Angelic Paranoia

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What I do
Friday 2nd November 2012 9:20 pm

I was thinking what to blog about today and how I didn't want to because I'm tired from work and then thought that if I have talked about what I do, it's not been for a long time. I'm never quite sure how to describe my job because summing it up never really tells anyone what it involves and my job title is even worse.

I work for a market research company and I work on the Survey Programming team. If you've ever had an email or a pop-up on a website asking you to take their survey, then you know the sort of thing. But very sort of. We don't tend to do those sorts of simple surveys, we do much more complicated ones. Part of my job is spent programming surveys in specialist software. We spend a lot of time swearing at said software because it is such a pain in the arse. They have major updates every six months and you can guarantee that the Monday after half the features you need won't work and half the features they'd added are useless.

I quite like programming surveys. Less so when they're simple or copies of old ones, although they are nice for a change. I like doing something new and complicated, although less so when it's something that would take two days and I have two hours to spare.

The other part of my job is getting people to take the survey. Well, I say that's my job, we actually have suppliers who do that, but we get to spend a lot of time liaising between the suppliers and the project manager, and looking at the numbers. It gets more fun when we launch surveys on a Friday afternoon and then it goes wrong, or have to finish them on a Monday morning and it doesn't go well over the weekend.

The final part involves making surveys interesting using flash, which involves programming in Actionscript, which is a lot like Javascript (which we use in the surveys). They're languages which involve semi-colons at the ends of lines and curly brackets all over the place, both of which I hate. I know I've been doing too much programming when I try to put semi-colons at the end of lines that aren't programming. On the whole I enjoy this bit, but the flash programming always has to be fitted around the surveys, and it can be a pain to come back to something a month later and try to remember what you've done.

There are some other little bits as well, but that covers the main topics. At some point I'll get to program in HTML5 too, but I suspect not until after the Christmas rush, which starts on Monday and will finish a week before Christmas.

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