14 years and 3 months
That’s how long my employment at Opera Software lasted.
As of May 1st, 2015, I will no longer be an Opera employee.
Strictly speaking I haven’t really been a very active employee for the past couple of years. Since mid-2013 I’ve been studying full-time, and I’ve held just a small part-time position at Opera. Although my years at Opera have been awesome, incredible, amazing, and all sort of superlatives, I eventually found myself thinking about where I would see myself in 10 or 20 or 30 or more years into the future.
I realized that I didn’t really want to work with computers for the rest of my professional life. At least not the way I was doing at the time. So I made a choice, and I started on a completely new and different education/career path that has very little to do with computers in general. Maybe I’ll write more on that later.
My years at Opera
I guess I should have written a longer post about my time at Opera, but I realize that I kind of already did about 4 years ago, when I summed up 10 years at Opera (link to the archive of my former My Opera blog). I’m sure there are things I could mention that came after that, but I’ve been so busy doing other things the past couple of years that I haven’t really had the time to think about it.
A lot has happened to the company itself, of course. Lots of changes, both to products and focus in general. People have left, and other people have joined. Until now, there were quite a few long-time members of the desktop team around.
But then Opera decided to make yet another change.
Long story short, a decision was apparently made to center all development in one location for each product.
Since Norway is quite expensive, I guess, the development of the desktop will continue in Poland. Opera is growing like crazy. Don’t believe the doomsday prophets who insist that Opera is in trouble. Opera is doing better than ever. But events in Russia and such have Opera on a slightly slower growth path than before.
Opera was severely punished on the stock market. It was pretty insane, and goes to show how these things are not much better than gambling (stock market pricing doesn’t really seem to be determined by objective facts, but rather by emotions and such). I’m guessing the management felt forced to do something.
Farewell, Oslo Desktop team
The desktop team in Oslo has been shut down (along with other teams in other countries and various positions around the company, presumably), and people have either been given a severance package or an offer to relocate within the company. Interestingly, Opera is apparently still hiring new people for other teams in other parts of the world.
I got my severance package, and will of course continue on my current education. Compared to all those colleagues who planned on continuing a career at Opera it’s not that bad for me. I was already on my way out, and my future was unlikely to be at Opera in the first place. My education won’t exactly be relevant to Opera.
The management seems to try to handle this decently, helping people both financially and in getting new jobs. The former Operators won’t simply be kicked to the curb (at least not in Oslo). I’m pretty sure many of the former Oslo Desktop team members will be picked up by a certain company as well…
I’m still an Opera user. I’ve been using the “new Opera” as my primary browser for a long time, and basically use Opera 12 as a feed reader/e-mail client. I’m not planning to switch any time soon, but I’ll obviously keep an eye on that new browser to see how it turns out.
I’m not sure how active this blog will be, but there are a few things I will probably address in future posts. Maybe I’ll play the armchair analyst as well, commenting on things Opera Software decides to do in the future.
So I guess that’s it for now. Goodbye, Opera. Goodbye, good old times. Things inevitably change. Good things don’t last forever. And so on.