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When someone asks you what you do for work, how do you answer?


When someone asks you what you do for work, how do you answer?

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bkubicek
bkubicek
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Comments posted to this topic are about the item When someone asks you what you do for work, how do you answer?
Dave Poole
Dave Poole
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I just say I program computers for 'x' and turn the conversation back to their interests.

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Sean Redmond
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It depends on who asks the question.
If a primary school child asks me, I tell them that I manage all of the x data. People put it in on their computers or smartphones and I turn it into information. So, when somebody wants to know how many y happened per month last year, I can tell them.
If an adult asks me, I normally just tell them that I'm a DBA for company z and we are in charge of x data. If they express an interest, I go into more detail.
Andy Robertson
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I tend to say I'm a database developer with a bit of data management, analysis and reporting thrown in for good measure.
Simplifying it for the non IT person I would say I....
Get data.
Validate data.
Store data.
Analyse data
Present data
Provide overview, insight and added value as much as possible via web sites and office apps.
Connie
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I am in the UK where the title 'Administrator' means clerk or generally a low level job, so I never say I'm a database administrator unless I'm talking to someone who works in IT. I always say I work with databases or that I manage the databases for a multi-million pound business.
funbi
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"I'm a programmer" *mimics typing in air*

That's usually enough to put people off but otherwise they want to know what my company does, rather than what I do.
Brent Ozar
Brent Ozar
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I ask what their favorite web site is, and then I give a 1-2 sentence explanation of how it uses a database.

For example, if they say Amazon, I say, "You know how you add something to your cart, and then you check out, and you pay for it, and then you can see the tracking info? You can come back days or weeks or months later and it's all still there? All that data lives in a database. I make that part fast and reliable."

Or if I already know what they do, like if they're a doctor, I give a 1-2 sentence explanation of how they use a database. "You know how you put in patient data, and when the patient comes back, you can pull up their electronic health record and see their past visits? That stuff is stored in a database. Now, you don't need me because your database isn't that big, but take, say, Harvard's hospital system - they have more doctors, and more patients, so they have a bigger database, and they hire people like me to make it faster and more reliable."

I used to cringe when people would say, "Oh man, that part of our system is terrible, it's so slow," and then I realized it was a sales opportunity. So that kinda works out.



Tom Gillies
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For most of the people I talk to "computers" is enough and probably puts them off. After that I try and concentrate on what they do.
I like Brent Ozar's approach. I think I may try and use that more often. It relates the database bit to them. If they are sufficiently interested then we can dig deeper.
On the humorous side I have a friend who spends most of his life working with robotics and writing Python. When asked his job title he usually says "Gardener" (!) because that is what he does for a hobby. He regards almost everything he does as a kind of game - lucky man!

Tom Gillies
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Mike Hinds
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I've been working for a number of years as a DBA for a regional bank.
A new developer in my IT department was surprised when browsing through our customers to discover how many of our business customers were also "DBAs".
I got to explain that it meant "Doing Business As". Wink

Mike Hinds
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1st Source Bank
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latkinson
latkinson
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I usually just tell them I am responsible for moving data around between files, databases, and devices. If they ask what my company does, I ask them when was the last time they had a pre-employment or random drug test. They generally go away at that point, or shift the conversation to find something less technical to talk about. Go figure. My official corporate title is Business Intelligence Developer, which I, being a fan of Louis La'mour westerns, like to think of as being a Data Cowboy.





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