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Frédérick Giasson's Weblog
Musings on socio-technical issues and technologies


Talk Digger


I am a software developer, I do research in different domains in fundamental computer sciences, I am a consultant and an entrepreneur... so what is my profession?

It is difficult for me to define my profession. I sometime ask myself the question when I check all the little things I do in a single day. I think that the simplest way to describe my profession is to describe what a typical working day looks like.

The first thing I do when I wake in the morning is to sit down at my desk with my breakfast and a big hot smoky coffee. Then I open my laptop to read and answer the emails in my inbox. I read about what happened in the industry overnight: itís then that I find many ideas that help to resolve problems I have, to find new ways to do certain things, etc. At the same time, I listen to the television to get the local morning news.

After about an hour, I start to work: in my apartment or in an Internet coffee-shop with a hotspot somewhere in the city. Then, what do I do? Everything depends on what I have to do. I can write a document of many pages describing a new idea that finally emerged in my mind for modifying one of my clientsí product; a client may contact me to know if one of his idea is realizable, or what the potential may be and how it could be integrated into their software or their existing infrastructure; I can work on developments for one of their applications; I can have an Internet conference with one or many of them; I can search for ideas that might answer a need, or search for a solution to a specific problem; I can surf the Web; I can read books; I can draw schemas with pencil and paper; I can...

Whatever I do, the goals are always the same: making sure that the communication with my clients is good, that the priority list is up-to-date, that my tasks are performed as efficiently as possible and most importantly: I work hard at giving my clients the best knowledge and ideas I have to make their products and services unique in the marketplace.

Because I am passionate, I only accept to work on the contracts that empassion me (even if the budget is tight for some time, itís important to work on something I enjoy). That way, I am sure that I give the best to my clients because I work on their projects as if they were mine: my goal is that they become successes.

If I have a couple of free hours, I will work on some personal projects like Talk Digger. These projects satisfy my entrepreneurial and researcher sides. It is a way for me to be discovered by potential clients and to use them as research projects to explore ideas I have in mind. That said, the ideas also bring their own work in a day: research, technical support, commercialization, affiliation contacts with other entrepreneurs, etc.

Finally, the facts that I am a freelancer adds the cherry on the sundae: budgeting, billing, discussions with clients, accounts management, search for new clients, etc.

This is what my profession pushes me to do everyday. Itís the way I created my profession and the way I define it. By the way, I would not change it for anything! It will certainly evolve in the future, but for the moment I have the passion for what I do and itís why I continue in that way.