Focus

I have found myself wanting to learn many things.  I have many interests and can pick up skills quickly.  So I find myself going from one project to another and not really focused long enough to master a particular technology.  I am sure having a job would keep me focused better, so I guess I need to find one.  🙂

In the meantime, here are some of the projects/classes I am interested in.  Let me know if any of them interest you too.  Maybe that will help me spend more time on them.  

Classes I am taking (or plan to)

Other technical interests

  • Web based applications
  • Cloud computing
  • Test automation
  • Simulation

Projects I want to work on 

  • Small Java app for tracking job search contacts 
  • Web based volunteer scheduling app

Oh and through this time of learning and volunteering, I still need to be looking for a job.  So I need to know when to focus on what.

Interviews

Why is it when you are in the interview you can’t remember everything that you have ever learned?  Ok, maybe that is an unreal expectation, but after some recent interviews, I really wish I could remember more of it.  However after missing some questions I really should have been able to answer, it has given me a new spark to go learn more and to make sure I really understand those topics.  

On to the learning …

What have I been doing?

So, it has been a month.  What have I been doing? Let’s start with the obvious.  I have updated my resume (many times).  I have searched for and applied for a number of job postings.  I have had one interview that did not work out and a phone interview that looks promising, but I need to wait for round 2 to know more.

Introspection … I have spent some time trying to understand who I am and where God wants me to be.  I took some assessment tests and classes to interpret them.  There were no real surprises.  I know I need to be a hands on problem solver.  I always want to find the best solution possible in the time available.  I want enough time to evaluate a problem to prevent going down a wrong path.  I think this is why I enjoyed agile programming so much.  It allowed smaller changes to be made, tested, and proven.  It also allowed me to move the project in the right direction with smaller changes and get user feedback to roll into the next iteration.  It’s kinda like showing your work on a math problem.  If you don’t, it’s easy to make a small mistake, that causes the whole solution to be wrong.

Networking …  this is not my traditional strong point …  However, I have really enjoyed meeting new people.  I have attended both Colonial Job Seekers and Hope Job Seekers.  Both provide encouragement and help in navigating the many aspects of looking for a job.  Colonial is much larger and provides nice special interest groups (SIGs) so that people can network with others in their field.  I have met many very impressive people with lots of talents.  One of them who has really encouraged me is Nathan.  You can read his blog about the job seekers groups here.  Triangle Job

Learning … this is the fun part … I have always enjoyed learning new technologies.  I now have a little more time and motivation to focus on them.  I started taking 2 on-line classes (one on PHP and MySQL and another on Ruby).  I am also learning more about different web technologies.  (clouds, web hosting, blogs, …)  I am excited about the possibilities that I see.

One month later

It was one month (4 weeks) today that I left IBM.  Current news of further IBM layoffs being handed out today makes this a difficult time.  I still have many friends at IBM and I know whether they are “selected” or not, it will be a difficult time.  I am praying for them.

Rebirth

I originally created this blog site almost 3 years ago after discussing blog options with my dad.  Now almost 3 weeks after leaving IBM, I am playing around with different web technologies.  (You know the type you never have time to learn when you have a full-time job.)  So I decided to use this WordPress blog to share who I am and what I am learning about myself during this job search.