The Daryl White Challenge Part II

If you haven’t been following my life, last September when my job at the Bureau of the Census ended one of my friends Daryl White says the reason I am always between jobs is because I have absolutely no marketable job skills. (There is some truth to that, it’s not like I can quantify my soft skills like how good of a critical thinker or problem solver I am ) Also since I have no technical skills I am basically completely unemployable. (which Daryl is also right about) Daryl says that I have to have hard technical skills to be able to find a decent paying job in this market and he doubts I can ever do what he does. And so started the Daryl White Challenge Part I, a gentleman’s bet I decided to take Software Design and Analysis II (CSCI 235) at Hunter College. This class is equivalent to a data structures programming class and is the third in the computer science major sequence. Also I am taking intermediate accounting I for credit and intermediate accounting II (audit).

The average student in my class is earning a C, which means half the class is earning a D or an F (but since a D is not considered acceptable by the departmental policy it means the same) I am currently earning an A in accounting and B/B+ in programming. Several classmates approached me and said how much I inspire them, because I basically put in 20-30 hours a week into programming. With five weeks left in the semester it seems like Daryl may be losing his bet.

For the last six years Daryl has been gainfully employed in software development jobs. He also received an offer to work on a military simulation for a whopping $250,000 a year salary (yes that is a quarter million dollars a year)

Currently Daryl has a job at a financial software development startup making a close to six figure salary. The reason I say close to is because, he would have to work there an entire year and his performance would have to be at full potential. And it isn’t there yet. I used to think it was Daryl but after further investigation I started to believe him. There is actually something worse than programming and it can be summed in two words. Daryl’s job. I am not allowed to allude to what he does exactly as I myself do not know. But from he has told me; he troubleshoots software on a UNIX command line prompt. He’s not even a programmer, programming would be too easy because you can look at the source code. He fixes bugs without looking at the code.

However he has made Dick another challenge either in the hopes that he can thwart Dick in his quest or actually help him. You see his job is so awful just last week two people quit and another is leaving next week. At his workplace they only hire those with very technical degrees such as engineering or computer science. With the high turnover they need more people and it has been difficult to find engineers with several years experience because the qualifed pool is so small. The job always involves interfacing with customers which furthers whittles the pool of candidates.

However his supervisor (who doesn’t have a college degree and rumored to be the very best at the job) says that she believes someone who is a good critical thinker and problem solver would be a very good fit. The upper management and the board of directors could not disagree more. They will not allow anybody who is not an experienced engineer to work there. Daryl has pitched his supervisor to give me a shot and let him train me.

The problem is that I see what Daryl does at work and I do not think I can do his job. The problem with the world is that everyone is always jealous of those who make high salaries. The definition of high being close to or above six figures. But what they don’t seem to comprehend is just how difficult their jobs are. I do. I know though if I don’t take this opportunity Daryl will always pull the punch Dick in the groin card. Which is…Dick you’re unemployed, sleep on the your mother’s couch and have absolutely no job skills.


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