I need a job



  • I just turned 50 on sysadmin day and really need a life change. I have worked in the Inside Machine shop in shipyards for 30 years and my body can't take it forever. I am the big lathe master and really like my job. I run the shop on at nights and have it pretty good but have reached my peak. Nowhere else to advance to and mid-managment is a meatgrinder at my place. They bring in outsiders to be job superintendents and most have never come from a trade shop and have no idea how to run a million dollar job. If they don't make a fifty percent profit they are fired…So nobody in the shops wants to advance to that so I need to move on.

    Any good paths I should look at? I have some community college and thought about a coding career, but looks like that would mean a move to the West Coast or regional tech hub like Raleigh or Charlotte or DC. I really don't want to move.

    I dropped out for a couple of years and did PC Sales/support but I am a poor businessman and charged too little..

    Throw something out there. I have tech skills but no papers. I could stick to CNC programming/machining and move-on but I am tired of the grease. I need to work somewhere where values as a hard worker are rewarded. Something happened to my trade back when teachers and firemen started making more money. We have a serious imbalance in our society and 3D printers are not the answer. Somehow plumbers and electricians seem to garner a much more lucrative payout. They leave the shops and start there own business's...It is a little hard to start your own Machine Shop and I don't want to....Nasty business.
    Thanks For Listening

    Frank
    Virginia Beach, VA.
    Current Salary:50K+benefits



  • I had to erase my first list…    :o :)  But it included beer taste tester and a couple others I wont mention here.

    Many of my counterparts generally disappear into the vendors that serve us becoming reps for those companies.  One guy I worked with closely now does the show circuit and travels a bunch, about 3 weeks a month manning their booth.



  • Sell everything you own. Go to Las Vegas. Bet it all on Red. You have a 50/50 shot at winning.



  • I had not considered the entertainment  industry. I did think healthcare sounds pretty lucrative these days. There must be some good tech jobs there too.

    Is there anything to this article?
    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/29/technology/code-academy-as-career-game-changer.html?_r=0



  • I'm not sure that's something any of us can answer for you. Go with what interests you, and what you like doing. If that's programming, I wouldn't let location concerns hold you up. There are no doubt many programming jobs around you. Many companies have remote work from home developers as well.

    You'd have a lot more potential options in RTP, DC, Austin, west coast, or any large city. But I'm sure there are opportunities around you. You're not out in the middle of nowhere.


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    @BeerBelli:

    Sell everything you own. Go to Las Vegas. Bet it all on Red. You have a 50/50 shot at winning.

    Except for those damn green 0 and 00.



  • I try and keep computing and machining separate. I used to enjoy getting away from my hobby of computers to the Machine Shop. Now it has followed me with CAD and Solidworks and Haas CNC controllers in my normal routine…Somehow that hasn't translated into money though...I could defiantly make more but there is a low ceiling for tradesmen... Just not a valued trade anymore. I am a third generation Machinist hate to let it go -but if your not compensated right what can you do...



  • So i guess my real question is: Should i pursue coding by teaching myself or going to the local community college or perhaps an crash course like in the article i posted. Code bootcamp. Not web programming but solid fundamentals like C language is what i am thinking I would like to learn….Thoughts please and nudges twords right languages i need to learn.
    Any good online coursework come to mind?



  • Is that NYT article a total "Puff Piece" as it seems to promote a couple of institutions in the article.

    60 minutes had a piece on TV recently about –University of Phoenix-- and its very low graduation rate and high rate of GI signups and it sounded shady. I know locally we have ITT and ECPI both hawking to the military guys and their benefits. I don't know if you get a quality education from those kind of institutions. Even Community College is expensive these days. I took some 3DMAX classes and the instruction was poor and the instructors knew very little beyond the coursework..
    So its a crapshoot there for quality.

    I guess I could lateral to Old Dominion University with some coursework carrying over...Would not be cheap. Do I really need the diploma?





  • @Phishfry:

    Throw something out there. I have tech skills but no papers. I could stick to CNC programming/machining and move-on but I am tired of the grease.

    Training young ones how to do this.

    Automation is going to kill a whole slew of jobs, but someone has to tell the machines what to do and how to do it.  Someone has to teach people how to control the computers.

    You have the skill in controlling the machines but don't want to do it ay more.  So teach others how to do it.  There should be less muck involved.



  • That was my Dads advice too. Problem is, most vocational schools don't teach Machine Shop trades anymore. One in 4 might have some small CNC machines and not much more…

    My attitude might be bad too -as how could I encourage young ones to go into a field where the pay is actually declining. My Dad made $40K in 1973 as a top machinist. I do live in a economically depressed area so I was noticing Jr. Programmers in my area starting at $40K. DOD clearance needed too. So maybe things are not that bad...12 more years and i could retire...If I make it. We lose one a year to industrial accidents lately.


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    There's always M-16 lowers.



  • Harley parts are pretty popular too..Everybody in that crowd wants custom. I have a friend who does side-covers in his shed with a Haas Mini-Mill.



  • Throw something out there. I have tech skills but no papers.

    Ask at SANS if they need someone for their OpenSource Team. If they didn´t
    have one up yet, tell them also greater companies are going to use OpenSource
    solutions as firewalls or routers and perhaps you will be one of their emergency,
    sales or training team?

    SANS Institute
    8120 Woodmont Avenue, Suite 310
    Bethesda, MD  20814

    Ok for sure it is the West Coast.

    If not found up a pfSense training center or global OpenSource  training center
    for smaller, mid ranged or enterprise companies.



  • I have narrowed my criteria. I want to learn programming so I can write graphical applications for embedded PC's and GPIO/DIO stuff. So i guess i need to learn Wind River or some other embedded toolkit.

    What about a career as an Embedded Application Engineer. Is this something feasible and sustainable in the future? What are the best routes to entry? Learn "C" and try and get OJT somewhere or go the community college route? I really wish I had the robotics background kids get today in school. I bought an Arundu to see what I can learn from that.


  • LAYER 8 Netgate

    Seems there ought to be a ton of work porting Flash to HTML5.



  • I might try and learn an open source RAD like Glade.
    Maybe base my work on FreeBSD and GTK. Is there an FreeBSD RAD for easy screen design and good widget set? Should i learn QT instead??



  • Perhaps a Router GUI for OpenBSD likes pfSense is doing for FreeBSD.

    • pre hardened and as ISO image
    • easy to install above OpenBSD over a own GitHub
    • intuitive and easy to know, learn and manage for the masses
    • at the right side the menu and on top then taps (Quagga, OpenBGPD, nDPI, Tripwire…)
    • likes real router or switch interface, AJAX based and with fast config scripts at the backside
      Then build your own hardware and build routers or take from ADI your own collection.

    ARM Port for pfSense based on the new Tilera Tile-Gx100 is coming with.
    FreeBSD is not running on the Tilera hardware based on the many tiny RISC CPUs meshed together
    as a many Core CPU, the 100 core CPU is based on ARM Core (tiny ARM CPUs) would this going?

    Taking ASIC/FPGA chips on miniPCIe or PCIe and programming that pfSense would be able to do
    NAT done in hardware! Or for passing the firewall rules and/or IDS rule sets.

    Taking Tilera hardware to set up then squid proxy, HAVP or IDS/IPS proxys,
    DoS and DDoS devices or Tilera based cards that would be are able to use by
    pfSense, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD

    What about a career as an Embedded Application Engineer. Is this something feasible and sustainable in the future?

    Build your own small routers and servers, there is a rally global security requirement for that at;

    • electric producers
    • water production
    • heating production

    All are connected over the Internet, but mostly without anything in the front of them.
    You can turn on the heating in electric reactors, mixing used and fresh water together
    and so on and all over the Internet without any kind of security.



  • I was actually thinking of designing embedded systems for ships helms(pilothouse) and combining multiple sensors into a helm display system. Rudder position, shaft rpm ect…I could leverage my marine experience with something like this. Could be done with a small pickup truck with some utility boxes and do marine retrofits....
    I am looking at making my own widget set for what i plan on doing. Looks like QT these days is more desirable as the Gnome project is in flux and lots of people ran away around 2011. Some people are wandering back but radical change is not soothing.

    I am missing that crucial background in programming and sensor integration though. That is where my dilemma is.

    I have some business leads as I know ship owners along the waterfront locally. Still greasy work but at least i would work for myself.



  • I also "Volunteer" at a local scrap yard where I have repeatedly repair the PLC system running the car crusher. It would be a great beta build if I knew what i was doing to upgrade it to an custom embedded system, maybe even with working safety interlocks…



  • I ended up getting a BeagleBoard Rev3 Black for embedded learning. It seems they are made by a company in Texas named CircuitCo who makes various development platforms and accessory boards. I saw FreeBSD support on 10.2 and bought one.

    CircuitCo also makes the MinnowboardMAX i see. Nice board but pricy for a beginner at $160..I do like the x64 aspect to it. I thought about Galileo2 but their x86 is only a 400mhz Quark SOC…



  • @Phishfry:

    Is that NYT article a total "Puff Piece" as it seems to promote a couple of institutions in the article.

    60 minutes had a piece on TV recently about –University of Phoenix-- and its very low graduation rate and high rate of GI signups and it sounded shady. I know locally we have ITT and ECPI both hawking to the military guys and their benefits. I don't know if you get a quality education from those kind of institutions.

    Any for-profit schools like that aren't going to be worth anywhere near what they cost, and could be counter-productive. Judging by threads on various tech-related sub-reddits, and discussions with my wife who's a recruiter at a Fortune 100 company, some people will throw out resumes with the likes of University of Phoenix, ITT, etc. without any serious consideration regardless of what's on it. You're better off with community college, and it's a lot cheaper. Plus it'll transfer to a regionally accredited 4 year university if that's the path you want to take.

    The free online university courses available on sites like edx.org are a good alternative for getting started at least, or scenarios where you can otherwise prove your knowledge without needing a degree.

    @Phishfry:

    Do I really need the diploma?

    It depends on the area of specialization. For OS-level programming, a Comp Sci or Comp Engineering degree will be a requirement at some places to get a foot in the door. At some companies, they put "bachelor's degree required" on job postings, but don't necessarily care what kind of degree it is - in that case they just have to be able to check that box (otherwise there are potential legal complications).

    There are plenty of opportunities out there without having a degree though, if you can build the required knowledge in some other manner, and prove what you're capable of. I dropped out of college because the slow pace and classes outside my direct interests annoyed me, but learned on my own far more than I would have in finishing a degree. I held 3 different jobs with "bachelor's degree required" in the job description from age 20 through going out on my own full time here 8 years later. My wife's employer never would have hired me with that in the job description for liability reasons, but others aren't so strict on that.

    Contributing to open source projects in the area of your interest is a great way to prove your knowledge. There is certainly somewhere out there that'll hire you for the type of work you're describing if you have a solid base of open source work in that area. In engineering fields like that though, you'll have a lot more options with a CS or CE degree.

    Or if you can build something like you mentioned on your own, and install and support that, that's quite possibly a viable path.


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