Moving on and moving up

I recently came to the conclusion that I needed to go for a masters degree. Why, you ask? I guess I'm at that point in my career where I realize I won't be satisfied with doing the same fundamental job I've been doing for the past, I don't know, let's say fifteen years. As some of you may know, I'm what they call an IT Professional.

Here's the relevant definitions:

IT = Information Technology
they = the all knowing, ever present "they"
Information Technology = Computer Geek stuff
Professional = someone who gets paid to be a Computer Geek.

I'm going to date myself now, and by date myself, I don't mean take myself out for dinner and a movie. Nearly twenty-two years ago, I graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton with a Bachelor's Degree in Management.

*Pauses to shudder at the realization it's been that long*

When I left school, I accepted a job at Morgan Stanley, a brokerage firm in New York City, where I was paid to work for twelve hours a day: eight hours as an amateur computer geek performing mundane tasks such as loading reel-to-reel tapes and/or cartridges into the data center tape drives, unloading six-inch thick reports from twin-bed sized Siemens printers, staring at a computer monitor for hours on end to ensure that the monolithic stuff was working, and calling professional computer geeks in the middle of the night when said stuff of theirs wasn't working.

Nine months later, I was deemed a professional computer geek and set loose upon the commercial world of Morgan Stanley. Okay, so basically I was a computer programmer. Some folks like to call it software developer, while others prefer the self-satisfying term, software engineer. However you looked at it - programming computers, developing software, engineering software, or geeking out... I was an IT professional.

About six years and a couple of companies later, I moved on and moved up and into the world of management. I was a HGIC. Head Geek in Charge. That, by the way, is entirely different from the title we have at my present employer - HMFIC. I'll leave the definition of that acronym to your imagination. But, know there is only one correct answer.

As an HGIC, or development manager, it was my job to ensure other geeks wrote software by whatever random date somebody else chose. And frankly, I was still one of the geeks, so I continued to write software, and still do to this day, sixteen years later. Sure, I don't code*** nearly as much as I used to, but I've still got the heart of a programmer.

***Missing definition
code = write/develop/engineer software, program a computer, geek out

Okay, so this brings us to present day. I've been managing my kind for fifteen years. I'm quite sure I was awful at it to begin with, but over time, I think I've become somewhat competent. Hopefully, more than that. But as much as I enjoy the occasional programming diversion, I'm once again ready to move on and move up. Despite my many years of solid experience, it looks like an advanced degree is, while not required, certainly helpful in moving on and moving up.

MBA - Masters of Business Administration. That's the degree I'm going after. It'll be part time, possibly online or a mix of online and on-campus. I'm researching schools now. It's going to take a while - probably three or four years at the pace my home and work life can handle.

What will this do to my writing? Heck if I know, but something will have to give. I'm thinking of ways to balance work, family, friends, education and writing. I think the community aspect of writing may need to diminish if I'm to keep on writing novels, at least when school is in session. I can't stop writing. My brain just keeps pumping out strange and wonderful story ideas, and I need to put them on paper.



M.A.Leslie said...

All I can say is best of luck.

Annie McMahon said...

And I thought I was busy. Good luck with your new degree! Keep these brain cells working! :) Maybe your kids can help you with homework.

I studied computer science in college, but I never worked in that field. My life took a different turn...

Emailman said...

Wow, Jay! Going back to school! Good luck with that, mate :) It's a real shame to hear you won't be around as much :( but I'm sure you'll keep in touch, right? You have to come in the forum, you're part of the furniture! Even if you're just lurking :)

Jay said...

Thanks, guys. I'll figure it out, Kurt. I'll definitely lurk about and say hi.

Louisa said...

power to you jay for making a big decision. we'll miss you. that notebook full of ideas will get filled up and demand to be put into stories.

haha i'm too much of a lady to verbalise what i think that secret acronym is. mind if i call you hmfic for a while instead of bambam?