Saturday, 18 October 2008

The Contingence of History

This morning I had a revelation! I've posted before about how my career as a programmer took a dip a few years ago and how I've recently started moving back into the world of software development. Well...

A year ago the vacant position of Technical Author at work needed to be filled rather urgently. I was bored with software testing, and thought the TA rôle might be interesting, so applied for and got the job.

Then the possibility of breaking back into development came about, and I started to think the diversion into Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop had been very much the wrong thing to do. This morning's revelation was that actually it's set me up perfectly for the move. Here's the biz.

The working code that I write is C# and it's just another programming language and is largely irrelevant in this discussion. The key thing here is that the front end, the user interface, can be created as an almost entirely separate process, using a Microsoft tool called Expression Blend.

Expression Blend looks and feels remarkably like Photoshop, and that means that my meagre Photoshop skills have allowed me to step straight into the Expression Blend desktop and become productive in a fraction the time I'd have taken otherwise.

Without the Photoshop experience, I'd be really struggling at this point. And that's contingence of history. It's evolution in real life; just building on what you already have. Magic! I tell you, if I don't have a perfect day now, I don't deserve one!

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