Saturday, September 4, 2010

Choose Life. Choose a Job. Choose a Career.

This is my last semester as a graduate student, I'm moving on to a "real job." I may graduate. I may not. I basically don't care much either way, at this point. My job offer doesn't depend on my having a Ph.D., and I don't see a future for myself where a Ph.D. is required. Perhaps I'll get fired in short order and will have neither a Ph.D. nor experience/recommendation. I'll cross that bridge if I come to it. I'll feel bad if I don't get my advisor a thesis after all he's done, but hopefully if that happens he'll at least be closer to a paper.

This summer I did an internship as a software developer at Rosetta Stone, where I had a great time. I was on a team full of good people, all easy to work with (the impression I got was that such people were all over the place at Rosetta Stone). During this time I worked on an Adobe AIR application described by my boss at an executive-summary level as a "Fancy Tape Recorder." There was already some work done on it when I came in and, with my fellow intern, I think we got things to a pretty reasonable state by the end of the summer.

I enjoyed my time at Rosetta Stone, and the team I was on seemed to think I was doing good work. At the end of the summer, I submitted an application for full-time employment, and eventually an offer was extended to me. In the mean time, I had also applied to Telogis Research, in New Zealand. I would have gone in a heartbeat, but apparently didn't do well enough on my phone interview. Ah well. At least I had fun with their quiz. The third and final place I applied was CCRi, here in Charlottesville.

After a terribly uncertain week, with lots of lying in bed pondering and not being able to fall asleep, and some last minute craziness (apologies to all involved), I'm finally sorted. CCRi gave an offer I'm pretty excited about, and so I'm going to see what happens there.

I'm quite nervous about it, to be honest, and that's why I was leaning to Rosetta Stone for a while. At CCRi, I'll be a systems engineer. I don't even exactly know what that is. I don't remember the last class I was in that had much to do with applications. As they pointed out during my interview, they've got a lot they need me to learn. I hope I wasn't too far off in my claim that after all this time in school, as student and as teacher, I can learn quickly and effectively. If not, I'm potentially looking at that no job + no phd bridge in short order.

Additionally, I'll need to get a security clearance. Hopefully not much of an issue, but it will mean giving up being an Australian citizen, apparently. And I just got my passport :-(. Ah well. It's been pointed out to me that there are plenty of nice places in the States to live. And it's not like I couldn't go visit. And, since Telogis didn't take me, how likely was it I was heading that way soon anyway? Life was bound to get in the way sooner or later. Still, it's a bummer dude.

So I'm not sure what will happen with this blog. My math fork is already a bit neglected. I guess this has always just been a personal ranting blog anyway, so probably it'll stick around. As this is my last semester teaching, I probably won't have too much more to say about textbooks or institutionalized education (maybe just a little bit as the semester rolls on :)). I'll keep my eye on the space, and I do believe there will be interesting developments there in the next few years (they're happening already). But for now, it looks like I'm out. Off to other things.

Choose rottin' away at the end of it all...

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