Sunday 27 August 2006

The job just comes

Fortunate and grateful

In my career life, I have been so fortunate. In the last 12 years, I have hardly had a job where I have had to do all the footwork, rather, there has always been someone, some company, some contract in which I have worked that has lead to another opportunity somewhere else.

I realise, I am never so aggressive about looking for work even though in some cases one should be concerned about knowing when the next bank bloat would be.

But then, I learnt the most important lesson about work just when I went freelance contracting that each day you are appearing at work, you are writing your reference and laying out the paths to success or destruction of your career.

The evil men do

Two CVs came in prospecting for work from people who had worked in that company a few years before. The department manager was new and knew nothing about them so he sounded round other staff about these people.

The report was so bad, I cringed, one had spent all his time running another business rather than doing his work, the other was considered lazy and lackadaisical have done some unmentioned damage to the systems in their tenure.

Basically, this report made them unemployable, since the IT world is fluid, the dispersal of people means that this message would propagate eventual to other opportunities, to redeem themselves they have to be aware of this situation and begin to rebuild their reputations anew – what is almost impossible is rebuilding that with old contacts.

Certification is just the beginning

The lesson reinforced my views about character and professionalism at work, most especially when you are on a short-term contracts, my next job came about through two avenues; a contract that barely lasted 5 weeks and an agency I have worked for since the beginning of the year, it would probably lead on to other things.

I remember when there was a rush by people to attain vendor certifications to move from postal clerk jobs of £7.00/hour to the entry-level £20.00/hour contract jobs in IT Support. Many saw the MCSE and CNE as ends rather than means of developing new careers.

The contracts usually only lasted no more than 3 months before they moved on, having left jobs as fumblers, problem creators and unprofessionally aggressive people with eyes for the money only. By the time they had the first pay packet, they were in the car showroom looking for a show-off Lexus automobile.

I would want to believe that that generation of sorry and hapless contractors have either been eliminated from the market or they have learnt to make better use of their acquired certification to improve their knowledge and usefulness to industry.

Giving thanks

In the end, I believe my life is encompassed with favour and grace rather than sheer luck and good fortune, though in a secular world they all seem to matter.

What better thing could I have done with all these wonderful happenings than to go to church and give thanks for all the blessings that pour into my life everyday.

Monday 7 August 2006

A coffee blend bereft of Java beans

The last hurdle

Having spent two years on my masters programme towards a degree in Information Technology, I have reached the last hurdle but one. I have done 7 out of 8 modules and now this would have been the last module before my 8 month dissertation.

The module I have left till last is a programming module, just when I found out through the wording making object-oriented programming a core requirement for the degree I could get a could get a waiver, the rules changed.

This is one bridge I must cross, this is one chalice from which I must drink to attain the wisdom of sages as object speaks to object, revealing some, concealing some and at times changing into other things.

Who C, U C, I C, no way

When I first tried C++, it appeared I had entered a class where everyone had their dreams C and spoke to their dog in C++ not forgetting the C# (C – sharp) that accompanies anyone with any musical talent.

I saw it all and I just thought, I cannot compete in this class, I still dream in plain English, I don’t have a pet and I am probably tone deaf – nothing piano-nanny cannot cure with a teaspoon full of sugar.

Unfortunately, C++ does not attract as much a crowd as the alternative object-oriented programming module in Java.

Java addiction

Everyone sniffs the aroma and they are high on the caffeine of Java beans and every kind of macchiato and latte you can concoct from that exclusive blend.

After going through some tutorials, I almost got intoxicated on the stuff, I was day-dreaming of possibilities and opportunities, casting myself as a programmer that has come of age – I almost deluded myself, but it is not an impossibility.

Am I afraid of this thing? Not really, I have my deep premonitions, but I have done quite well in other modules, this is not a cinch but I intend to do well against the odds.

I need a long holiday – Now!

Now, in the impasse between contracts, I feel I need a break, going out to some sunny climes is a moot point, and Spain has been on holiday in the Netherlands for the past 4 weeks. It does not however tempt me to breach the Arctic Circle.

Anyway, I still have a thing for the Canary Islands, but cannot guarantee that I would be able to get a hotel that offers uninterrupted Internet to my room.

My mind, my body craves for a break, somewhere distant from home, the routine, the smells and the everyday people including school work.

So, Java is postponed for another 24 days, by which time, I hope there is inspiration, heart, gusto and a serious inclination to mount the Java bull and steer it in the direction of a good grade.

I really feel like a long holiday – have card, would travel.