Thursday, June 4, 2009

Sr. Code Monkey

Yesterday I changed my current position description at LinkedIn. I am now a Sr. Code Monkey !

In the past 2 years, many changes happened. Changes from above, job positions constantly changing around me, but hardly without any real meaning.

 I am told that I am a "leader". That's a class which implies things such as a salary range, or taking part to educational classes about stress management or sexual harassment (aha !!)
I'm also a senior.. and I'm not just a Software Engineer, but rather a Software Design Engineer.
People at GDC would see that on my badge and go: "ahh, you are a designer !!"  ..emm !

I'm frankly tired of the job position bullshit. People that wear jackets, people that don't.. people that use certain expressions to make one believe that they are in direct contact with "god".

Put a jacket on, get a company laptop, start making slides, participate to countless meetings and answering to tons of email.. and it's all downhill from there. There is no time to focus on anything practical by yourself, actual technical knowledge becomes less important, logic fades away and nothing makes much sense anymore, because it's all words... many words in many long meetings.
The more one talks about some problem, the less clear things become.. to the point in which nothing matters anymore.. everything is possible, but also the opposite is plausible.

So, I'm convinced now more than ever that I'd rather be a Sr. Code Monkey than to become more of a manager and lose the opportunity to use my brain logically.
That's a bit extreme, but that's how I think.

Speaking of code, today I went off to the library where I previously saw The Dragon Book and finally bought it 8)
I had the "trial" PDF version. But if I'm going to use it, it's only fair that I pay for it.. also, technical books are meant to be on paper.. where one can flip back and forth at any speed.
I was a bit worried about the size, but it's not that big.. so, now I only need to find the time to read it 8)
..I got to some problematic point with the RMan shader compiler and I think I'm better off getting some more basics on compiler writing before the code becomes too messy.


  1. I find this site pretty useful for generating job titles, eventually I got lucky and I became a "Guerrilla Manager". :)


    P.S. Jacket=giacca? Nel caso e' "suit".

  2. Cool, I'm a "management manager" ..I'm pretty happy with that !

    About jacket vs suit.. the thing is that (cheap) suits are so pervasive in Japan.
    But in the kind of environment where I work it's the jacket alone that gives you a status, while a suit would make one look like just another office worker, unless you are the president or a VP, in that case the (expensive) suit is again a status symbol.. complex !

  3. So if you dress like Hideo Kojima you look more important? :)

  4. I dunno, how does he dress ? 8)
    I suspect he's at the level where he should dress casual-but-fashionable. A plain jacket would make him look inadequate, and a suit would make him look like a tool, since he's a "creative" figure.
    In any case I wouldn't want to be mistken for a "gaming god" ..better unknown than with the wrong kind of fame 8)

  5. I suppose I should be congratulaing you! But if you end up not writing any more code, perhaps I should be expressing words of consolation! 8P

  6. I wonder what we will all be like when we are in our 60s...

    Anybody knows any 60 year old programmers?

  7. emmmm.. I see myself not simply writing a piece of code but rather writing some code towards a project in which I have a major responsibility.
    So, it's kind of like being both the driver and the mechanic 8)

    Being a programmer as in writing snippets of code doesn't sound like something that will go well into old age.. but putting the brain to sleep and become some sort of emotive worker.. that's possibly even worse.

    Some of us need to validate their existence by a persistence of logic in everyday life.. if you take that out, it's back to the animal world !

  8. So what you are saying is that you think your coding skills will improve as you get older to the point of playing an increasingly major roles in the projects you work on?

  9. I think I'm already at a level where I have a major role where I work. It's usually been like that.. perhaps because when I started, things were simpler and then I kept improving 8)

    The important thing is not to end up being the guy that does something good but that can't or wont keep up with the times. Or better yet it's important to be ahead of the times when possible.

    Unfortunately it's also perhaps important to take steps toward being some sort of leader at an official level, or even to publish stuff to get some publicity.
    Basically to make whatever the bosses require to give raises (to advance at work, it's more important to appear than to be).. so, I'm sort of OK with those compromises, but not if that means leaving difficult coding stuff in the hands of others, especially not leaving all code in the hands of people that are considerably less devoted or less experienced than me.. but it's hard to find someone like that.. because the good and experienced ones are naturally driven to become sub-bosses themselves.

    Boss this and boss that !!

  10. what do you mean by 'ahead of the times'? =) Is Java, c# ahead of c/c++? Or do you mean something else?

  11. By ahead of times I mean to try and see what would come next in whatever field.
    I'm not very good at that, but just trying doesn't hurt 8)

    In real-time graphics is especially important, because there is so much buzz.. a world of tricks that is becoming unsustainable.. is ShaderX 8 out yet ? 8)

  12. I think all the techniques that are used right now in real time graphics have been known for a long time in 'non real time' rendering. We have a full library of siggraph proceedings at work starting from 1989... its quite interesting reading those. There are a lot of research papers references. Sometimes it is also funny. For example I found a paper in the 1989 proceedings talking about 'real time' shadow generation. They were dynamically splitting the triangles along the edges of extruded shadow casting geometry. Quoting 30 fps on a scene with 1026 triangles and 1 light!!!! I forgot what the hardware specs were...