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So, What do You do for a Living? (Sunday, July 17, 2011)

I'm a software engineer and a part time professor of Applied Information Technology. These days, when someone asks what I do for a living, I either tell them I'm a professor (because it sounds cool) or that I'm a mathematician, if I'm talking about my day job. I try never to say the word "computer" or "software", because they hear "software engineer" or "computer science" and think I can fix their computer or explain some piece of software to them. They just can't understand that if I didn't write the software in question, I probably can't help them — especially if I've never even used it! Anyway, computer science is really just a branch of applied mathematics, so I don't necessarily feel bad about claiming maths. And I'm a lot more likely to be able to help them with a math problem than I am with their computer problem. I can't even make excuses, effectively, because it's not worth the effort of explaining that I don't use Windows or a Mac, and haven't for almost a decade. Of course, I'm always happy to help someone with their programming problems or their Linux issues!

—Brian (7/17/2011 10:39 PM)
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