I’m taking college classes at Chabot College, for an Associate’s in Science degree (major: Computer Science, emphasis in Mathematics). My online classes start today. 🙂
Most people I’ve worked with were surprised when I told them I have no college education whatsoever. Oh, sure, I attended an A-School in the U.S. Navy to be a Journalist, but I don’t think that counts. I’m 33 years old, and I spent the last decade building up my resume. Now, it’s time.
Chabot recommends a person working full-time take no more than 6 units per semester. I’m starting with Real Estate Principles (3 units) and Sports Officiating (2 units) for the summer, then Math 1 (Calculus, 5 units) and Volleyball Beginners (1 unit) in the fall. If I think I can handle more, I’ll take more. If I think it’s too much, I’ll take less.
I put this off for a long, long time. I remember an incident shortly after my book was published in 2002: I was attending the OSCON, to promote the book. An employee of Amazon.com talked to me and said he wanted to hire me. I was more than willing. Then via e-mail he saw my resume had no degree on it, and he said he could not hire me. I’ve always remembered that, with sadness and a hint of bitterness. I was qualified to do the work then (at least, I thought so), and I would have enjoyed it. Alas, it was not to be. One of the reasons I’m going to college is to correct that hole in my resume, to show that I know what the hell I’m doing.
What’s this mean for my other projects? Well, work still takes first priority, even over college. But my pet projects like Verbosio (the prototype extensible XML editor) are probably going to be back-burnered again.
I’m not sure what I can do about Venkman. I’ve had five different people write me on my blog expressing interest in working on my proposed rewrite, and I think that’s great. I’d still be willing to mentor, but it needs a leader who’s willing to get his or her hands dirty and dive in. Last time I cited a need for dockable XUL panels. We need someone to step up, to create visual “mocks” of how they perceive this. Then we need to write some code.
Finally, I know I haven’t been very active in the Mozilla community lately. College means I’ll be even less active, and that does make me sad. I wish my own pet project was ready for others to play in, but it’s not. I wish I had the time to contribute to ongoing DOM Core or developer tools work, but I don’t.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: this community and platform has given me a career, and I am eternally grateful for that. If I ever do work for Mozilla, maybe my business card should say “Lizard bridge builder” or something like that. Because you guys have built bridges for me, so far, and I’m not giving up yet.