I had the most awkward conversation the other day and it was so awesome that I just had to share. I wish I could give you some kind of funny back-story which ultimately leads to this conversation, but there isn't one. Ladies and gentlemen, this conversation just happened randomly and without warning. I can't make this stuff up.
Person - So, did you go to school to learn about computers?
Me - Actually I went to school for Computer Science.
Person - So you learned how to, like build computers and stuff?
Me - No, I learned how to write software. This whole building computers thing is just kind of a bonus my employer gets from me. I kind of just picked it up along the way.
Person - (Light bulb dimly lights up over her head) Oh! So you could work for Microsoft!
Me - Yeah, I guess I could.
Person - So, I bet that Bill Gates is your hero, isn't he?!
Me - No, not really.
Person - So, then you must be a Mac guy then, right?
Me - No, I kind of use both. I'm not particularly tied to Macs or PCs.
Person - oh! Oh! OH! You could work for Disney!
Me - I suppose I could. I mean, I could work just about anywhere considering that businesses these days run off computers and all kinds of companies need software developers.
Person - (Blank stare)
Person - Oh, I guess you're right.
Me - (Swift Exit)
The funny thing for me if just realizing how little people understand about computing. Since I have a "degree in computers", I'm qualified to write software, repair broken hardware, fix your recipe spreadsheet, and design microprocessors. There is no difference really. After all, it's just a computer, right? In the same spirit, I fully expect a marketing person to be able to maintain the books of a fortune 500 company. After all, it's just business.
Similarly, I received a phone call at work because an electrical outlet wasn't working. Since computers run off electricity, then naturally I must be an electrician also. How nice. I'll be sure to email my past professors and let them know how much my degree helped with flipping a breaker. 😉