goldkin: goldkin tranquil (goldkin tranquil)
For the past several years, I've made my trade as an information worker. Even with my year-long hiatus after moving (which I've come to respect as a Good Thing), I kept busy while searching for what is now my present job.

And now I realize why, as a Floridian, my experience is so strange -- in a city that's home to so many diverse cultures.

It isn't my accent. It's not my manners. Nor is it my stature, my education, my experience, my phrasing, my looks, my cynicism, my quirky habit of saying all the wrong things at all the right times, or my manner of keeping current with the world.

I'm simply not used to being around smart people.

I say this without a hint of elitism. I'm just a person that needs to be around people smarter and more experienced than I -- to learn, and to help organize my thoughts.

It's one of those realizations that, cast backwards over the years, makes perfect sense of what was an otherwise confused journey:

* It explains why I saw no fundamental value in Computer Engineering when I was in college. In truth, U. Miami wasn't the best college for an engineering degree of any sort. When prompted by the Assistant Dean of Engineering's heartfelt plea that my class not graduate as engineers, I diverted to a (Computer Information Systems) degree co-hosted by the Business School.

* It explains why, during that degree and the next, I spent the majority of my time learning to program from books and online, on my own and separate from my degree. I maintained this without missing more than one lecture per class, never dropping or retaking a single class, and meeting the minimal requirements for prestige, graduating both degrees with an A-.

* It explains why I spent my time hiding in Second Life from 2004 onward. Imagine trying to come to grips with this reality with no one to talk to. Now imagine being given the perfect, malleable little world to play with for similar misfits. It was a match made in heaven.

* It explains why, after a year and a half of my job at an undisclosed anti-virus company, I found myself quickly bored and depressed. I once again lacked peers, beyond a friend who quickly became my silent coworker.

* And it explains why, now, I find myself hungry when I'm only just settling into my new job. I've already hit my stride, surpassed my peers, and promptly relapsed into my studies.

These are realities that, cast in the relief of new information, make perfect sense in hindsight.

For anyone else, being surrounded by intelligence might have happened naturally, from college onward. It didn't for me; I just wish I'd figured this out sooner.

So, to continue my education, I'll need to surround myself with intelligent people where I work. This all but ensures I'll be sending applications to Microsoft, Google, and Amazon again in the near future.

Though perhaps, not too soon. The brief peace in my career has been rather nice.
goldkin: i has book (Default)
Looking at what I've posted in personal channels over the past few months, I've come to realize my situation isn't that bad. In fact, much of why I've been bitter was entirely on my end.

Sure, I temporarily live in a house with a screaming baby. Okay, my job situation didn't pan out over the past several months (a situation I admittedly put myself into, for personal reasons). Yes, I've found myself severely doubting my actions over the past several years when I pissed off in school and took a business degree with focus in computing, instead of completing my Engineering degree or taking a proper BS in CS.

The fact is, I'm intelligent and adult enough to fix those problems, even if they seemed insurmountable at the time. And that's exactly what I'm going to do.

I've begun talks to return to my former employer, under what I hope will be a telecommute agreement. Concurrent to this, I'm going to apply to the University of Washington for their Master's Preparation Sequence in Computer & Software Systems (their equivalent to a CS degree). Even if I don't go for the full degree, I absolutely require a foundation in CS theory.

And concurrent to all of this, I'm going to continue applying for full-time positions at Microsoft. I received two in-person interview loops for positions that were in my area but above my experience level. Given enough time and commitment on my part, I'll definitely get in.

Back at home, I've discovered ways to completely step out of the drama that's been flying back and forth between friends (here) and family (at a distance). I've established a Plan B if things go completely tits up, I've appeased family so I don't have them hounding me or complaining that I'm a failure, and I've settled my personal matters so I feel reasonably more secure.

In light of having broken down about this recently, this is genuinely good news. I just hope the high remains such that I can make this all work out.

And hey, getting another job offer wouldn't hurt, either. :)

October 2015

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