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Xhin Update

Posted 11 Months ago by Xhin

It's been a while since one of these:
https://gtforall.com/thread/xhin-update-3
Last time I posted about my IRL (december 2019), I was doing reasonably well with freelance work and/or ebay sales. This continued into march of 2020 where I was doing slightly better than breaking even for the first time. Then the pandemic happened and everything went to shit. I don't want to talk about 2020 or the beginning of 2021 (ideally ever, to anyone) but it was bad.

Somewhere in 2021 I realized I needed to switch gears -- like the best way to get a good-paying job and some stability is to get the fuck out of the tech industry instead of investing even more time and schooling in it. In addition to the other problems I noticed while job hunting (employers and experienced workers both having very unique skillsets that rarely mesh) the industry seems hellbent on training its own AI replacements.

So, starting in august I've been going to a trade school for an Industrial Electrician certification -- this particular certificate is a 6-month program with 10 course hours. My end goal with this wasn't to have a career in industrial electricity but to help me get recruited (and help prepare myself) for my real goal, which was to join my local electrician union as an apprentice. Additionally it gives me a couple backup plans if I don't get into the apprenticeship for whatever reason -- the certificate itself might help land me a good job, or if I pursue a full diploma WIOA will pay for the 2 year courseload on it. The apprenticeship would start january 15th, and the school ends December 11th so I'd be able to do both.

I chose the electrician field because I've done some of that kind of work before and I enjoy it a lot. It seems like a good way to transfer my skills over since wiring and program designing are very similar in some ways. I've also known a few freelance electricians and they made an absurd wage. Additionally, electrician work is hands-on so I'd be able to reap the benefits of physical labor (more strength and stamina, leaner physique) without working in a soul-sucking low-pay environment (if you want a career in manufacturing for the love of god don't move to georgia).

I chose the union path in particular because I want stability beyond individual jobs which seem to inevitably fuck me over or burn me out. The union also services a wide area so there's a lot of travel and change in scenery involved, which I also enjoy. I also like their pay scale and willingness to pay a livable wage while you're training. I also like unions as a concept -- jobs that don't have them seem to inevitably progress towards worse conditions and pay.

In any case I'm a few months in now and I've been doing very well -- have a perfect score in all of my classes and also made the highest possible score on my aptitude test. I'm not trying to do this well, I'm just trying to be precise and accurate and am apparently just succeeding repeatedly. I think programming for 12 years has altered the way my brain works. In any case it seems like it would be a good skillset to have when failure to be precise can lead to your or someone else's death.

A couple weeks from now I have my next (and last) classes, which are tests. I've also been accepted for future apprenticeship and invited to work for the union as soon as my classes finish -- from what I can tell my region has a lot of extra work so they've been expediting things for new recruits. I could be both working (and achieving Industrial Electrician certification) inside a month -- it's exciting to see a plan actually tangibly come together. As far as I can tell the actual apprenticeship still won't start until mid-January, but I'll be able to do something in the meantime.

The actual training period is a five-year commitment with 40 hours guaranteed a week plus one day a week schooling. Also probably long commute times since our union services a huge area. Given all this it didn't make sense to have other obligations (like GTX0) -- I'd rather my free time be spent on things I enjoy doing or enjoy working on with no pressure whatsoever.

In summation, I chose this path and made this commitment because I wanted:

  • A living wage

  • Work that I enjoy

  • Stability beyond any particular one-time job

  • Essentiality (this field is over a hundred years old at this point and isn't going anywhere. The tech world can be as capricious as they want and they still need someone to keep the lights on)

  • A blend of physical and mental work so I'm neither bored nor fat

    Free time

    I'm apparently a game developer now.

  • Shatterloop is on hold at the moment. I'm pretty close to actually finishing it, but don't want that end-of-project excitement to interfere with what I'm doing IRL. I also needed a break to work on other ideas. I'll get back to it after one or two of my other projects launch.

  • I have an interesting arcade sidescroller that's around a day of bugfixing/polishing away from launch. It's a simple game but has a lot of secrets and depth.

  • I have a different sidescroller project that is somewhat of a hybrid of the above and a greatly simplified shatterloop. Also a very simple game, should be easy to program, but has a lot more depth and immersion. This is the one I'd like to launch before working on shatterloop again.

  • I've revived (and improved) a multiplayer online turn-based-strategy game idea I had in 2015 since I have the skills to actually build it now. This isn't a huge priority but looks like it would be interesting to design.

  • I compiled a bunch of notes for the big project I want to do after shatterloop. Basically 3D shatterloop in space but with a bunch of systems changes to take advantage of the graphics engine and game setting.

  • I have a couple of smaller ideas, like a scrabble clone or tetris-inspired game.

  • I would like to revive and finalize NIFE at some point -- it has a lot of capability and potential and really just needs some quality-of-life upgrades to make it usable.

  • I enjoy helping Weird Occurance learn how to build stuff on GTX0, so I'll continue doing that where possible. I'd rather focus on games development than GT development however so we're going to focus on her ideas and/or the community's ideas.

    Conclusion

    Hopefully I'm somewhere now where I have some kind of stability / financial independence where the work doesn't completely suck and I'm not just treated like an expendable sack of bones. I know parts of this are going to be brutally hard or rough but I've never had a problem with that by itself, it's more with there being nothing to work towards besides more bullshit and inevitable burnout.

    I want to do my personal projects too (which are games at the moment) but I've learned slowly that they do best when I'm not trying to monetize them or find some off-the-books financial opportunities that allow me to work on my own shit but keep me from having the stability I need to actually finish projects. I thought going back into the tech world would provide that but apparently they're so far up their own asses they can recognize talent and experience and still refuse to hire it.

  • There are 3 Replies


    So, starting in august I've been going to a trade school for an Industrial Electrician certification -- this particular certificate is a 6-month program with 10 course hours. My end goal with this wasn't to have a career in industrial electricity but to help me get recruited (and help prepare myself) for my real goal, which was to join my local electrician union as an apprentice. Additionally it gives me a couple backup plans if I don't get into the apprenticeship for whatever reason -- the certificate itself might help land me a good job, or if I pursue a full diploma WIOA will pay for the 2 year courseload on it. The apprenticeship would start january 15th, and the school ends December 11th so I'd be able to do both.


    That's actually really cool, and it's something that I've considered doing as well. I've know a couple of people who were entry-level electricians and they have generally good vibes about the experience (though doing it in the South is a bit worse, considering the heat-humidity).

    It's still a plan that I keep in my back pocket, though things have been going significantly better for me at my current job and I'm not looking for a short-term exit anymore.

    I'm glad that you're moving forward like this.

    11 Months ago
    galbraith

    Glad things are going so well for you, Xhin! I really hope the apprenticeship works out and that you find a steady job as an electrician.

    Not enough people are going into trades, but I think it's excellent to have a handy skill and trades do pay really well.
    I hope you still manage to find time to pencil me in to your busy schedule so we can continue to make some enhancements here - still got profiles and avatars on the mind!

    Hope things continue to go well for you - you've earned it.

    ¤¤♅êîrÐ Øccu®@n瀤¤

    11 Months ago
    Weird Occurance

    Fear not, Xhin! You'll always be an expendable sack of bones in any workplace you care to join!

    But the good thing is, you'll have the training & skills & eventually experience to hop elsewhere when you need to.

    11 Months ago
    elemtilas
     

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