What Do I Want??

I am beginning to ruminate on what I want to accomplish with my career when I finish with school.

Here is what I know I DON’T want:
– Work for a large company doing enterprise-level programming.
– Work for a company utilizing a language that is for all intents and purposes dead but won’t be replaced because the company invested a lot of money in its architecture so if I ever get laid off or the company goes out of business I will never find another job again.
– Work for a bully
– Work for someone that tries to compromise my moral integrity

Here is what I DO want, both short and long term:
– Work with media (either graphics or sound)
– Write books
– Attend conferences
– Do talks at conferences
– Do trainings at conferences

I am uncertain how I go from where I am now to getting to where I want to be. I am assuming the Dan Steinbergs of the world did not graduate from college and start going out and doing talks. They had jobs that they went to where they honed their skills and acquired their hard-earned expertise.

I know that I need to learn either OpenGL or Core Audio. I want to learn Core Audio. I went to a conference two months ago where I got a taste of Core Audio. I came home and blasted through a hundred pages of Chris Adamson’s book in one night of glorious coding.

Since then, nothing.

We have been working on table views and modal controllers in class. These are such alien concepts that I have been doing our assignments over and over again until I can internalize what each line of code is doing and why it is there.

I keep thinking if I have a solid block of time with no obligations that I will learn a specific concept, but then life gets in the way and the time slips by without me getting a thing done.

I would like to spend this summer mastering Core Audio. I am supposed to get an internship for school and for my husband so that I don’t have a solid block of several months where I am earning no money. I don’t think I can sell the idea to him that the temporary loss of money is an investment in the future because I worry that I won’t get anything done.

So here is what I am going to do. I am going to dedicated a certain amount of time every week to Core Audio. I am treating my time at school like a job. I clock in, study programming, and at some point at night I clock out. I think that spending my summer setting my own hours and setting my own goals would be an invaluable thing to learn how to do, but I feel I must try to find paid work even though I think that in the long run learning how to structure my own work hours would be far more valuable.

The other concept my brain is bashing up against is the idea of “the long run”. I got journalism degree, but didn’t have any video skills, so I got a video degree. I found out that television journalism pays nothing but that doing sound for film is lucrative so I studied audio engineering. Then the recession hit and the whole bag of tricks blew up in my face.

Nothing in life is certain. I can’t plan on spending several years learning something that might vanish in a poof of technology. This is yet another reason I would rather spend my summer learning Core Audio, so that I can jumpstart my career when I get done instead of toiling doing something I don’t want while trying to eke out a modicum of time to work on the things I eventually want to do.

So, I am writing down here, that I am going to dedicate at least three afternoons a week to Core Audio. When noon hits on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays I will finish up what I am doing and I will work through Core Audio. If I get on a roll I might up that to more days in a week.

If something is important you need to make time for it. I need to master Core Audio to the point that I can produce something impressive. I need to stop being distracted by all the other things I want to learn, even within the iOS environment. No Game Center, Storyboards, or Core Data. Just Core Audio. And the stuff I am doing for class.

I know that this epiphany will fade as all the rest of them do, I simply hope that by writing it down and putting it out there that I will make it happen and hold onto it even when I don’t feel like it or I have an assignment due.

Blog readers, hold me accountable!! 🙂