I finally decided to move on...
After working for two years at an Israeli credit card company (ICC a.k.a. C.A.L.) as a .net web developer, I think it's time for me to start something new!
Here are some of the thoughts and questions running through my head at the moment :
What did I accomplish in the past 2 years ?
My technical programming skills did improve, but not as much as I would want them too. That's exactly why I'm leaving.
I did gain experience and I feel that I did improve but not to my full potential. During these two years I had to learn a lot on my own, reading blogs on the internet, and trying to incorporate the new technologies at my work place. Most of the people at my workplace have been there for a couple of years prior to me arriving and they aren't keen on letting some new dude change the way they're used to working.
You know what they say - It's really hard to teach an old dog some new tricks... :)
What was I looking for ?
When I started looking for a job, I decided that the most important aspect to me is a place where I will advance technically and learn as much as I can from. As a programmer I believe that half the job (at least) is to always learn new technologies/frameworks/utilities that will help you become a better and more efficient developer. I believe that if the people at your current work place aren't always pushing to learn new technologies then it will be very hard to do it on your own... (If you succeed, tell me how).
Where am I going ?
After only a few interviews, I decided to start working for Sears Israel (SHC). The first thing that got me intrigued about them is that they were the only place that during the technical interviews actually asked me some questions that I didn't have a clue to the answer! During the interviews, from my first impression, it seems like the programmers there really know what they're doing and are fully dedicated to writing excellent code!
In addition to the technical stuff, the product seems interesting, and a very modern idea. It's basically a social shopping site, but with tons of interesting features. I know that the challenges they deal with are interesting - The most interesting to me is how do you create a site with great scalability?...
Some more general and honest thoughts about the new job...
Brutal truth to be said - I'm a little worried I won't live up to the standards at Sears. My new team leader sent me some subjects/frameworks to learn before I arrive so I'll feel a little more comfortable when I arrive. Some of these technologies/frameworks I haven't used much or at all in the past (like IoC & MVC3), and some (like Apache & Tomcat + Java) are totally new ground for me. But this just makes the job 10 times more interesting to me! I just hope I'll be able to learn all the new stuff fast enough so I can keep up with the pace.
But this doesn't make me put my self down, instead it just makes me want to get so much better at what I love doing (programming!). I don't have experience looking for and hiring employees, but I think that one of the most important things you should look for in a new employee is someone that loves what he does and that you know will always be open to learn new stuff from other sources. Of course you want someone that has a certain amount of programming knowledge, but someone who is very experienced but has no motivation will be a bad bet in the long run apposed to someone a little less experienced but fully motivated.
I believe I fit into the fully motivated category. I know for a fact that I love learning new stuff, and that I'm always open to changes, so I think i'm a good bet... :-p