I didn't participate in the official ceremony last Friday -- instead, I went to the Village Deli, had lunch with Alex oniugnip, and watched approximately four million people go by the window in fancy robes and graduation outfits as we sat there in our boring regular-person clothes -- but I too am now the proud recipient of an M.S.-on-the-way-to-Ph.D. graduate degree, pending actually getting the thing in the mail and assuming I correctly filled out the attendant paperwork. A lot of people who are going for a Ph.D. don't bother with getting one of these, but for me, it's actually a pretty significant milestone; before this, I didn't have any "of Science" degrees, so this one means something. It also marks the point at which I'm essentially done taking classes1 at IU; after this, it's just research for the next few years.
Updating my CV to add the new degree set off a chain of other little updates. I removed some dumb things that didn't really need to be there, added some others that did, and un-retconned my former job title at BFW from "Software Developer", which is what my CV said for a long time, to "Associate Project Manager", which was in fact my official job title. I had changed the title in the first place because software development was, in fact, what I did at BFW, even though it wasn't necessarily what I was hired to do, and because I thought that "Associate Project Manager" would make it appear as though I couldn't actually write code. It's funny how writing a compiler tends to make you a lot less worried about whether folks will think you can't write code. In fact, now, if anything, I'm worried about whether folks will think I can't deal with people, and I'm pretty okay with putting the word "manager" back on my CV if it helps correct that misunderstanding.
In the meantime, though: Master of Science in Computer Science! Yay!
- In practice, it looks like I'll have to take at most two more courses, one for my theory minor and possibly one to fill a distribution requirement. I'm also signed up to take an operating systems course at Cornell this summer. I'm still on the fence about whether I want to take the OS course for credit, but I'll be in the neighborhood, it fits neatly into my schedule, the folks at GrammaTech are fine with it, it'll be interesting to see how things are done at another university, and, mostly, I want to be prepared to pass IU's systems qualifying exam in the fall. Also, I've never taken a real OS course. My so-called undergraduate OS course should have just been called "Concurrency in Java"; you'll note that Java is not a systems programming language.