Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Skill Testing, Blender, and Google

Let's just get straight into what's been happening over the past week or so.

Blender Pyramid Script Upgrade
The step pyramid from my github is now upgraded to work with Blender 2.56. The big challenge was adjusting to changes to a new and better way of organizing vertices passed in via Python data. Hopefully, these API improvements will stabilize to make script development easier for me down the road.

Staffing Agency Interview
Last week's job interview with a staffing firm proved interesting. For one, the interviewer is an active Twitter user. For another, it was followed by computer-based testing on J2EE. 

The test results were odd. Despite my Java database background, my JDBC score was 0%.  On the other hand, lack of Struts experience didn't prevent me from scoring 100% in that area.

The big takeaway is my J2EE skills are rusty. Dropping PHP in favor of JSP might impact hosting and CMS options. As for my projects, little would really need to change.

Google App Engine
A tutorial on the Google App Engine introduced me to new tricks for web application development. It's pretty sweet. Java code can be compiled to Javascript. There are hosting options on Google. The near automated log on mechanism is nice. It also turns out that Khan Academy likes to use it.

Khan Academy Badge Chasing
Speaking of which, the Khan Academy star count is 74 at the time of this blog entry. 80 stars gets me the Magellan sun badge. More brush up on trig, calculus, and word problems should take me over the top.

Why do this? First off, in computer graphics programming, math skills matter. But the big bet is that earning that badge will land a job like no vendor certification can. It seems just crazy enough to work.

Plans for the Week
The rest of this week will be a final push for the Magellan badge. Plenty of job hunting to do as well. There will also be some neat experiments in Python and Java too. Never a dull moment.

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