Becoming a software consultant in Oslo, Norway

Today is my last day working at Twitter. I resigned from my job because I want to be able to work from Norway where Twitter doesn't have an office.

Tomorrow I start working at a consulting firm in Oslo called Scienta where I have a lot of freedom to choose what projects I work on. My first gig is a short contract with the Scala Center to improve Scala 3 support in Scalafmt.

It's still undecided what projects I will work on in 2021. Don't hesitate to reach out to me ([email protected]) if you're interested in hiring me for short-term or long-term engagements. I will write more about this later.

Family, local culture and proximity to nature is important for me

I am personally Icelandic, not Norwegian. I have actually never studied or worked before in Norway. Norwegian is the sixth language I learned how to speak. My wife is Norwegian and in Norway we have family, close friends and a local culture that makes me feel at home just as much as in Iceland.

Last week we moved to a smaller town outside of Oslo where my wife's family lives.

Picture of a field with a large oak tree

The nearby woods have wonderful trails for running.

Picture of a trailing inside the nearby woods

Living here feels great. I won't consider job opportunities that don't allow me to either work remotely from here or on-site in Oslo (30 minutes away), at least for now.

Working across time zones is difficult

When I was a university student, my most productive hours were 8pm-11pm and I often stayed up until 5am to work on assignments. These days I wake up at 7am without an alarm clock and I usually get most meaningful work done before 5pm.

Twitter is a US-based company so most important decisions are naturally made during the evening hours in Norway. This would have been great for me during university but not so much anymore.

For my next project, I'm looking forward to working more with people who live in the same time zone as me. It'll be nice to be able to leave work at 4pm-5pm and resume the morning after without having to go over a mountain of email and Slack notifications from the previous US workday. On the other hand, I suspect I will also miss my interruption-free workdays at Twitter while the US was asleep. Nothing is perfect.

Autonomy, complexity and a connection between effort and reward

I'll end this post with a quote from Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers.

"Those three things - autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward - are, most people will agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying."

I personally interpret "complexity" as "growth opportunities", which I think matches the spirit of the quote from the original book.

For my next job I aspire to satisfy all of those requirements :)