I currently am going to graduate with a specialization in systems which for all intents and purposes means I understand operating system concepts (specifically UNIX) and can hack UNIX-based applications and kernels. One of the professors at school who co-wrote one of the best books on database theroy I've seen wants me to co-write a paper with him and is keen on me getting a P.hD, specializing in databases with him as my adviser. I have an active interest in distributed computing technologies and have used and written about CORBA and Java RMI. I believe I have an above average competency in C++ and Java.

Yet after all this, I've accepted an offer to start work at MSFT as a tester for the XML team. Which means C# not Java and if I do happen to use C++ it will be COM based stuff not standards compliant C++. Not using C++ is OK I guess, since I'm more productive in C#/Java and there is I'd rather work with other people's code written in B & D languages like C# and Java than C++.

I remember reading somewhere that 90% of programmers feel underutilized in their jobs so I guess my feelings are not unnatural. I guess that's why Open Source is so popular, all these coders who never get a chance to write the kind of code that made them interested in programming in the first place now have an outlet. Of course, I doubt that MSFT would be enthusiastic about me working on an Open Source project but since they allowed it for my internship maybe something can be worked out. I probably should write a K5 article or an Ask Slashdot about programmers and their feelings of being underutilized.

I read Linus's email on his thoughts about a kernel debugger where the quote "Because I'm a bastard, and proud of it! " is from. When I first read it I thought he was full of shit, after all a debugger is your friend. After hacking the Linux kernel my thoughts have changed and I now agree with him. Using a debugger to track down an error in some pointer math in code that was entirely written by you is one thing. On the other hand using one in a system as large, complex and interrelated as the Linux kernel forces a small view of the problem instead of trying to see the big picture and unserstanding how everything fits together.

A story you won't see on Slashdot: Got Linux? Many companies say no which at the time of writing began with "Linux penguins are braying louder, but companies don't plan to adopt many of them in the near future.". The conclusions to be drawn from the article are fairly obvious, Windows still rules the desktop and proprietary UNIX still rules at the high end. What is interesting is that reading between the lines one wonders if this means that Linux is saturating its niche (i.e. mid-level servers)? If so what next, domination of the embedded space?

I wanted to expand more on the Linux analysis but just looked at my watch and realize I'm late for a group meeting. See y'all.