Communicate Effectively and Become a Constant Learner with Diomidis Spinellis
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Diomidis Spinellis. He is a professor in the Department of Management Science and Technology at the Athens University of Economics and Business, and a long-time IT practitioner. He is the author of many open-source software tools, including UMLGraph, CScout, and git-issue. His latest book is “Effective Debugging: 66 Specific Ways to Debug Software and Systems”.
In this episode, Phil and Diomidis Spinellis discuss how taking the time to develop tools to solve what are sometimes small problems makes you a better programmer and boosts your career. They talk about how to become an effective communicator and quickly understand the root of the problems you are working to solve. Diomidis shares examples of how simple solutions can be used to achieve step changes. He also talks about the maths behind machine learning and the future of the IT industry.
2 Top Career Tips
Worst Career Moment
In the 80s, Diomidis was charged with installing a powerful processor to sit alongside an existing one. Unfortunately, when Diomidis did the installation, it literally went up in smoke. He explains why in the podcast. At the time, this equipment was crazy expensive and you had to wait months to get hold of it. So, his error was a major one. Fortunately, the company took the view that mistakes were learning opportunities. That experience taught Diomidis to be extra careful when actions can have irreversible consequences.
While serving the Greek government as the Secretary General for Information Systems he was asked to consolidate the payment authority system for its civil servants. Basically, he had to centralize the payment authorization process. It was to be a herculean task that could have cost a huge amount and taken at least 5 years to roll out. Fortunately, an old hand in the administration came up with what most people thought of as a crazy idea. In the podcast, Diomidis explains how he was able to take that idea and very quickly develop a solution.
Every year, we are blessed with better algorithms, new technology and more powerful computers. So, issues we could not solve yesterday can be solved today.
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