There is this perception that a typical programming job involves being locked away in a grey cubicle at some LargeCorp Inc., buried in mediocre tasks, and rarely seeing the light of day. While this grim illustration is not exactly the case (or I was simply fortunate enough to avoid such fate), there is some motive to such stereotype. So just as a classic xkcd suggests:
“Quick, fashion a climbing harness out of cat-6 cable and follow me down.”
We’ll be going on an adventure through on-site programming positions that are anything but typical.
The first location comes from the experiences of Reto Meier, who’s job took him out to sea — When Offshoring Your Development Team Means Buying a Boat.
By the time you realise their office isn’t exactly in Portland, you’re sitting in a 10′ sea container floating in the middle of the Indian Ocean pressing a button every 108 minutes.
It’s a pretty intense story, and is worth a read.
How about the South Pole? The IceCube Neutrino Observatory has a job posting — just some requirements: Linux, security, Perl/Python/Java, and to “deploy to the South Pole in early October for 12-13 months with no possibility of leaving during the winter months from mid-February to mid-October”.
To be fair, the science is pretty amazing, and some people would jump at an opportunity to get close to this kind of research.
Or racing to the clouds with an autonomous Audi in a Pikes Peak International Hill Climb?
As Universities and research groups push autonomous cars to their limits, various races and challenges will take the technical teams throughout the world.
The sky isn’t even the limit. Julie Payette, a Canadian Computer Engineer, has “conducted research in computer systems, natural language processing and automatic speech recognition”. She has then gone to space. Twice.