Micro Life Zone
Asked by jessicasiu to Dirk, Elise, Janette, Renee, Yusuf on 12 May 2012. This question was also asked by blink182lover, randomchick, halle.
Keywords: day2day, fulfillment
The best aspect of my job by far is working with a people of many different backgrounds. My “boss” is Chinese, as are several of my coworkers, others are French, British, German, Italian, American, Polish, Mexican and Australian of course. That is just to name the folks I work with on a regular basis. They also have many different scientific backgrounds. Mine is geology and computer modelling, but others are oceanographers, biologists, ecologists and chemists and the various “flavors” of those. Work with such diverse people means the projects I work on are diverse as well and there is always some aspect of the work that is interesting.
The best aspect of my job is the surprise I get when I discover something! In science you start out with an idea about what you might find, but you don’t know the answer until the experiments start. I am using lots of different microscopy techniques at the moment and it is amazing to see the human cells and bugs in my samples as they appear in nature. I also get to work with lots of very skilled people including doctors, nurses, scientists. Each has information to add to the project, which begins the process of generating new ideas.
For me it is the students.
The best part of my job is the students: undergraduate students, honours students, capstone students, masters students, and PhD students. They come in all shapes and sizes, but they are all exciting. They learn a bit from me and from others and then they go and do wonderful stuff in the world. Sometimes they even come back to talk about what they have been working on. Students force me to learn new things all the time.
That is my personal answer. At a more general level, being a “college professor” is often rated as one of the top 5 jobs (see http://money.cnn.com/magazines/moneymag/bestjobs/2009/full_list/index.html ) in terms of flexibility and work environment. Being a software engineer or computer systems analyst is also rated very highly http://www.careercast.com/jobs-rated/10-best-jobs-2012 and http://www.careercast.com/content/10-best-jobs-2012-9-computer-systems-analyst Don’t get me wrong. I do grumble plenty about work during grant writing times or when I have piles and piles of homeworks to mark, but overall it is great.
How about being a games programmer or a games artist? These are not yet well established job positions. For a while, everybody wanted to get into games and was willing to work 100 hours a week. This was not very healthy. It might have been fun for one project when you were trying to meet a deadline, but if it happens over and over, it can have serious consequences. A blog post in 2004 from EA_Spouse http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EA_Spouse criticized Electronic Arts about their work habits and led to changes in the game industry. IGDA (International Game Developers Association) now has a SIG (Special Interest Group) that looks at quality of life issues and works at http://www.igda.org/qol improving the conditions for game developers.
Have you played or do you know the game “LA Noire” that was produced in Sydney? There were some serious problems with the working conditions during development, more details at http://www.ingame.msnbc.msn.com/technology/ingame/l-noire-studio-accused-abusive-working-conditions-122387 Other development studios haven’t had such problems. For example, FireMint in Melbourne has released a few outstanding games without having such work issues http://firemint.com/about-firemint/
Aside from doing science and discovering new things I would have to say the travel and the amount of people I get to meet from all around the world is the best aspect of my job. I not only get to collaborate with other scientists but have met many members of the public at presentations and events who are interested in science, and I like talking to them and inspiring them to learn more.
I really like meeting new people, and discussing science with other scientists and the public. The opportunities I’ve had to learn, research and share my thoughts and findings around the world has been great. I’ve managed to travel to Sydney, Canberra, Leipzig (Germany) and Vienna (Austria) all just in the last couple of years as a result of my work. Science really is an international career, and you get to meet people from everywhere, and all walks of life.
One of the best parts of my job is getting to go in some of the Australian Defence Forces planes, helicopters and ships. The links below are examples of some of the ones I’ve been on. One day I hope to be able to go in a fighter jet, but that would be a very rare experience!
By BRIDGE8 under license from Mangorolla CIC 2020