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A Move to IT

I decided to shift towards software engineering (Information Technology) in 1998. Training period started in early 1998 with C/C++/MFC/OOAD/VB/Java, etc., and ended with the successful completion of Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD), for both Web- and Windows-based applications, and Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA) certification programs, in end 2005. Most training classes were taken during my employment as a software engineer. This included, for example, the employment as a software engineer to design and develop Level 2 system (models-based software system) and other applications. Since 1999 I have been developing engineering related software applications, either as a job or for own. Up to now, I have successfully completed 30 computer classes. I am not sure how many computer classes are required for a Ph.D. of computer science - probably less than 30.

The decision to move to IT was based on various considerations. The initial drive was to utilize the process models I developed to perform automatic design and simulation. In the decade before 1998, my work was mainly on process modeling and simulation, so I have developed tremendous number of concepts on developing software to perform automatic design and analysis of engineering process. Software can help reduce workload of design engineers, it can also optimize design procedure and improve product quality. Most complicated interactive influence factors on the engineering process can only be handled with software, while in current design, they have to be greatly simplified. Besides, many models are far beyond the understanding of average design engineers. In this situation, good programming knowledge has been essential for me to bring my concepts into real-world application.

The next reason was mainly based on working environment consideration. I realized since 1990s, that human society has gradually evolved from social division of labor into international labor division. USA had made tremendous effort on High-Tech, particularly IT. In contrast, European countries and Japan, etc. still work hard on engineering. Due to the pressure of strong dollar (it happened at least in the years around 1998), manufacturing industry hesitated to make wide range and long term technological development, though its technical level has fallen behind those of Germany and Japan. It seemed a true talent need to find a way to fully utilize his skills and knowledge. If I can properly combine the software development with engineering logics, and use engineering/manufacturing know-how as business logic for the software development, I may achieve a great success. Also, the manufacture center, China and SE Asia, with vast market and tremendous development potential, are eagerly waiting such technologies to emerge. I was born in China, educated in Germany and now work in USA. One valuable job for me, is to collect, evaluate and utilize research results worldwide, especially from Europe, Japan, etc. as algorithm, and to develop software with advanced US software technology.

In addition, the work of modeling and simulation I did in past years was directly computer related. I already had basic computer and programming skills and spent five years in a UNIX computer laboratory even before the intensive computer training I started in 1998.

The eight-years computer training (1998-2005) has greatly improved my software engineering skills. However, due to my concentration on the programming, and my surrounding environment of IT (neighbored with Intel and Microsoft), I Greatly improved my IT skills.



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Bingji (Benjamin) Li 2009. All rights reserved.