Boston Linux & Unix (BLU) Home | Calendar | Mail Lists | List Archives | Desktop SIG | Hardware Hacking SIG
Wiki | Flickr | PicasaWeb | Video | Maps & Directions | Installfests | Keysignings
Linux Cafe | Meeting Notes | Blog | Linux Links | Bling | About BLU

BLU Discuss list archive

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Writer's block

markw at wrote:
> But the pay is good :)
I know you didn't mean it this way, but I won't work just for the money. 
If I'm not happy, I'll move on, regardless of the money. I changed jobs 
during the dot-com boom, and actually chose a position for substantially 
less money than were other offers, primarily because the environment was 
so interesting (the company was the 7-th most productive contributor to 
the human genome project, DEC Alphas, OSX, HPUX, Linux clusters, etc).

> Well, I'm not sure how old you are or how long you've been writing
> software, but it has been my experience after a while, and certainly with
> the indistry as non-innovative as it currently is, you start seeing the
> software you write for hire as completely unimportant.
I've never felt this way about any software I've written. I see the 
software I write as being very important to the people that I am writing 
it for. One thing that helps me there is that I'm often involved in the 
design & specifications stage (I write the SOWs for the software that I 
create), which means I meet with all of the principles. This helps me 
better understand exactly what the client needs to accomplish, and what 
their expectations are. I've been doing this for both internal & 
external clients for 20 years now, and have yet to be disappointed.

> The stuff I've hated writing, while writetn well, and
> being well recieved by customers, has a life of about 3-5 years. After
> which the product is replaced or the company is bought or failed.
I started writing in assembly & C for the PC platform under MS-DOS and 
for embedded systems. At that time I was working as a manufacturing 
engineer, so most of the stuff I wrote was for internal customers only, 
all of whom I knew well. This helped me in understanding both how to 
understand the customers needs, as well as how to explain the details of 
the applications to the end-users.

> IMHO Business software to good software engineers is like portraits of
> royalty for painters. A good way to make money, but a terrible waste of
> talent.
I consider my self a good software engineer, and I love writing every 
application that I write. I have never found myself pre-occupied with 
the salary. If I were, I think I'd try something else. If you work just 
for money, then you missed the boat.

> I've had a few jobs that I've simply loved the code I was working on. My
> first was "Denning Mobile Robotics." Most recently it was a dotBomb music
> site, where I developed a number of cool technologies. Not evey job is a
> gem, unfortunately.
> Right now, I have been attempting to restart a personal robotic
> project/hobby, but I have some ideas that I might be able to sell, if I
> can get to it. I want to spend some time and implement a "mouse based"
> motion control system we talked about on this list.

I spend alot of time learning new stuff. It always has helped keep 
things interesting. When I started in engineering I ran my own little 
electronics shop on the side, repairing home electronics. When I started 
writing software, I ran a BBS out of my house (4 ma bell phone lines!), 
and later started my own web-development/hosting company. Now that I am 
older, I do those things less, but I still collect and restore antique 
radios. All said & done, I guess I am just a geek, but it makes me happy :-)
Grant M.

Grant Mongardi
Systems Engineer

gmongardi at
781.894.3114 phone
781.894.3997 fax

NAPC | technology matters

BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
BLU is a member of BostonUserGroups
We also thank MIT for the use of their facilities.

Valid HTML 4.01! Valid CSS!

Boston Linux & Unix /