Hello Again, Java

The day I learn to stop swearing on (or off) things will probably never come.

In contradiction to my last post, it seems Java will remain high on my study list. Why? A new part added to my “about me” answers that:

and will begin a bachelor’s in software engineering/development in September 2023.

Annoyingly, I can’t recall exactly what led to this decision, which happens with a lot of my decisions. And relationships, both platonic and romantic.

I expressed I was no longer interested in my job’s software development program due to its delay and my preference for my current boot camp. However, I did not state I have no interest in any similar program. Merely my job’s because of the lack of news regarding it.

A benefit of my job is they partner with several schools. Long story short, I discovered one where, after the budget fir the year is exhausted, any remaining classes taken are entirely free, even if they are extra courses unnecessary to graduate. In short, a free degree.

Or it would be if I had patience. My current boot camp maxed out my budget, so I need to wait until January 2024 to be able to enroll without paying a dime (unless you count the costs for transferring transcripts). However, being a student excuses an employee from peak season, which I hate with a passion for reasons I feel I don’t need to explain. Not to mention the job on its own is nothing short of mindless and soul sucking. There’s a reason I feel like it’s an adjustment to need to use my brain when it comes to anything outside of my job. However, the cost of a single semester is an amount I could put on one of my credit cards. I won’t do that, but you get the point.

As for Java specifically, the college allows students to pursue two different tracks for the program: Java and C#. Since I was already introduced to Java from studying for my job’s program, I decided I’ll follow the Java track. It also simply seems to align more with what I care about. To quote from the college’s page:

  • C# is a smart choice for those who want to work in big tech centers, like Seattle, Silicon Valley, Boston, or New York. Large enterprises that use Microsoft infrastructure need developers who are fluent in C#.
  • Java is an extensively used language, supported by a wide range of devices—not only computers and phones but also smart appliances and Internet-connected vehicles.

While I’d probably work in New York, that’s more because I live right next to it. It’s literally a single train or bus away. Staten Island in particular is a twenty minute drive without traffic from New Jersey, where I live. In other words, I have no actual desire to work for a huge company or a tech-centered city. It’s just convenient I live near one. Thus, learning C# is more of a bonus for me than a necessity.

Unfortunately, I have received a lot of push back against pursing this degree, and I’ll make a separate post for that. However, since one of the benefits (for most people) of aging is no longer giving two cents about what people think of you – not to mention I never asked for opinions to begin with – I’m not deterred in the slightest. If anything, I’m more excited about it, especially talking to students who are already pursuing it and those who have completed it.

I also may need a bigger bookcase. No, I will not switch to an e-reader! Call me old if you want.

Photo of a shelf of reference books for coding

Yes, I am quite the fan of the For Dummies series.

2023 Will Not Be A Good Year

Yes, I am calling it, and I have zero regards for how “negative” that sounds. Keeping in line with realism is not pessimistic.

On Facebook, I made a post on January 1st of 2020 that merely asked to not have a terrible year. I don’t think it’s necessary to explain why that post didn’t age well. 2021 and 2022 were far from stellar years either. So, this year, I have no expectations nor am I faking positivity or optimism to make others feel better.

Do I have goals? Yes. Will I work toward them? Yes. Do I expect to achieve them? Absolutely not. Nothing went right last year, the year before, and definitely not two years before. So, why set myself up for disappointment with baseless hopefulness? Not that I was full of optimism and hope before 2020. 2019 was terrible too, but after 2020, I’d still do anything to go back.

Pipe Dreams

That’s my new name for goals I have because that’s what most of them are. It’s always fun to dream. Usually, more fun than reality. Of course, one could ask why I keep making goals when I rarely stick to them. I chalk it up to my odd enjoyment of making lists.

Read the rest of this entry »

Not Old (Yet), Not Young

I’m 28. Maybe that isn’t old, but it certainly isn’t young either. Really, I stopped being honest about my age offline after I turned 26.

I talked a little before about teaching myself coding. The good news is there are a lot of community spaces for learners and newbies. The discouraging news is I find myself very outmatched in age. It seems in so many, if not all, of these spaces, everyone started coding at the age I was still carrying around a teddy bear.

Yes, yes, I know. “You’re never too old.” But figures of speech are just that. Figures of speech. I can never stop being reminded I wasted my youthful years doing… whatever I was doing that is wildly insignificant now. If God is real, when I die, I will ask why he didn’t give me better intuition as a small child. Seriously, why did I miss out on the intuition to build a necessary skill? Probably because I was stupid and wanted to build blocks, and adults let me so I would shut up and stop crying. *sigh*

Eh. Maybe that’s harsh (probably not), but if I had a child, I would absolutely get them started on coding and programming at as early an age as possible so they avoid this problem. Even if they grew to not want a career related to IT, they’d have a skill they can fall back on. That’s the one thing I miss about not having a child. I won’t have the pleasure of watching my child have a better and brighter future than I do. Granted, I’m fantasizing, but I know I do that a lot. I’m beginning to understand why some parents live through their kids. It’s tough to admit you don’t have the capacity/capability to reach your dreams, and your kid has better chances than you via youth. That’s a terrible thing to do to a kid, but I think I understand it.

Truthfully, I don’t think I am capable of learning because coding is such a humongous field, and IT never stops evolving. There will always be things to catch up on, so I have no idea at what point I could consider myself employable, if that point can arrive. Supposedly, it’s not about memorization, but I want to see how that holds up in an actual job. I feel like it doesn’t. But I’ve also known for a long time I’m not good at anything, so why am I talking like this is surprising? It’s not, but you get my drift. I mean, I’m good at finishing coursework, but so are kindergartners, so who cares? I want a skill most tiny children don’t have, not one most do.

Well, this quickly delved into a post of self-loathing. But it’s really honesty and trying to humor myself. I remember being asked what’s unique about me, and I answered I don’t know because I don’t know. Professionally, there is nothing unique about me. I work in a warehouse, I worked in retail, and I finished coursework. By the way, roughly 39% of the US population has a bachelor’s (not associate’s, which is what mine will be) degree, and it can still not be enough to qualify for anything. It really is little more than a piece of paper to bypass filters. Part of me feels like I’m getting it solely to prove I’m not a total idiot (of course, the two are not mutually exclusive).

Do I have any positivity to add to this post? I really don’t. I’m painfully aware my thirtieth birthday is coming sooner than I would like, and I’m simply glad there is no upcoming high school reunion.

Well, I can always achieve my dreams through fictitious means. And really, my only dream was financial stability. I didn’t even reach for the sky and I still fell flat. Ouch.

Dear Teen Kaye…

I’ve written letters to my future self, but what about my past self? She’s long gone, so maybe writing from that perspective is pointless. But I’ve always wished I could somehow reach into the past and let my child and teenage selves see the future. After all, as a teenager, I was actively planning not to have a future.

It’s hard to imagine what my exact thoughts would be. I’d be in disbelief, but what would I, at 16, say to myself at 28? Really, I have no idea. But I know what I, at 28, would say to myself at 16. Read the rest of this entry »