My Life and Times

27 September 2006

the mind of a software engineer

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2pacfan187 @ 11:22 pm

All engineers do this; it’s just a matter of to what degree.

An engineer thinks about the world through the carefully crafted principles of his profession. A carpenter is bound to think of masonry or pottery in terms that he’s more familiar with. The turn-table becomes a lathe, etc etc. Well, a software engineer looks out for algorithms and specifications, interfaces and languages. It’s not easy for me to explain, because it’s fairly internalized. But here’s an example. Our security guards are contracted. It’d be kind of silly to have them employed by our company itself, better to have each local site strike a deal. Ours is with Wackenhut or something. Anyways, at some point today I realized that however our security operates, that policy must be agreed upon and understood by both our side and their side. But naturally come a lot of questions — how flexible is the policy? Does the contractor offer several plans, between which our management must choose? Is a policy developed from scratch to the vagaries of our company? Does the contractor have 1 fit-all policy? The overarching theme to these questions is — what practices, what interface between the two parties, achieves the optimal result?

If you’re not into programming or software engineering, I wonder if you can see how the questions naturally stem from concerns in my daily work. There’s that oft-trotted Chinese proverb, to understand one thing completely is to understand everything. I hope you can at least see how seriously and earnestly I take that philosophy.

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this is my life, this is my soul

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2pacfan187 @ 11:22 pm

It’s been about a month since I last was blogging. Mostly because of my new life working and living in the apartment. My life is different from what it used to be, that’s for sure. Take my dinner — a 50ยข can of sardines in tomato sauce, on sale at the grocery store. And some bread. What’s this all about? There’s two reasons. First, I grew up on this food. There was a time in my youth when my family was dirt poor, and we ate a lot of really cheap food, including sardines in tomato sauce. In typical pedestrian fashion, I love my childhood. I love every little detail, and there’s no way I could forget, or shy away from something like sardines in tomato sauce. The best part, IMO, is that the can is still the same fucking shape. Is it like a Golden oval? Beautiful, whatever its name. The second reason is that I just want to be myself. What a vague way of putting it. I’ve never been a picky eater. But, having a can of pressure cooked fish for dinner is pretty much the pits (more so for others, I ween). If I can eliminate food from my thoughts, I can pare down, I can get to the bottom of things. What are my limits? What do I really care about? Sort of like the ascetic Siddharth ran into in that book, but not nearly as bent on self-deprivation. It’s better to take a moderate, Buddhist middle path.

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