I've wrapped up my first week at the new Job, working on process control and automation for our research and development labs. I spent most of my week getting up to speed, as is the case with most new jobs. I have been able to make at least some contributions in my first week, but it will be some time until I feel like I've made a real impact. The lab team was recently brought under the umbrella of IT, like in the past 2-3 months, and it is obviously making waves, and causing some slow down, but in my opinion it will be a change for the good as they will be able to benefit more from the IT side tools and people more than they would have before, but as with any major change it is slowing things down initially as people adjust.
After coming on board I have managed to find numerous areas that we have problems with. The most glaring being that their network is amazingly badly formed. In the past they had everything in a flat hierarchy and it was all in a /16. So they divided it up into /24s and put a gateway up for each network, but didn't really enforce it so engineering just kept using the /16 and coming up with clever ways around the vlaning. It is pretty low on the list to fix (as this ins't production or corporate network) but it is one major issue that we will address at some point. We are already well on the way to being able to automate major amounts of our process, and hopefully keep it that way as at the moment it is error prone and hard to understand and keeping the same data in multiple places.
The team, both IT and lab folk, are great folks and I already feel more at home there than I ever did at my previous job. It is normally someone covering up shame or sadness when they say getting laid off or fired (mine being the first case) was the best thing that could have happened to them, but for me I truly think it was. I have a much higher paying job where I am getting along with my coworkers more, and am getting a chance to do what I wanted to at my previous position, and I got to take 2.5 months off with pay! Overall I think this transition will be pretty great for myself, and give me a chance to grow in my field by a large margin.
This is the first time in a long time that I have had the urge to put in the extra effort and work late from home to continue making life better for my coworkers. I can see how swamped they are and truly feel the faster I help clean up the process the sooner they will be able to not work after hours so much. And if/when I get stuck I have plenty of talented and awesome people around me to help keep me going. It is weird to like my job again, here's hoping to that still being the case 6 months down the line.