Friday, March 28, 2008

My Interview

Things went well at Holomove, I think. They asked a lot of questions about my background and what kind of problems I had to solve in the past yadda yadda, boring typical questions. I was thinking this wasn’t the company I thought it would be. Then there was some time just to solve puzzles. Not coding puzzles, but just physical puzzles. Like build a pyramid out of these weird shapes. And logic puzzles. Apparently it’s a way to assess my “divergent thinking.” Whatever. But that’s when I really started to have fun with it. I like how it was not just a traditional interview (not that I really know what that is). Feels like they want me to do more than just bang away on the keys all day. I might actually get to think. I think I answered all the questions correctly, but who knows. If I just get to solve puzzles all day, sign me up.

So then I got a tour of the place. It was a cool open office, except for a few rooms, you could pretty much see everyone working. And the gets lots of light. I was afraid it would be in some coding dungeon. The people that I met seem really nice, so I could definitely see myself working there. You have to get along with your coworkers, right? Anyway, I guess it’s up to them whether I am the right “fit” for the job.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

10 Ideas That Are Changing The World

Great article from Time.

It is a little disturbing to start thinking that the world is becoming fundamentally different from when I was born. I am going to hold back on saying that means I’m growing up, but we’re headed in that direction. There are some scary times ahead and that geoengineering stuff particularly creeps me out. I’ve seen enough sci-fi movies to know that when we try to fix one thing, we could inadvertently create something worse. But something needs to be done. Just yesterday a huge chunk of the Antarctic ice shelf fell into the water.

Then again, the article points to some things that are changing for the good. Almost like the whole world is growing up. The search for authenticity is so much of what I’m searching for. It’s more or less why I have been half-heartedly looking for jobs. I don’t want just any job. I want something real. I don’t want to work somewhere that doesn’t really care about what they’re making, as long as it gets made. There’s got to be some passion behind it, or what’s the point. Like the article says, maybe I just want to feeling of something real, good or bad. If it’s fake, fine, but just be honest about it. Like these job posting I see are all about how great the opportunity is then it turns out to be a glorified sweatshop. Maybe I’ll have to settle, but I’m not all about being tricked into settling.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Job Interview

I have a job interview! I solved that puzzle and sent it off to them. Two days later I am talking on the phone with them and they are saying all the right things. They are flying me out to San Diego to meet with them. So if nothing else I get a free trip to California. They seem more in line with what I want to do, so I am really excited about the opportunity. I don’t want to jinx it, but this is a small glimmer of hope.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Networking pays off (shh don’t tell)

So, in all my networking, real and forced, I have picked up a lot of my event swag. It’s just been collecting in the corner of my room. Anybody need an XXL t-shirt? I was going through it all today and I stumbled across this company Holomove. Not much to go on, but they’re hiring. Apparently there’s a slowdown in the market, layoffs (like Yahoo). So. I’m open to anything.

But here’s the deal. They don’t just want mad coding skills. You don’t even get in the door unless you can solve this crazy puzzle. Hey, at least they’re trying to keep it interesting.

Luckily, yours truly has never met a puzzle he didn’t like.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

World’s greatest developer

Okay, maybe that’s a bit (lot) overshot. But I want to shake up the world and do something great. I want people to look back and say “Nathan changed the way we look at…” I haven’t quite figured out what that thing is. But I will. All of those start-ups out there with half of an idea are trying to make it work. I just need a good idea. A really good idea.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Learn as Many Languages as You Can

Learn as Many Languages as You Can

Amen. A good review of new languages to learn. If you're all about coding, this shouldn't be a problem. Maybe not the right ordering, but I agree. More is better. It's weird to say/type, but I really love code. Like love it. Like all loves, it some times drives me insane. But can't imagine doing something else. Coding just fits me.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

SWXW 2008

I have a friend who lives in Austin now, so I thought it was a great time to expand my job search to somewhere a bit cooler. And do some more parent-funded networking. SXSW is so crazy. As people say, it’s like Spring Break for Web 2.0. Basically it’s an excuse to see some bands and movies while telling my dad I am looking for a job. I mean I did see some interesting speakers and have a few good conversations. One of my favorite was “Should Video Games Replace College?” It was an interesting discussion, and of course I am pretty biased. I would love to have had video gaming incorporated in classes. I mean, let’s be honest, how much work did I skip out on to play video games? There were others about how to stay productive in an always online world, but my favorite title was “Your Mom 2.0.” Sounds like the beginning a your momma joke session, but was really about how to make the internet easier to use (for your mom).

Anyway, Austin is all about live music, so I tried to get around and see as much as I could. Hey you never know, I could meet my next employer at a bar. Right. Networking. Anyway, I saw this great band called Your Vegas at a place called the Viper Room or something last night.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Code of Duty

I am thinking of making a little XBOX 360 game. Just downloaded XNA Game Studio Express and I’m trying to dig in.

Here are some simple GUI control elements for XNA games. This uses events and delegates to link the GUI elements to your game that I grabbed from codeplex

To create a panel and add it to your game:
DPanel panel = new DPanel(Game, 5, 5, 400, 400); // Panel at 5,5 and dimensions
400x400 pixels

You can add panels inside other panels:
DPanel childPanel = new DPanel(Game, 5, 5, 200, 200);

To register events for your gui elements, you can do something like the following:
DButton button = new DButton(Game, 5, 5);
button.OnClick += new ButtonEventHandler(handleClick);
// Register the click listener

The basic language I think I’ll be able to get. It’s the game development that might be a little bit of a problem. No one needs a better solitaire. I’m better on the other side of the controller in that respect.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

MIX in Las Vegas

Back home after being in Vegas for MIX. I’m pretty impoverished at this point, so I figured I could bug my dad for money if I mentioned “networking” and “Microsoft.” Totally worked.

The conference was good and I actually did do some networking/resume dropping/low-level pleading. We’ll see where that goes. One cool session I went was held by Dan Roam on solving complex problems with a visual approach. Apparently he’s worked with the Federal Reserve Bank (maybe not the best reference right now), the Navy, Wal-Mart etc. and they just love him. I have always been a visual learner, so it’s cool to hear that that could apply to jobs I have in the future (assuming they’ve listened to him). I’m gonna grab his book as soon as it’s available on Amazon (thank you gift cards). It’s called: The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures. There’s a quick review here.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Massive, Crippling Debt

Can I just say that I am so over student loans? They give you that year of bliss, where you think “this time next year, I am gonna be making so much money it won’t even matter.” Then they come. Those monthly reminders of how you haven’t done enough, how much you owe. Owe it to yourself to do more, do better. They are like credit card bills but with added guilt. Cause I really need more of that. Dad loves to start the “when I was your age” business whenever he can. How do you argue with a man who was working on a nuclear sub at my age? Engineers always have all the answers and my dad is no different. He thinks he’s seen it everything and he kinda has. After all his adventures and travels, I never have a situation that he’s hasn’t mastered years ago. Aggravating.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A little modeling on the side

I’ve been spending as much of my spare time as I can on subdivision modeling. I’ve been trying to keep my skills sharp while I figure the rest of my life out. I’ve been using Maya and XSI, one because I have license to them. But two, because they these offer me the most robust modeling tools which makes it so much easier to render objects without converting them to high polygon models. The point counts are so small that it makes it simple to manipulate. But I wish I had something specific and cool that I wanted to do. Practicing for practing’s sake isn’t very motivating.

I’ve so how managed to keep my spirits up with a little CoD4.