Back to computing, again....
Here's a modified version of what a conversation I had with someone last night. I took out all the things he said and rewrote large parts of it to make it read properly. In summary I've decided a PhD in bioinformatics is not what I want and I've decided to go back into "pure" computing until I work out my next move. There should be a job for me in two or three months. Which should be okay as I'll be in Singapore for most of next month.
I don't want to stay in science, so I think I'll quit after I get back to Sydney and work in IT until I work out what to do next. It will most likely be engineering or management. It seems research is too demanding. I don't think I can do research and do other things I like, not well anyway, I'll been thinking about leaving science for three years now, but I always managed to put off the decision as things were going far too well to give up on it.
I've been having a lot of trouble focusing on my project, and I've just decided it's because I'm not interested in where it'll take me. I'm not interested in research at the moment, not in bioinformatics as it is anyway, maybe the field will mature and I'll return to it later, but many years will past before that will happen.
I've learnt a lot in the past year, more about science, how it works and what type of life I would expect if I continue on. It didn't seem that appealing, I want to have more independence and more time to myself.
If someone was to stay in research and work at an elite level, it seems there are certain things you would need to do, you have to maintain a very strong record of publication, so you need to spend a lot of time staying up to date, finding out what's happening, for most things you need to work with very large organizations, trying to get funding and so forth... that looks like it will take up most of my time.
I would only do that if I really liked what I was doing and knew that was what I wanted in life, I can't say that at the moment, and I know I don't like it enough at the moment to focus on it to that extent. And if I wasn't going to do science at the highest level, what's the point? I can do something else which is much less demanding and pays much better, and do something fun in the time I have left.
I like the idea of being a consultant, where I'll still need a strong record, but I can choose to take on only short project, say 3~6 months, be well paid for it, and then move on to something else like traveling for a few months if that's what I wanted. Unlikely as I'm getting sick of travelling, but I'm sure I can find something else in my time.
Maybe learning about philosophy and writing. Perhaps I'll learn how to spell and this thing called grammar one day, and there's almost no way I can make a career out of that.
I don't know if that's what will work for me, but I should be able to give it a try and see
It will take a while before I can get to the level where I can choose how and when I work, but I think I would be better working towards that directly rather than finishing off my PhD. I might still want to get a PhD, but I don't think it'll be in bioinformatics, maybe in computing, like Judy's lab at USyd. When I got back to Sydney two years ago, I wasn't intending to go back into bioinformatics but I had trouble finding an interesting project for my honours. So I ended up doing another bioinformatics project because I knew some people who helped me work out a project. In the end though I had to work out what half my project was two weeks before I submitted, it was a busy two weeks, I did okay though, I even had two minutes left when I submitted.
I was interested in biology, and that's why I did it, same with computing, I don't understand all the people who are in IT who aren't good at it, and aren't interested. The bit in between though, bioinformatics, seems to be in such a mess, there isn't enough proper work being done. Maybe later.... but I won't submit the forms for another month, I might change my mind yet again....