What do programmers actually do? | Summary and Q&A

December 1, 2017
Physics Girl
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What do programmers actually do?


Software engineer-turned-Physics Girl host, Dianna, explores the world of software engineering, debunking misconceptions and highlighting the joys of coding.

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Key Insights

  • 👨‍💻 Coding involves problem-solving and creativity, resembling the enjoyment one finds in solving puzzles.
  • 🌍 Software engineering provides practical results and real-world applications.
  • 👻 Coding allows for the blending of mathematical concepts with tangible outputs.
  • ❓ Virtual reality technology is becoming more accessible and has vast potential for creating immersive experiences.
  • 🕵️‍♂️ Software engineering offers opportunities for diversity and inclusion in a male-dominated field.
  • 👩‍🏭 Women in software engineering emphasize empathy and compassion as driving factors in creating inclusive technologies.
  • 💦 The misconceptions about software engineers, such as fixing computers, working alone, or being isolated, are debunked.


[MUSIC PLAYING] NARRATOR: Thanks to YouTube for supporting PBS Digital Studios. Recommendations. [LAUGHTER] Looks like you're saying Graham crackers. [LAUGHTER] Hey, I'm Dianna, and you're watching Physics Girl. Six years ago, I started this YouTube channel with a video about what to do with a physics degree. [MUSIC PLAYING] But the dirty truth i... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What initially attracted Dianna to software engineering?

Dianna was drawn to the problem-solving and creative aspects of coding, which she discovered during her research job in physics.

Q: How does coding resemble solving puzzles?

Writing computer programs involves setting constraints, creating instructions, and solving problems, much like solving puzzles. Computers can process these instructions much faster than humans.

Q: How does Dianna highlight the practical applications of software engineering?

Dianna showcases examples such as encoding virtual reality experiences and creating software for musicians like Jacob Collier, demonstrating the real-world impact of coding.

Q: How does software engineering provide concrete solutions?

Software engineering allows mathematic concepts to be turned into tangible applications. For instance, blending images in video editors involves manipulating individual pixels through mathematical operations.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Dianna shares her journey from studying low metallicity stars to becoming a software engineer and starting her YouTube channel.

  • She interviews engineering leads at YouTube to learn more about the appeal of software engineering.

  • Dianna emphasizes the problem-solving and creativity involved in coding, showcasing applications such as virtual reality and music production.

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