Monday, September 13, 2010

New job

My job as a contract programmer for the National Renewable Energy Laboratories ended in April. I left just before my contract ended because I found a new contract with Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. On June 28th I was hired as a Lead Programmer Analyst. I much prefer being an employee to contracting. I do not like looking for a new position every six to 12 months.

The lead for my team was laid off two days before I was set to start as an employee. So, I wanted that position because I was a technical lead for several years before I left R. H. Donnelley, Inc. My wife said I should wait before requesting to be a lead. As usual, I decided to go for it. I asked and got the team lead position for my team, two other guys besides me. Not a big team but I am trying to prove myself as a new employee. There was no more money attached to the role but I think the extra work is worth it.

Anyway, my wife is much happier with me as an employee. The benefits are good, too.

I am finished!!!

I completed my master's program with the University of Phoenix. I have not received my diploma, yet. But I expect it any day now. I think the process was more difficult online rather than in a classroom. Getting team members to participate each week was hard. It was also hard for me to focus on the team project when I had to "participate" in the discussion threads twice a day for four out of seven days with 200-300 words. I assume from my lack of posts here that it would be obvious that writing is not my favorite thing to do. I think that if we were in a classroom that meeting people face-to-face would have help our interactions. As it was, I had people from all over the world working on my teams, a good thing.

I finished with an A average but not a 4.0 because of a B in a few classes. I am not sure if this will help my career or not but I feel good to have completed it. And not just because I now have the same number of degrees as my wife. :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Thomas Jefferson is the man!

The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not.

It is incumbent on every generation to pay its own debts as it goes. A principle which if acted on would save one-half the wars of the world.

I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

My reading of history convinces me that most bad government results from too much government.

The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.

Thomas Jefferson


I don't think I have ever read this whole quote. Of course, I have heard the last line used by people who want to bring down the government. I am not advocating any such thing. But I agree with Jefferson that this democracy will cease to exist. And when it does I want to be able to protect myself from those who wish to take my possessions or the lives of me and my family.

Another famous person said that those to forget the past are doomed to repeat it. I wonder how many of those who voted in the current administration understand history.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

University of Phoenix

I think I mentioned that I was working on my master degree in information services. I am attend the University of Phoenix online and I am in my sixth class. Up until my last class I was have no major issues with the classes. I use a Macintosh to get online and I do not have a personal Windows machine at home. I was told by a representative at the University of Phoenix that my having a Mac would be no problem. My last class require Microsoft Project and my current class requires Microsoft Access. Neither of these applications run on a Mac. There are, more or less, equivalent software for the Mac. I asked the professor and was told that I need to buy Windows and software that would run it on my Mac and still by the applications. I find that this is unacceptable and therefore University of Phoenix lied to me.

It is not possible to take certain classes at University of Phoenix if you only have access to a Macintosh computer. I recommend that if you want to take classes at University of Phoenix and you have a Mac that you find another place to take your classes. And do not listen to them as they will lie to you.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Job Search - Update

I have been reading a lot about search for a job. I read that it takes about a month for each 10K of salary. I make good money so I cannot accept this as gospel. Other things I have read say that the 10K/month meme is for most people who shoot off lots of resumes and then wait for response

I have to say that I am guilty of this. I am working with several recruiters and have had four interviews since November of last year. Three of these did not pan out. As for the last one, I am still waiting for more information. It is a government entity so I expect the process to take longer. Meanwhile, there is talk that I may be extended again where I am working now.

At the National Renewable Laboratories where I work as a contractor, the funding is much different that in corporate, where I have worked my entire career. NREL is dependent on government funding. So I have no idea what will happen first. Will the money come in or will I get another position?

I don't believe in luck so I guess I better get off my ass and figure something out.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


I am sorry. My last post was a whine-fest. I will try to stop doing that.

I would like help in finding a way to help small businesses in the world. What can I as a computer technologist offer a small business that would bring in business and/or make money for my clients? I read a book call "Free" that discussed the history of free and the "freemium" economy. I could offer a service for free if I had a way to eventually monetize it. I really need ideas!

No more whining. Again, I apologize for my previous post.

New Year. New Job, hopefully.

Another year. And I am looking for another job. My current contract runs out when the money runs out, currently February. I just finished my 6th class toward my MIS degree. I hope I am doing the right thing. Taking the classes online through University of Phoenix is convenient but not sure if it make any difference in my career.

I have had four interviews with one second interview. Just found out that the second interview job did not want me. Rejection is depressing. I am not used to that yet. My current boss loves my work and how I deal with him, his boss and the clients. I think if I can get into a position then I can show them.

I have been thinking about what I can offer a company. I am pleasant to work with if a bit shy. I don't make friends easily but I work on developing relationships with my co-workers and clients. I am technically competent and can learn any technology. I have done so many times. Even if I don't know all of the particular technologies that a company uses I will pick them up with six weeks. The interviewing process is frustrating.