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Business School/Work

Working at Environment Canada is great but…

I haven’t talked about working at my internship for a while so I will explain my thoughts at my job. The job I’m doing is Software Developer for the Core layer of the Data Management System. What that means is basically I’m managing and maintaining the interface that communicates between the components (client) and the database. In Enterprise Architecture terms, there’s always the web layer which is accessed by the client and communicates to the business layer which communicates to the data access (persistence) layer which accesses the RDBMS (Oracle) and propagates the data back up to the client. My main responsibilities daily are basically fixing bug issues, making sure everything follows the design patterns and best practices, writing documentation and occasionally designing a component when it needs to be done (but to date I’ve only designed and implemented one component for NinJo so far).

It’s a nice job. The environment is relaxed, there’s no time cards where you punch in your hours, the supervisors and the employees are very nice and friendly. I can even trade stocks while working thanks to dual screens. I definitely wouldn’t mind working a job like this as a career but the only thing is the location. As you may have noticed in my previous posts, I do not like living and working in Canada for many reasons. The weather is too unpredictable. Taxes keep going up. Housing prices keep going up. There’s no point making $60k a year when $20k goes to the government. There’s also less of an entrepreneurial spirit here which I also dislike. Not to mention – people here are too liberal for my tastes. An example of a conversation I have with any Canadian:
Me: “So did you hear that the government is raising taxes again under the guise of HST?” Them: “Oh yeah. Well I don’t mind, we get rebate checks. And how else is the government gonna pay for the services, eh? If I were them I would’ve raised taxes too.”
Get my drift? People here want bigger government, more services, basically they’re socialists. I’m more in favor of smaller government, less spending, tax cuts instead of hikes, etc basically conservative ideals. That means I disagree with 80% of the people here who want more services from the government and enjoy their “free” health care.

I’ve often said that I’m Chinese at heart – and American in thought. I’m a capitalist, not a socialist. I take advantage of opportunities when I see them; I like taking risks; I want to start a small business; I believe in equal representation. The place that embodies a lot of the things I want to do is California; the place I’ve always wanted to move to. I wanted to apply to get into a university there but couldn’t because of the international student fees, but I’m sure that my SAT scores and GPA would’ve gotten me in. There’s just so much innovation there in terms of technology and business; Silicon Valley produced some of the world’s most well known tech companies; Apple, Google, HP, Intel, Nvidia, etc. There’s something about the atmosphere there that lends itself well to innovation and fostering opportunities, all of which I want to get in on. There’s a sense of belonging there; I felt very out of place growing up in a small town full of white people and no innovation. California is the opposite: most populous state in the US; center of entertainment and music (Hollywood); Most Asian-Americans in the US; Technology and Business as mentioned. In short, I feel like I belong there, not here.

Another place that would fit in very well with my moderate and conservative ideology is Texas. Texas is a healthy and economically stable state; The second largest in population and area; The most fortune 500 companies of any state; unlike California it doesn’t have a 12% unemployment rate, a massive budget deficit nor is it losing population. That would make it perhaps a better place for me to find work. Just think: In Ontario I have to pay 2 sales taxes and 2 income taxes and as of now $3.8/gallon for gas. In Texas there’s no state income tax (only federal) and one sales tax of 6% (US has no federal sales tax). Oh and gas is cheaper too. Just think about how much you could save by moving there. You pay half the taxes! Houses less than $300k! And enjoy better weather! And people there are conservative! And you can buy guns anywhere! My god, what a difference that would be.

That’s just wishful thinking for now, as I (still) have not graduated from college and I have no idea what the future holds, but for now those are two of the places I would love to live and work in. If there was a job like Environment Canada but it was situated in California or Texas, then that would be my dream job.

Revision: 05/01/2010
While I still believe that my experience here has been moderate and the people are friendly, the environment is a little too relaxed for me. I like to work hard and be pressured, and I suppose the public sector is not as rigorous to meet deadlines as the private sector in this regard. So I most definitely believe that the private sector is where I’m heading. Location is as mentioned before, very important when choosing where to work.