How I Spend My Day

I’ve been working at Logos Bible Software since April, and ever since then people have been asking me, “What do you do there?” I do my best to explain, but I’m not always sure that my explanation makes sense. For those of you to whom I’ve explained what I do but you didn’t quite understand, and for those of you whom I have not seen recently enough for you to ask me this question, here is what I do:

I work in the Design and Editorial department (D&E). If we were a different sort of company, I suppose this would be called the Research and Development department. We work on new features to be included in the software. When we are done with putting together those new features, we hand them over to programmers who write the code that makes the program go.

Within D&E, people specialize in different things. Some work with tools that help people get into the biblical languages, like reverse interlinears (which have the English words of the Bible on the main line with the corresponding Greek or Hebrew underneath them). One person designs what the software looks like on the user’s computer screen.

What I have done so far, though, is work with sets of data that are behind some of the features in the software. For example, before I started working at Logos, D&E put together the data behind a Biblical People/Places/Things tool. With Biblical People, you can type in the names of people in the Bible and instantly get a brief description of who they are, a list of where they appear in the Bible, a family tree so you can see how they are related to other biblical people, and a list of entries for them in various Bible dictionaries. Here is the Biblical People result for John the Baptist:

John the Baptist (Biblical People)

Biblical Places and Biblical Things operate in a similar way.

Behind these tools is data that had to be compiled by an actual person in D&E. For the Biblical People entry on John the Baptist, someone went through the Bible and made a list of the places where John the Baptist was mentioned. He also had to be differentiated from other Johns in the Bible, so that when people go looking for information on John the Baptist they are not getting information about another John, like Peter’s father.

I am one of those people who goes through the Bible and compiles sets of data. I didn’t work on Biblical People/Places/Things, but that’s the sort of thing that I have been doing. I won’t talk about the data that I have actually been working on, because the feature it will be a part of hasn’t been released yet. When it is, though, I’ll write a post to give some background on it.

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3 thoughts on “How I Spend My Day

  1. dawnomite November 21, 2010 / 6:28 pm

    That’s very interesting. Do you ever feel pressure about it, like, “What if I get something wrong?”

  2. elliot November 21, 2010 / 10:41 pm

    I do feel some pressure, but it’s not unmanageable. It’s not possible for me as a finite human being to make no mistakes or to please everyone. I have to throw the ideal of perfection out the window if I want to get anything done.

    I just try very hard to not make mistakes and be fair to other viewpoints, and once I’ve done that it doesn’t make sense to worry.

  3. dawnomite November 23, 2010 / 6:58 pm

    Your answer is so simple and applies to anything we try to do in life! I need to put your wisdom on an index card so I can read it regularly or something. 🙂 It’s the curse of the perfectionist to *forget* that I’m finite, will indeed make mistakes, and not please everyone.

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