(...I still have a few more years till I go to 'uni', of course.)
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I started with some low level system admin work and programming for a little while but quickly went on to doing IT project engineering work, developing new solutions for customers in the telecom and also oil and gas industry. I have a little more than 17 years experience now with Linux, 15 of which in a professional context. I am now an IT infrastructure architect and I design (and sometimes implement) Linux-based infrastructure solutions. My current project involves designing and implementing a DNS solution for a large Telco.
Linux started off as my hobby and has now become the basis of my income. Be mindful of turning your hobby into your job, though. Linux is no longer something I play with at home, it hasn't for for years. After a while it becomes just your job thing and you need to get away from it at home. This will also be true of programming, etc. So while turning a hobby into your job sounds like a dream thing to do, make sure you find another hobby once that happens
I get a lot of people ask me when LEGO is going to hire me. I'm not sure I want to trade in my 'want-to-do' hobby for a 'have-to-do' job.
However, I do enjoy programming at home and at work.
Wow, great you talk about this. That was EXACTLY one of the main reasons I chose Physics to study, and not computer science. I always wanted "prgramming, software design etc." to be my hobby. It turns out I'm too passionate about that. I always did projects and stuff at home, drawing attention away from physics (which is why it took me 7 years to complete and not the usual 5 years).mightor wrote:
So while turning a hobby into your job sounds like a dream thing to do, make sure you find another hobby once that happens
My minor subject was digital imaging (which was the closest subject to "programming" for physics students at that time), and the institute of digital imaging and computer vision one day offered a job to "get LEGO robots working from MATLAB". You know how that turned out . I had a job to develop the toolbox for roughly 10 hours a week, for a period of over 2 years, and then sometimes a week / month extra...
For my diploma thesis I chose to do something I really enjoyed and went to the electrical engineering faculty (which is the same faculty as my "lego institute" etc. belongs to). I ended up at the institute for man-machine-interaction, where I spent one year developing software for cameras to get a marker-based optical tracking system (to track objects with 6 degrees of freedom) as my final thesis. The idea was/is to track a quadcopter, and other (flying) robots. I enjoyed this so much that I'm going to start there as an assistant / grad student / PhD student, doing projects with a lot of software, simulations, 3d computer graphics, and hopefully a kinect camera and what not (I'll have to find a field to focus though and so some serious research).
So after all, I'm slowly changing from physics to electrical engineering with a strong focus on computer science / software design and development.
Even though Xander is right about the hobby thing, I can only advise you to DO EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT. Find out what you LOVE to do, and do it. I always knew at heart I wanted to do something with "programming and creating creative solutions" and all that, and I realized that I am "the happiest when I code". Never the less I started physics for "rational reasons". Even though it's a great subject, especially when you TALK about it and don't have to do the MATH, it wasn't my first choice. I always knew it, but I didn't realize it. Today it's a great help to me and I don't regret my choice. But if you know what I mean by this "gut feeling", and you have that too, then try to follow it.
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I'm a software engineer for a company that makes smart meters, and I went to Purdue University.fuzzball27 wrote:What is your current job? Where did you guys go to college?
I have no idea what I want to work with so I didn't know what kind of education I should take either. So I just choose something which I found interesting. You can go to university for free where I live so I can always just change my study if I need to.
Over the years I've done lots of different things, from application programming, programming language systems (compilers and run time systems), low level system programming (linux and Windows device drivers), even some embedded systems, but mainly I've been involved with networking, remote access and virtualization of one sort or another, usually at a pretty technical level. These days I don't program so much, as I'm the development director for a small team creating software for Linux/Mac/Windows/tablet systems, but I do get very involved in the design and architecture of the work we do.
Through all of this time I've had a huge interest in small computers and in particular ones that control hardware devices, but this work has almost always been a hobby not my day job. These days I work mainly on the low level aspects of leJOS, and when not messing around with computers I climb, and ride bikes...
I'd say you can make your hobby your job, but you had better be really, really sure that you have a very deep interest in it, or as others have said you may find that you lose interest. Oh and it's also good to have something to get you away from a computer screen!
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