4th year of Norway chapter, welcoming the 4th decade of life

…people can now call you Dr. Trinugroho…

That sentence marked the culmination of a 3+-year filled with dedication, hard work, long nights and weekends, and sincere prayers. A sentence so precious that I believe I will remember for the rest of my life. It was said by the head of the ICT department of the University of Agder at the end of my PhD disputation/defence on September 17th 2014. I am very grateful to have gone through all the tough days as a PhD student and made it to the end. My sincere gratitude goes to God, great supervisors, external reviewers and opponents, colleagues, family and friends. It would not have been possible without their kind help and support. Thank you!

"...people can now call you Dr. Trinugroho..."

“…people can now call you Dr. Trinugroho…” — Grimstad, Norway

Four years have passed since I came to Norway, and today I turn 30, which means I have spent three good decades on this planet. Looking back to the past ten years, I realise that formal education had a big share of my time. B.Sc., double M.Sc., Ph.D., all took place in my 20s. And quite surprisingly, I realise that they were attained in distinct countries (i.e. Indonesia, Italy, Germany, Norway). I do not regret nor complain about this fact (at least not yet 🙂 ), and in fact, if I had the chance to repeat my 20s, I would most probably choose to do it all over again. I love learning, and academic degrees will not change that any bit. I have promised myself to keep learning new things in my 30s, albeit not in an academic setting. Starting my own family sounds interesting as well during my 30s.

Continuing from where I left off (which was a year ago), I spent the last quarter of 2013 writing my last paper for a journal publication and doing my best to put all my (research) work findings in a thesis that was planned to be submitted during the first quarter of 2014. Thankfully the journal paper was accepted, and I managed to submit my PhD thesis by the end of February 2014. I even managed to co-author a book chapter to be published in early 2015. Sounds like hard work paid off? Well, so far my answer has been quite consistent: yes, hard work does pay off. Although honestly I plan to relax my muscles a bit and enjoy the weekends more in the coming year(s) 🙂

Home thesis workspace -- Grimstad, Norway

Home thesis workspace — Grimstad, Norway

Knowing that my PhD research fellowship contract would end rather soon, I spent some of my thesis writing break time to think what to do next. After a couple rounds of brainstorming, I decided to apply for jobs that are related to software development in industry since I like building stuff that is more concrete, used in real life (as opposed to research work that typically spans from ideation to prototypes/proof-of-concepts). I started applying for jobs in mid November 2013, attended several interviews, and finally chose to join Add Energy, a company based in Stavanger, Norway (I received the job offer around late January 2014). I was impressed with the fact that the company has several software solutions/products that have been developed in-house (instead of being outsourced to third party companies), and I was also interested to learn more about the Norwegian oil & gas industry, which at that time accounted for roughly 20% of the country’s economy. So it was not a difficult decision to accept the job offer, although that means I had to move to Stavanger.

I did not start the new job until mid June 2014 since my PhD research fellowship contract was in effect until end of May 2014. After submitting my PhD thesis in late February 2014, I traveled to Pittsburgh, PA, USA for a research visitation at the University of Pittsburgh from March to May 2014. It was a nice experience to meet new colleagues and experience new research environment where I dedicated my time building an initial prototype of an mHealth solution.

The cathedral of learning -- Pittsburgh, PA, USA

The Cathedral of Learning — Pittsburgh, PA, USA

During my stay in Pittsburgh, I managed to visit Washington, DC, with some friends.

The White House -- Washington, D.C., USA

The White House — Washington, DC, USA

And also the Niagara Falls.

The Niagara Falls -- Washington, DC, USA

The Niagara Falls — NY, USA

I traveled back to Grimstad on June 1st 2014, then visited Indonesia for roughly 2 weeks for a family-related special occasion. I started to work on my new job as a software developer on June 16th 2014. I have enjoyed myself working at the new workplace with nice and smart colleagues, and I have learned new things both within the software development domain and the oil & gas domain in general. Ah…. And I found the office desks at the new workplace fascinating: it can be raised or lowered with a button push 🙂 It is especially useful when calling a colleague for help so that he/she does not have to bring a chair since we can discuss while standing and looking to the monitors. I think it should become the standard for all (office) workspaces.

Cool office desk -- Stavanger, Norway

Cool office desk — Stavanger, Norway

Well, today my 20s is officially over, and I look forward to experiencing the 4th decade of my life. It will not be very academic, but I believe many things are to be learned on my way. I hereby welcome my 30s 🙂


2 Responses to “4th year of Norway chapter, welcoming the 4th decade of life”

  1. 1 Dimas Mukhlas November 6, 2014 at 12:22 pm

    bro ternyata dirimu sekarang menetap di Stavanger ya?? kerasan bro di Norway 😀

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