Career Thoughts

I guess one good thing about my career thoughts these days are that they\’re less broad. I no longer think about becoming an accountant almost ever. I am pretty dedicated to the technical/engineering fields. But therein lies the rub: which? I\’m kind of caught between them and feel a bit like I\’m going to be someone left without a chair when the music stops.

Why do I think this? I think part of it has to do with a few interviews I\’ve had while employed at my current employer. In each I get the strong impression that my \”jack of all trades\” background is not helpful. Granted, I\’m a test engineer and the two jobs I applied for were a systems administrator position and a software engineering position. But that\’s the issue: I don\’t want to be a test engineer forever. Testers are a unique breed in that they are highly important but lowly. They don\’t lead. They necessarily follow. At the same time, can you lead within a following discipline? Sure. I\’m trying to do so. But I\’m also legitimately recognizing that my \”subordinates\” are passing me by. A fresh-out-of-college guy I hired not long ago was so far-and-away my superior at programming that it was almost depressing. A tech who was recently promoted to engineer is better now than I am. The kind of stagnant guy with a CS degree has suddenly become more adept and is noticeably better.

A lot of this tells me: You need to get better at programming. Well, yes. And maybe that\’s just what I should do. But at the same time, my job encompasses a lot of other areas of engineering: power systems, in particular.

I could get an EE degree. I\’d love to. But I can\’t. I mean, I could. My employer would pay for it. I really considered signing up for a class this week. But even if I could take 5 classes per year (a class per available term), it\’d take something like 9 years. And so far, I haven\’t been able to make it work when I\’ve tried. I\’ve literally paid for Calculus 2 something like 3 times. But I inevitably get about 3 weeks in and realize that I could hack it, but it\’s going to be ugly. Or it\’s going to literally take all of my free time (including too much time from my family).

I could just \”do calculus slowly.\” Which means doing Saxon Calculus. And I\’m inclined to do so. Just take 30 minutes a day and work through the book. I should really do that. Why not? Then Saxon Physics. But if I\’m going to focus on some other area of tech is that a waste of time?

But no, I don\’t think so.

This has been helpful. Here\’s what I\’m going to do:

I have a Codecademy subscription for a long time still (until June). Finish the CS degree plan. I\’m 9% into it.

At the same time, plod through Calculus. 30 minutes per day.

If I finish those, come back and celebrate.

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