A half-decade has passed since I first arrived in Norway, and the last one year has been a rather calm year. After completing my PhD last year, I have been focusing mainly on developing my software development skills and on getting more exposure in the Norwegian oil and gas industry by taking part in a continuous development cycle of an environmental accounting software called NEMS Accounter®, which has been widely used by operators on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The experience so far has been satisfying, I would say, as I have been able to practice test-driven development on daily basis (although I must admit that I still create test code after the implementation code most of the time), and work with (relatively) old/legacy code. Refactoring has been my daily bread since I moved to Stavanger area in mid June 2014, and I believe it has been done for good reasons. I have been working with experienced and smart colleagues, and have been blessed with the opportunity to learn new things from them while claiming my (fair) share of contribution to the software’s code base. I completed a 6-month probation/trial period in mid December 2014, and have since been a regular employee.
However, as most things in life, not everything is milk and honey (I actually almost wrote “not everything is oil and gas”, as I currently live in Norway😀 ). It is widely known that the oil price has been (roughly) halved since June 2014, and downsizing has been inevitable in the very sector I have been working in. I tried to make a joke among my office colleagues telling them that I was perhaps the bad omen to this industry as I started to work in mid June 2014, just before the oil price went down hill (I think the Brent crude price was still hovering around 100 USD per barrel at that time). After all, oil is just another commodity that is subject to supply-and-demand law’s mercy. As supply surged without increasing demand at the same scale, price would naturally collapse (it does not sound like a rocket science, does it?). Well, I am not an oil and gas expert, but I have heard that the main culprit has been the wide use of a relatively new technology called hydraulic fracturing (or fracking in short), which has enabled operators to gain access to hydrocarbon reserves that were previously difficult to extract, which lead to a huge increase in production/supply (I heard this mainly happened in north America). Anyhow, I feel sorry for my colleagues who have been hit by the downsizing, and hope for the best for their future endeavours.
Apart from work, I have been experiencing everything for the first time in the Stavanger area (I have actually been living in Sandnes, working in Stavanger part of Forus), including Christmas and Easter. There was not much snow during the winter, with more share of rain compared to Grimstad. I attended a team-building event with office colleagues (the developer team) in mid November 2014 (ice skating and dinner at an Indian restaurant), and a company gathering dinner in the third week of November 2014 (mainly with the environmental department team) at an Italian restaurant in the city centre.
I watched the lighting of Christmas tree by the end of November 2014 in the city centre, attended a morning Christmas celebration mass on 25th December 2014, and went with some friends to the city centre to celebrate the new year (watching some fireworks).
Nothing much happened during the first quarter of 2015. I went to the city centre with a friend to watch the celebration of the Norwegian Constitution Day on 17th May 2015 (food market and parades).
As in many other cities, summer is always a nice time for some outdoor activities. I attended another team-building event with the developer team in the second week of June 2015. This time we were canoeing and doing a bit of running orienteering (one of the developer team members is an orienteering expert/veteran).
When the weather was good, having lunch at the office’s rooftop was actually a nice thing to do during the summer (when there was not so much wind). I figured this out with some office colleagues in mid August 2015, and we repeated it several times.
I celebrated the 70th Indonesian independence day with other fellow Indonesians in the Stavanger region at the end of August 2015, and attended another company team-building event in the third week of October 2015 (høydepunkt game and dinner at a hotel in the city centre) with mainly the environmental department group.
And here I am, having another birthday, getting older and (hopefully) more awesome😀