Found a School
I didn’t think it was going to happen, but I finally found a graduate school to start in January. I am going to be working on the Distance Masters Degree in Statistics at Colorado State University. Actually, I have not been formally accepted to the masters program yet. They said it was too late to be accepted for January. Instead, under their advisement, I will be a non-degree student for spring and summer and be formally accepted in August 2011, but all the courses I take until then will count toward my degree. I suppose this is probably for the best, in case the program does not work out for me or whatever. The only thing I need to do (after I finish Calculus 3 and Differential Equations) is teach myself a few sections from Advanced Calculus. They are not making me take the full course, but rather, they’re sending me course notes to study for what I’ll need to do my first course in January. Speaking of which, I am already registered for my Spring courses (see the classes page). My professor at Santa Fe College says that Colorado State is a good school, and he congratulated me on getting in.
Calculus 3 and Differential Equations are going pretty well. Well, Differential Equations is not required for Statistics. I originally took it because it was a pre-req for UWF’s Mathematical Sciences program, so I suppose I took it for no reason, but that’s okay. If I end up studying math modeling, it will come in handy.
Executive Decision about Job Applications
From now on, I will not be programming any more “sample programs” for prospective employers. Let me explain. So, it starts with one of the Applications Developer jobs I applied to two months ago. I filled out their long job application and troubled my references. I got through the initial phone screening and a phone interview. Then, they wanted to see how I code. They gave me a sample program to code. Even though I program for over 40 hours a week already, I go to school almost every night, and I need time to study and help take care of the apartment, I still managed to find a number of hours to chug out over a thousand lines of code that exceeded the requirements of the assigned sample program. My program was thoroughly tested and was great. I turned it in much sooner than they were expecting it, and then… I waited… and waited… and waited… And then I finally decided to email them an update to my resume. To which they responded the classic, “We have decided to pursue other applicants.”
This is okay I guess. I know after about 50 jobs I have applied to that very few of them even consider you for an interview. Here’s my problem: I don’t have the time to write extra programs to companies that are not serious about hiring me. Considering the effort I put into my program, I am certain that my programming skills demonstrated had nothing to do with their decision to offer or not offer me a position. Therefore, I will no longer be writing sample programs for prospective employers, which the exception in the case of, “Daniel, we are going to hire you, but first, we just want you to write a program so we’re sure this isn’t a bad decision.” My reasoning is simple: I already have plenty of adequate code samples to give prospective employers to demonstrate my programming skills. My time is valuable, and my hourly wage for coding is not free. From now on, if an employer wishes to see my code, I will offer them something I have already written. If that is not good enough, I will withdraw my job application, unless I have already been offered a position. I already have a job, and I have already proven my skills as a code, both by working a year at a Fortune 500 company and by completing a Masters Degree in Computer Science. Oh, and by the way, my Masters Degree in Computer Science was much more difficult to complete than anything I have done in the corporate world thus far. I have bored to death at my current job. Since I already have a job, I feel I have a little more power in these interviews. Only serious prospective employers need contact me.
Next Prospective Employer
To my surprise, I was contacted by a recruiter of an IT recruiting company locally. They pulled my resume online and contacted me about a Java Development position. I may have a phone interview with them next week.
I have changed my online Vitae to an online Resume. Since my primary focus right now is professional rather than academic, the refresh made sense. I have added a couple of software reviews… recommendations… whatever you want to call them. Specifically, I added Boxee and Frogatto. As mentioned before, I have also updated my classes page.
More later I suppose.