Well, I have an interview tomorrow with an IT contract company.Â A temp agency for geeks, if you will.Â So wish me luck.
I love coding, but sales sucks.Â If I can get someone else to find me work, so I can just show up and DO it, that would be ideal.Â ;)Â And I love contract labor.Â It’s like being the Lone Ranger.Â People are in big trouble, they have a problem, they need help.Â So you ride in on your white horse, assess the sitch, resolve it, and just before it starts to get boring, you ride off into the sunset with everyone still impressed and singing your praises.Â It rocks.
But I’m still trying to cross the divide between “administrative worker” and “IT worker” as far as how I’m perceived. True, both are knowledge workers, but there’s a rather massive skills-and-pay gap between them.Â My skills fall sort of straddling the line between them, but I’m working on building more IT skills.
Part of the problem is that I’m a woman, and to some people, “woman” = “secretary” no matter how many proficiencies you have.Â Part of the problem is that I don’t have a degree, too.Â But a guy with light skills would have an easier time getting his foot in the door as a self-taught coder.
I was reading a programming manual last week, and the writer said that the three key aptitudes one needs to be a programmer are interest, imagination, and persistence. Â No matter how well it pays, if you’re not interested in programming for it’s own sake, you won’t do well at it.Â Â And it requires a lot of imagination to do the problem-solving and design work involved.Â But by far, the biggest thing he said was persistence, because there will always be problems, and a good programmer has to have the tenacity to stick with it till it’s worked out.
I think I’ve got those three things in spades, but I could be biased. 😉