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How badly did I dun goof? I invested the past 4 years into strictly programming maya and opengl and as a result couldnt animate worth a lick. Then I took a break from programming and forgot some of it as I was forced into the painful painful working world. This is what I've completed in the past day and its pitiful. I just start little day projects now and dont refine anything because I hit a brickwall in terms of skill.

What do? This is strictly maya / arnold btw
NOTE: I want to starting this of by saying I am still learning animation and fairly new to it, don't take what I say as truth. Just trying to provide some criticism.

The anticipation at the beginning when it pulls back before going forwards is to quick and too exagerated.
Less pull back, make it ease into the pull back and make it take longer.
In fact most of the animation is too quick you can barely tell whats going on.
The second shot was so fast I almost missed it the first time. You could probably remove it and have the camera rotate with the UFO in the first shot or remove the third shot and have the camera rotate with it on the second shot.
The very last shot is fine, maybe just give the UFO a little more time to ease in and out some more.
If your worried about getting a job, focus on your skills, tool programming, animators rely on tools. Don't know what tools animators wish they had, just ask.
auto rigs? maya plugins that are hardware accelerated? What else?
The animation looks a little evenly timed. If you add some in and out frames the animation could look more natural.
Just add more frames at the ends and starts of actions
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For really simple stuff like this, I find it helps me figure out how it should look by drawing the animation as a ball first if I'm having trouble.
It doesn't have to be detailed, and it doesn't have to be smooth, just enough frames to get the idea and pacing. It's also to get an idea of how something should squash and stretch, and anticipation of movement.
It's alright to exaggerate it a bit on the drawn animation so you can dial it back a bit later on if you want. Once you get familiar with animating though you'll probably skip drawing everything out.

Pic related is a quick example I drew out for your animation to show what I mean. The basic movement at least.
It's not really the greatest, but maybe it'll help you to figure out what's missing from yours.
Your skill is way more valuable than low iq pleb asset maker.

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