Starting at a new company – level 000

Yesterday was my last day at Dell, Inc.  I was with the company for 4 years and did my best to push Agile methods including Test-Driven Development in the CMM-crazy enterprise.  I’m now a Senior Software Engineer for Pluck.  Pluck is a company with several business lines around RSS and content aggregation.  There is a C++ team here, and a .Net team.  I’m obviously on the .Net team, and it’s an Agile shop whose practices are a mix of several Agile tracks.

Speaking of Agile, the AgileATX (ATX is for Austin, TX) group is meeting for lunch today at the Mongolian BBQ on N Lamar just south of Rundberg at 11:30AM.  If you are in the Austin area, check it out.  You can also subscribe to the AgileATX Yahoo! group.

Microsoft has a whole new reputation now that so many employees are blogging.  There is a new face to the company, and it’s a good one.  Information is flowing more freely, and I think the community is more comfortable with Microsoft now.  The environment at Dell isn’t like that.  For one, it’s mostly a manufacturing or assembling company that produces computers and accessories.  The IT department is only a few thousand people, and the minority are software developers.  Second, management isn’t comfortable being that open, so I wasn’t free to talk about what’s going on inside the company.

At Pluck, I hope to be very open.  We have several consumer products that I’ll be talking about.  Pluck is a software company, so I expect it to be very different.  The first thing I noticed was the free drinks.  For the last 4 years, I’ve had to get my Dr. Pepper from a vending machine!  🙂