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My name is Alex Belits. At least it's now Alex Belits -- originally I… - Alex Belits
My name is Alex Belits. At least it's now Alex Belits -- originally I was Aleksandr Valeryevich Belits, or Sasha Belits, but it doesn't make sense to insist on a Russian spelling of a Greek name while living in an English-speaking country, and no one uses patronymics here, so "Valeryevich" would be seen as a really weird middle name. Good enough that I have kept spelling of "Belits". The only problem is that people who know something about Russian names guess my original name as Alexey, but it's harmless, there is no Alexey Belits that I know of.

It's hard to describe what I do now -- no, I am not doing some kind of job that requires a flowchart to describe, and severe brain damage to accept as something useful, I never worked for a dotcom, and I am not unemployed. But it's still weird to write that I am a programmer, now it requires a separate explanation that I am what was a "programmer" before dotcom idiocy caused every HTML/Javascript/Flash/VB/... monkey to become a "programmer" -- I am a programmer that had taken CS courses, studied assembly and C, that can write things working on a bare hardware, Unix and everything in between, that learns languages as needed and knows concepts because he had studied them, as opposed to the other way around, and can ignore what is popular "on the market" in favor of what he thinks, will do the job. I don't know if I am a good programmer -- most of things that I do, work, they are sometimes based on interesting ideas and don't have buffer overflows, race conditions, glaring inefficiencies or other signs of programmers' stupidity, but I have never made anything that is used, loved or even hated by a lot of people. Maybe it's because I have always worked on things that had to be squeezed into some braindamaged system, and didn't have time to work on my own things -- if so, I have a chance to do something decent now.

However my diploma says "engineer-physicist", and right now I do more measurements of heat transfer in weirdly-shaped heatsinks than writing code. In December I have left my programming job in San Francisco, moved to Denver and started working on hardware, trying to advance a bit the current state of clusters, starting from hardware and trying to go through all the levels involved, because IMHO, development of all of them is pretty retarded at the moment.

I live in Denver, surrounded by a bunch of Linux boxes (my TV runs Linux, and no, it's not Tivo, my lights are controlled by a Linux box, my webcam runs on Linux, etc.), in a pretty nice place (much better than my former apartment in San Mateo), however if anything, it demonstrated me that things by themselves don't make people happy -- at best they may symbolize something but it's person's own thoughts and feelings that matter to make someone happy or sad. Currently I do most of my work while overcoming a fear of failure and self-doubt, but this is how it always was for me, and probably for everyone who is capable of thoughts and emotions -- one who can't doubt his ideas isn't good for anything but pushing forward something stupid and destructive, and one who rarely experiences fear, can't develop courage to counter it when it will matter. I'll see what will come out of it, I am not a fictional character to always "win" when I am supposed to or deserve it, but even if everything I am doing now will crash and burn, I will remain being Alex Belits, with my thoughts and feelings, and will still try to do something that I can be honestly proud of.
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j_b From: j_b Date: June 16th, 2003 01:51 am (UTC) (Link)
You should actually put most of this entry under your 'bio' in your profile I think ;)
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