What do you do in your day job?

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What do you do in your day job?

Postby MartinHowe » Wed May 19, 2021 5:24 pm

Looking at recent threads, it's reminded me how many people are in some way connected to the software industry; it seems a lot of us work in IT, while most of the rest are in some form of education. I'm curious how many of the forum are indeed in IT and what the rest do. (I realise this isn't something everyone would want to talk about; perhaps their employer forbids it, or maybe they have personal/family reasons which would make talking about their job or college studies a bad idea, so am not expecting everyone to reply).

Working in the charitable sector, as is often the case, my job has several roles. Primarily I am in IT though; I work for Asperger East Anglia in Beccles having been diagnosed with a high-functioning autism spectrum condition in my mid 40s (56 now). About 70% of the job is refurbishing or repairing charitable donations, mostly computers but sometimes light domestic goods, which are then sold on eBay or sometimes in our high-street charity shops; we've two as we're not a big national organisation - the clue's in the name :)

Most of the rest is the same, but with the addition of mentoring young adults with autism how to cope with the social skills and/or expectations to do with the workplace, much of it a case of how not to be me when I was younger :p (There was no understanding of the neurology of people like me when I was young, unlike today, so I just thought I was a typical geek/nerd/eccentric and just unlucky enough to have wound up in the 'real world' instead of computer architecture research at a university which is what I wanted to do when I was a teen.) I also run a social group for autistic adults that meets twice a month and at last, with the worst of Covid-19 over, we are meeting in person more often now instead of on Zoom.

My background is IT, computer systems and microelectronics, with microprocessor architecture being my special interest. I worked for a direct mail company after leaving university doing IT support and programming mail jobs, about half for junk mail and half bank, insurance company documents, we even did a bit of government work. I've used VAX/VMS, SunOS, DOS, Windows, UNIX at work and more at home, including Linux for day to day use; I've also made a few contributions to ZDoom and was an early member in 1999 of the DOSDoom team (the port that eventually became EDGE before Coraline took it over as 3DGE).

Of course when I bought my first PC in 1995, it was to run DOOM - told the sales guy at PC world: 'If it doesn't run Doom, it's dead on arrival' :mrgreen: Never thought I'd be running it on an AlphaServer 25 years later, though :wink:

So what are the rest of our backgrounds?

A typical day for Martin Howe :)
Last edited by MartinHowe on Wed May 19, 2021 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What do you do in your day job?

Postby wildweasel » Wed May 19, 2021 6:34 pm

I guess I'll immediately thwart your expectations: I have never worked a tech job in my life. I inspect laundry for my day job. (Specifically, clean-room suits.) I've got an Associate of Applied Sciences degree in Multimedia (i.e. I can now use Photoshop and Premiere), but nobody has hired me for that, in the 5 years that it has now been since I earned it.
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Re: What do you do in your day job?

Postby dpJudas » Wed May 19, 2021 6:44 pm

I'm a software developer by profession and have been doing that for over 20 years. I'm not exactly sure which year I started getting paid for it, but by year 2000 I certainly was. I've been coding things on a hobby basis for about 31 years. My formal education is nothing to brag about though as all I did was to finish high school. I did toy with an alpha a bit at university btw, before dropping out. Compiled a few of my programs for it and played around with the user interface it's unix variant had. :)

My current job is about upgrading the software architecture of an old system to run in the cloud. Stuff like adding support for running it in docker, upgrade the network communications to HTTPS, OpenID access tokens, port the user interface to web, that kind of mundane stuff. Luckily it also gave me the excuse to toy with Webassembly and testing out just how far you can take Emscripten to escape the holy hell of HTML, Javascript and traditional web frameworks. I must say it makes me smile more and more every day as my C++ web framework matures. It allows me to write a website in the same manner that I would have used if it was Qt Widgets, Cocoa, Winforms, WxWidgets or MFC (*).

My background isn't particular interesting. I grew up in the suburbs of Helsingore, one of the larger cities in Denmark. Childhood computers were an Apple IIe, ZX Spectrum+, IBM PS/2 Model 30 and a 486 66 MHz (that I played Doom on). Doom got me into FPS multiplayer, but my favorite games back then were actually Descent and later on Unreal Tournament. Having a LAN at home, which was very unusual in the mid 90's, allowed me to pretty much dominate in any of those games against other kids. Too bad that isn't the case today! Now I play a bit of Apex when I'm bored. :)

*) Yes, I know the syntax of especially the older desktop frameworks is quite horrible. However, behind that is a very simple way to subdivide an UI into widgets in a way that beats anything I've ever seen for web. May pure HTML burn in hell along with XML!
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Re: What do you do in your day job?

Postby Graf Zahl » Thu May 20, 2021 12:13 am

@dpJudas: That sounds very similar to how things went for me.

I started programming as a hobby on a C64 when I was 16, went to university for a few years only to find out that this wasn't for me, got a job with a schoolmate developing multimedia software, after doing that for a few years, got hired by a company doing J2ME mobile games, now I am working on configuration software for the furniture industry.
I'd really love to go back to game development, but that industry has become such an unpleasant shark pond that I'd rather stay away from it.

I also never got a formal degree because back in the day there was no such thing.
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Re: What do you do in your day job?

Postby ramon.dexter » Thu May 20, 2021 12:19 am

Heh, good thread :)
Originally, I never wanted to work in IT. I thouht that I'm a office person, so switched couple of totally boring office jobs. Even worked in helpdesk of a brewery. Then I found a job at a local ISP a since that time (last 4 years) I'm working as a ISP technician/admin. Not much of a office job, but at least 50% of my work is hard physical activities, like climbing on roofs and pillars and installation of wifi antennas and installation of cables.

And how I come to proogramming? Well, I started with making webs. Then went for 1year as a web developer, only to find out I'll never ever return to such a job. I like coding, but only as a hobby. I really dont want to experience again the hopelessness when I coded for 12 hours, only to find out that customer changed his opinion and the 12 hours of work are basically thrown away as trash.

And what I started with? Well, good old 386 with 2MB of RAM and 40 megabyte harddisk. I basically never left the x86 world.
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Re: What do you do in your day job?

Postby Kinsie » Thu May 20, 2021 12:40 am

I'm a piano player in a whorehouse.
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Re: What do you do in your day job?

Postby SanyaWaffles » Thu May 20, 2021 12:50 am

Pretty much been doing game dev work lately. Hopefully can get off disability with it someday.

I got my start working various tech support and IT internships before being disabled due to physical and mental health issues. My first job was a call center job contracted out for an ISP... got a bunch of death threats on that job. Then I worked some part time interships before landing a paid internship with the Ohio Rehabilitation Services Commission (I think it's called something else now). Then my disability got so bad I couldn't work in that field of work reliably.

My background is in Computer Science and I do have a degree, but I consider the degree to be worthless. Most of my experience as of late has come from my own development team.
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Re: What do you do in your day job?

Postby Rachael » Thu May 20, 2021 4:10 am

I am currently an online teacher for 3D Modeling and also a DJ.

Right now I am also helping to develop an unannounced game which is still in its early stages. For that game I am mainly a scripter for the game's actors and objects, but also the person who maintains the engine from a programming standpoint, and I also maintain the game's development infrastructure.

My college degree is an associate in applied sciences - for computer graphics. That degree has never gotten me any actual money, but I still consider it valuable because it has fueled so many creative endeavors that I have done over the years, the fruits of which include the DRD Team Dev builds site, the QZDoom home page, the Raze logo, and many other things that are too numerous to list here. Maaaaybe someday. :D

I also have a certification in information security, though it is rapidly getting out of date because I do not go out and update it.
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Re: What do you do in your day job?

Postby electrodragon554 » Thu May 20, 2021 4:53 am

Call Center Tech Support for one the largest food manufacturers. I'd love to work on servers if given the option.
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Re: What do you do in your day job?

Postby Scripten » Thu May 20, 2021 7:51 am

I'm a software engineer for a multinational, which has a lot of pros and cons. They're one of the better ones, nowadays, but that's not saying a ton. Still, the org I'm a part of develops one of the oldest operating systems still in wide use, with probably the most legacy support of any OS. Plus we run on some seriously cool hardware and the focus of the OS is on virtualization, so it's a really unique job with an incredibly wide and deep well of knowledge. So there's a lot of history here. The only thing is that the region I ended up in (northeast US, in rural NY) is really close to where I grew up, rather than in the pacific northwest or another region that I would prefer living in. The cost of living is great here, and for such a small city we have a ton of cuisine (seriously, there are like three places to get shawarma nearby), but it's still got all the hallmarks of the American rust belt, from the bigotry to the post-industrial rot.

I went to school for Computer Science and got my BS... five, six years ago now, which is wild. I'm still lost half the time when I try to follow some of the programming discussions here. I was super lucky because my company actually recruited me actively before I graduated, so my degree went directly to my career and while I'm doing far more than just development, it's still in my wheelhouse. I wouldn't mind dropping the customer support aspect because, unbelievably, professional corporate customers who are allegedly tech workers themselves can be just as unreasonable, ignorant, and resistant to listening/reading instructions as the worst consumer customers.
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Re: What do you do in your day job?

Postby Redneckerz » Thu May 20, 2021 12:02 pm

If you would just believe my official title (''servicedesk'') then you would just about cover 30% of what i do.

I work in a hospital. The Red Cross, specifically. Because the official title does not carry what i actually, i prefer saying ''IT Technical Management'' as that's what i actually do.

In this occupation we are basically the cavalry to the people in the frontline hacking away at combating Covid. The prime task is ensuring every computer related system works accordingly (whereas medical equipment is done by our sister-coworkers one door ahead).

Beyond that, we do more: Speaking about myself, i also renew insurance certificates, licenses for software, licenses for cardholders and i am the primary guy that works on the digital nervous system of every nurse out there: The Pager. Every patient has a emergency button that when pressed, sends a signal to these very dumb little devices. But whilst they are very dumb, the infrastructure isn't. So that's where i come in. Maintaining that infrastructure. That is my primary side-job here.

Then i am also a process manager (Wait, what?) for the process Informing. My task is to ensure that information data flows for ourselves but also for the staff becomes more easily accesible.

Lastly, recently i have implemented a wiki (Much like the ZDoom one!) that will serve as a document and informational hub for our own inhouse documentation. One click stop to all one should know for recurring problems.

But on paper, i am a servicedesk clerk.. :wink:
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Re: What do you do in your day job?

Postby Cyanide » Sun May 23, 2021 8:20 pm

I've got a degree in Sound Design, but I'm an electrician apprentice now. In about 1 year I'm hopefully a certified sparky.
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Re: What do you do in your day job?

Postby Caligari87 » Mon May 24, 2021 2:27 pm

Fire Alarm Engineer (which sounds fancier and higher-paying than it actually is). Basically I design fire alarm systems for commercial buildings. Where the strobes/sirens go, how the circuits are laid out to power all the devices, how many smoke detectors are needed to cover a room, etc.

The most interesting part is engineering clean-agent fire suppression systems (like the Halon system seen in Tenet during the Freeport heist) and aspirating smoke detection systems. Both require specialized software to run the pipe flow calculations, and optimizing a system properly can be really interesting and difficult at times.

Strangely enough, I didn't have any specific education for this. I did my associates degree for general engineering, and got randomly hired by this great small company because I had AutoCAD experience and they needed a new draftsperson. VERY flexible schedule, no one bothers me most days except to give me plans or bids for new projects, and the pay is good enough to keep me in the black (though I won't get rich by any means). All in all it's a pretty sweet gig.

8-)
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Re: What do you do in your day job?

Postby Enjay » Mon May 24, 2021 2:43 pm

Secondary school (ages 11-18 years at the extremes) science and biology teacher.

Sessions 2019-20 and 2020-2021 have been... I think the preferred word is "challenging".
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Re: What do you do in your day job?

Postby Kappes Buur » Mon May 24, 2021 3:44 pm

I am retired and enjoying my "golden years" :)

Oh gosh, so many jobs. First I started out in the retail sector working for various camera shops (way before digital), where I quickly developed a dislike for my fellow humankind (customers). Then I switched to electronics technician. I worked for a company building power supplies, then a company building control panels, then a company where woodcutting machines were build (industrial size).

That was an excellent job, assembling and repairing electronic subsystems. The progression was from relay logic to programmable controllers to microcontrollers. And troubleshooting and testing the final machine builds. At the time I did a lot of machine language coding for 8080/8085/Z80 and later 80186 microprocessors to establish routines to test the subsystems. Plus I was able to acquire an electricians license, which turned out to be a good thing.

When this company finally folded because of successive economic downturns I got a job in a hospital as electrician/electronics tech. For a while I also looked after the hospital computer systems, that was before hospitals in the area were all linked via network. It was amazing how quickly the hospital filled up with computers. When I started there, there were maybe 50 computers, when I left, after several expansions of the hospital, there were ca 1500 computers. Everybody needed one. Running cat cables, installing router cabinets, etc. And of course the PBX telephone system. That was a very rewarding job, but also a very frustrating job because of changing directions by various administrators.

Looking back on my past life I realize that most businesses I worked for are now gone. :shock:

Now I just amuse myself with my various hobbies: electronics, woodworking, 3D printing, camera shoots, GZDoom mapping. And taking my dog for a walk, whenever I can. Or rather he is taking me for a walk. He is waiting right now.
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