't win the box, but Frank Luo really wanted that box. He approached the guy who won and offered a trade: a case of Fox Software mugs for the box. A deal was made and the box has been with OSSI/SunGard ever since. Whenever new developers are hired, the box mysteriously appears in their office some morning.

As you can imagine, I was stunned the other morning when I saw that box in my office. I never imagined the box was still around twelve years later. The people at SunGard didn't know that was the ONLY box, nor did they know about the picture the Fox Team had taken with the box and my car. I shared the photo with my coworkers and we all reminisced about 2001. And then we got the bright idea ... I still have a "FOX ROX" license plate so let's recreate that photo!

And so we did ... and we had a ton of fun doing it!