work i like
I like working on cool problems and learning from smart people.
A cool problem is something that makes me think “wow” or “oh damn” or “that’s interesting!”. That’s it. It’s deliberately vague because the truth is that I’m both generally curious and relatively inexperienced, and unexpected things have ended up being cool to me.
Some traits that have contributed to me finding something cool in the past1:
- It’s within or applies knowledge from Computer Science.
- It pushes the boundaries of my own knowledge - either I’m learning something new or I’m applying concepts that I recently learned.
- It may be related to the CS subfields of Security, Software Engineering, Databases, or Programming Languages - but I think I’d be interested in anything.
- It may involve contributing to Open Source.
- The problem and the project has a rationalisable2 impact, which can either be to other developers and users of software or to social / global issues.
This is pretty straightforward but important. My intuition is that most people in the field, especially those involved in projects that I find cool, fulfil this easily. I don’t have a preference for the size and type of organisation as long as I have good and empowering mentors.