My Job, simply: Local Search, Up-Goer Five Edition

This morning, a couple of my friends shared their job descriptions in a text editor designed to only allow you to use the 1000 (or ‘ten hundred’) most commonly used words, inspired by an xkcd comic describing the Saturn V rocket using the same conditions.

I tried to do the same, describing my job working on the Local Search team for Nokia:

I try to take the words that people type into their phones and find the places they are looking for. Sometimes people can not type very well, which makes it harder. Sometimes the places that people are looking for are not places we know about, which also makes finding them harder.

I work on finding which places we show people, and which places we do not show people. There are many people who work on this problem. They use computers from their homes to tell me which searches show the right place.

Once we know which places are right, we tell a computer to try to show the right place more often. The computer looks at all the places it knows about, and tries to guess which way it should order the places to make sure as many people find the right place as possible.

Searching for places is a hard job. You need to know about places, know how people type when they try to find places, and put the best place first on a phone.

Edited based on feedback from a friend on Facebook to change the idiomatic use of the word “return”; original.

It was actually a fair amount easier than I thought — perhaps I didn’t go into as much detail as I would otherwise, and the writing certainly feels a bit stilted, but there was no part of my job that I felt I couldn’t describe reasonably well.

One Response to “My Job, simply: Local Search, Up-Goer Five Edition”

  1. Harry Wood Says:

    You might be interested in the Upgoer5 description of OpenStreetMap. We came up with it quickly while chatting on IRC, but we should probably going into some more detail. Tricky thing is… “map” is not a to 1000 word!