April 16, 2011

N is for…

I have two different netbook computers. The first one is the eeePC, which was one of the first netbooks to hit the market, and I got it around April of 2008, just as the model was getting started. It’s a wee little thing with a 7 inch screen and 4 gigabytes of onboard flash memory, which is the same size hard drive as the Compaq laptop I bought way back in 1999, and it came with this strange mutant version of Xandros linux pre-loaded, which really made it a bit hard to do anything but what the people who loaded it thought you’d want to be doing with a netbook, which apparently included using it in coffee-shops with free wi-fi a lot, since many of the applications they had loaded were ones that worked online.

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April 12, 2011

J is for…

Like a lot of other writers, I spend a lot of time at my day job – eight to four, five days a week. Week in and week out, I guess it’s the second thing that occupies most of my time, after sleeping – and not as much fun. But in general I have a good job, and I’m starting to value it more after listening to other writers talk about ‘Day Jobs for Creative Professionals’ at Ad Astra this past weekend.

I work as a web application developer. That is, I help to make websites that work as computer programs, instead of static displays of unchanging information, (and most websites are interactive programs on some level nowadays,) specifically to help companies with field technicians keep track of what’s going on in their business.

I’m not going to get too much into the technical details of my job today, but instead to focus on what it’s like in a more personal way. I work with a small team from day to day: six of us, including management, the development team, systems administration, and sales – and all of those areas overlap somewhat.

I’m never really sure what’s going to be filling up my days at work, as priorities change, but I think I’m a bit more comfortable with that than being stuck on a long and involved project for months at a time, and website programming is a creative challenge in a very different way than writing is, which means that each can help recharge my batteries for the other. The lead developer has been in that spot for less than a year at this point, (he was one of the programming team before,) and he’s been pushing us to do our projects in different ways recently, which means learning new skills, and often arguing about the best way of accomplishing a particular task, which is another way of keeping the mind sharp.

So, what’s your day job like?

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