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Monday December 23, 2002
06:48 AM

What color is your parachute?

[ #9605 ]

From a local computer rag's question and answer section:

"I want to be a Systems Analyst, but an unsure about what they do exactly."

From a recent message that flashed by on alt.perl:

"I want to develop applications for the desktop, and PDAs with an emphasis on internet programming.
I would like to maximize my efforts by developing my ideas for multiple platforms"

Today I heard a radio story about a person who joined the Navy and ended up filling vending machines on an aricraft carrier for 12 hours a day.

Another person I know wants to be a Perl programmer, although he does not know what he wants to program.

Somehow a lot of people seem to mix up the means and the ends. They want the perceived lifestyle, not what they actually will end up doing. Who ever says "I want to spend hours wondering why a regular expression does not match the right thing only to find out that the bound string was not what I thought it was?". No Military Police I have ever talked to said "I want to be an MP so I can drive around for 12 hours a day for nine days in a row and make sure doors are locked". I haven't heard an opera singer say "I wanted to get into opera so I could work irregular hours, travel a lot, and work with pompous assholes to put on lavish productions for rich people who care more about cocktails during intermission than the show". The person who wants to be a Systems Analyst did not say "I want to fight fires all might because I like dealing with Microsoft's shit".

I used to ask people I interviewed for jobs "No, what do you really want to do?" after they said the usual bullshit about being part of a team yadda yadda yadda. Some people wanted to do some really interesting things.

I program Perl because I am an information junkie and the fastest way to distill it is a couple of CPAN modules. If I liked programming, I'd probably use Python or Java, because I'd get to spend a lot more time programming and less time getting results and doing something else.