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Re: Work at RSI!

Research Systems wrote:
You've been using IDL for years and you like it! You're the "go-to" person
for difficult IDL-related questions in your organization. Perhaps there are
even some things about IDL that you wish were different or you think could
be better.  Here's your chance to do something about it.

We're looking for people with one foot in science and the other foot in
programming (and an understanding of both) to contribute to future IDL

I find this opportunity at RSI to pose a moral dilemma.
I enjoy programming in IDL, I've wanted to work again in Colorado for
quite a while, and I happen to have experience relevant to RSI's need.
However over the years I've come to believe that the environment/culture
at RSI does not tend to place a high enough value on scientific integrity,
i.e. getting correct answers from IDL applications, or on their customers'
time.  For example:
* To this day RSI has not done anything about the corrupt scientific results
its customers may produce using the multi-flawed random number routines.
(Just three weeks ago another person reported to this newsgroup that they
were burned by this.)
* RSI seems to make no effort to notify its customers of even routine and
straigtforward bugs that are known and fixed.  They have twice now given
me a revised version of cw_form.pro when I pointed out a bug but made no
effort to make such improvements available to the rest of their customer base.

I'm sure the people at RSI are perfectly nice people.  They would probably
explain that by not doing the things _I_ think they should be doing, they
are able to accomplish other important stuff.  Fine ... everyone has to set

So, when you disagree with a company's behavior, should you avoid working
there (as a protest, and for your own personal happiness), or should you
try to work there (making an effort improve the place)?   This is an entirely
academic question, of course, designed to stimulate interesting newsgroup
discussion, since RSI would not likely hire me now anyway. :)

I like the IDL language generally, but just wish RSI would do some things
better.  Perhaps you, gentle reader, just wish I would stop complaining.

Patrick S. Broos, Systems Analyst/Programmer    patb@astro.psu.edu  

Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics  My office   814-863-5505
Penn State University
525 Davey Lab                             FAX         814-863-8686
University Park, PA  16802-6305           
http://www.astro.psu.edu                  Group office    863-9550