The Evolution of the Computer Geek

22Feb11

If I asked you to picture the type of person that may be involved in the IT industry, what immediately comes to mind? If you’re being as honest as I’m going to be right now, then you will agree that the picture looks something like this: a lonely body sitting behind a computer screen in a dark, dingy basement, typing all sorts of nonsensical [what they call] “code”, with glasses as thick as the coffee mugs they’re drinking from, and probably wheezing away due to some allergic reaction to sunlight, dust, grass clippings, and social interaction with others. Let’s face it…this is our picture of the typical computer geek.

But in the legendary words of Bob Dylan, the times they are a changin’.

The previous face of the IT guy is as passe as Windows 98. The old stereotype no longer fits. These guys have put away the pocket protectors and have pulled out all the stops, creating impressive and imperative items that we all love (such as the iPad), and are gracing the covers of Newsweek, Forbes, and Time Magazine (a la Steve Jobs). However, there is one thing about the old image that remains: in the picture in your mind’s eye, you’re still envisioning a guy, right?

Why is that?

Well, speaking as a woman, I can honestly say that I had absolutely no interest in IT when I was contemplating my educational/career decisions. I mean, I knew how to turn my computer on, send emails, and pretty-up my wallpaper, so what else could there be??

Turns out a heck of a lot.

For years, I avoided having to understand what a computer language was, what relational database design was, or even what A+ Preparation actually prepared you for…until recently. It turns out that I’m a bit of a computer geek. I think that I suppressed my inner nerd for so long that, one day, it just had to escape. When I first learned about designing a relational database, it was like opening Pandora’s Box.

For many years, I had been bound by society’s belief as to why women rarely entered the IT field: we are genetically predisposed to a lack of mathematical skills and have an aversion to science. And I accepted that. We have always been taught to develop our creative sides, and have been praised for our linguistic prowess. While that is all well and good, it is high time that we put down our dictionaries and cast our poetry readings aside, and stop being satisfied that the only “IT knowledge” we have is how to upload photos onto Facebook.

So I charge you, ladies: put down your lipstick and pick up your flash drive. Forget about only writing catchy slogans and start writing pseudo-code. With the way the world is moving these days, now is the time to embrace your inner computer geek! Enrol in a college with IT courses and free the IT beast inside!

After all, your greatest accessory is no longer your new bracelet; it’s your new ultra antistatic wrist strap…

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9 Responses to “The Evolution of the Computer Geek”

  1. Good Morning, “The Social Network” might be the “All the President’s Men” for IT industry.

    Computer skills are a lot “cooler” then they were 10-15 years ago.

    And these jobs pay much better and are in much higher demand and will stay that way for quite a while. imo

    M

  2. I agree…those with computer skills are WAY cooler than they used to be. Well, after some-time-computer-geeks like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates made billions of dollars, it kind of started a trend, huh? 😉

  3. If only missionaries made billions…. 🙂

    • Lol! Yes, indeed!

  4. I really enjoyed your blog. It is no longer good enough for me to have someone do something FOR me computer-wise. I want to be able to understand and do it myself.

    • Exactly! It’s time to learn how to do it yourself now, right? 🙂

      Thanks so much for reading through and commenting! 🙂

  5. Very inspiring…I’m very late to this amazing world of computers…but now I want to know more and be able to do things for myself!!

    • Well, better late than never, right? 😀

      Yes, I think that several people have relied on others to do the “dirty work” in the world of computers, but it’s time to take matters into our own hands! Glad that you were inspired to do so! 🙂

  6. IT guys – and gals – everywhere are going to LOVE you!


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