Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Crossroads...

  1. #1
    AndrewM16921 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    CA, USA
    Posts
    264
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Crossroads...

    I seemed to have encountered a fork in the road (as far as my career goes) and I'm not really sure which direction to go.

    Currently, I am a paid SDE intern for Audible/Amazon. I expect to remain there until I graduate from college this coming May with my BS in CS. There's a pretty good chance I will be hired there as well (at least I hope, lol). But recently I have discovered a huge array of other interests in the CS field... though much of it involves research and more theoretical things (e.g. neural network research, AI, etc.) than practical software development (i.e. at a company like Amazon). So I guess I'm not sure which way I'd like to go with my career. I know the money is good as a developer, though I'm not sure how it is as a researcher or professor. I'd like to get a masters degree and perhaps even a PhD eventually. I enjoy being a developer, but I often wonder if I would get more fulfillment out of the research route.

    So, what is everyone else's opinion on the matter? Any advice, pros/cons I haven't mentioned, etc.

    Thanks. :)

  2. #2
    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    3,914
    Rep Power
    5

    Default Re: Crossroads...

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewM16921 View Post
    I seemed to have encountered a fork in the road (as far as my career goes) and I'm not really sure which direction to go.
    It would be quite boring if you didn't. Good job.

    Currently, I am a paid SDE intern for Audible/Amazon. I expect to remain there until I graduate from college this coming May with my BS in CS. There's a pretty good chance I will be hired there as well (at least I hope, lol).
    I would seriously consider that from a practical perspective, because it is quite hard for starters to land a decent job in today's market.

    But recently I have discovered a huge array of other interests in the CS field... though much of it involves research and more theoretical things (e.g. neural network research, AI, etc.) than practical software development (i.e. at a company like Amazon). So I guess I'm not sure which way I'd like to go with my career. I know the money is good as a developer,
    The money is good enough, depending on where you live. But especially in your first decade as an engineer, money should not be your goal. Getting good at what you do should be, because this is a huge competition market.

    though I'm not sure how it is as a researcher or professor.
    You don't watch the news? Its pretty much shit. But also depending on where you live. Teaching and research is a passion, you don't do it for the money.

    I'd like to get a masters degree and perhaps even a PhD eventually.
    Go do it. The more schooling you can get, the more value you'll get from it.

    I enjoy being a developer, but I often wonder if I would get more fulfillment out of the research route.

    So, what is everyone else's opinion on the matter?
    I can't say what you should do - I'm not you. If you're good enough, there is a job for you wherever you go although I can't predict what the market will look like in 5 years time. So get good enough. School is a big part of it, but experience in the end counts for everything. As a research assignment, study your local job market and see what is asked for. That should give you an idea what you should be aiming for.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

  3. #3
    AndrewM16921 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    CA, USA
    Posts
    264
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Crossroads...

    Thanks!

    Definitely gave me a lot to think about.

  4. #4
    KevinWorkman's Avatar
    KevinWorkman is online now Crazy Cat Lady
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    3,941
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Crossroads...

    I agree with everything gimbal2 said, but I'll add another idea into the mix: why not both?

    You could work to pay the bills and go to school afterwards. You'd have to only take one or two classes at a time, which is exactly what I've been doing.

    You could also look for an intersection of your professional and academic careers. For example, I work in the air traffic industry, and the school I attend actually has an air traffic center inside the system engineering department. Many jobs will even pay for your education.

    But in the end it's up to you. Might be something to think about though.
    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way
    Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn from game tutorials and source code, upload your own games!

  5. #5
    AndrewM16921 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    CA, USA
    Posts
    264
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Crossroads...

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinWorkman View Post
    why not both?
    I guess I never actually thought of that... sorta assumed I'd be doing one or the other. But I suppose you're right there. I guess I could do both, or even switch eventually. Hmm...

  6. #6
    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    3,914
    Rep Power
    5

    Default Re: Crossroads...

    Quote Originally Posted by KevinWorkman View Post
    I agree with everything gimbal2 said, but I'll add another idea into the mix: why not both?
    Agreed and I kind of implied that myself although I didn't specifically state to do that, because I don't want to steer people into making decisions that will make their life harder; that's something that has to come 100% from yourself and not others. The possibility is there, but you have to be up for it.

    I did it for a couple of years and I can tell you - my work became my life and my free time was spent on school. No girlfriend, no long vacation trips, no weekend parties; I was doing school stuff, I was doing my work (2 days in the week) and at home I was doing cutting edge hobby programming things for fun because I needed to be better to land a good job. Its a hard life, but ultimately rewarding. I'm now financially independent with a great job, a nice house, a nice girlfriend and a loving cat. But no stories from my teenage years or my twenties to share, I'm starting to live now at age 30.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

  7. #7
    KevinWorkman's Avatar
    KevinWorkman is online now Crazy Cat Lady
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    3,941
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Crossroads...

    I hear you on that one. I work full time, go to school afterwards, then spend the rest of my "free time" teaching myself Spring, writing tutorials for my website, and every once in a while participating in game jams. I'll finish my schooling just after I turn 30 three years from now, which is a terrifying thought.

    I didn't mean to imply that it would be easy. It won't be. If I'm being honest, I have a lengthy debate with myself about whether I should finish school or just drop out and focus on my website stuff pretty much every time I get a new homework assignment. But if you love what you're going to school for and can work that into your actual job, hopefully it's all worth it.
    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way
    Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn from game tutorials and source code, upload your own games!

  8. #8
    Tolls is offline Moderator
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    11,967
    Rep Power
    19

    Default Re: Crossroads...

    We have the Open University here.
    Anything similar to that?
    Takes longer to get the degree, but looks good on your CV, and you get to work full time as well.
    Please do not ask for code as refusal often offends.

    ** This space for rent **

  9. #9
    KevinWorkman's Avatar
    KevinWorkman is online now Crazy Cat Lady
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    3,941
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Crossroads...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tolls View Post
    We have the Open University here.
    Anything similar to that?
    Takes longer to get the degree, but looks good on your CV, and you get to work full time as well.
    It's already going to take me a total of 5 years to get my masters (it should normally take 2-3 years) because I'm only taking one class at a time. Open University looks pretty interesting, but I don't know if we have anything like that here, especially for anything above a BS.
    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way
    Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn from game tutorials and source code, upload your own games!

  10. #10
    AndrewM16921 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    CA, USA
    Posts
    264
    Rep Power
    6

    Default Re: Crossroads...

    I didn't find any OU-esque things near me, but I will continue to look into that. It definitely seems interesting.

    As for the difficulty... I'm willing to put in a lot of effort. CS in general is a serious passion for me. I have a loving girlfriend now, even though I work/school both full time. I think it'll pay off whichever route I decide to take... I just think in the long run I want to end up on the research side of things rather than in industry. Hmm...

    (don't really want a cat though - much more of a dog person xD )

  11. #11
    KevinWorkman's Avatar
    KevinWorkman is online now Crazy Cat Lady
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    3,941
    Rep Power
    8

    Default Re: Crossroads...

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewM16921 View Post
    (don't really want a cat though - much more of a dog person xD )
    He's a witch! Burn him!
    How to Ask Questions the Smart Way
    Static Void Games - Play indie games, learn from game tutorials and source code, upload your own games!

  12. #12
    gimbal2 is offline Just a guy
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    3,914
    Rep Power
    5

    Default Re: Crossroads...

    (Certain) cats rule. Dogs, although fun, require way too much attention and parenting. I rather have a beast that can take care of itself most of the day.
    "Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon." -- Alan Perlis

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •