Stuff

BIG news – I’m staying in Spain!

UPDATE: This it total April Fools’ Day BS. And I am a tool for doing so.

Oh man. I don’t know where to start…

I GET TO LIVE HERE IN SPAIN.

I just got a job with Internetiza Solutions – a Web 2.0 firm based in Madrid. It turns out they’re looking for some VB .NET developers, and since that’s my favorite language and platform to develop with, it was a fit!

Internetiza is more concerned with skills than academic credentials, so after my semester in Granada ends, I’ll move up to Madrid and work from there. They’re going to help with relocation, visas, all of that – it should all go really smoothly.

I know that this will take some of you by surprise, since I haven’t mentioned this to anybody as of yet. The truth is that I have been considering this over the last week. It’s a very serious one – moving so far from almost everyone I know isn’t something I take lightly. When I got the offer, I decided I needed to kind of mantain radio silence about it so I could really mull it over on my own without any outside influences.

Part of my decision was based on my love of Spain – I’ve really fit in well here, and I seem to be more compatible with the Spanish mindset than I am with the stuff I’m used to back home. Also, with the economy the way it is right now, I feel it’s probably the best idea to live somewhere with a socialist government in place.

I can’t wait to get working with Internetiza- I can’t say what, but they’re working on something really big and exciting. They’ll be keeping me pretty busy; I probably won’t be able to make it back to the States to visit and get the rest of my things until Thanksgiving or so.

I’ll fill you all in on more details later – there’s so much to talk about! I just wanted to let everyone know now that I’ve made my decision.

Taking Stock

If all goes according to plan, I should be graduating in May 2010. When I went into my Business Administration program with an Information Systems major back in 2006, I didn’t think I’d be leaving it in the midst of an economic crisis. On top of that, I have been learning more and more about what kinds of work I find truly engaging and interesting, and I’m still figuring a lot out on that subject.

They say that during an economic downturn, the best investment you can make is in yourself: increase your own skill set and marketability to become more competitive. I know that my academic program is definitely helping in that regard, but I know that I will have a lot of learning left to do if I want to end up following my real passions. This means much more in-depth skills than are learned in IS programs – basically, trying to catch up with the Computer Science majors.

At this point, if I go for some kind of tech job, I could see myself freelancing, consulting, or torturing myselftrying my hand at a startup or other entrepreneurial venture. At the moment, I don’t see myself as a software engineer, systems analyst, or project manager for a large or even medium-sized firm.

And then there’s the question of the Peace Corps: I am seriously considering two years of volunteering in the Peace Corps after graduation. I’d be doing some kind of IT-related work in a third-world country, though the work probably won’t directly match up with my own career aspirations. Would two years away from the bad economy be a good thing? Or would I be losing my experience/knowledge/fresh job history? Would it be a resume booster? All of these questions are rather self-centered ones for something that really is about serving others, but they still are things I will have to consider for such a large commitment.

So basically, the question of how to best grow my skill set and enter the tech industry under unfavorable economic conditions has been very big on my mind as of late. I don’t have any definitive answers, but have stumbled upon a few helpful clues that might turn into more complete strategies later on.

Suit-Your-Own-Talent Meme

Most MySpace-style quiz “answer a million pointless questions and pass them on” things are pretty uninteresting, and the recent rash of “25 Random Facts About Me” on Facebook is starting to get out of control! But recently my friend Alan posted a really interesting meme on his blog, which had great results. So now it’s my turn to jump in.

HERE’S THE DEAL:

The first three people to comment on this blog post (on my actual blog, NOT on Facebook) will receive the following from me:

  1. An original photo
  2. A short (EP-length) music mix

Both the photo and the mix will be made with you in mind – I have no idea what they’ll be, but they will consist of things that remind me of you in one way or another. I’ll post the results here for all to see, but also will e-mail you a higher-quality version of it all. (Please give me a bit of time, too, as I want to put some thought into it all).

The only thing I ask in return is that you do the same thing on your blog / Facebook / whatever for 3 more people, but change whatever the creation is to something that suits your own artistic tastes: it can be a song, poem, mashup, photo, interpretive dance, ketchup stain in the image of you friend… whatever.

Sound good? Good. Fire away!

An Open Inquiry: The Meaning of Romance

Today I had a really interesting conversation with someone about what things like marriage and romance mean to us. And by “interesting,” I mean that we disagreed on almost everything! 😀 (Actually, it wasn’t as much disagreement as it was approaching the subjects from very different perspectives.)

I find it fascinating how we use words like “romance” in passing conversation when we all have very different ideas of what they mean. So I’m interested in what different ideas people have on what they think.

Assuming that “love” and “romance” are two distinct things, what does romance mean to you?