Thursday, November 10, 2005

Today I am a Man!

Well the definition of “man” in this case may be a tad stretched, but for all the geeks of the world I have become a “MAN”. As I mentioned above I am a software developer, specifically a java application developer.  I write application software, typically in the Java programming language to be run on top of existing computer operating systems. About a year ago I was having lunch with a close friend and part-time mentor of mine. At the time I mentioned how bored I was with my current job.  I was in the grind of the minutia, an area that I routinely struggle with. Let me design the system, I’ll let you take care of the little things. (Actually this can probably explain why my wife and I get along so well, she lives for minutia).   Anyway, my friend mentions that he has an opening at his company that I might be a good fit for.  He proceeded to convince me to stop y his office and see what they did. Then he proceeded to woo me.  As the ancient proverb goes, “be careful what you wish for”.

I decided that change might be exactly what the doctor ordered. I left the comfort of my own space and stepped in the brand new frontier of embedded programming and immediately floundered.  This stuff was way outside of my scope of knowledge.

So how does this in anyway relate to me becoming a man today?  Well today I successfully wrote data to hardware, and the hardware did not burst into flames and self-destruct.  Me… I wrote data. I pushed bits into hardware registers. I forced silicone and metal to do my bidding. I am god blah blah blah.

What does this mean exactly, what is the true scope of my accomplishment? Well here is my first analogy.  

Application programming is like baking a cake from a store bought box. Add a few ingredients, mix and bake.  Where as hardware programming is like making a cake from scratch  The problem is the analogy really doesn’t fit well. An application programmer, at least a good one, is not just assembling store bought components( at least sometimes they are not ).  

A better analogy is that hardware programming is like baking a cake,  where you first have to grind the wheat to make flour. You need to crush the cocoa beans by hand. Squeeze the vanilla pods yourself.  That is what hardware programming is like.

And today I did that.  I think it is now time for a beer.



At 11:23 AM, Blogger y-vonne said...

and you earned your keep for the day.

At 10:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

and you will always keep stretching


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