Sunday, August 5, 2012

What fascinates me about my work

A computer is an exceptional machine. Fundamentally it performs a single operation. This  computational machine takes in data, processes it and in response generates new processed data.

The language that a computer speaks can generally be referred to as “code” written in some “programming language”.

Using a programming language humans can tell the computer to do operations as simple as the computation of “1 plus 1” or extremely complex forms of computation such as would enable it to continuously scan the sky to collect data, process it, and send out an alarm (processed data) that would tell an operator when an aircraft enters air space that the computer was scanning.

The diagram below describes this.

Using “code” a person can bring life to these sort of systems such as radar systems, Math calculation systems and many other types of systems.

At the heart of each system are a bunch of concepts that when translated into “code” and downloaded into a computer can bring life to these systems.

In my work with systems I am required to understand the concepts behind them and see how they relate with one another. The better and faster I do this the better I do my job.

PS: It is interesting to compare this to the kind of work a doctor does. An anaesthesiologist for example would be required to work with tubes and masks in order to put a patient to sleep. I on the other hand work with theoretical things.