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Re: Advancing oneself personally and professionally as a programmer (discussion)

by cadfael (Friar)
on Aug 29, 2001 at 20:19 UTC ( #108800=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Advancing oneself personally and professionally as a programmer (discussion)

Where does one begin?

I am 49, with a M.S in zoology and about 23 years of computing experience beginning with an Apple 2+.

After several years of teaching at the 4 year college level, I found myself involved in a genetics research laboratory. Since I was one of the few who was computer literate at the time, it fell to me to program record keeping applications.

As this evolved into a large, well-funded project, I was asked to set up a Unix network and a relational database server to handle the increased data that were flowing into our flat-file database. Years later I am still with the same research group with enhanced responsibilities and a comfortable salary.

Some factors that made all this possible:

  • Money is far less important to me than where my 9-year-old son lives and goes to school. Having said that, I never turn down a raise... And my salary is quite adequate, thank-you.
  • I have pushed the edges of my capabilities many times, but the "Peter Principle" has not claimed me as a victim.
  • I have grown in my abilities, and am able to provide support to others in similar situations.
  • I discovered Perl 5 in 1994, and have never looked back.
  • I gratefully accept advice, collaboration, and the sense of community provided by such groups as Perl Monks
Bottom line: Pick a field you like and work you enjoy and make a career of it. Don't let your job dominate your life. There IS a life outside of work. Soak up all the knowledge you can. Pass it on to others.

"Computeri non cogitant, ergo non sunt"

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