Monday, November 24, 2008

I'm Back After 3 Years


Amazing, but true! In Germany it is possible to take three years of parental leave.
When I returned to the office a few weeks ago, some guys couldn't believe it had been so long already. I told them they were coding when I left and they are still typing code now, so that's why they didn't even notice the passing of time. :-)

My parental leave ended when my little boy turned 3. It wasn't three years of only fun and games, though. When he was only two months old I realized that he had stopped breathing, so after intensive care and diagnosis, the doctors sent us home with a monitor. You know, electrodes on his chest, oxygen sensor on his foot, alarms sounding whenever he stopped breathing or the sensor was faulty, etc. "Fun" for the whole family, but at least it was only a matter of time till his body repaired the bugs in the software. Now he goes to preschool and is full of mischief. He is bright, busy and bilingual---speaking German (like Papa) and English (like Mama).

I'm so glad to still be an employee at Sun, but, aside from now being only part-time, my job has changed. I used to be active in the community mostly in marketing and German native lang, but may be remembered most as the enthusiastic linguist in charge of UI text in the German and English versions of the OpenOffice.org/StarOffice office suite.
If you are also passionate about User Interface text, you might be interested in the style guide I wrote before I left on leave.

Now, I am no longer in charge of text on the software design team. So please don't send me those issues/bugs! ;-) My current focus is user experience in general and to this aim I have joined the OpenOffice.org website mailing list because I thought I'd help improve the usability of the wiki. This and other similar work is something I can do easily from home and at odd hours, as is often necessary when small children are involved. Sun is a great employer, especially since I get a SunRay with peaceful and productive network access from home or office. I'm a big fan of computer people (I married a Java developer, of course!), but I am really quite pleased when I can do my work and let them do theirs. ;-)

I plan to write more about work and life on this blog. This is my first blogging experience and yet I already feel like a happy little pixel in the global picture.

3 comments:

andre.schnabel said...

Hi Liz,

this was of course one of the best rumours I heard in Beijing - Liz is with the project again :)

So - welcome back, best wishes to you, your son and your husband.

André

PS.: there is really no way have you bak working on German localization? ;)

Christoph Noack said...

Hi! It is a pleasure to "meet" you, either being a bright pixel or just Liz :-)

I would like to join André... wishing you and your family the very best for now and ever.

Christoph

anjoschu said...

Glad to hear a fellow linguist is with the team! I've heard many good things about you at Beijing. :)

BTW: Thank you for the reminder on the style guide.