I think I am only partly a programmer (I have a lot of other interests) but when I getting acquainted with “non-computer” people I usually introduce myself as a “programmer” – just for simplicity. Everybody realized who the “programmers” are but often their imagination is a bit strange. Here is a typical talking:
– You’re a programmer, aren’t you?
– Yes, I am.
– Wow! Hear, I got troubles with Windows there…
– I don’t know Windows.
(As a variant there might be a question how to fix his computer hardware)
The talker is frustrated – he thinks I’m lying because I don’t want to help him. In the best case he concludes: “Ok, he is bad programmer” and stop further talking. In the worst case he is getting curious why I don’t know Windows and there starts a quite idiotic talk where I’m trying to tell about my work with terms understandable for “non-computer” people. I hate it.
Another idiotic talk:
– Maybe you’re a hacker? :-) (sounds like a joke)
– Hmm.. A kind of. (I just forget what the word “hacker” means for the people who learned about it from the mass-media)
My collocutor looking at me as at alien.
– And you really can crack a bank?!
So, in mass vision the programmers are the people who
- has a comprehensive knowledge of Windows
- can fix any computer defect
- the most skilful of them are “the hackers” and they can crack the banks
And a very minority remembers that “a programmer” comes from “to program”…