This is an offtopic, personal and a bit sad post.
For the last 8 months, I've been working at NAVTEQ, in the Madrid R&D Department, as a .NET Analyst-Programmer, both maintaining and expanding a mobile platform (in the server side) and doing some R&D for a new project related with routing (in the GIS field, not related to network routing ;)
In july of 2008, Nokia bought NAVTEQ. Being already big, that came as a "wow, now we're getting really big" rant.
Then, the global crisis appeared, and on december we were told that by february we were going to be fired, because the full Madrid R&D Department was going to be wiped out.
Two months later, it has been finally materialized and today we've signed an agreement. The first of march we will be no longer working at NAVTEQ.
It is sad to come to the conclusion that a grim face of big companies is that you become a number, a disposable resource. We don't know if the decision comes from Nokia or from NAVTEQ, but anyway we're out.
To be in this situation for two months (knowing you are going to be fired but not how or when exactly) it is something I don't desire for anyone, even more having to argue, vote, discuss and fight internally for reaching a common agreement to present to the company (there were people who only wanted to be fired in hostile terms to fight back with lawyers, others who feared not finding another job and tried to stay at the company at all costs...). But at last the harder part is finished, and now it's a mere countdown with a clear ending.
A good point towards NAVTEQ is that at least in this final negotiation and agreement they have been kind, receptive and tried to make it easy for us. We're getting a monetary compensation/bonus, full february wage (staying at home if we want) and everything clean and done the right way to avoid having to pay anything to the ministry of finances next year (the full compensation is taxes-free to our purposes).
My current plans are to try to find a good job, but as we are in crisis and it has hit deep in Spain, I plan to dedicate a part of the compensation for a short-term unemployment situation (I can lower a bit my wages, but not to the levels I'm seeing on some job offers). If in a few months I'm still unemployed, I will start to lower my desires, but in the meantime I prefer learning new technologies and spending time on personal projects. I have a lot to read so maybe now it is the perfect opportunity.
I'm doing some job interviews but I'm open to offers (just in Madrid, Spain, that's one requisite), so if you are interested on hiring me, we can talk :)