Constant Challenges and Setting Goals

I started as a credit card analyst for Sears Credit making $7.50 an hour, 25 hours per week.
Except I wanted to do more.
So I got a job at a Finance company, approving retail loans.
Except I wanted to approve small loans.
So I got authority to approve up to $7500 in small loans.
And then I worked in a branch as Assistant Manager.
And because I had to go collecting door to door occasionally, I went back to underwriting loans, at a real bank.
And I approved loans, Mortgages, Helocs, Boat loans, car loans, CD loans.
Except I wanted to do more.
So I volunteered to do reports for the Director.
Except I wanted to do more.
So I took a c++ class at the Junior college.
And got a job in the IT department.
Except I wanted to do more.
So I learned Crystal Reports, Visual Basic and Oracle.
And then the web was popular.
And I learned ASP.
Except I wanted to learn more.
So I got a job doing Java.
And wanted to do more, so I learned Microsoft Reporting and ETL.
And got a job as Supervisor for the School Board for Reporting.
And then I wanted to learn Cubes and Data Warehouses, which I did.
And then Hadoop came along and I wanted to learn that.
I attended a Cloudera course and know the basics with that and Hortonworks.
And then I wanted to consult instead of full time.  And I'm now a full time consultant.

And guess what, I am now interested in Artificial Intelligence , Machine Language and Unattended Learning. 

I clearly don't have the math, statistics or advanced degree.  Am I biting off more than I can chew?  Perhaps.  Except all I've ever done was learn new stuff, since I entered the workforce in 1991.

Programming allows unlimited growth, advancement and opportunity.  If I had to stick with a single language for 20 years, I'd get bored.  I think AI is about the most challenging game in town.  The advances over the years have been slow.  Only recently, due to increased data storage, lower software costs and increased trained professionals has AI finally started to gain some traction.

I don't know how far it will go, but for now, I'm interested in learning as much as possible on the subject.  It could take a long time to learn, my passion may drop from time to time, but maybe, at some point in the future, I'll have a better understanding of a very complicated subject.  And setting goals and challenging oneself is what keeps me going.

Otherwise, I'd still be answering phones back at Sears Credit, probably making $8.50 an hour by now.

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