I started at XtremeEDA in June of 2016. I was at my previous position for 16 years and Xtreme was my first experience with a services company so I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.
On the Bench
I started out “on the bench” which is where Xtreme engineers develop and refine their skills while they are between client engagements. Being on the bench is an excellent opportunity to explore and experiment with the latest technologies and methodologies because you’re not under the pressure of project schedules. This is a time to collaborate and consult with others on the bench and establish and apply best practises to the development of IP and methodologies that can be leveraged on future client engagements. I was on the bench for just under three months before I was assigned to my first client engagement.
My first engagement was with a client in Toronto, and I’m based in Ottawa so I was working remotely through the client VPN and using Skype to collaborate. Since I was working remotely, I had the flexibility to work from home – which is what I did mostly – or to work from the XtremeEDA office in Ottawa. I found that I was more productive working from home. It was great not having to spend time commuting, but I did occasionally go into the office to stay connected with Xtreme colleagues, some of whom were assigned to the same client.
In fact, there were several other Xtreme engineers working for the same client. Some started at the same time as me and others had already been there for a while. The Xtreme Team really supported each other to navigate and understand the work environment and ramp up quickly.
This first engagement lasted just under a year and it was a great experience. I got to apply my 18 years of experience to something not quite like anything I’ve done before and develop some new skills in the process. The best thing is that on my next assignment I’m likely to be doing something new again – still supported by a great group of talented and supportive colleagues at Xtreme.
Some perspective on the past year … and the future.
Working for a services company, rather than a traditional company, means that I’ll have the opportunity to work on many great projects around the world without having to uproot my family. It means regularly having new challenges and opportunities and meeting and working with so many more talented engineers.
Working for a services company, rather than contracting myself, means always having a stable paycheque and great benefits, maintaining a healthy work/life balance, opportunities to develop my skills between assignments and still having a stable group of Xtreme colleagues.
Senior Verification Consultant
P.S. If you want to know more about my first year, feel free to get a hold of me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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