Monday, September 29, 2008

Back of the head model

I turned 36 on the 25th 8)

On that same day, on a news program TV Tokyo, there was a preview of some sort of upcoming interview to the president of my company.
The cameras came about a month ago to the R&D section in my company. Along with people asking a few questions and filming ...mostly my monitors and the back of my head !
Not because my monitors are better or because my work is more important, but because it's where usually the final product comes out.

The lady conducting the interview also asked me a couple of questions (which I don't know if will be in the final footage).
The questions were more or less:
  • Do you understand all these numbers and letters ?
  • Are these numbers and letters all in your head ?
  • Did you create this character, and did it come out of these numbers and letters ?
My answers were:
  • The computer helps me to keep track of all this [code]
  • I'm not sure I understand today, I have a lot of [compiler] errors
  • I didn't design the character, the designers did it
  • I just put some math and logic and code and things get displayed
It was in Japanese (my Japanese hasn't really improved in a while) and in any case I wouldn't really know how to explain what I do even in English or Italian.
It's always the same issue really. Also different programmers have different jobs and really worry about different sets of problems.
Saying "I know C++" is a bit like Keanu Reeves saying "I Know Kung Fu" ..very generic indeed !!

If I had to describe my job, I'd say that I work with data, manipulating data, optimizing data access.. other than that, there isn't much else. Perhaps one could specify "data communication".
While Information Theory is about data, application development, artificial intelligence, interface programming, etc. are also more explicitly about communication.. which is a conceptualization of data reference and data transport over time.

Still, it's very hard to explain what I do. People can only judge for what's tangible to them. Thankfully I have some nice graphics models to use and prove that my work can pour into the visible spectrum 8)



  1. I think the media is mostly to blame for this.

    Computer programming is viewed as some sort of mystical black art.

  2. But then, how would you describe the job of a programmer better ?
    Especially when it comes to graphics, and one has to say: "I'm doing the rendering but I didn't build the model" 8)

  3. You just say:

    "Yeah, I did everything here!!"

    No point getting into details when you know in advance that you will not be understood correctly.

  4. eehhh, anonymous again...

    disable that anonymous option!!!

  5. Unfortunately I can't disable the "Anonymous" option without requiring people to identify themselves more formally.
    How about keeping logged with your Google/GMail account ? ;)

    Here is the options I have:
    * Who Can Comment?
    ** Anyone - includes Anonymous Users
    ** Registered Users - includes OpenID
    ** Users with Google Accounts
    ** Only members of this blog

    ..I guess one thing I didn't do all by myself is the blogger system 8)