Saturday, March 19, 2005

What people Do 

It is surprising to see how little we know of people's careers. Having grinded with engineering alone for gazillion years, I have some idea abt some of the job demands of other engineering disiciplines and have some knowledge of a few other areas too but the number of fields I'm ignorant abt and my notion of a career in those areas is appalling.

Take my sister for example. She is studying Sociology and I have no freakin clue as to what she does. Every time I think abt a Sociologist, I think of social reformer and Pummy has already informed me that her work has nothing to do with that. In my defense, neither Pummy nor my mom and dad have any working knowledge of what I do. They know I am a computer engineer and one who DOESN'T design high end video games (a fact that single handedly has diminished my market value to them). Beyond that, they have no idea what is expected from me in my career.

A more recent example would be Ari, who is visiting me (that reminds me that I should put up some photos of our travels from the week). Ari is doing a PhD in Genetics I believe, specifically related to Genetically Modified plants. He very confidently told me the other night, "Come on. Let's hack into some machines" :) That's what people think I do or rather am capable of :)) Seriously, is that what people think I'll do in my job??? Well, I wasn't that far off either. Subs mentioned to Ari the possibility of the same tree having multiple fruits and he said, "Oh, there's already work going on in that area!" That's it. I could not but help create the mental image that Ari is working on what I think is the "Salad Tree", a tree that produces tomatoes, cucumbers, bell pepper etc. So all you do is go below that tree and shake it with a bowl in your hand and in no time you get ready made salad :)

Finally, I believe that people from quite a few non-techie areas glance upon this blog (from Antara the historian, to Samit the writer, to Ani who claims to not know abt stock markets and Ranajit the journalist). I'm really interested in knowing what exactly your (expected) job profile is and if possible what you think a computer engineer does. Help!

u guys either repair computers or write some fancy codes. which one?

we historians do the following:
1. read lots of books.
2. write book based on lots of book.
3. take minor historical incident and make it into something of earth shattering importance.
4. by virtue of above 3 get tenure.
you make all the stuff that lets people do things like click on options and pull down menus without wondering how the hell the computer is doing all this fancy stuff for them.
my job profile is very easy. i sit in front of computers, using stuff designed by people like you, and get fat and wonder why no ones sending the money they were supposed to send for the stuff i wrote for them
@antara - oh! as of now i write not so fancy code on computers which need repair ... also courtesy (2) i now know who to blame for all those books in school :)

@writer - yup! we are "drop down gorgeous" folks ... and it's people like you who write abt Harry and make zillions - aint so?
Computer engineers engineer computers.

Computer engineering STUDENTS simply eat sleep and wank. That's right, (1) eat, (2) sleep, (3) wank. To those under 18, number (3) implies self-pleasure.


@Ranajit - you naughty Playboy reading journalist - what have you made out of my formerly PG rated blog zone? Why O why O why?
The obligatory plug about work... hmm...

I design distributed embedded systems based on one principle - at a high enough level of abstraction, everything is true. I believe that is what every computer engineer should be doing.
When I was a kid, I used to think my Dad's job was to drive/pull engines, because he's an Engineer.

Now, I think, most of the Computer Engineer, sit in a dark corner of their office, sip on coffee during the breaks, try to find out new ways to surf blocked sites and other times, they BLOG.

Now about otehr Engineers, like Chemical, Mechanical, etc. They join software industry trying to mix H2SO4 with ActionListener and all that they get is Exceptions. And the company thinks, they work their ass off !!

My friends are Economist. I donno what they do.
@Debalina - can't comment abt the economists and others but you are not too off with ur definition of the Computer Engineers :)
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