Accepting this as an essentially true assessment of the state of things, I come to a juncture in my life when the paths that I and my wife have followed (which rather substantially deviate from what most Americans would consider "normal") require of me a career change. Given that I have always been (and remain) one of those starry-eyed types, idealistically bent on maximizing my usefulness in the world, yet pragmatically allowing that I also need to continue to "make a decent living", I am embarking on my first serious job hunt within the IT realm since the mid-90s (almost twenty years ago!).
Starting in early 2008, I began a deviation from my previous twenty-year career in software engineering, and delved into elementary school teaching in international schools in the Far East. These last few years devoted largely to educational endeavors have left me not-a-fan of classroom-based teaching of any kind. Forcing people to learn, en masse, in a "learning factory" (i.e., a traditional classroom) is a good way to all but guarantee that anything ostensibly learned will be quickly forgotten.
I am convinced that by far the most effective learning is self-directed learning, whether it be that of a six month old baby beginning to teach herself to talk, or of a 78 year old man beginning to teach himself how to use an iPhone so that he can have video chats with his grandchildren.
With all that said, I come back to the topic of my "job hunt". In the ideal world (and, being an idealist, I'm always on the hunt for the ideal world), I could bring all of my past experiences together --
- my software engineering experience (1989-2008),
- my teaching experience (2008-2013), and even
- my brief foray into the world of audiobook narration and production (2013-2014)
As part of my search, I'll be looking for small companies (either well established or new start-ups) that are taking on the challenge of providing tools or environments that assist people in self-directed learning endeavors.
However, I'd also like to broaden the search, to include companies of different sizes in a potentially broad array of industries, who see a need to provide learning opportunities for any of their stakeholders (employees, customers, managers, etc.), and who might benefit from my help in doing it.