Weekend Discussion

Friday February 25th, 2000

Most of our readers have jobs doing computer-related work. Not all of those readers find their jobs enjoyable. If you could have your ideal job in a computer-related field, what would it be? If you are in your ideal job, tell us why it is ideal. Related to that, how many hours a week do you work, and do you think it's reasonable? What would you consider a reasonable work week? We're interested in getting an international cross-section, so if you live outside the US, we'd love to hear from you as well.

#1 fun

by jhewitt

Friday February 25th, 2000 10:20 AM

I'm lucky to be one of the people who enjoys their job. I work in an R&D group so I get to do a lot of fun stuff. Right now I'm developing a cross-browser DHTML library of UI components and other stuff. I have quite a bit of fun, which is refreshing considering that my previous 3 jobs were at stuffy pharmaceutical companies. I work about 50 to 60 hours a week... probably will work longer when deadlines approach, but I really care about my work so don't really care how many hours I'm at my desk.

#2 lucky

by petejc

Friday February 25th, 2000 10:56 AM

I love my job. I now get to hack mozilla most of the time. There is still bread and butter work that i have to do to help pay the bills, but i try to get that stuff out of the way as fast as i can. It took me about 6 months to find this gig but it was well worth the wait.

Overall i am a real happy camper. You won't hear me bitching as much in the ng's. It is a VERY frustrating thing, finding something that totally intrigues you and not having enought time to work on it.

#3 Part Time

by gerbilpower

Friday February 25th, 2000 11:12 AM

I like my job, but it's part time since us college students need cash to waste. I'm just a humble layout artist for my school paper, which is semi-professional considering our large circulation.

But a computer-related job I would really love is web design, since I get to be a lot more creative, use Photoshop, and hand-code some HTML (yes, I still like hand-coding and although programs like Dreamweaver are cool, I feel uncomfortable using them sometimes).

And I have no clue for a work week, but if it's something I really enjoy I probably won't mind working a few extra hours.


#4 My Ideal Job

by pinkerton

Friday February 25th, 2000 12:48 PM

I'm doing it right now. Working on the browser is a dream come true. My team is top-notch, the work is challenging, and those 2am denny's runs with hyatt and scc make staying late all worthwhile.


#5 Starting A New Job soon--

by SomeSmartAss

Friday February 25th, 2000 12:55 PM

Similar to jhewitt's

R&D for a Pre-IPO. They've developed a suite of firewall friendly interactive/real-time web site monitoring type software using Java Applets. They're hiring me to "push the Limits of JavaScript" to create more thin-client friendly versions of there products. This comes after being involved in the 4-year long merger of two IT companies, and being given the run-around on when/where I'd be able to ply my internet skills.

>>>Yes, we'd love to look into that sort of business. We'll put you on our New Tech Comittee. Actually, we're scraping the Comittee, to cut down on cross company redundancy; and besides, your in Company A, and in our new business model, its Company B who's doing that kind of work, so we'll transfer you to thier IS dept. No wait, I know you've just done all the paperwork, but the IS deparments are merging into one, so you'll just have to wait a bit longer. Oh well, we're not focussing on that aspect in you region just yet, because we want to focus on Y2K work (oh-- you DON'T have COBOL??).<<<

That's my last four years of profesional life there. I'm itching to start my new job.

#6 Netscape rocks

by Ben_Goodger

Friday February 25th, 2000 1:52 PM

I've been working @ Netscape since November last year, on campus for over a month now, and its been a wonderful experience so far. The work is fun and challenging and the people are great.

#7 Websphere Expert

by k_irus

Friday February 25th, 2000 2:55 PM

I work in a French startup has a Websphere expert. I hack a lot of java server code.

I work 10 hours a day (with lunch time), than I go home, if my clients want more, they just have to take one more guy from my compagny. Life is simple...

I like my work, I love my familly.

Krakus Irus married, 2 childs.

#19 Re: Websphere Expert

by SomeSmartAss

Saturday February 26th, 2000 11:51 AM

My resume has a three week "proof of concept" internal project on it. I wrote front-end JavaScript, and some *basic* Java for JSPs being run on a WebSphere Server. I had about 25 calls by head-hunters from all over the states looking for "WebSphere Experts" who hadn't even read my resume. They just noticed that the word "WebSphere" was somewhere in the text (Monster board resume search, I'm assuming) and called on the spot.

If any Canadian programers want to move to the States, just put the words "Websphere" & "VisulAge Java" on your resume. You'll get offers up the wazoo.

#20 Re: Websphere Expert

by Salsaman

Saturday February 26th, 2000 3:12 PM

I am also currently working with Websphere, helping IBM to set up e-commerce solutions. I put in whatever hours are needed from about 30 a week to 70. Fortunately it's generally nearer the 30 than the 70 !! I enjoy my job, it's pretty varied, but I had to go through about 6 years of crap to get here.<p> The worst job I had was working for a medical IT company, I was on the front line taking calls from hospital departments, patching a real pig of a system and having to commute over 3 hours a day for the privelige.

#8 Perfect Job

by Pyro

Friday February 25th, 2000 3:15 PM

My idea of a perfect job is to be one of those video game reviewers...getting paid to play video games all day long, seeing brand new/up and coming software before everybody else, yeah thats pretty much a perfect job.

#10 Re: Perfect Job

by sdm

Friday February 25th, 2000 3:52 PM

I thought it would be too, but, my friend was offered a job as QA for a game development company here in cambridge, MA (US), and they offered him like $8/hr!! Crazy. You make more than that working fast food.

#14 Re: Perfect Job

by spaetz

Friday February 25th, 2000 5:37 PM

Yes, I thought that too and got a job for 4 months doing exactly that. It's fun, but not all the time. You know how crappy some games are and you still have to play them to get an impression? Oh boy, but still it's been a nice experience.

#9 Job description: Dream job.

by boreno

Friday February 25th, 2000 3:27 PM

Well, okay. Here I am, trying to define my dream-job. Actually, I've done it before (surprise!), so it shouldn't be impossible - This is something every worker in this field ought to do.

I define myself as a programmer. Really, I define myself as a programmer; rather than a "person", or "cool-party-guy". I am a programmer, who happens to do C++. So, that aside, define programming. The easy answer for me, is creativity. The hard answer? It's the same - creativity. Because what is creativity? Is it to actually *do* something? Anything? With your hands? Or mind, or any other favourite part of your body?

One thing is for sure: creativity comes with the group, rather than the individual. So, the workplace must support the individual to work well in a group. And the individual must support the group in being creative, being open-minded to ideas even though they seem or feel wrong, or out-of context. To say "yes", "worth discussing" and "let's find out", rather than "no", "it's wrong" or "we don't do things that way". The people, management and support organisation must be equally skilled to perfection, and equally curious to what perfection really means.

Creativity defined (ha!), I'd say I am creative around the clock. That is, I wouldn't stop creating ideas or solutions just because I'm leaving office. And I don't - working at the R&D department at an International company in Sweden, I have plenty of things to create.

As for having the dream job, the job with truly creative coworkers, creative working environment and create attitude from management and internal support, I guess there's more to ask for than I have. And, defining the dream-job is really about just this: to learning what's missing, in order to fix it. Or, at least, beginning the process of fixing it, before life is at the end. Which, by the way, it isn't. :-)

That just about wraps it up, Ludvig A. Norin Programmer

#11 Working God

by Crutcher

Friday February 25th, 2000 3:53 PM

As a kid I always liked the various different types of games and RPGs arrayed before me by my friends. But I liked the rules more than I liked playing, and I liked playing with meta-rules more than that.

My Ideal Job would be as a design level God on a massively multiplayer game, but first I need my degree.

#12 Publicity Articles

by shwag

Friday February 25th, 2000 4:06 PM

I love testing and using software, but ever since I saw Eric Raymond talk I have been highly into advocacy. I would love to write articles to be published in zines all over the net. I love sharing to everyone the idea's upon which Open Source software is successful.

#13 Dreaming

by wwrafter

Friday February 25th, 2000 4:28 PM

Current: Writing MES software around 50 hours per week. I like my job and the company (been here 12 years). Ideal: Whitewater raft guide earning as much as I do now, with time for getting into Java and Linux.

#28 Dream On

by sebbo

Monday February 28th, 2000 10:00 AM

Guides in Maine make (okay, made, in '94) $40-$60/day, $70, if they were real good. On the Shenandoah, we made even less. Tips help, but they're very erratic. Except for high summer, employment is spotty for any but the most senior guides. And don't forget, you're dealing extensively with The Customer, a few of whom will blame you for the drizzle, blame you for the boring parts of the river, blame you for the scary parts of the river. Some folks will also be outraged at the idea that they, the <i>paying customers</i> are actually expected to paddle, instead of that being the sole responsibility of the help (that means you).

The folks I saw who actually made a good living at it owned their own raft companies or dealt drugs on the side. The western scene may be somewhat different, but not too much, I suspect.

OTOH, the seasonal nature of the work means it could coexist with a coding job pretty peacefully.

#29 Dream On

by sebbo

Monday February 28th, 2000 10:01 AM

Guides in Maine make (okay, made, in '94) $40-$60/day, $70, if they were real good. On the Shenandoah, we made even less. Tips help, but they're very erratic. Except for high summer, employment is spotty for any but the most senior guides. And don't forget, you're dealing extensively with The Customer, a few of whom will blame you for the drizzle, blame you for the boring parts of the river, blame you for the scary parts of the river. Some folks will also be outraged at the idea that they, the <i>paying customers</i> are actually expected to paddle, instead of that being the sole responsibility of the help (that means you).

The folks I saw who actually made a good living at it owned their own raft companies or dealt drugs on the side. The western scene may be somewhat different, but not too much, I suspect.

OTOH, the seasonal nature of the work means it could coexist with a coding job pretty peacefully.

#15 Escape

by vinn

Friday February 25th, 2000 9:07 PM

For the past 3 years I worked for a small consulting firm doing largely sys admin and custom programming work. Before that I spent a year and half doing web design crap (back in '95 we kept complaining it wasn't worth doing because all the good stuff had been done...little did we know..).

That was ok, but when 10 hour days become common and nary a thank you comes down from above it gets a little disheartening. It's not that I wanted to quit, it's just that I had no reason to stay (note to employers: little perks make a big difference).

So about 2 months ago I quit, moved to Colorado, and started skiing. As a "ski technician" my checks are about 1/3 to 1/4 what I was making before. But I've skied the past 50 days in a row and I'm loving it.

Would I like to jump back into the corporate world? Hm.. I'll have to think about that one.

#16 Help with Job...

by rebron

Saturday February 26th, 2000 9:19 AM

MoZine people are so cool...If you were given a choice between a Netscape business development job (in charge of managing which partners go on Netcenter) or building out the Netscape and Computing & Internet channel on Netcenter which would you take?

#17 Work at home...

by offwhite

Saturday February 26th, 2000 9:22 AM

Well, I had a couple of jobs where I worked the old 8 to 5 work period with a small group of people building websites. I am a programmer/sys admin type and often had to work with people who did not understand the basics of the technology which was our bread and butter. I left the first job and got fired from the second one where I stabalized the system on Unix servers only to have the president decide one day that he like Windows NT overnight.

So I interviewed and found nothing I really found better than I had before, I chose to simply do freelance since I had plenty of work there. Now I work at home, start around 8:30 and work as long as I like.

I make more money that I was before and have total control of my development path. If I want to focus on learning Java Servlets, I can do that. If I choose to work on my skills in Perl and apache I can do that as well.

I work for one company on retainer, 20 hours a week and that pays my bills easily and do other work to augment it taking me beyond my previous salary. And as you can expect, when you work out of your home you can take long lunches, go shopping during the day and work at any hour of the day. You just have to make sure you keep your clients happy.

#18 Where to start?

by Kovu

Saturday February 26th, 2000 9:39 AM

I love my job(s). I do have one main job, editing technical Dummies books mostly, but I love that because I learn something new about computers every day.

Then I'm also:

A freelance writer at times (you may have read one or two of my articles here at MZ).

A Web designer ( ).

Editor in chief at ( see the link for preview of the new Amiga interface!)

A soon to be (I hope) technical writer, as I'm working on convincing my company to let me write on various topics, from the new Amiga OS to Netscape Online to AOL TV (with its former Amiga technologies I had a head start on this one)-- tomorrow's technology enthralls me and I'm positively bored with what we've got today.

A dedicated Mozilla and NGAmiga evangelist and a firm believer that both Classic and NG Amiga should have Mozilla.

A would-be hacker, I'm studying C now specifically so I can understand and hack Mozilla. I'd actually like to take Netscape up on the "documenting Mozilla" project if I can. We'll see.

Hours? I work 37.5 a week roughly at work, but then I come home and work on book proposals, articles, (AO), my AmigaMozilla page, etc., etc. I have little life in particular but boy am I excited about everything I'm working on. I don't have time for a life any more than the Netscape programmers working night and day on Mozilla right now. Luckily I'm not married - she'd have left me by now. I consider 37.5 quite reasonable, but as a whole I don't mind working pretty much non-stop on emerging technology (or rather writing about it) like I am now. As long as I'm young (27) and it excites me, I'm okay with the long hours staring at the computer screen.

Dream job? Well I'm working on it, really. Writing (and or editing) about cutting-edge technology. I may be doing some tech editing for the new Amiga Corp. Looking at their new real-time Elate/Intent-based operating environment, that excites me more than pretty much anything else, as well as writing books for IDGB about it.

But I also envy Pink and the guys and gals working at Netscape. You guys are part of something huge right now, and it must feel damn good.

#21 My Job

by steviebaby

Saturday February 26th, 2000 4:51 PM

I am actually an 8th grade student. I am the regular IS guy who is always being called out of class to fix computer problems. I have always hated social studies anyway. I love my job because I get to have 4th hour as a tech guy hour. I'll probably go into programming. Of course, I don't care how much I get paid. NEVER MICROSOFT!! NEVER!

#22 Current Job and Dream Job

by Tanyel

Saturday February 26th, 2000 7:09 PM

Well I am a Website designer and computer programmer. I only call it software engineering when I am trying to impress some lame businessman.

My dream job would be as the model for the slutlike heroine in some video game.

#23 Some guys may want your dream job too.

by SomeSmartAss

Sunday February 27th, 2000 9:58 AM

At least acording to this article: For those too lazy to follow the link: Why Males Play as Females : Gender Exploration (19%)

This doesn't quite make sence to me... "I'm confused about my sexuallity... Maybe if I go frag some stuff as a chick it'll help...."

hee hee.

#24 Re: Some guys may want your dream job too.

by gerbilpower

Sunday February 27th, 2000 12:11 PM

Hey I would understand, it's not just the whole confused sexuality thing but it may be just random curiosity on questions like "how will other people treat me differently if I was a different gender?" Well gaming isn't the most effectively way of finding this out but it's certainly a convienent way (besides cross-dressing for a day).


#26 Re: Re: Some guys may want your dream job too.

by Tanyel

Sunday February 27th, 2000 4:40 PM

I think they like the way it seems like they are controlling a woman, or maybe they just need some sex. What was the topic again?

#25 Great right now

by late

Sunday February 27th, 2000 2:39 PM

I'm only finishing the Finnish equivalent of cellege and (hopefully) beginning my studies at the Helsinki University of Technology, but for the time being I think I've got about the best job I could have.

Me and three of my friends are going work at the Media Centre for the Helsinki Board of Education as soons as we finish our final exams. We'll be working on a kind of student forum to pair with the official net school . We have a lot of freedom to design thing the way we like and both the working environment and atmosphere are good.

We're not payed as much as some of my friends, but this is something we all want to do and we get to do it together, so its definetely worth it. And it will really look good on a CV too :)

#27 I've got a new dream job!!

by SomeSmartAss

Monday February 28th, 2000 7:50 AM

I was watching "Undercurrents" (CBC pop/counter-culture info show) last night, and they did a bit on the Ultima Online Geaming environment (actually, it was about the real-life couple that ACTUALLY got married in Ultima...)

They showed some of the people who work at "Ultima Corp." (Forgot the company name) including one of the guys who gets to be GOD(!). He has "complete control over every object & character in the environment". I saw a brief screenshot of his console. He had buttons like "Earthquake", "Lightning" & "Smite!"

How cool is THAT!!!

"Rod & Todd, this is God. I want you to take all the cookies from your kitchen and place them on the Simpson's front porch."

"But those cookies don't belong to us..."

"rrrrr. do you want a happy God, or a VENGEFUL GOD!!!!!"


#30 My dream job, and yours!

by trudelle

Tuesday February 29th, 2000 3:05 PM

My job here at Netscape is a dream. I'm managing the 'top-notch' XPToolkit team (thanks Pink!), filling a regular sheriff rotation for, and sometimes I even get to help folks like Ben_Goodger optimize the UI. The only thing that would make it better right now is hiring one of you to join us. If you're a software engineer and think XPToolkit might be your ideal job too, please let me know why you are the one -