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Catharine van Ingen: Software Architecture, Global Warming, MIPS and Hydrology

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What do global warming, a scientific instrument weighing about 4500 tons and bill collection have in common? The once Berkeley ‘hippie chick’ turned Software Architect Catharine van Ingen. Catharine has a wealth of experience in hardware, including work with the Alpha machine and MIPS processor teams, industrial-strength software for algorithms used to manage water flows, logging data from particle accelerator detectors, and buying Mickey Mouse watches over the Internet.

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  • ChadkChadk excuse me - do you has a flavor?

    While the content is interresting, the format of the show is not good.

    Whoever does this, please reconsider how its set up. Its too artifcial or however you would say it.

  • I'm not sure it's bad to be a little artificial.  These are not conversations with people about what they're working on, but rather mini-biographies of Distinguished Engineers for both internal and external marketing purposes.  I, for one, like them as they are, though perhaps I'd like to see a slightly less stiff interviewer. 

    I think this interview was the best one yet for Behind the Code, because I feel like the interviewer is getting the hang of it more and CvI seems to be a really interesting character.  She reminds me a lot of one of my favorite teachers: quirky, driven, and not afraid to speak her mind whether it's politically correct or not.  Her cowboyish attitude is probably dangerous in general if applied everywhere in a software project, but it seems like she and her team were skillful eough to pull things off without breaking too many people.  I think Rob Short used her data structure in his Behind the Code show as well... hmm...

  • I like the series and wish Channel 9 would do some as well. Smiley

    What ever happened to the Friday show that Rory did a pilot? Perplexed

    Cool
  • ChadkChadk excuse me - do you has a flavor?

    Problem is that you can see that the presenter already seem to know everything.

    I like the C9 way better. Let the actual person tell his/her story, rather than the presenter.

  • jason818_253.33jason818_25​3.33 Yippi skippy
    Chadk-i would disagree with your coments. i like the format of these interviews.

    What i would think interesting is to hear some phylisophical ideas from people like these who are interviewed in behind the code. you know the kind of ideas, the ones that arent nesisaraly formulated, or fully thought out, the kind of thoughts that if you shared them they might not come out complete, what it is the person thinks of when they are "cooking".  the thoughts and ideas it takes to get to making up a formal idea that is then shared. or maybe they are whole ideas, just to radical to think any one would be able tomake scence of them or take them seriously.
  • CharlesCharles Welcome Change
    For those who are uncomfortable with the format of the show, please remember that this is a show... That is, it does not represent a new way of doing things on Channel 9. It's just another way of presenting content that is more formal and produced than our typical stuff. The typical stuff is not going way. New stuff will continue to show up.

    Think "Channels" 9 Smiley

    C
  • Well, having gone through this not too long ago I thought it might be useful for people here to know kind of how the show is made.

    A couple months before the taping, shortly after agreeing to do the show, the guest to be gets some emails requesting information.  It's not exactly a resume request but basically it's people they should talk to, background information, an outline of interesting events that happened to you, stuff like that.

    During the next couple of months, they meet with people you suggested to get some background, and they have a couple of meetings with you to talk about those same things.  That's a good time to collect pictures or other keepsakes that might be interesting to highlight on the show.

    In the week before the taping you have a final walkthrough where they show you the studio, where you will arrive, who the people working with you will be and so forth.  All the logistics.

    Then there's the taping.  It's about 90 minutes of taped show.  The host (Keith) never tells you exactly what he intends to ask but you sort of know what the questions are likely to be because you gave them all sorts of seed information.  You don't know which people they talked to ended up giving the best interviews.  Basically he could ask anything about your life that he thinks is interesting.  The only thing you know for sure is he's gonna go mostly chronologically.

    After the interview there's Q&A with the audience, and then you're pretty much done.

    The show folks edit the 90 minutes down to an hour, so they save your best stuff and probably the best question or two.  The rest ends up on the cutting room floor.  Which is probably good because probably invariably the guest ends up thinking one of his/her answers was lame and it's just as well that the world doesn't have to suffer through it.

    After the show airs, they show it formally here in house a couple of times and you do live Q&A.

    A few months after that, it's someone else's turn and you're officially a Behind The Code has-been like me Smiley

    So, the interview itself is pretty candid, but the environment is very professional.  They had a makeup person for me and so forth and I'm sure my skin has never looked so perfect since and may never again.  A very professional looking person used a light meter in my presence, and there were two high quality cameras running at all times.

    In contrast, Charles has interviewed me a couple of times and it's much more informal, you get whatever happened that day pretty much however it came out, editing is very light, and we do the best we can in the environment that we have.  Channel 9 is great for that real life feeling.  Makeup and lighting persons are nowhere to be seen -- unless Charles uses one Smiley

    So, it's not like there's a script for Behind the Code but there is considerable planning.

    Does that help?

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