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Reformed Felon

  1. Jun 14, 2005 #1
    Hello everyone,

    I've been gone for a minute but i'm back now. I've been thinking about my career choices and have been getting sort of depressed lately. The field of engineering seems pretty conservative. I was thinking about maybe changing my major to electrical engineering or computer science in the hope of maybe landing a job as a video game programmer. The whole culture of programmers seems like one that is a little more inclusive. The thing is, I don't really enjoy programming as much as math, but from what i've read there is a lot of math involved in designing games. What do you think?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 14, 2005 #2
  4. Jun 14, 2005 #3
    thanks marlon, but i wanted to know more about the culture of programmers compared to engineers. BTW i have studied the thread that you link to above.
  5. Jun 14, 2005 #4
    Alot of programmers are ever bit as conservative and "establishment" as engineers - they often work for the same companies. This wasn't true twenty years ago when the field was still young and people like Steve Jobs could build a successful business from the ground up despite being a college dropout, but this is getting to be less and less the case.

    I would imagine that video game programmers would be more accepting of your personal history. Unfortunately it is also a very hard industry to break into - meaning you have to be extermely talented. Nowadays you have to show a kickass portfolio(meaning a a full playable game that uses relevant technologies) to even get an interview.

    I am considering this field as well ( I finished my CS degree a couple years ago) but I also need something to support myself while I work towards this goal.
  6. Jun 14, 2005 #5
    well i have to do something. I can't resort to robbing people :devil: I can't change the past, what's done is done. I'm trying like hell to improve my future.
    would getting two degrees help me out, one in mathematics and another in engineering?
  7. Jun 14, 2005 #6
    Even with your past, the engineering degree would give you more options then the CS degree.

    A good friend of mine works for one of the big 3 here in Detroit. According to him, when his department needs a new programmer, they go looking for engineers with some programming knowledge before they go looking for CS grads. Even if the engineer doesn't have any real life experience, he/she still has the advantage over the CS major with some experience. He doesn't know how wide spread this policy is, but he doubts it's isolated to his project team.

    From what I've read and heard, there seems to be baseless assumption that CS majors can't be good at anything at all other then programming, while engineers can be great at anything including programming.
  8. Jun 14, 2005 #7


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    lol all the CS majors/grads i know dont seem to be good for anything else! But then again i know a lot of people who arent good for anything period... so maybe i just grew up with a bunch of losers
  9. Jun 14, 2005 #8
    The only legal restriction i can find about being a licensed engineer here in florida is here

    scroll down to 471.013 Examinations; Prerequuisites part 2(a)

    If you don't want to follow the link here is a cut and paste of what it says:

    (2)(a) The board may refuse to certify an applicant for failure to satisfy the requirement of good moral character only if:

    1. There is a substantial connection between the lack of good moral character of the applicant and the professional responsibilities of a licensed engineer; and

    2. The finding by the board of lack of good moral character is supported by clear and convincing evidence.

    (b) When an applicant is found to be unqualified for a license because of a lack of good moral character, the board shall furnish the applicant a statement containing the findings of the board, a complete record of the evidence upon which the determination was based, and a notice of the rights of the applicant to a rehearing and appeal.

    It does not say outright that having a felony will bar me from getting an engineering license,but good moral character can be interpeted in many ways.
  10. Jun 14, 2005 #9


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    Yes it can, but it can also be a clause intended to address specific felonies. Say for example... a bank might put that kind of wording in when hiring someone to handle large amounts of money with the intent of keeping people away who have been convicted of money laundering. Thats if "connection" is the important aspect of that clause..
  11. Jun 14, 2005 #10
    will some brilliant physicist build a time machine so that i can start my life over?
  12. Jun 14, 2005 #11


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    Don't give up big guy. A man who has survived prison, and is now out and pursuing a degree in math or engineering has the best possible moral character! Don't forget that!

    Life is not about never making mistakes, it is about what you do next.

    There is a huge shortage of math teachers, for one thing. that's what I do. we don't make a lot but we get by ok.

    hang in there. depression is normal. discouragement is a continual struggle. doing what is right and getting dissed and worse for it, is part of the drill. you are doing fine.

    Last edited: Jun 14, 2005
  13. Jun 14, 2005 #12
    Man you have no idea how good that makes me feel. I've been so depressed lately that i've almost wanted to give up. I've made my life difficult. As my mom would say "i have a hard row to hoe". i'll survive and be the better man for it.
  14. Jun 14, 2005 #13


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    you'll make it. tomorrow is another day.

    keep the faith.
  15. Jun 15, 2005 #14
    I am still among the 'younger' people (25) when it comes to a professional carreer so i am certainly not claiming to know that much. However, when i was in college i wanted to drop out because of lack of motivation. I passed my first year in physics quite successfully and i never had any problems in high school. On the academic part of life, everything went great. When i came into my second year, for some strange reason, things got tough. I lost motivation to study and i lost interest in physics. This lead to the fact that i 'dropped out' for a few months and i started to work a little bit outside college. Fortunately i regained interest thanks to having another perspective on college-life. You see, my impression is that the strangest things can happen for no clear reason, but somehow things will turn out to be just fine if you hang in there. I think that what you are trying to achieve is very brave and you have my respect for that. Keep on going, you will get there. Like mathwonk said, life is not about making mistakes, it is about what you do next.

  16. Jun 15, 2005 #15
    I would stick with studying for engineering becuase the job opportunities are so diverse. And screw how others may percieve you; you're doing this for yourself, not them. Therefore it's best to continue in engineering and maixmize your future potential and opportunity. That's what allt his is about, you, not them.
  17. Jun 27, 2005 #16


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    we miss you man. i hope things are ok.
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