As evidenced by my lack of an update in a couple of weeks, things have either been lacking in interest enough to post about, or busy. How about a combination? Here's a synopsis!
I've got some other stuff going on, but danged if I can remember any of it right now.
I was cleaning out old memos in my Palm pilot (or whatever they're supposed to be called these days).
Old stuff like popping up like that sucks and makes me melancholy, but at least I got Mom the stuff on her list for Christmas. Gina picked out really nice, soft towels that Mom went on and on about.
Still missing you Mom :)
This week looks to be busier than normal, and that busy-ness will be the norm for a while. On top of a full time job and a part time job, this week I start back to school.
For a while now I've been thinking about going back to school. Sure, deep down I've enjoyed not going to school any of the past 12 years since I graduated from Athens State. The lack of homework and trying to cram crap into my head has been pleasant. But I've come to learn that if I want to go farther in the direction my career looks to be turning, I need another piece of paper to open some doors :)
At Westar I got a taste of management while filling in for Keith after he went to Dealnews. The "management" job has always been something I've looked at with a bit of disgust. I'm a programmer, a coder, I get things done! I don't want to be off wasting time in meetings talking about things that might one day get done. At Westar I approached it with an open mind, though. I filled out reports, made schedules, held meetings that hopefully were useful. After 3 months of doing that, I found that I actually like it. Part of me felt guilty for liking it, but then I figured out why I liked it.
When I finally graduated college, I wasn't so much of a programmer as a coder. For me, a coder makes things work. I didn't know all the cool and/or proper ways to program, but when given a problem I could whip out a program that would work, and it would work well. A year out of school and I got started making web sites (or really web-based applications), and that's what I've been doing ever since. I joke around that I can't make the introductory "hello world" program in any language without a web browser. One of the benefits of sticking to web applications for over a decade is that, thanks in no small part to the people that first taught me, I learned not so much the right way to make a program for the web, but I know the things to check and look out for to make sure everything works the way it should. Sure, things slip by and I'll admit to not being perfect, but I'm generally able to take care of the little things that bite you in the butt along the way.
Over this past decade of web programming, it's getting gradually harder to keep up with the newest, latest, or coolest technology. There comes a time when it's cheaper to hire some kid fresh out of college that's been taught those new and cool ways of doing things as opposed to training the old fart who's been around forever. Especially when that old fart doesn't pick things up quite as fast as he used to.
I'll admit that I don't know all of the latest technical details of how to program. I used to, once upon a time. I used to be really good at it. Now, I'm average (or maybe a notch above average?). I don't think I've got what it takes to go back to being a really good programmer. I do think I can be a really good manager, though. I may not know the intricacies of the technical details, but I still know how to realistically estimate time, how to infer what a customer says into what they really want, and how to map out the code to where you don't lock yourself into something that will need to be changed 180° when somebody changes their mind down the road.
But to get there, I'm going to need some help. My resume spouts off loads of programming languages and different jobs, but my management experience, on paper at least, is minimal. I've been looking for a graduate program that matches up with me for years, and I may have finally found one in the MSIS program at UAH. Half technical, half business. Sounds like just what I need!
But before I can get started there, I have 4 undergraduate prerequisite classes to take. This will also be a good test to see if I can stick to going back to school after a 12 year break. Since it's cheaper, I'm starting off taking one of those classes at the local community college (which I also went to... 14 years go?). Tuesday night I go to Decatur for an orientation class for an online Accounting I class I've signed up and even already paid for.
Full time job. Part time job. Online accounting class. What am I thinking?
For those with speakers, this is my favorite link of late: http://www.moanmyip.com/ It sounds dirty, but it's not :)
As my "I'm OK but busy" post, here's a fan-made, just different enough to hopefully avoid a lawsuit, GI Joe inspired trailer:
I've been on the mailing list for this thing for at least 6 months and I got an email Saturday saying they've finally released it. I'll be happy if it's as good as the preview looks to be (I just love the CGI blood splatter!).
As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).
Tags have been added to posts back to 2005. There may be an occasional old blog that gets added to the tag list, but in reality what could be noteworthy from that far back?
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