Monday, October 13, 2014

Jobs, Again and More

Probably the hardest thing to do from Hilo: track down a job on the mainland, and get hired.

So if you know anyone with a software position open and willing to hire me, then let me know. In the meantime let me talk about something else. I believe earlier in this blog I have mentioned how much I used to dislike writing for a class, but how much I enjoy writing outside of class. Well it's sort of like data and my post about subways really culminated a few of those into one. I definitely didn't have much trouble with the writing, just some of the code kept me boggled for longer than it should have.

I really do like writing, must have gotten it from my mother: Bird Banter, and her companion gardening column with a few less years: Garden Gossip. I really like quite a bit of science fiction as well. I really enjoy hard science fiction where there might be far out concepts but the author integrates them into the story, possibly using a new concept to turn a bit of the plot around. So maybe as I am trying to find a job that might have sounded outrageous 50 years ago I should aspire to finish writing a story. Yes, finish a book in fact, as I have around eleven thousand words and that is mostly from writing a few hundred at a time during lunch breaks.

It isn't about the words though... It's about the story and the concepts, where one explores the other. Anyway, I suppose there is enough out there about literature and what it is attempting to do. But I would like to write a story.

Had a really good conversation with a hiring manager today, after the previous paragraphs were written. I think either writing this or having the "long-term career goals" question asked must have jogged something loose. I responded that I want to be a science fiction writer, of course being a software engineering manager he might have thought that was crazy, except when I went on to describe what I meant:

I would love to be a best-selling sci-fi author, writing about fantastic technologies and using my stories and characters to explore them, or vice-versa. But what are many of these technologies going to need in the short term? Software, plenty of software, even if you call it firmware, more on that in a minute. Whether or not I ever become a successful author I still want to positively influence the world with my software contributions, essentially an author of progress.

Let's say that I have to fall back on the idea of being an author, where the heck am I going to start? Well first off, I won't give up software right away. There are still projects to contribute to, things to improve. What I really need is motivation in both arenas, I need to find people/projects that are responsive and have a clear idea of what's happening next. I need to remember what I am doing, very good blog post by The Art of Manliness blog on remembering.

I definitely need to remember my path, but I need to remember the important structures beneath it, it must be supported somehow. And I just need to remember good responses to screening questions. I felt a bit underwhelmed by a second screening call today from another company. I completely forgot my long-term response from earlier, "Why do you want to work for us?" Uhhh... because you sound like a great company. Great, Bryan,  no vision, no passion, not going to get a job that way.

Writing, how should I go about it? I follow a couple of sci-fi writers, some good ideas there definitely. And I have been voraciously reading many different levels of books, from self-published essentially, to well edited best-sellers. Well I am going to need practice, and one way to practice is to write more! I really need to find a group that I can bounce ideas off of, but who knows when I will find that.

Now back to writing changes in the world. Or that's what I will keep telling myself.

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