Wednesday, November 16, 2005

So, what is you DO, exactly...?

Okay, so it's come up as I sent out "change your address book" messages, that many people don't know what I do... did... or perhaps am looking for. I suppose that's not shocking; I'm not sure the people I worked with for nine years know what I did. Hell, sometimes even I wonder...

You know, in Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, Robert Fulghum has an excellent set of essays on "what do you do." The point being that we -- as a society -- define ourselves a bit too much by our occupations.

But, since the question is being asked in the case of my job search, I suppose I can make an exception...

I started at CPI as a web devloper. Within a year of that I was in charge of a contract, and my application (which we didn't initially build, but inherited the maintenance and further development of) sort of led to the company (or at least my office) converting all our systems to Oracle powered, web-based applications. So suddenly I was managing a contract that revolved around an Oracle web-app, and I had to learn Oracle PL/SQL and so on. (Bored yet?)

Mostly, I would manage the contract (did the staffing, budget, etc.) and I did the functional analysis. I would meet with the various clients and find out what business process(es) they needed help with and then figure out what we could do to help. Then I'd spec out some initial logic and take it back to the programming team and say, "I think this is what they want, and this might be the way to get started." Sometimes things changed dramatically from that point, sometimes not.

I know enough programming to be dangerous, (and to know when one is lying to me when they say it will take four weeks...) but I don't consider myself a programmer. I'm fairly decent at managing people. I'm pretty good with requirements and functional analysis, and program management. For better or worse, though, my knowledge is all experience-based/learned on the job, so I have no certifications and no formal training.

Oh, also, I believe I write pretty well. (You may disagree.)

Oh, and for those keeping track at home, I thought we should give some intial statistics. Pre-blog counts:

Resumes sent out: I have no idea -- a bunch.
Interviews (including phone interviews): 4

Let's see if we can't bump those numbers up.

So for today (now anyway), I'll leave you with this:

"I've always thought anyone can make money. Making a life worth living, that's the real test." -- Robert Fulghum

1 comment:

Jado said...

"I've always thought anyone can make money..."

Said like a true multi-million-selling author.

As much as I agree with him in general about the importance of making your life worth living, hearing anyone with success talk about how "easy" it is to make money is just galling.

Making money isn't easy. Either you are sacrificing time for it, effort for it, or obsessing about it. I submit that a lot of people could conceivably make it into and through law school, and make more than 6 figures per year. I also submit that the requirements to be successful at that would be enough to make a lot of us crazy, and it does every year.

Trade your sanity for money, trade your health for money, trade your time for money. No one gets a free ride, and it's not easy.

So live a life worth living. But don't disparage the effort you use to make a decent amount of money - it's not easy.

Neither is the search for a decent job.