Career Survey: Computer Programming

Since this is supposed to be a career blog rather just a whiny
memior/auto-biographical rant, I’ll talk about careers a little.

But I’ll do it in an auto-biographical way. 🙂

I’m going to continue my (seemingly hopeless) search for the perfect
career by speculating what the actual job would be like, and what I
need to do to get there.

One job I think I might like is computer programming. The reason I
think I might like it is that I do it as a hobby. I find it to be
really relaxing, actually.

Pros

1. It’s fun. Like I said, I love it.

2. I’m pretty good at it. At least I think I am. If I’m not good, I
don’t mind practicing. I could pretty much spend the rest of my life
programming.

3. It pays more than I ever expect to get in my life. Advancement is
seemingly endless–see the programmers who got on the ground floor at
MS. They are all very wealthy.

Cons

1. It’s so fun the boss can take my project away to punish me. That
hurts. This actually happened.

2. It’s so fun I forget to write the features that I’m asked to write
because I’m obsessed with some obscure optimization or a cool hack
that nobody will care about.

3. It’s so fun it makes me into a zombie that can’t focus on anything
else. This creates an “unbalanced” life.

4. It is very tiring and after a day of programming, I can’t write fiction.

5. I don’t know how to get a job in this field. I don’t have
education, and I may have to go back to school. After ten years in
college including 3 years at the gradaute level, I’m deeply in debt,
and I am sick of school. This might not be a job I can get with a
normal education.

6. The domination of MS. Love ’em or hate ’em. I hate ’em mostly because their platform sucks, but also because you can’t criticize them without being accused of being jealous. OK, I want a lot of money for doing such a crappy job, too. Who doesn’t. But I’d rather be well paid to do a _good_ job. Thankfully, Linux has taken over to a point that there are full time jobs that will allow one the luxury of never touching a MS machine. So this point is now moot.

Overall. I should have majored in computers. If I did, I’d be out of
debt by now. I would not have had to live in such awful ghettos. I
could have avoided working years of disgusting jobs.

The main reason I didn’t go into computers is that I didn’t want to be
a geeky person who could not relate to other people. I wound up
becoming this person anyway, but in a far less lucrative way. It seems
as if there is money to be made anywhere near me, I’ll be in the worst
position to exploit that.

I’m actively applying for computer jobs right now, and I am
voluntering on gnome-games to hone my skills and make a name for
myself. Lack of computer hurts this endeavor, but I can borrow my
wife’s machine for a few hours if I get up early enough.

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