My Interests

The Common Threads

Leading Edge Technologies

As you can see by looking at my resume, I have worked in three different fields during the stages of my career.  Biotechnology, Semiconductors and now Software Engineering.  One common thread that relates these three areas is leading edge technology.  I am fascinated with science and technology, and feel very lucky to have been able to work with some of the most advanced technologies available.


Another thread that unites the stages of my career is patience, the patience to work with a technology long enough, and at a level of detail that is sufficient to bring about desired results. Whether its pipetting test tubes, implanting silicon wafers, or coding the final method of a software application, patience and an attention to detail are required to master a technology and create meaningful results. I expect my organization to allow the time required for mastery, and for what ever reason, if it doesn't, I think that its necessary to search for one that does.


At the same time I have patience, I have learned that there must be a balance between mastery and practical solutions to real problems. If there are issues of mastery that become obstacles to simple, practical solutions to business objectives, then the techniques of mastery should be reconsidered. This is especially appropriate in .NET software development, as the tools change every year, bringing new ways to accomplish objectives. You must often leave old methods behind and constantly learn new ones. This is so important that it should be an established part of the organizational culture. Time needs to be set aside, just for learning new technologies and incorporating them into standard practice (your baseline process).


Another thread that has been in all of my successful technological achievements is teamwork. Almost all advanced technologies are complex enough that they require specialists in specific areas to master various concepts. Its then only when the specialists work together on a team that a complete technological solution can emerge. Managing the team's efforts is often the most difficult task in technology development, and requires skills beyond those of the individual technical skills of the specialists. Familiarity with planning and modeling tools, such as GANTT Charts, UML, and program management methodologies such as AGILE and the Microsoft Solutions Framework, are necessary to keep a team focused and productive throughout the life of a project.


Of course everything is not rosy in the world of high technology.  What's leading edge today will not be within a few years.  The leading companies today can be out of business tomorrow.  The technologies providing jobs this decade will be different than those in the next decade.  I have lived long enough to see complete economic cycles and social concerns grow and then wane, taking with them the jobs that were once so promising only a few years before.  Factors such as these are the reasons I switched from biotechnology to semiconductors, and then to software engineering. 

Copyright 2008 | Larry W Simpson

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