Coding for SPACE
Software didn't dump me, I dumped software.
The love was gone; it was time to end it. Still, the relationship lasted over ten years, and the breakup has been hard. Some days I'm angry, some days I'm wistful, some days I just don't care.
I'm in the process of unwinding myself from my "computer guy" identity. It's hard. At the moment I don't know who I am. The only thing I'm sure of is that making software isn't what I want to do with the rest of my life.
Programming computers will probably be part of what I do. I have a lot of skill points invested in it, after all, and besides, everything's got a computer in it these days. But programming is just a means. The goal has to be something else, not just computers for the sake of computers.
This "Advice from an old programmer" (from "Learn Python the Hard Way") spoke to me:
Programming as a profession is only moderately interesting. It can be a good job, but you could make about the same money and be happier running a fast food joint. You're much better off using code as your secret weapon in another profession.
People who can code in the world of technology companies are a dime a dozen and get no respect. People who can code in biology, medicine, government, sociology, physics, history, and mathematics are respected and can do amazing things to advance those disciplines.
That sounds good!
Mozilla was a local maximum. Better than any similar job. Every adjacent direction was down. The only way to get a better job than my one at Mozilla is to do something completely different.
The most excited and optimistic I've felt about technology in the last several years was when I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning watching the livestream from NASA's site of the SpaceX Dragon capsule docking with the International Space Station.
The SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, seems like a really cool guy. He made a fortune at PayPal and instead of retiring young, he put his money into space exploration and electric cars (he's also CEO of Tesla Motors). Lots of respect for that dude.
And SpaceX is hiring computer programmers to do physics simulations. I bet I could do that.
Only problem is that they're in LA, and it would be hard on Sushu for me to ask her to leave her school.