What do you do?
I have a technophobe 85yo father who knows that I do something with computers, but how ever I try to explain what I do to him, he always thinks my brother does a better job - he digs holes and my father can understand that!
Excuse me while I have another slash. Aaaaaah, that's better. I am a slasher. Not a Michael Myers type of slasher, though, oh no. I do not creep around remote houses at night, offing obnoxious teens, getting repeatedly killed and yet popping up again on a regular basis to cause Jamie Lee Curtis anxiety at various points …
"The thing with holes is that they are consistent, half a hole or a hole twice as big are still both whole holes."
You mean a smaller hole, or a hole half the size, surely? By your own description you can't have half a hole; half a hole is a whole hole, just in a more portable size.
I've thought working for the highway department would potentially have more job satisfaction; at the end of the day you can see some visible, discernable results of your work (notwithstanding Union slacking-off tactics). All too often on computer work, the next day or week you're tearing down what you did and have to start over again.
at the end of the day you can see some visible, discernable results of your work
You see those potholes over there? I put those in last week. And the ones down the street?, My pappy put those in.. and the big one shaped like.. a really big hole, on the corner of the highway, my grandpappy put that there. They still talk about him you know, he was a real legend. Ah, tis a grand life, working on the roads, knowing you are making something that future generations will see and marvel at.
Done that so many times now that it is almost unreadable. In its latest incarnation I read it out in full to my wife, only to notice about half way through that she seemed to have dozed off.
Freelancers rarely survive on one skill. Not because there's not enough work available but because the people who hire freelancers insist on spreading out the work amongst lots of them.
That is because us freelancers are expected in this day and age to be able to do the following which is now euphemistically known as "Full Stack":
PHP SLASH .NET SLASH Python SLASH Ruby SLASH MongoDB SLASH MySQL SLASH MSSQL SLASH Kubenetes SLASH HTML/5 SLASH Make Coffee SLASH React Native SLASH ReactJS SLASH Angular SLASH VueJS SLASH Terraform SLASH AWS SLASH GCP SLASH Azure SLASH Any DevOps not included above SLASH Ability to show a broom up ones backside and clean the floor on your way out at night.
"....It was that I was never able to explain to him how I made a living..."
<sigh> Something most of us here can relate to, I feel.
My own father is far from a technophobe in most cases, nor is he daft - he trained electrical engineering apprentices for British Coal back in the day, as well as working as a lead R&D engineer in the food industry. Computers/computing though...nah....
He once told me he'd Googled my then job title and said it made very little sense to him but sounded impressive.
About two years after I first started work I found myself in the unenviable position of having to apply for a bank loan. The assistant manager who interviewed me (some of you will remember those halcyon days when High Street banks didn't take risks) asked me my job title, to which I replied "Computer programmer". After searching through all the options on her form at least twice, she asked, "Can I put you down as 'Mathematician (semi-professional)'?" I said yes, and indeed saw it as something of a compliment.
For some reason I laughed a lot more than was reasonable for that.
Probably because I can still see the look on my BM's face when I did, indeed, utter those words years ago.
He said I was being silly. I said he started it with the ridiculous rates he was quoting me.
I'll have one of these to keep hydrated ---->
Have you considered using the word "and" to describe your career? You're a writer, an editor, and a journalist. Easy and it doesn't make it sound like you're peeing on anything. If anyone asks "what kind of job title is that?" you just tell them that it's several job titles. You do several things.
As a side benefit it gives you more opportunity to assert the ascendance of the Oxford comma.
The Oxford comma is a device to be used when needed, and not otherwise. For example, we know that traditionally crisps have been available in ready salted, cheese and onion, and salt and vinegar flavours. More recently the selection can include roast chicken, barbecue sauce and prawn cocktail.
Using the Oxford comma correctly requires thought, rather than blindly following a rule. I know this because my job title includes SLASH Proof Reader (although I also have the benefit of full time wage slavery).
"cheese and onion, and salt and vinegar flavours"
Yep, the comma pre "and", and in a following sentence of similiar construction
"barbecue sauce and prawn cocktail"
I know its still gramatically correct but why? Is it a grammar joke?
How do you interpret that comma, does it hint at an intonation?
Has the comma been dropped from the second iteration of the sentence construction because of the existence of the first?
I hated English.
In the first list the Oxford comma is needed to show that 'salt and vinegar' and 'cheese and onion' are individual list items - it shows you which 'and' is before the last list item. In the second list there is no confusion because the items do not contain 'and'.
In other words, use an Oxford comma when the list items include 'and'. Crisps are sold at Sainsbury's, Waitrose, and Marks and Spencer. Cheaper brands are availble from Morrison's, Aldi and Lidl.
PS 'pre' is not a preposition
You could argue it exactly the opposite. In the first list the comma is not required because any fule kno' that "salt and vinegar" and "cheese and onion" are common flavours while "salt and vinegar and cheese and onion" isn't, and if it were, it would be written, "salt, vinegar, cheese and onion".
In the second list "barbecue sauce and prawn cocktail" could be a valid flavour, so adding a comma might be useful to make it clear that you are talking about three separate list items, not two.
When I were a kid, used to be able to occasionally get the novel 'Barry McGuigan Nettle Flavour' in crisps.
Really not sure how they knew what oule' Barry tasted like combined stingy plant leaf. It was hard to get a comparison taste test.
..especially if you're not in management, but in the trenches. I suppose my title could be: Sysadmin/analyst/hand-holder/diplomat/AV specialist/furniture mover/technical writer/buyer/accountant/security specialist/general lackey. (Perhaps those slashes should go the other way "\" since I mostly work on Windows these days)
When the job-for-life thing ended during the 80s/90s we all had to learn to be slashers. I started working in the mid 1980s and I thought I had a solid career ahead of me but by 1992 I was having to learn lots of things, find ways to make a living. It's just life these days, there's no safety net. I have my main IT career but I make money through my photography, selling licenses, selling tutorials and I write books on it. I've always wanted to learn to be a sparky like my Dad and I might go back to college part time to study for a qualification. You need a plan B, plan C and even a plan D. I know lots of people with second or third skills they can fall back on if the IT thing finally goes up in smoke.
I know lots of people with second or third skills they can fall back on if the IT thing finally goes up in smoke.
In the spirit of the article the above should read...
I know lots of people with second or third skills they can fall back on if/when the IT thing finally goes up in smoke.
"You have to keep multiple career histories and CVs updated – something that LinkedIn ... cannot handle at all."
To be fair to LinkedIn (it's the last Friday in the month so I'll allow myself a treat) they're not alone in that. Agents could never handle it either. Carefully tailor the
CV company brochure to a particular gig and the pimp would submit it for a different one without checking and, I suspect, without submitting it for the intended one either.
I've always found it so impressive that your skills, which one organization will value at the lowest wage possible, become instantly vastly more valuable when "volunteer" is added to the job title. I can't seem to get a job above small shop boss if they are paying, but I was an award winning manager of a 400 member organization that took almost as much time as my paying job, and they are still wishing I would come back to "serve".
I used to have to ask HR to remove "able to multitask" from job postings. My position was if the applicant had more than one brain (multi-core?) it might be possible. Otherwise we were just asking someone to do different things poorly in rapid succession.
And I'm hoisting a beer to myself: Friday was my last day as a member of the gainfully employed. Early days I know, but I'm thinking being a member of the leisured class has much to recommend it.
Multi-tasking is a myth. I used to have an Operations Director who was a firm believer that multi-tasking meant getting more done = more productivity. He tried to get everyone juggling so many tasks at once, that it was impossible, without a really good memory and things regularly went wrong. I refused, and continued to work on projects one at a time. At my disciplinary I pulled out the following diagram as a simplified representation of my workload*.
1234 5678 9012 3456
ABCD ABCD ABCD ABCD
1234 5678 9012 3456
AAAA BBBB CCCC DDDD
The numbers represented months, and the letters distinct jobs I was to work on each taking 4 months each. I demonstrated that by working on jobs sequentially, that job A could be delivered 8 months earlier, job B 5 months earlier, and job C 2 months earlier than his method, and job D would be delivered at the same time. Overall not only would we be able to deliver and bill 3 jobs earlier than planned, it would mean the end users of the jobs would have 9, 6 and 3 more months of productivity with the final products than they would have had we only delivered in the final quarter. I also argued that because I was working solely on one job, that the work being produced was better, and that the follow up support requirements demonstrated that also.
He couldn't argue with my logic, but it didn't stop him making my life a misery by micromanagement. Some people just can't accept efficient workers even when the results are slapping them round the face.
*Edit: The Reg strips double spaces, everything was supposed to be in columns.
You seem to be under the impression that management cares about efficiency and profit. This is an easy mistake to make, because management spend a great deal of time screaming that they care about efficiency and profit. Management cares about underlings doing what they are told.
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