Comment from a computer programmer type
Following copied from commenter:
Whenever LOTB posts yet another blog entry about the supposedly pathetic world of computer programming, he unleashes a veritable avalanche of some of the most mean-spirited and/or self-loathing comments available on the web. Give it a rest, haters! What do you expect young folks to do nowadays? Go to law school? Join the army and get their balls blown off in some useless war in the Middle East? Go back to their alma mater to take organic chemistry, and then spend ten years in med school, an internship and a residency, up to their elbows in blood and gore? And then what about all that sky-high malpractice insurance and those gigantic debts on their student loans that they’ll have to face afterwards? Or maybe they should qualify as plumbers and dunk those self-same elbows in feces all day long? I graduated magna cum laude with a humanities degree from a top 30 national university. I did well enough that my advisor told me I should apply to Harvard and Yale for graduate school. I even remember walking down the hall in the humanities building one day and heard a professor extolling a brilliant paper which, as I found out to my delight after listening a little while longer, I myself had written. But heterosexual WASP males had no chance of finding a teaching position, either then or now, so after floundering around for a few years, I spent five grand on a quickie six month programming course that I completed in two months – and I have been continuously employed ever since. And that was thirty years ago. I’ve spent more than half that time as a contractor, a few years here and there in management gigs, but otherwise working as a lead analyst/designer/programmer/technical writer & debugger with an income over $100,000 for the last twenty years. I work only 40 hours a week, interfacing with many bright people in a clean and quiet place, leaving plenty of time for my numerous hobbies and interests, not to mention communing with my splendid wife, and giving me enough money to pay off my mortgage on a Victorian house in a leafy Boston suburb, to indulge regularly in restaurant dining, and to have visited Europe four times in the last twelve years. (And, yes, I have no kids. If you have kids, fine – but some of us prefer not to commit ourselves to the grim cottage industry of family life to produce a commodity with which the world is already excessively well-supplied.) Back in the early nineties I DID consider graduate school for a while, scored triple 800’s on the GRE’s at a time when that was super hard to do, but relented at the last moment. I realized I might as well stay the course, and have not regretted it since. So go call me an “idiot” or an “Aspergery beta” if you want, but just look in the mirror first.
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Give the commenter a break regarding his choice not to have children. No one has a responsibility to devote their lives to an abstract principle of eugenics that mainstream society has rejected anyway.
Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn are having eight children per married couple, so let’s hope they have better-than-average genes because there are going to be a lot of them in a few decades.
Regarding the $100K salary: it’s better than digging ditches certainly but it’s not that impressive compared to what upper-middle-class people are making. Although I admit that we live in a cruel extreme-capitalist society where many good and smart people make a lot less than that while many dumb people make a lot more.