Pivotlink was my return to the Pacific Northwest, 10 years after OnHealth. As fate would have it, my best friend from high school in Southern California had moved to Bellevue, WA. Conveniently enough, he lived a few miles away from Pivotlink, so that made taking the 6 month (turned 1 year) commitment to onsite work that much easier to swallow.
Pivotlink was a rare situation for me. There was an existing team and an existing codebase. My first task was to go through the codebase and evaluate it’s soundness. “Should we toss it and start fresh? Or should we continue to build upon it?” Here’s where a lot of consultants go wrong. Far too many would rather just throw out the old and start fresh. Many consultants are set in their way of doing things and don’t have the desire to learn how someone else does it. I’m not like that. I saw nothing wrong with the code and thus committed to building upon it.
Once the code was deemed worthy, I jumped in and started taking on tasks. I offered to do a crash course in Flex, but the team turned it down. I thought it was odd that I was brought on board because they only really had one Flex expert in the team of seven or so. I should’ve been more insistent on that crash course, because that bit us later on in the dev cycle. We eventually got our footing underneath us and started delivering.
Backend services and frontend UIs is where the bulk of the work is. Pivotlink definitely proved that unless the two are in constant synch, discrepancies occur that result in delays. I tell clients all the time, “The UI stuff is easy, it’s integration with the services layer that will be painful.” I think there can be some further work done there to make things easier. I’ll have to investigate a tool to help ease that pain.
I flew out on Mondays and flew home on Fridays for about a year during this gig. If I could find more consulting gigs close to old friends, I’d be more open to doing onsite stints like the one with Pivotlink. However, for the most part, I prefer working from home and hanging with my lovely wife and kids instead.