Originally Posted by at_nyc
Well, someone had to say the truth...
If you don't really care about computer and are not excited about it as you're just leaving school, I fear you may be in the wrong career entirely!
It would mean you'll have to work extra hard if you want to have your cake and still eat it. Personally, I see most people can't take the pressure, except those who're really motivated. I've had many co-workers who works off-site. (I've done it for a while myself too) They all work literally 24x7. Any time there's an issue, they're there to take care of it promto! That's the price to work off-site. Not working less than 60 hrs week, never mind < 40hr/wk! :(
Sorry for the harsh words. It's now summer, "cranky season".
Very true. 24x7 is the norm for off-site work. When you're on-site, spending half a day by the water cooler, everyone knows you're at work. When you're off-site and don't respond to an email for half an hour, everyone assumes you're at the beach, skiing, etc. So there's an enormous pressure to always be in touch. Been there done that. And even if your manager and coworkers trust you, and know that you pull your weight, with every reorg, somebody will ask (behind your back) to prove yourself again.
I have the feeling the corporate route will be miserable for you. You're young enough, go the ski bum route. Go work at a resort. Ski instructor, bartender, whatever - at the end of the season decide if it's for you. You might even get into the resort's IT department that way, as an insider, but I wouldn't plan on it.
If you still have energy left, after all the skiing and doing whatever else to support yourself, look on Craigslist for programming gigs. There are quite a few of those which will actually let you work remotely (with a remote chance of making a decent income), but it will let you stay sharp, and even gain experience with technology. There are plenty of dreamers, who have an idea and want to create the next Google, but are only willing to pay $12/hour. You'll be looking for one of them. In exchange for the shitty pay, they'll let you work from home, whatever hours. Latch onto one of these guys, ride it out, and re-evaluate at the end of the next season. (If you strike gold remember to reimburse me for the advice)
If you get a job as a full-time instructor at a resort, your skiing will improve a lot. You'll always be able to work part time as an instructor. A year or two out of college are not going to ruin your technical skills if you do something to stay fresh. At the very least, get involved in an Open Source project. Sounds to me like that's the right path for you.
I strongly advise against getting a serious IT/programming job with the idea of doing a half-ass job and focusing on skiing. You'll be miserable. Your employer will be miserable. You'd be surprised how much employers dread to fire a non-performer. Large corporations have these "walking dead" people, who have been there forever, hate their jobs, won't quit, and nobody will fire them. It's a sorry sight. Don't be one of them;
Oh, and someone mentioned that the Bay Area is not that far from Lake Tahoe. That's true, except for Friday and Sunday afternoons.