Saturday, May 16, 2009

Office Politics

It seems that every year there are some major changes in the R&D department where I work.
Changes are good to keep people excited, if only people opinions were being listened carefully ;)

It's an high level game where a few bosses call the shots without actually letting people below know what is going to happen.. until it hits.
For example, earlier this year I was given a choice on what direction to take, without actually understanding what that would imply.

The shape of the R&D also seems a bit weird to most of the coworkers. Some of us, express opinions but that has little effect because some bosses out there already made their big pitch and couldn't possibly change direction all of a sudden.

In practice, with time, things usually loosen up and move the way us workers make it move. Changes from the lower levels happen, but they are progressive, slow..
One can go ahead with a certain plan that he doesn't agree with.. and then slowly start moving towards a more feasible direction without hurting too many feelings on the way.

..another problem with high level changes is that one loses commitment from above.
Big plans and hard earned professional respect can fade away. That is not to say that I'm being disrespected, but rather that my skills and commitment can be underestimated.

One thing that hit me, was when the other day I realized that those of us that are better acquainted with the world of graphics won't be sent to this year's Siggraph.
Overall, not going saves me the pain of traveling.. but surely isn't going to help me improve in my field of expertise.

For this reason, aside from pushing research at home, I started pitching my ideas and views of where the company graphics R&D should move to.
The truth is that there aren't many people that can make sense of next generation real-time 3D beforehand.. especially in the non-English speaking world. And it would be a waste to leave such an important topic in the hands of the inexperienced.

So, I really hope that my company will support me in this.. or else I'll just keep doing my thing until it's obvious that I'm the man.. but by then, because of all my free time invested into it, the price of my commitment will be higher ;)



  1. Mr. Kaz-idea-pitch-man,

    Great move on your part. One thing to keep in mind is that (ultimately) it's about money and profits, so you'll have to also try to find a means to translate how your ideas will translate into this for the company you work for. It can be hard at times because such things (especially with graphics) tend to be intangible.

    Maybe your ideas or your approach may not necessarily generate money for the company, but it could save the company substantial costs in development or whatnot; things along those lines.

    Of course, you could always take the avant-garde approach and work on one of your ideas and then present it to the decision makers. This may or may not give you more weight in pushing things in the direction you want, but at the least (especially with graphics) it will give those people something tangible that they can see and put their faith or trust in.

    Of course, how well this works depends on the type of place you work and it's environment. Whatever approach you take, I think you have a shot at the place you are presently at.

    Go for it! :)

  2. Just dont put all your eggs in one Bucket!!


  3. Mr. Ragin,
    I'm going ahead anyway, but it's easier with the support from the company.
    Another problem though is to have other coworkers buy into your ideas.. everyone wants to do something different (me included apparently 8).
    People are always unhappy with what somebody else wants to do.. and it's not easy to reach a compromise.

    Mr. Paul,
    multi-threaded rendering !

  4. Mr Kaz,

    rendering is already multi-threaded at the hardware level! my 9800 GT here has 128 shader units rendering pixels in parallel!

    what you are trying to do is take advantage of parallelism at a higher level of the rendering pipeline.

  5. Mr. Paul,
    We know that.. that was only my answer about buckets 8)
    I'm certainly not trying to reinvent multi-threaded rendering.. only experimenting by writing code.. because if one doesn't write code and undertake challenges, then it will always be the others that do those things for us.

  6. indeed, do not let other do what you can do yourself!!!

  7. "Write All That You Can Write" !

  8. Why don't you ask Hard Gay to convince your upper management to give you a department to run? :)


  9. wooooooo !

    That is perhaps a possibility.. provided that I sound convincing enough and that I actually get someone to join forces with me in.

    One problem is that usually everyone wants to do something slightly different.. 8)


  10. Good news, I have found a couple of people you can join forces with:

    I don't know if you need to dress with the same sailor moon-like outfit. :)


  11. Remember that it is difficult to code if your girlfriend crushes your fingers. :)

  12. Sorry, not "IF", but "WHEN"... :)