Senior Systems Engineer
Senior Systems Engineer
Design and maintenance of mission critical web systems
A typical day is hard to define, there are often problems that arise that need immediate resolution. Things that may never have been encountered before that need to be understood and fixed in a matter of minutes. It is exciting at times, but can get rather monotonous depending on what layers of the job you get focused on. Staying at the forefront of technology means you always get to keep learning, and for me that is one of the best parts of my job.
In my career, I am the only one in my dept with a BFA. It has worked for me, but a more comprehensive technical background would be an asset in this industry. If I had not gotten my foot in the door of a small company and stuck it out for the long haul, I am doubtful I would ever have become more than a code monkey. Opportunities are all over the place, luck is being prepared for that opportunity when it presents itself. Don't confuse luck for a free pass, you still need to work hard to get it.
Here's the first step for high school students
Dont get ahead of your self. Becoming an expert is an admirable goal, but being able to call yourself one in a landscape that is constantly evolving is not easy. What you knew last week is now old news and the next iteration requires you to rethink what you thought you knew. The best advice I can give for anyone interested in an engineering position is to "learn to love to learn". That and, "dont let go of your hobbies", they are what will keep you sane in the midst of chaotic deadlines.
"You should get a job that pays you now. You should not focus on artistic occupations. Jobs are not supposed to be fun, they are supposed to pay the bills."
While it is important to pay the bills, sacrificing your inner peace has a cost far greater than satisfying a debt collector. Be true to your self, find your passion and never let go. We still may need to compromise what we want to do for what we need to do, but never let go of what makes you, you. The satisfaction of accomplishing a personal goal is just as, if not more, powerful as accomplishing a professional goal. You really win when both are satisfied by doing the same thing.
In someways coming from meager beginnings reduces the opportunities presented to us, but in other ways it gives us a greater appreciation when they do come our way. Even small opportunities can be the key to success, don't overlook the small things.
The influence of your peers is one of the most powerful persuasions we endure. Surround yourself with people who encourage you to do your best, and find inspiration to be better from those who don't.