The first phase of The Plan, as highlighted in the previous post, was to quit my dead-end job without having one lined up. Rather than search for another job immediately, however, Phase Two involves developing both personal and professional skills.
Although my current jobless situation is clearly not ideal, I can safely say the following: in an ideal world, I would like to spend approximately two months in between every job that I have. This would, in a better situation, involve having a job lined up for two months after I leave my current employment. That time would allow me to vacation if I please, relax (depending on the demand of the previous job), and build skills.
Being in the technology industry, and being willing to adapt to new technologies in this internet age, building skills is a very manageable thing. There are vast resouces to be found online for a person motivated enough to use them. Programming languages have comprehensive tutorials and reference guides for anyone to access, and open-source tools often provide more support through the community than could any commercial product.
I therefore set out to do the following:
1. Learn a new programming language (Python).
2. Study algorithms.
3. Get an awesome job.
The latter is pretty vague, but I mean a job at an innovative company like Google or Twitter. Let’s rate jobs on an interval between 1 and 10. If I lined up a job while still working at my previous position to start immediately, I would have had very little time to find the right job, as well as minimal time for the development of skills. Instead, given that I quit without find a job, I have been able to quickly develop the kinds of skills I might need to reach that high-hanging fruit.
I’m studying algorithms to help me reach this goal. A computer scientist needs a lot more in his or her toolcase than a list of programming languages they know. Google will be probing for problem solving ability and the way a person thinks about problems, and the same goes for Twitter. Brains and accumulated knowledge will have to meet in symphony.
Lastly, I’m learning Python because I need more languages under my belt. While I have used PHP for great projects in the past, it would be great to know a language with the power and elegance of Python. Not only is it a lovely language for those of us who are mathematically inclined, but it is becoming a popular language for web development as well.
All of the above will allow me to make the transition from “Web Developer” to “Software Developer”. This seemingly pointless change of job title is more of a change in attitude that I am attempting to develop. I do not want to be a PHP developer or someone who makes websites for people. I do not mind, on the other hand, being a software developer that is well versed in the ways of the web.
Over the past three weeks and into the next month, I have been (and will be) working to make these things happen. This blog will be a sort of journal designed to disect my experiences, both the positive and the negative, and share whatever conclusions this wandering developer may find.