Thursday, November 15, 2007

Alternative Careers?

I was just thinking about this recently. My time as a student is coming to an end soon (hope, fingers crossed, touch wood!). As such, it comes the time to start thinking about what the next step is going to be. I could always go back to building my business, brick-by-brick, but I would also like to consider other alternative career paths for myself. So, I started thinking.

Impoverished Author
I like to write and I like to teach. I do see a niche in the market for technical writing on certain topics related to my field. There are plenty of books that cover basic theory and advanced topics. However, there are plenty of gaps in between. For many people, myself included, the knowledge had to be gleaned from experience.

So, it might be useful to write a book that spans the middle ground, and try to eke a living out of it. My credentials will probably help sell the book, but seeing that it's a niche area, it's unlikely to sell very many copies. Nothing wrong with trying though. I just need the discipline to fire up LaTeX and write the first chapter.

Impoverished Designer
I like to study microprocessor architectures and design them. I've spent most of my life working on software and hardware. I like to walk at the software-hardware interface. So far, I've used my knowledge to design microprocessors that are small and simple. Many other people have benefited from my designs.

I could feasibly find a job, working on microprocessor designs, with some large company. But I don't think that it would make me very happy. Alternatively, I could continue giving designs away for free and get some form of corporate sponsorship for me to continue my work. This will only work if one or more of the companies using my design is willing to support it. Maybe I can ask them about it.

There are a lot of people who need help in this world. I have had some experience with these people while I was working with an international NGO. There are a lot of problems in the third world that can be solved with the correct application of technology. However, the knowledge and materials aren't always available locally.

So, it is certainly possible to do something about it and to help make other peoples' lives better. Turning this into a business might actually be a challenge worth taking. It's trivial to build machines that tower over man when you have money. However, it's a little more difficult building machines to help man, when there are little resources to start with.

1 comment:

Zen said...

Let's be impoverished authors together! ^_^