So far my attempts to find a software job haven't been successful. Likewise, although there are some people who appreciate my informational posts on click fraud, geotargeting, etc., I haven't really made the type of progress I thought I might. As I wrote earlier, it may be many years before advertisers and/or publishers become sufficiently disgusted that they're willing to turn to some form of open community-based activism. I don't know if it's a good idea for me to wait that long. I'm starting to think that if I don't make much more progress by the end of December, I may just chuck both efforts and pursue something else.
While browsing my LinkedIn network, I happened upon Ren Provo's profile. Ren is currently the peering administrator for AT&T. She has a long history of Internet involvement, including holding positions in NANOG and at the post-SRI InterNIC. (You can find out more about her at her Multiply site.) It started me thinking that type of career might be a possibility.
Once upon a time, I used to have job responsibilities that involved liaisons with other network managers. Back in the early 1990s, I was TIS' site rep for Los Nettos, a small regional net in Los Angeles. Although I didn't do that type of work when I first started at TIS, I assumed those duties when my predecessors left. It provided a nice complement to other work I was doing at the time (Trusted Xenix networking). Some aspects of the job were annoying (e.g. connectivity was slow because traffic to the public Internet of that time needed to go out via the CERFnet exchange in San Diego, even though UCLA had direct NSFnet access just one (T3) hop away from us), but overall it was a good experience for me.
Needless to say, I don't remember much of what I used to do. Also, a lot has changed. I wouldn't be able to get a job like that right now. However, there are ways to get training (via certifications). I do have some concerns, such as how likely it is that I can get (and keep) such a position – this sort of thing is not immune to layoffs, etc. Furthermore, I'm not sure how much this field is growing. Arguably, there's still a lot of dark fiber, so there's the possibility that new network providers will be created, but positions might disappear due to M&A activity, bankruptcy, etc. As usual, there is my usual concern of "if I start to do X, and X doesn't work out, I'm that much further behind in the other things I was trying to do."
I follow NANOG on and off, so I'm at least roughly aware of things that happen in the world of network operations. I still have to look into this more, but the idea seems more enticing than anything else (tech related) that I'm involved in (or attempting to be) these days.