How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

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#1 UrbanTwitch  Icon User is offline

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How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 14 April 2010 - 09:20 AM

How do you explain your job to a non-techie? Like, for example; someone who doesn’t know what an IT Professional is or is not tech-savvy (as you)? How do you explain your job to them?

--- Help me do this?
I am a Web Developer who creates PHP/MySQL code for various tools by the company I work for... how do I explain that?

Thanks.

This post has been edited by UrbanTwitch: 14 April 2010 - 10:08 AM

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Replies To: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

#2 girasquid  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 14 April 2010 - 09:52 AM

For one thing, I tend not to tell people how old I am when I explain my job to them.

Generally I try to break it down to some sort of brief explanation of what I'm responsible for doing - you didn't get asked "how do you do your job?", you got asked "what do you do at your job?". I tend to explain it something like this:

Quote

Basically, I'm responsible for building the parts of a website that make it 'interactive'. So if you came to us and said "I want a website that makes toast when I click on a button", someone else would design it - but I would be the one in charge of hooking up the toaster and making sure that when you clicked that button, the toast got made.


So far, that explanation has served me pretty well.
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#3 Sethro117  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 14 April 2010 - 10:10 AM

Keep it simple, like "I make websites". Simple, and to the point.
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#4 baavgai  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 14 April 2010 - 10:25 AM

*
POPULAR

Generally, "I work with computers." That's it.

If someone also happens to do the same, they'll often ask a few questions and you can happily geek out together. More often than not, the response is more along the lines of "I hate computers." To which my answer is: "I understand."

While computers are not the enigmatic beast they used to be, for most people they are a necessary evil. You don't want to be seen as an emissary of that evil, but rather a soldier on the front lines. ;)

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#5 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 14 April 2010 - 10:42 AM

I draw pictures on the computer of airplanes and stuff. I also do secretary work. That's how I sum it up.
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#6 MentalFloss  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 14 April 2010 - 11:52 AM

Quote

More often than not, the response is more along the lines of "I hate computers." To which my answer is: "I understand."


This was comical. Thanks.
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#7 KYA  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 14 April 2010 - 11:57 AM

View Postbaavgai, on 14 April 2010 - 10:25 AM, said:

Generally, "I work with computers." That's it.



This is my conclusion as well. Trying to explain anymore then that just doesn't work.
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#8 mojo666  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 14 April 2010 - 12:19 PM

"I automate paperwork." -- even if they don't fully understand, no one want to further enquire about paperwork.

This post has been edited by mojo666: 14 April 2010 - 12:21 PM

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#9 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 14 April 2010 - 12:28 PM

It depends who am I talking to. Most of my users I choose to run with with:

Quote

Come to me, user! I defy you! Come and kneel before Zod! Zod!


If it's family or friends of family I try and underemphasis the "I work with computers" because, from lessons learned, the recipient almost always hears "I work on computers; please bring your computer woes to me and your pittance of change and harass me for ever because you are 'doing me a favor' and could totally do it yourself but don't have the time".

If I am talking with a broad at the bar I tend to explain my job as such: "Information manager... but it's really boring and not much fun. What do you do?".
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#10 Nykc  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 14 April 2010 - 12:41 PM

View PostKYA, on 14 April 2010 - 12:57 PM, said:

View Postbaavgai, on 14 April 2010 - 10:25 AM, said:

Generally, "I work with computers." That's it.



This is my conclusion as well. Trying to explain anymore then that just doesn't work.


This...
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#11 Yakyb  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 15 April 2010 - 03:41 AM

I generally try and say

i do the clever stuff that goes on behind the scenes on websites,

or i deal with data and database manipulation

if i throw the word computer in it generally falls to a conversation around viruses
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#12 happycamper  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:55 PM

I just say I make websites. Most of the time when someone asks what you do, they just want to know what happens on the surface, they don't care about the specifics of your day to day routine unless they are in the same field or if you happen to work on a really interesting field and web developer is not one of those interesting fields to an outsider.
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#13 Lemur  Icon User is online

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Re: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 17 April 2010 - 01:19 PM

I tend to test the waters on occasion to get a feel for how savvy the client is with a joke, such as saying I use black magic to make my websites work. If they stare and marvel and want to see magic I drop the client before my sanity drops.
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#14 Locke  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 18 April 2010 - 03:46 PM

View PostUrbanTwitch, on 14 April 2010 - 10:20 AM, said:

How do you explain your job to a non-techie?


I don't.

If I'm forced to, I use baavgai's way.
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#15 NeoTifa  Icon User is offline

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Re: How do you explain your job to a non-techie?

Posted 18 April 2010 - 04:32 PM

Yea right Brad, your job is easy to explain to anyone: you suck dick for gas money... then walk.
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