48 hour days should be a thing.

Today, for a brief shining moment, I felt like a true hacker.  I managed to get myself onto a wireless network WITHOUT asking for the password.  Ok, so it was an unsecured network at a cafe…and the password happened to be the name of that cafe.  But still, it only took me three guesses!!

That success soon faded away into oblivion as I began today’s studies. I startedoff by investigating an online machine learning course.  In the first video, the instructor informed his virtual class that they should be familiar with Linear Algebra. Fine.

I halted that course and enrolled in Khan Academy to learn some Linear Algebra.

Eager to resume my machine learning course, I spent about 5 hours today on Khan Academy, before finally admitting that I coud not learn an entire subject in the span of a day.  Fine.

 I’ll resume tomorrow.

In hopes of cheering myself up, I looked for careers that I might be interested in and nearly qualified for.  After all, the goal of all this coding is to eventually land a job.  As my formal education was mostly in Biochemistry, I searched for jobs related to Computational Biology.  I dutifully filtered out all jobs requiring a PhD, MS or multiple years of working experience, until I was left with a pitiful handful of positions.  Out of those, I knew (at the maximum!) two of the required languages and I was at an introductory level with tools that they professed applicants should be “comfortable” with.  Not to mention that I had no real projects to build a presentable portfolio.  I imagined myself saying “Hey, want to see a game of chess that has no visual display?  How about a Harry Potter text adventure game that’s half finished?  Oh no wait, I’ve got it—a song genre-predictor that predicts the correct genre of a song (out of three genres only) with 1e-8 (max) probability of being correct?!!”

Good times.

It’s the classic conundrum of a recent graduate: how can you get experience if everyone requires experience?  I only thought that by adding coding skills would have pushed me into a more “desirable” category in which I didn’t need as much experience.

Now, what I’m left with is a gigantic to-do list of languages, programs and projects. I’m beginning to understand the gravity of my mistake in not majoring in computer science.  You really do need 4+ years to master all of this. Unless the 48 hour day becomes reality, I’m not sure my timeline for learning all of this is realistic.

Plus, the librarian just scolded me for the “incredibly hazardous” position of my computer cord and banished me to the far reaches of the shelves next to a mysterious machine covered with a linen sheet.  I’m assuming it will execute me should I do anything else out of line.

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Image from Jantoo.com (in case you couldn’t tell from the watermark).

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5 thoughts on “48 hour days should be a thing.

  1. 2mostrareaffections says:

    Ohhhh it’s so true…also a college grad who found out everybody wanted 3-5 years experience in everything! My friends who got the computer science degrees, however, are doing just fine. Good for them *cough*. Anyhoo, I’ve also been using Khan Academy to teach myself HTML! Congrats for persevering!!!! I vote for everyone to hire you.

  2. soulandmeat says:

    YES TO ALL OF THIS! I majored in liberal studies and went on to earn my teaching credential only to realize I had absolutely no desire to teach–at least in a traditional setting. I was thinking of learning how to code to make me more marketable to employers as well but now that I’ve read this it seems like such a black hole for our measly 24 hour days.

    48 hour days really need to be a thing–especially for those of us who have at least two other majors they wish they’d majored in.

    1. seasaltandvinegar says:

      Hear, hear! I also tried out the teaching thing for a year, although not in an official way like you did. It was at a charter school that pretty much broke my soul. I’m not too far along in this coding “journey,” so I can’t say whether I’d recommend it yet. I CAN say that it’s way less depressing than trying to please an administration by teaching kids in ways that won’t help them.

      Maybe we should just reapply to college and double major in something else?

      1. soulandmeat says:

        Sounds like you and I had very similar experiences and hold exactly the same feeling about the current educational system.

        Reapplying to college has been a definite consideration of mine. I LOVE learning–if only I could get paid to be a professional student.

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