Computer science crew: what's your typical day to day duties?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by s2k, Feb 26, 2010.

  1. s2k

    s2k OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Messages:
    46,895
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    corn field, iowa
    And what type of job did u start out with when u were fresh out of college?
    did you have a lot to learn when you started working? was it intimidating working with other more seasoned colleagues?

    Just seeing what I should expect when I graduate :hs:
     
  2. White Stormy

    White Stormy Take that, subspace!

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2002
    Messages:
    85,485
    Likes Received:
    69
    Location:
    Sparkopolis
    you should probably expect unemployment
     
  3. Corp

    Corp OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Messages:
    28,201
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Providence, RI
    I just graduated in December, however my story may be a bit different because I've been working for this company off and on for the past three years doing co-ops.

    My every day activities really aren't anything to get excited about. I come in and start coding, eventually I'll do a build of the project and test out the changes I made. Real world development is definitely different from the stuff I did in college. The problems I was given in college were more cookie cutter type stuff, the professor would usually give us some code and we had to expand it or fix it or whatever. In the real world you have to come up with everything, nothing is just handed to you.

    As for the intimidation, I got that out of the way during my co-ops. I was definitely nervous at first during the co-op years, but I'm pretty comfortable with what I'm doing now. My boss is also really smart and doesn't mind if I need to ask him questions or get some guidance. Also, nobody here is the "typical" CS nerd type, no feelings are hurt if you let them know they're not doing something quite right, and nobody minds if you need to ask for some help.

    Good luck finding work, I'm very lucky to have stayed with this company through all of my co-ops, if I hadn't I'm pretty sure I'd be unemployed right now :o

    edit: Just thought I should add that if your school has any type of internship or co-op programs you should take advantage of them. Real world experience will play a huge role in helping you find a job when you're out of school, and if you find a good company for an internship it could turn into a real job once you're out of school.
     
  4. CodeX

    CodeX Guest

    I work as an embedded engineer, which is odd because I NEVER saw myself in the embedded field...

    I took an embedded systems class during my junior year. One day toward the end of the semester my professor approached me and asked if I would be interested in a job opportunity. Turns out he was working with a local company, who's owner was also a grad student at the same school, and the guy needed someone to basically tutor him in the C language because their new product was going to be using a processor that didn't officially support assembly development (I guess...).

    So that was my first real job in the field, and two and a half years later I am still there. It started out with me just helping this guy learn C, but within a few months I was developing large portions of their firmware. Today I handle almost all application and firmware development for the company and it's dozen or so hand held instruments.

    Typical day to day activities can be split between new development and maintenance/improvement of previous developments, though I often do a little of each each day.

    For new development I am basically responsible for everything. At the lowest level I write code to interface our embedded processor to the various hardware devices in the instruments using various data busses, SPI and UART mostly (as well as GPIO). Some things we use onboard include: Dataflash chips, photodiodes, analog-digital converters, real time clocks, port expander chips, USB-UART bridge chips, and various higher level modules such as the optical channel monitor by Aegis that we use in our OSA.

    I also design the operating system and GUI of the instruments, which includes everything from designing a file system to making icons in mspaint (or stealing them...), to implementing various graphs and data display layouts.

    Aside from embedded development I also write PC software that is included with our instruments that allows you to manage and view files saved by the instrument. This software also provides more in depth analysis of the data than the instrument is capable of with it's limited resources. There are also virtual instruments in each of these software packages, which either simulate the physical instrument or provide a remote control interface to one that is connected to the PC...

    If there is anything else you'd like to know I'll be here all day :wavey:
     
  5. GOGZILLA

    GOGZILLA Double-Uranium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2003
    Messages:
    10,760
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Plantation, FL
    if you havent done any co-op/internships and youre not graduating from somewhere very prominent with a high GPA you're going to be fucked.
     
  6. s2k

    s2k OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Messages:
    46,895
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    corn field, iowa
    :cool: thanks for the info guys

    i attends a private university and internship is actually required for graduation so yeah i'll be doing some of that
     
  7. Astro

    Astro Code Monkey

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2000
    Messages:
    2,047
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Cleveland Ohio
    I haven't finished college, so my info may not count much...

    I jumped around a bit and was a hardware guy while starting college. While going through, I picked up some CS classes and learned more formal methods of coding. I have to say these classes paid off pretty quickly (one of my apps shipped to ~7000 computers in the USA).

    I've been a solo developer for quite a while up till the last year. This sounds a bit retarded, but every department I was in, I either helped them write code to automate something, or I came up to speed quickly enough I was able to be an expert/go-to-guy.

    In the past year, I switched jobs and now I'm in a shop that has a large bunch of developers. I'm at the bottom of the skill inventory at this shop, which to me is great. I have something to work up towards for one thing. But two, I have a bunch of guys that can code circles around me which means I can gain experience from them and ask them questions and get advice.

    The big change at this shop is they do both waterfall and agile development. With agile, you get paired up with another developer and share a computer and code away. Its a bit different having someone look over your shoulder or to be looking over someone else's shoulder. You definitely pick up some tricks and learn when to pick your battles.

    Overall, never stop learning. Once you stop learning, the computer industry will spit you out.
     

Share This Page