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Developer Diaries

Five Years Before the Math

Mike Pilat

Employer: Wolfram Research

Job: Senior Software Engineer

DDJ: Where do you work?

MP: I work for Wolfram Research, creators of Mathematica. I just recently started my fifth year there.

DDJ: What's your job there?

MP: My primary role is serving as an architect on projects: gathering requirements, creating a design, and producing the code, either on my own or as part of a team. I also give talks at conferences, work with our business partners, and recently started writing for our company weblog.

DDJ: What do you like about your job?

MP: The variety of projects I'm involved with. It runs the spectrum from writing digital signal processing functionality to creating tools for analyzing our web statistics. And of course, the company is an amazing collection of mathematicians, scientists, and engineers—it's a great community to be a part of, and I've learned a lot.

DDJ: What do you find challenging about your job?

MP: Hunting down bugs. It's not that I'm bad at it, but the symbolic nature and flexibility of the Mathematica language [that] makes it a very powerful tool also makes very complex operations possible. This means that code you write can interact in ways you would have never thought possible, and tracking down and solving these problems can represent a challenge.

DDJ: What have you found that makes your job easier?

MP: I'm a big fan of tools and automation—anything that makes my life easier and more productive. If we can't find a tool we need, we often write one ourselves. My newest "tool" is a MacBook Pro. I switched after years of using Windows computers; I haven't looked back yet.

Deep in Dot-Net

Deepak Sharma

Employer: Tata Consultancy Services in Pune, India

Job: Program Manager

DDJ: What's your job there?

DS: I am responsible for managing projects on the Microsoft .NET technology stack. In this role, I am mostly doing program/project management but from time to time I find myself dabbling in newer Microsoft technologies.

DDJ: What do you like about your job?

DS: The job allows me to work with many Fortune 500 companies, understand their IT challenges, and propose solutions to them.

DDJ: What do you find challenging about your job?

DS: The challenges are mostly technical—challenges associated with the advances in technology and learning the rapid changes Microsoft is bringing in. But these are challenges I enjoy and [with] TCS getting involved in Microsoft beta, early adopter, and TAP programs, we have learned to ease the complexities arising [in] these new technologies while maintaining the edge over TCS competitors.

DDJ: What have you found that makes your job easier?

DS: I am happy that TCS is an organization that invests heavily in employee development. The other thing I have found is the eagerness to learn new things. The technology stack is changing every day and the only way to keep pace with these changes is to keep following what Microsoft is doing. Microsoft has been very open in recent days by creating a great community (by way of MSDN, blogs, videos, etc.) around each technology stack that they offer.

Spreading the Word

Asokan Thiyagarajan

Employer: Motorola

Job: Technology Evangelist

DDJ: What's your job there at Motorola?

AT: I'm responsible for evangelizing Motorola technologies and platforms to the developer ecosystem, and obtaining feedback from the developer community to enhance our strategy and roadmaps.

DDJ: What do you like about your job?

AT: I enjoy the fast-paced atmosphere, learning something new in the technology space every day, speaking with developers working on innovative new solutions, and figuring how Motorola can best work with/support them. And of course, getting to play with the cool new Motorola products.

DDJ: What do you find challenging about your job?

AT: The industry is so fast paced—it definitely keeps me on my toes. It's challenging to stay on top of the quickly evolving technologies—and evaluate them from a developers' point of view. There is tremendous interest from the developer community on the Motorola developer program (MOTODEV) and we see lots of developers excited to work with us. This makes my work interesting and challenging as well.

DDJ: What have you found that makes your job easier?

AT: The internet—researching trends, solutions, and companies has never been easier.

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