Work and Software

To date I have intentionally not written about work or software development, and the little I have written about has been very vague. This has been because of my employment. I work in a national laboratory, where a lot of our value is in our intellectual property, and there is a strict process for disclosing anything outside of the lab. Any publication or video or presentation must be approved by at least five people before it is allowed outside the lab.

Naturally, this has a tendency to stifle things that people say outside the lab, and makes communication and marketing a little more difficult. Blogging and contributions on forums and comments on web sites are sticky as well, and we have to be careful about what is said and how it reflects on the lab.

For a while I’ve been pushing back, asking management, legal, and IP folks about what is allowed and what is not. They’re coming around and starting to see the value of participating in the online community, and seeing the importance of having a presence on the web.

The current interpretation of the rules is that once something has been through our review process and is approved for disclosure to the public, that approval is good for more than just the event or journal for which it was approved. In other words, once it’s been approved, we can reuse it anywhere.

So I’m going to write more about what I do, and post more media and information about the projects in which I participate, but it will only be stuff that has been approved already. It’s a fine line, but I’ll do my best to tread on the right side of it.

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