A few questions for research project

This is a discussion on A few questions for research project within the General Discussions forums, part of the Community Boards category; If your job is programming or even programming-related, I am interested in your response to the following questions. None of ...

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    Registered User MacNilly's Avatar
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    A few questions for research project

    If your job is programming or even programming-related, I am interested in your response to the following questions. None of the answers will be published. Answer all or any, brief or long. All answers are greatly appreciated, as this is for a research project in my future career (computer science). You can post your answers here or send me a PM.

    The questions are:

    What types of skills or qualifications are needed for your job?
    What kind of documents do you often read for your job? What kind of documents do you always write for your job? Where can I find these documents?
    Are reading, writing and research skills important in the performance of your job? If so, why? If not, why not?
    Do you pay attention to the use of language (tone, word choice) when you write for your job? If so, why? If not, why not?
    What was your expectation before you started this job? What was your surprise after you started this job?
    What kind of thinking is most valued in our filed?
    GCC on Fedora Core 10

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    The primary skill and qualification is programming. Although general problem solving and ingenuity is very handy. I mostly read datasheets on embedded circuits/MCUs, circuit schemes and protocol specifications. I mostly write test reports; reports on the results of various tests I have done. Also informational "manuals" on things delivered to customers. None of these are available to the public (that i know of at least).

    Yes they are. Writing is important because I communicate directly with customers alot and thus I need to be able to write clearly, and professionally (not author professionally but more like documentation profesionally). Research and reading because pretty much all programming related requires researching some component/technology/protocol or something, and reading and research goes hand in hand.

    I pay attention to always speak/write in a professional manner, suitable for the type of conversation I am having. This becase if I act unprofessionally/sloppy it reflects bad on the company, and nobody is happy about that.

    I expected a fun and diverse job. I am surprised at my own ability, and at the amount of experience I have manage to acquire in a rather short timespan (~1.5 years).

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    Registered User MacNilly's Avatar
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    Thank you for your response.

    Can anyone else tell me what types of documents they read and write for computer science related jobs?
    GCC on Fedora Core 10

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    Cat
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    My job is a bit odd because it's a hybrid of programming and technical support, but here are my answers:

    Quote Originally Posted by MacNilly View Post
    What types of skills or qualifications are needed for your job?
    At least a bachelor's degree with high grades (engineering, computer science, and science degrees preferred - those hired only as programmers need a CS or EE degree).

    What kind of documents do you often read for your job? What kind of documents do you always write for your job? Where can I find these documents?
    I keep up with the press and with regulatory changes in my industry (of which there are many), and some programming books. I mainly write design documents & testing instructions for internal use; I also review the writers' work when they write the customer-facing documentation of my changes.

    Are reading, writing and research skills important in the performance of your job? If so, why? If not, why not?
    Absolutely. Making sure you aren't reinventing the wheel, and clearly documenting your design choices will save a ton of time and hassle for everyone.

    Do you pay attention to the use of language (tone, word choice) when you write for your job? If so, why? If not, why not?
    Certainly. I've communicated directly with the CEOs / CIOs of billion-dollar organizations. Also if you have any customer interactions at all, rapport is critical.

    What was your expectation before you started this job? What was your surprise after you started this job?
    I was not expecting I'd like the job I have - as mentioned, it is a hybrid role, where I was seeking a pure programming role. I took the job when the job market sucked, hoping I could prove myself and transition to a pure programming role. The surprise was - now that I've proven myself and would certainly be welcome to change roles if I asked - I actually really enjoy the role I have.

    What kind of thinking is most valued in our filed?
    Think critically about your designs and your code. Involve end-users and key stakeholders heavily in the design process - however much you think you know about their workflows, they know them a thousand times better. Don't settle for a sloppy solution (they have a way of being a short-term gain and a long-term loss) but don't overengineer your solution - solve today's problems, think about tomorrow's, but don't try to speculate too much about where you might want to go in the future. 'Future-proofing' tends to overcomplicate the design for a nebulous idea of a need that might or might not ever materialize.
    You ever try a pink golf ball, Wally? Why, the wind shear on a pink ball alone can take the head clean off a 90 pound midget at 300 yards.

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