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Darth Paradox

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I write words that make computers do things. [Jan. 16th, 2013|12:33 pm]
Darth Paradox
Inspired by XKCD's Up-Goer Five, there's a meme going around where people try to describe their jobs (or other technical subjects) using only the thousand most common words in English. The Up-Goer Five Text Editor is quite useful for this. So here's my attempt.
I write words to make computers do what I want them to do. This is hard because computers are very good at following directions but very bad at thinking for themselves. So sometimes I write something that I think will make the computer do what I want, but it turns out that the computer thinks it means something different. Then I have to figure out why.

But that's only part of my job. I spend a lot of time planning out what kinds of things we want the computers to do, since they have to work with a lot of other computers, which are all doing their own things. Sometimes the stuff we know about what those other computers are doing turns out to be wrong. Sometimes there are things that we know our computers are doing wrong, but we can't make time to make the computers do it right. And of course I spend a lot of time talking with people about what they want our computers to do - making what they want fit in with what we can make the computers actually do can be very hard.

Really, I got lucky that "computer" was on the list. That wouldn't have been the case twenty years ago, and I'm not even sure about ten.

[User Picture]From: nightsinger
2013-01-16 08:35 pm (UTC)
XD I love you.
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[User Picture]From: peartreealley
2013-01-16 10:45 pm (UTC)
That is complicated.

Mine boiled down to:

"I color animal hair."
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[User Picture]From: taliabear
2013-01-16 10:53 pm (UTC)
So you...dye wool, I guess?
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[User Picture]From: peartreealley
2013-01-16 10:56 pm (UTC)
Yup, but "dye" and "wool" weren't allowed ^_^
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[User Picture]From: nightsinger
2013-01-17 01:10 am (UTC)
:D Mine's "I'm a mom." Of course, that's the advanced version, too...
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[User Picture]From: peartreealley
2013-01-17 01:13 am (UTC)
Those are three words with layers and layers of tasks, though ^_^
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[User Picture]From: nightsinger
2013-01-17 01:20 am (UTC)
True, but so's yours! :D
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[User Picture]From: jannyblue
2013-01-17 01:45 am (UTC)
I am on a computer most of the day, and I make it tell me if numbers are the right ones.

See, I keep track of money spent by a group of very important people (some of them well-known), and my job is to make sure they don't spend more than what they said they would spend, because of where the money comes from.

If they try to spend too much, I get to tell the people who gave me the numbers "no" and make them give me different numbers. (Sometimes, I have to do that a few times before they get it right)

The money is used for good things that help people in places that are not here, but I am not really allowed to talk about a lot of it. Also, not all people like who I work for, so I don't talk about it much.

Edited at 2013-01-17 02:31 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: shatterstripes
2013-01-17 04:13 am (UTC)
I draw pretty pictures. I also tell stories in words and pictures.

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From: jedusor
2013-01-17 04:39 am (UTC)
I study the way human tongues change when they touch sweet things. I give people bottles of either water or water that is a little bit sweet, which they put in their mouths for ten seconds once a day for ten days, then I give them smaller cups of water and water that is a little bit sweet, and they try to figure out which cups of water have sweet stuff in them. Some sweet things change tongues, and other sweet things don't; I'm trying to figure out what kinds of sweet things work. If one kind does and another kind doesn't, that tells me something about how tongues work. Also, I color the water I use blue and green. I didn't decide to do it this way, but I'm okay with it because it oh shit seriously, "science" isn't allowed? Fuck that noise, I'm done.

(Everything in that is allowed except "science." I guess people cuss more than they care about the inner workings of the universe. NOW I'M DEPRESSED.)
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