Saturday, May 19, 2007

in response to the question "what do you do, and why do you like it so much?"

i'm an "applications engineer" or a "solutions architect" depending on who you ask and what day it is and whether or not the wind is coming from the north with a hint of snow on that day.

i spend most of my time teaching engineering modeling software to engineers. i like this for three reasons: primarily - i get to teach and that's probably my favorite activity of all time, unless my students are functionally illiterate! secondarily - i'm doing enginerd stuff with my brain that keeps me interested and challenged. tertiarily - i'm toying with modeling software, which i've always loved. any sort of lab experiment in which i get to recreate something that happens in the real world is my real joy.

the rest of my time i spend doing sales demos of and consulting for the software that i teach. demos are fun for me because i was always too extroverted to fit in with the other engineers. seriously, my excessive gregariousness was once described as a "character flaw" and was always a job liability for me. now, i put that flaw to good use earning myself a commission. (my sister's favorite joke: how do you know when you're dealing with an extroverted engineer? she talks to your shoes instead of her own!) consulting is fun because usually the reason people hire me as a consultant is that they don't know how to model something complicated. essentially, i end up teaching them how to use the software to do the hard and/or complicated stuff. and that's really fun for me, because i not only get to troubleshoot, but then i get to teach my solution to the clients.

it's the best possible set of tasks for me, and the fact that i'm responsible for upwards of 9 different software titles and each of those runs on at least two, if not four graphical platforms just makes it better. boredom comes easy to me and it's the kiss of death for my performance, but with this much variety in my workload, i haven't managed to get bored at this job yet.

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