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January 06, 2005


Have you ever Googled yourself? This week I received an email from a person mentioned in one of my blog posts thanking me for a kind review of his performance. I tried it tonight – a surreal experience indeed. Entering just ‘mark woods’ (no quotation marks) returned over 4,530,000 hits; a bit too much for my purposes. Next, I tried “mark woods” (with the quotation marks) and returned over 48,000 hits; a bit more manageable. My namesake in Googleland revealed the following:

A British freelance basketball journalist
A PhD at the University of Texas at Dallas
A Cinematographer
An actor in the, ahem, adult entertainment industry
A medical doctor
An assistant inspector general for the USDA

No programmers in the first several pages.

An old joke that I used to tell about my career goes something like this. “About 25 years ago I was face down in the gutter after a weekend of drinking. I found two matchbook covers: Make your Fortune in Hotel/Motel Management and Become a High-paid Data Processing Professional. I kept the wrong matchbook cover.”

It’s really quite the accident that I wound up in Information Technology – more a function of being in the right place at the right time than any conscious desire to get into the field. But on whole it’s been a satisfying career choice. I definitely get to play with a lot of expensive toys and usually work in a climate controlled environment. The hours can be a bit challenging sometimes and there’s the occasional missed vacation or concert but most of my employers have been extremely flexible on the hours that I keep.

Change will probably be the word for 2005 in my professional life. After a comfortable existence working with the Recovery application I can no longer ignore the rumors that a restructuring in my department will result in my working on the Collections application. Recovery deals with loans that have been written off as uncollectible; Collections deals with loans that are merely past due, and is one of the largest software applications in the company. Collections programmers also work long hours because of the workload. While not exactly looking forward to it I realize that I need to expand my knowledge of the applications in my department in order to move ahead (or, at least, not have to move to New Delhi to keep my job).

So no looking at the list of jobs that I could have had. Besides, I don’t particularly care for basketball, chemistry and medicine held no interest for me in school, cinematography may have been fun but the schools were so expensive, that kind of “acting” has too many side effects and lastly, who wants to be saddled with the stigma of being a lawyer. I guess I’m right where I need to be. Do me one favor though -- make your credit card payment on time...

Posted by mjwoods at January 6, 2005 08:57 PM

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