How R&D Came to Me for Being an Developer

How R&D Came to Me for Being an Developer

AZ - Austin Zhao's photo
AZ - Austin Zhao
ยทDec 14, 2021ยท

3 min read

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R&D, this term just came to my sight when I was on a train passing by Leverkusen, which was a LED board on one of Bayer's buildings. By curiosity, I checked my phone quickly and located the meaning for the whole words โ€” Research & Development.

image.png (credit: screenshot on bayer.com/en/innovation/research-and-develo..)

What a thoughtful and practical term, right. At that time, I was working on my master's thesis in Germany. And I didn't think about "Development" too much. But anyway, Research I thought was the cool thing left for the "smart" me.

For the Research side, I felt like having quite a large lake to swim in the wild, perhaps at night with moonlight. There were some scopes, certain help, some excitements... right jumping in this fresh and cool waterbody when you got free from the "artificial" curriculum pool.

image.png (credit: google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fimag..)

The freedom to think about things and think about them deeper is the best part of the Research. I may less think about how it could create more business values... a term you could hear frequently, and less think about how it could be deployed on a server... But more about proving your ideas and proving it is a better solution in a certain context.

I was proud of ever trying to be one of the pure hearts to do these thinking, like a researcher, in such a clean and clear way. I didn't turn out to be a good researcher and followed the academic path to step by step go further. I chose to settle down and have a job to compensate for my life spent in Canada.

For a long enough time, I can't fully accept the tedious part (I thought it was the whole thing) of the workplace, like maintaining relationships (terrible at this before...), doing reporting, and working for a chance of promotion... Salary made me happy but in a short way.w

I kind of knew myself and knew I was not completely motivated for something. And I knew I got split into two parts โ€” missed the Research life but will never get a chance back + doing Development but not the best I could be.

image.png (credit: cdn-images-1.medium.com/max/1600/1*1Eu3Hn69..)

The chance to reach inner peace from these two sides of myself came when I read an introduction about a group... โ€” R&D. Again, this term was jumping in my sight for another time. The "me" recalling the time swimming in a wild lake and the "me" wondering how could get more "fun" in front of the working laptop met each other in these two letters and one symbol.

I doubt I had ever really understood this term when I was on the train passing by Leverkusen and checking the phone. It is not two things but one.

It is not a life stage but a life cycle. Research what you would like to do, Develop(ment) what you want to reach, so knowing a destination you could start driving on the road. It got iterated again and again.

image.png (credit: from the book The Mind Illuminated )

R&D, I believe it is a straightforward term but "hold on for one more blink". Think about what you want to do, to implement, to structure, to achieve... by reading, searching, noting... these are more on the mind part. Try on building some demos, baselines, designs... by hands-on... these are more on the action part.

The Researcher could be a thinker while implementing his/her products in an iterative way. The Developer could be a practitioner while thinking over the building blocks in a broader view.

R&D, so I would say, could be a way on our xxx, here for me as a Developer, life way.

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