Computer Scientist Feeling Stuck

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Jason Rock 4 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #237734

    Jason Rock

    I’m 33. Six years ago I got a Master’s in Computer Science but decided I had too many people skills to be a programmer and wanted to contribute to society, so I joined state government as a business analyst. My theory was that my understanding of technology would give me a competitive advantage as government necessarily moved into the digital age. While working I completed an online Diploma in Public Management.

    Instead, I’ve been stuck helping legacy systems limp along while any interesting, challenging work gets farmed out to consultants and subject-matter experts. Higher-level positions or even lateral moves outside IT seem to be more interested in financial and policy experience than delivering business value. It might just be that my entire career in government has been under the shadow of the recession (and I was grateful to have the secure job), but I’m not going to hold my breath for future spending sprees.

    Earlier in my career I tried a lot of networking, but I mostly met other people at the beginning of their careers who were really excited about social networking. (Frankly, from my perspective social networking alone will not cause a revolutionary change in government and it’s a distraction from other solutions.) I’m sure those will be useful people to know 15 years from now when some of them have been promoted, but it didn’t seem like an effective use of time.

    I feel like government doesn’t really want or need people like me and maybe I should move to private industry, although I really like the work-life balance here. Any advice?

  • #237749

    Steve Ressler

    Hey Jason –

    Couple thoughts:
    -Have you tapped into any of the civic hacking movement?
    -Have you looked at places like 18F and USDS at federal level that’s hiring folks like you –
    -Have you looked into the trend around human-centered design – seems great mix of your business analyst and computer programming skills – IDEO for government, luma institute, etc

  • #238308

    Jason Rock

    Thank you, those look very interesting but I’m in Canada. As far as I can tell there’s nothing similar up here. 🙁

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