In June 2013 I had the great privilege of being elected as the treasurer for the Special Interest Group for Computer Science Education (SIGCSE). I served on the Advisory Board for SIGCSE since 2010, so the workings of the Board aren’t new to me. But serving as the treasurer will involve an entirely new set of responsibilities, many of which I’ve never done before. Today was my first meeting with the ACM financial staff, and I learned just how much I have to learn in the next few months. It definitely feels like being thrown in the deep end, albeit with many kind people standing on the side trying to toss me flotation devices.
It also made me realize that I’m very familiar with the feeling of flailing through new situations trying to learn everything I can. Just about every year I have to learn something completely new for one of my classes. Sometimes it’s a new preparation, and sometimes it’s simply a switch of technology in an existing class. No faculty member who teaches in computing can go for very long without having to learn something radically new, since this is the wrong field for people who like to maintain the status quo. And it’s times like this that I’m so grateful my job has prepared me, over and over, for making my way through the deep end.