Today is my last day at Opera Software, and also the last day of a fourteen year IT career. I am leaving the safe haven of employeehood and am off to become a full time author, editor, publisher and book producer, a career in which I’ve been dabbling on the sidelines for a couple of years and have been dreaming about since the day I first picked up a book. I am finally ready to tackle it head-on. (And don’t worry, I won’t use the word employeehood again.)
When I started at Opera back in 2008, I was thrown into the Nintendo team head first, right before the release of the DSi. I found myself in the intimidating, yet privileged, position of working with some of the best minds at Opera, not to mention some of the strange and wonderful wizards at Nintendo. Working with those teams was the high point of my IT career, and I will forever be thankful to Opera for the opportunity to take part in those projects. Alf Bjørn and Tsukasa deserve special recognition for their support while I learned the ropes.
I’ve also probably been the busiest employee rep in Opera history, helping staff through “right-sizing”, the office move, and the recent rounds of goodbyes that sent us all reeling. I have been humbled at the strength and integrity shown by those in very intense and strained situations, and it has only shown me further the quality of the people I’ve been surrounded by these past four years.
On the social side (because what would Opera be without that?) I was lucky enough to cross the boundaries that usually existed between engineering and non-engineering staff… indeed, I remember sitting at a table up the eastern end of the old canteen one day and having Erika clap her hands and say “Oooh! We’ve never had someone from engineering at our table before!”.
At what other company could I have learned ballet during work hours, performed to Abba, The Blues Brothers, Michael Jackson and Bollywood music at the Christmas parties, brought my daughter to play in the ball-room while I worked nearby, had massages, competed in office chair olympics, had Friday beer-fuelled Wii death-matches… for those of you who are sticking around, don’t let this stuff slip away; it’s all part of what has always made Opera a great place to work, and it’s what I will miss the most. Besides, that is, the great friends I made…
As the last surviving member of what was colloquially known as Team Jaunty, many of the people to whom I’d like to say thank you aren’t here anymore, and may not get to read this, but I’ll give them a shout out anyway, because they deserve recognition: Gerdur, the two Øyvinds, Jeremy, Marek, Torstein, Divisha – with you guys, lunchtime was never dull, and there was always fresh gossip (or when there wasn’t, we’d make some up). You’re what made being here like being in the best kind of family.
Also a special thanks to the Doc/Loc team, who made working motherhood bearable, and put up with all my sleep-deprivation-related whining.
To commemorate the last four and a half years, I’ve dug out all the footage and photos I had of my days at Opera, and put together this little tribute: