Daily Archives: March 14, 2019

The romance of self revision

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[Last Saturday: about 9 miles; Monday: 3.4; today: 3.4 miles]

So. I had my trip and interview last week and subsequent rejection and I’ve been simultaneously in a bit of a funk and doing further job-search activities. I’m not sure this is really a safe combination.

I was so excited about that position, or what I imagined it could be, and my imagined move to Cedar Rapids and my imagined learning new things and meeting new people, etc. etc. Anyway, I need to move on or you’re going to get really tired of this really quick.

So I decided my topic today should be the romance of self improvement. Spring is the time of year for that kind of thing.

(back to job search topic) I’ve been looking at transitioning my career back toward software development. I started out in that right out of college and I enjoyed it. Then circumstances slowly shifted me more toward “operations” which means the management of daily tasks. It’s like the difference between the guy hammering the nails in a new house and the guy running the vacuum cleaner. If you were here right now you would know that I don’t find vacuuming to be the optimum fit for my skill set.

Not only that, my industry is changing. The amount of stuff that one person needs to know is always increasing, particularly in operations. So they add on new computer programs as tools to manage everything, and a guy becomes a specialist in how to configure and use the tools. It’s like someone being a specialist in Microsoft Office. (I chuckle when I have meetings with my boss, the head of IT at our company, and he wrestles with Outlook to try to get it to work the way he wants it. If the IT manager can’t make Outlook act right, do you think you can?) Sorry folks, I don’t want to be a specialist in Microsoft Office or Splunk or Apache.

[an aside… I’ve been alarmed by frequently seeing online advertisements for database administrators that list under Education: “Associates degree or better.” No ding on Associates degree holders. It’s like databases were the BiG RiG Truck and now they all come with automatic transmission.]

And everything is about security now. It needs to be. Security sucks. The only thing worse is the lack of security.

So where can I go where I can work with computers, but not be the Wizard of Someone Else’s Product? Where can I work with the parts I enjoy: making new things and fixing old things. And where can I not be hounded by spam, Russian hackers and lawyers? Maybe I can’t be the guy who designs the software Notre Dame cathedral, but maybe I could be the guy who designs and builds software dog houses and bookshelves.

Therefore I imagine myself to be an embedded systems software engineer. I’ll be happy programming the little gizmo that controls your microwave oven. I’ll say things like: See that? It blinked and beeped at the same time? I did that!

Now I have to find someone who will read my resume all about operations and databases and lots of virtual vacuum cleanering and see past that to my little withered programmer’s heart. Please take me home, I need some love.

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Mar 14, 2019
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