I’ve begun my journey. May God have mercy on my enternal soul. For whatever reason, I’ve broken down, and have begun the journey into programming, again. Now I did this once before, the part about learning programming that is, and I’m not sure I want to repeat my initial disaster.
I began my programming career with Fortran IV (the Watt book, also known as “What For”) back in the days of punch cards and paper tape. When other schools had dumb terminals in rooms that undergrads could use, CWRU had the punch card.
I dutifully created my little deck of cards, took it to the reader area, handed it to the proctor, and began my wait. Do to scheduling with the main frames at Chi Corp, lowly undergrad computer time was way delayed. Two days later I dutifully reported back as requested and found out that my program that did x+y=z worked, and I had the green/white 80 column paper output to prove it, and I was underwhelmed.
Now I’m the kind of person who craves instant gratification. I’d seen my fraternity brothers spending hours with red pens pooring over reams of the green/white afformentioned paper. I’d even helped in some of the debugging sessions. Did you know that on a Honeywell main frame +0 and -0 are the same thing but not equal? I’d spent hours helping people re-order their cards for a major project when they accidentally dropped the box. The feedback loop from programming didn’t run fast enough for me. I was soon off in a different direction.
A switch of schools and then career objectives got me into electronics and most importantly the management of long haul microwave communication systems. I was freaking hooked. I could see the results of an adjustment to a multiplexer, radio, or equalizer, immediately. Trunks came back online, because of adjustments or repairs I made. Then I found out about BBS’s and computers re-entered my life. (Amiga helped)
Flash forward from the early 90’s to the late aughts and I’m finding myself need to come back to my first endeavor with computers. I’ve been working on computer systems/networks since I first found Linux (Alzza Linux, a clone of RH 4.2 back when I was in Korea), and I consider myself to be a pretty dang good Admin. NOT a programmer.
The hard part about that last sentence is that most companies don’t understand the real difference between a programmer and an Admin. You can’t be good at both. I’m not. I’m just good at one, but, if I want to continue finding jobs (and right now I do need that) I’m going to have to bend to the winds of change.
So in order to start I’ve found 2 things. 1. A startup that needs admin work done, with a CTO who will teach me Java programming (from theory too, not just cut and paste) 2. A venue where I have something I want to create. (My G1 is a toy/tool I play with constantly.) Put the two together and I’m back at the wheel.
Yes programming, or at least learning it is still lacking in the adrenaline feed I need, but I’m working hard on putting myself out there to ‘get her done’ and get on with it. Wish me luck, I’ve got helloworld under my belt and I’m off and walking.