I’m basically on a Wednesday to Tuesday schedule right now with these weekly blogs, so I’m going to stick with it. I left off last blog with a pretty major life decision- the decision to switch from a sales/marketing role to a programming role. I’m not really sure whether it was a great career decision or not. I’ll get into that a bit more later. But it was definitely a decision that I’m enjoying right now.
But first, on to more important things. I ATTENDED A PERFECT GAME! A little bit of context for why that means so much to me. I’ve been a huge baseball fan my whole life. I started playing competitively when I was 8. I discovered eBay because I wanted to buy Mark McGuire cards (poor investment as it turns out). And I’ve read at least a double digit number of early teen geared books consisting of dramatically told historic games. Willy May’s over the shoulder catch, Jim Bunting’s perfect game, Roger Maris’ 61 homer season. Although my interest in the game itself has faded a bit over the years, as sports with a little bit more action have appealed to my ADHD nature, my interest in the history has not. And I’m being completely serious when I say that the sports related event I most wanted to see was a perfect game.
I just never really thought I would. I was at Duke’s championship victory over Butler, and obviously the result was a lot meaningful to me than a perfect game for a pitcher on a team I don’t care much about. But one of the luxuries of being a Duke basketball fan is that I KNEW I was going to see a national championship in person. I knew we were going to win a championship at some point, and I knew I was going to attend any championship game we were participating in, so I knew I was going to see one eventually. And I also knew I was never going to attend a perfect game. The odds were just phenomenally against me. Hell, up until Wednesday, there had only been 21 EVER in the major leagues. The odds were phenomenally against lifetime season ticket holders who attended every one of their team’s home games to attend a perfect game. And I’d lived my whole life in Durham and Hawaii. The nearest MLB team to me for most of my life was the Atlanta Braves. So even though I took every opportunity I had to see a baseball game, I’ve probably only been to ten MLB games. And one of them was perfect. There’s not even a perfect game every five years. Just unbelievable.
And not only was it a perfect game, it may well have been the best game ever pitched. It is, by any metric, one of the top three. If you believe that the best game ever pitched had to have been a perfect game, then by virtue of Matt Cain’s 14 strikeouts, he has pitched a tie for the best game ever, with Sandy Koufax, who also pitched a 14 K perfect game. The only non-perfect competitor would be Kerry Wood’s unreal 20 K 1 hit 0 walk game. It’s still difficult for me to process that I may have seen the best game ever pitched, much less articulate how I feel about it.
Anyways, down to business. I’ve spent the last week trying to make up for years of programming experience. Initially the plan was to crush an online Stanford course on Objective C/iOS development, then do a simple app for skill evaluation purposes, and then start working. I was pretty concerned about the feasibility of that plan. Luckily, I never had to find out. Another intern, who had lots of web development experience, but no object oriented programming experience, was struggling with iOS development, so it was decided that the two of us should go back to basics, start learning fundamentals with C, then progress to Java to learn to program with a team, before finally progressing to Objective C and iOS development.
So over the last couple of days, I’ve been frantically trying to complete interview question puzzles involving arrays, strings, pointers, linked lists, and so on, in C. It’s definitely interesting, and definitely fun, if occasionally frustrating. That said, I’m trying to get this out of the way as quickly as possible, because I want to start being productive. I feel like I’m doubly wasting company resources right now. Firstly because I’m not providing anything of value as I learn, and secondly because I’m taking up the time of people who have very important jobs to do, most notably the iPad app developer who has two weeks to complete the iPad app. So I’m very anxious to get out of this phase and start providing value.
And as I promised before, a discussion about why I think I may have made a poor career choice. Unlike any of the other interns in the DEC program, I have graduated. I need to get a job. For someone in college, an internship in sales/marketing would not mean nearly as much as one as a programmer, especially provided they followed up on that with more classes. But I need to be hired by some company as soon as possible following this internship. And unless I’m much better at this stuff than I think I am, its not going to be as a programmer.
Would it be as a salesman? Or a marketer? Probably not. But, had I excelled at those roles, Cube may have hired me in a “better” product related role. I’ll never know, so its not worth worrying about, but it would be nice to have a clear path to employment. In the meantime, I’m going to be working hard to become the best programmer I possibly can.