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what to do next

 
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Hi All,
I have been reading the threads in this forum for the last 1/2 hr. and find it quite interesting. Yes, I need advise too.
A year ago, I took a job that paid me 10K less than what I made before that. (i.e, went from 80K-70K). At the time, I believed that my 80K job was overpaying me and I needed to learn newer skills. Since then I have taken and passed SCJP, SCJD and SCWCD. I got a raise after 6 months which made my salary roughly 75K but I had to quit and take another job for 70K again because I sensed that the contracting house I was working for did n't have any projects coming up. I don't regret it, I now a lot about JSP, Servlets, XML all that gui stuff I never had to do before. Actually, it was a lot of fun and I learned it easy.
What I am not clear about is- where to go from here. I hold 2 masters degrees - one in EE and another in Computer Engineering. So, it is not a big deal for me to study up for more tests for example, Oracle 9i DBA certifications. I don't think Databases are my strongest point and I wouldn't mind doing it. However, at 35 I am starting to wonder if that will be the right thing. To me, programming has become too easy and there are a lot of prople out there that are willing to do the job. Not to mention all the overseas programmers that are being manufactured at a very high rate. I could go for an MBA and pursue management but I am really not sure if that will be me an edge.
I also do not intend to work and study all the time, I want to enjoy my life. I personally don't believe it is healthy for a human body to sit in front of the computer >60 hrs. a week. I also believe that I owe it to myself to remain healthy (within my power) and not become a burden on my family/society in any way.
I realize that it is highly important to stand out in the crowd and I would appreciate everyones' thoughts.
 
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its time to think about retirement
 
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Originally posted by Billy Tsai:
its time to think about retirement



Peekaboo, don't pay attention to what Billy says.. he's just like that
[ August 03, 2003: Message edited by: Andres Gonzalez ]
 
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Hi,
After two years of looking and thinking what to do, I finally decided to switch profession. In my opinion a field that�s so overcrowded that you need to know someone just to get in is not a reliable steady source of income.
So I am back to school starting from ground zero in a health related field. I figured, unless some day they come up with the technology to beam up the patients to another country, the future of my future career would not be as bleak.
By the way I love programming, and even though I�m not making a dime now, nor do I expect to be in the future, I still spend all my free time working on my computer, learning and writing code. But now it�s for my personal joy.
And that�s my .02 cents I hope it helps.
 
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Originally posted by Peekaboo Switchback:

What I am not clear about is- where to go from here. I hold 2 masters degrees - one in EE and another in Computer Engineering. So, it is not a big deal for me to study up for more tests for example, Oracle 9i DBA certifications. I don't think Databases are my strongest point and I wouldn't mind doing it. However, at 35 I am starting to wonder if that will be the right thing. To me, programming has become too easy and there are a lot of prople out there that are willing to do the job. Not to mention all the overseas programmers that are being manufactured at a very high rate. I could go for an MBA and pursue management but I am really not sure if that will be me an edge.


If you are capable, intelligent, possess good communication skills, and have those degrees, I imagine you should be able to continue as a developer indefinately. The non-coding skills and general experience should put you in front of the crowd.
But more importantly, what do you want to do? Do you want to stay a developer? What about project management? Do you possess any industry specific knowledge you can leverage?
--Mark
 
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Hi Sam,
I think nursing profession have union. It could help you over job security. But you must understand nursing all crowded too. H1B are all over. You will have to compete for the job too.
Sorry, things don't fan out for you. Your feeling now is lingering to the past experience, it will pass. Good lucks with your new endeavor.
Regards,
MCao
 
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posted by Sam Walker:
Unless they come up with the technology to beam up the patients to another country,


Do you mean fly them over ?
I jest . I have become a bit like Billy in that respect.
Depending on where you live, you might find your patients have to travel a long way to get basic treatments even. The problem being lack of beds and medical resources.
Just make sure you are not jumping out of the fire into the frying pan.
If you are a dedicated nurse / programmer you will make it.
regards
[ August 04, 2003: Message edited by: HS Thomas ]
 
Sam Walker
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Hi HS and Matt,
Thanks for your remarks. I�ve been researching fields like nuclear medical technology and radiography. I don�t think these jobs can easily be sent off elsewhere. Hospitals could put their patients on planes and send them to a country with millions of super talented geniuses with degrees from schools that put MIT and Harvard to shame, and who work twenty four hours a day for the price of a cup of coffee in this country, but ultimately it won�t be cheaper for them unless if the airlines start flying people for free.
I�ve passed the prime age of thirty something, which seems to be at least one of the major requirements these days. It�s time for me to focus my energy on something that is more rewarding than punishing in terms of earning a living.
 
Matt Cao
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Hi Peekaboo,
Are you American Native? I have encountered American Native people while growing up, some have the name Sunshine and other Snow. Anyway, as the rate of offshoring continue, you may have more lucks if you are in the management level, try to be the highest as possible. Have one or two executives adopted you too.
I am reiterated what Mark said what you want to do. Are you going enjoy or happy of your new endeavor? I know my day is long 12 to 14 hrs a day and 6 hrs on Saturday are normal. Somedays I continue my meetings at home over dinner because globalization and I enjoy controlling organization operations, navigate issues flowing to the direction that benefit the organization.
Regards,
MCao
 
Mark Herschberg
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Originally posted by Matt Cao:

I think nursing profession have union. It could help you over job security. But you must understand nursing all crowded too. H1B are all over. You will have to compete for the job too.


Where do you get your facts? I've seen nothing but articles on nursing shortages, and my friends who work as nurses tell me that there is no shortage of openings.
--Mark
 
Peekaboo Switchback
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Sorry, should've made this clear. I live in the US and I am not native Indian. I just didn't want anyone from my company to catch me and learn about my salary level etc. I was being honest about the numbers.
I really really enjoy being a techie. I can do certain types of management, product management perhaps but not people management. As to working long hours believe me, I have done my share of it in various work places and earning a grad degree in my own time after work. I don't mind it but I do want to make my health a big priority ( as it should be for every one).
I guess the main thing I am trying to figure out is- where should I put my energies? Knowing that SW field is saturated, I could go for some DBA certifications (I don't think I will ever work as a DBA but I just want to learn the stuff) and study up on SCEA stuff. Or I could go for an MBA in a top name school. I am just trying to make the right decision to the best of my ability.
Thanks a million!
 
Billy Tsai
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MBA in a top name university would be a good choice, u could major in business information system or information management and those r IT related
 
Matt Cao
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Hi Mark,
I do not think it is crowd as we see it, but it will get there. People in my extend family whoever happens to be unemployed, the EDD send them brochure implying the desired profession du jour is Nursing.
My dad when he was in the hospital, the majority of the nurses care for him were not Americans, were H1B from third world country like Philippine. But I met the best bedside manner nurses were from UK and Israel.
Regards,
MCao
[ August 04, 2003: Message edited by: Matt Cao ]
 
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How similar our views are! I am also a techie person and do not prefer people management (may be effect of working with machines to long!!!) but at our age one is expected to go in management cadre. I am also at crossroads and not excatly sure which way to go. With my experience in s/w field, I can say that there will be no concept of ' building from scratch' which I think you also might have enjoyed in your career. In future it seems progamming will only mean ' putting pieces together' and will be dominated by large players in field. Isn't it what was meant by off the shelf sotware? So in nutshell, I think this whole situation is making me feel saturated with s/w eventhough I love it. I also think that life is not all work!
At least you are lucky to be in US where you will not be looked upon as incompetent if you leave the field and take up something new or just stay at developer level (that's one of the reasons why I like US!). I am not that lucky.
I think IT security will be one of the good fields to be in IT area.
Why don't you go for research ? Or any other hobbies you have then try to convert that into your career. It will give you joy.
I know it's easier said than done but wish you all the best!Keep faith in yourself. That's more important than anything else.
 
Sam Walker
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Hi Peekaboo,
Rei has a point security seems to be a good field that may even benefit from globalization. Also, fields that deal with network design and programming for fail safe and speed (and I don�t mean cicso administration). A couple of years ago, I was reading a C++ book that explained some algorithms and coding techniques for getting the best performance. Their examples included a piece of code for a fault tolerant fast network grid. I realized then that I didn�t have the mathematics background for that type of work. But I bet that kind of skill will remain in demand and benefit from globalization as well. Also, digital signal processing might have a domestic job market.
 
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Originally posted by Rei Damle:
With my experience in s/w field, I can say that there will be no concept of ' building from scratch' which I think you also might have enjoyed in your career. In future it seems progamming will only mean ' putting pieces together' and will be dominated by large players in field.


People have been making this claim for well over a decade. It ain't gonna happen. There will also be a need for new software.
--Mark
 
D. Rose
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Hi Mark,
Let me clarify a bit.
I did not mean programming will altogether vanish but I think IT will move towards more standardization and automation and in turn needing less " programmers"
 
Mark Herschberg
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That I agree with, in that we can use off-the-shelf web server instead of building custom ones for each comapny.
On the other hand, as soon as some level of technoogy becomes standard, companies will want to push the limits with new projects that aren't standard. So long as technology can yield positive returns, people will continue to employ us. If the marginal return per developer decreases, they will probably use fewer of us.
--Mark
 
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Originally posted by Rei Damle:
Hi Mark,
Let me clarify a bit.
I did not mean programming will altogether vanish but I think IT will move towards more standardization and automation and in turn needing less " programmers"


Actually, I've got a book 20 years old written by one of IBM's premier gurus predicting the demise of the need for programmers.
I think every last tool he described that was going to accomplish this has been extinct for at least 5 years now.
It's true. We do standardize and automate things. But so far, all that's done is make it possible to work on new projects using those standards and the cycle goes 'round again. Unlike Moore's Law, there's no indication of even a theoretical limit on this process (that I know of, anyway).
 
D. Rose
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I think every last tool he described that was going to accomplish this has been extinct for at least 5 years now.


I agree with you and I think this has built up much frustration and saturation in our field. Companies just wanted to cash on technology drive and inturn giving less time for people and techologies to mature and adjust over the period. It has been like plucking the fruits even before they are mature. I think IT has to mature now and that's why I think standardization should increase.
[ August 07, 2003: Message edited by: Rei Damle ]
 
Tim Holloway
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Originally posted by Rei Damle:

I agree with you and I think this has built up much frustration and saturation in our field. Companies just wanted to cash on technology drive and inturn giving less time for people and techologies to mature and adjust over the period. It has been like plucking the fruits even before they are mature. I think IT has to mature now and that's why I think standardization should increase.
[ August 07, 2003: Message edited by: Rei Damle ]


Reminds me of a quote from a couple of years back (it think it was Ed Yourdon):

Standards are wonderful things. There's so many of them to choose from!


 
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