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seminole
Junior Member


Reged: 05/18/06
Posts: 79
Can a non-nerd be successful in IT? Stereotyping..
      #719802 - 11/14/12 12:10 PM

Hey folks,

I have my reasons for asking this-- it's more to do with an annoying co-worker but I've only worked for one company in my career so I would like some other folks opinion.

Anyway, co-worker says in order to be successful in IT one must indulge himself into all things geek. This includes: anything computer related (obviously), video games, Star Trek/Wars, World of Warcraft, Science Fiction etc.

I've obviously heard the stereotypes and all and frankly I get offended when I hear things like this as I don't fit the stereotype. I have many interests out of the things listed including sports, nature, hiking/biking, cooking, my spouce/family etc.

So what does everyone else think? I'll say I've been very successful in my career but am kind of sheltered in that I've only worked for one company. What is the rest of IT like? Do they all fit the stereotype?

Thanks


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Joe Strazzere
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Reged: 05/15/00
Posts: 12344
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Re: Can a non-nerd be successful in IT? Stereotyping.. [Re: seminole]
      #719803 - 11/14/12 12:27 PM

Quote:

Anyway, co-worker says in order to be successful in IT one must indulge himself into all things geek. This includes: anything computer related (obviously), video games, Star Trek/Wars, World of Warcraft, Science Fiction etc.



Your co-worker is confused, or perhaps has an odd definition of "successful".

Once you've been in the business for a while, you'll find lots of successful folks who don't fit that mold. I'm sure you'll be one of them!

--------------------
- Joe
Visit AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

I speak only for me. I do not speak for my employer, nor for anyone else.


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cybersurf
Member


Reged: 12/15/09
Posts: 261
Re: Can a non-nerd be successful in IT? Stereotyping.. [Re: seminole]
      #719804 - 11/14/12 12:27 PM

Do you have a passion for computers and/or software?

In my opinion that is the more likely factor to determine your success in IT.

Sure it helps to be able to converse with your colleagues about various things geek; but it should not be necessary to have a successful career in IT.

--------------------
Software Testing, Second Edition: "Intelligently weighing the risks and reducing the infinite possibilities to a manageable effective set is where the magic is."

Edited by cybersurf (11/14/12 12:30 PM)


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seminole
Junior Member


Reged: 05/18/06
Posts: 79
Re: Can a non-nerd be successful in IT? Stereotyping.. [Re: cybersurf]
      #719805 - 11/14/12 12:41 PM

Thanks for the replies.

One thing I've noticed is that some people wear the geek/nerd label like a badge of honor. My co-worker is one of them. I think he spends all of his free time behind a keyboard or on a control pad (video gaming). But I'll say this-- he can't communicate well, has very little social skills and has a hard time saying the right thing at the right time (thus his comment to me...lol).

I have a passion for solving problems and software allows me to do this. But it is good to know there are others out there in IT world that do not fit the mold

Edited by seminole (11/14/12 12:43 PM)


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IanFraser
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Reged: 07/11/04
Posts: 2112
Loc: Brisbane
Re: Can a non-nerd be successful in IT? Stereotyping.. [Re: seminole]
      #719810 - 11/14/12 02:46 PM

I am an ex-tradie...

Motor Mechanic then Aircraft Tech and now an IT worker. I like SiFi and gadgets but I dont consider myself as a Geek or a Nerd.

But 2 of my kids are. My daughter who is 25 was building a Lego X-Wing dressed in her Jedi Costume on the weekend. She had just come home from Super Nova (a Nerd Show).

I still have my old workshop sense of humour and that has at times offended the odd IT Geek over the years.

--------------------
You can buy my Art from: "Post Cards now available"
Ian Fraser Landscape Photography
World Wide Shipping.

http://mowogman.wordpress.com/


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cybersurf
Member


Reged: 12/15/09
Posts: 261
Re: Can a non-nerd be successful in IT? Stereotyping.. [Re: seminole]
      #719811 - 11/14/12 02:54 PM

Quote:

One thing I've noticed is that some people wear the geek/nerd label like a badge of honor.




Usually the geek badge is worn as a badge of honor because of the triumph over adversity (isn't that standard for most types of cultures?). There is a powerful resonance when someone states: this is who I am, I am me. Are you proud to be a ______? Usually there is a vast history behind that sentiment; sometimes the propaganda just pulls you onto the bandwagon.

This might be a hasty generalization: but people get annoyed and offended too easily (at least when they dont understand the culture they are observing). Did you really make an effort to try and empathize or understand the other persons point of view? Usually its just a superficial first impression, if you can get past that: youll discover really interesting aspects about the culture (or person) that you may like.

Id give you historical examples, pop culture references etc; but I cant even make a decent car analogy without getting in over my head.

--------------------
Software Testing, Second Edition: "Intelligently weighing the risks and reducing the infinite possibilities to a manageable effective set is where the magic is."


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Squamry
Member


Reged: 01/22/07
Posts: 145
Loc: UK
Re: Can a non-nerd be successful in IT? Stereotyping.. [Re: cybersurf]
      #719851 - 11/15/12 05:07 AM

IT needs the non-nerds. They usually have a better grasp on how normal people work and use IT. Nerds are usually content to stay doing nerdy things but it is the non-nerds who tend to progress up the food chain so if you measure success on where you end up in the hierarchy then the nerds will lose out.

--------------------
The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.


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seminole
Junior Member


Reged: 05/18/06
Posts: 79
Re: Can a non-nerd be successful in IT? Stereotyping.. [Re: Squamry]
      #719852 - 11/15/12 05:16 AM

Quote:

IT needs the non-nerds. They usually have a better grasp on how normal people work and use IT. Nerds are usually content to stay doing nerdy things but it is the non-nerds who tend to progress up the food chain so if you measure success on where you end up in the hierarchy then the nerds will lose out.




I agree completely. You know what is interesting. I notice you are from the UK. Well, as an American, we get a ton of people from overseas-- mostly from India and other Asian areas. The people that come here really have no concept what a "nerd" is. They all seem to be into athletics-- be it soccer (football) or cricket (sports that they are into).

Fancy this- they come from a society that doesn't make fun of being smart in STEM fields (science tech engineering math). Imagine that... in the US here we seem to 'degrade' people that into these fields as nerds. I think this is why the US struggles (on average) in so many of the STEM fields.


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seminole
Junior Member


Reged: 05/18/06
Posts: 79
Re: Can a non-nerd be successful in IT? Stereotyping.. [Re: cybersurf]
      #719853 - 11/15/12 05:20 AM

Quote:

Quote:

One thing I've noticed is that some people wear the geek/nerd label like a badge of honor.




Usually the geek badge is worn as a badge of honor because of the triumph over adversity (isn't that standard for most types of cultures?). There is a powerful resonance when someone states: this is who I am, I am me. Are you proud to be a ______? Usually there is a vast history behind that sentiment; sometimes the propaganda just pulls you onto the bandwagon.

This might be a hasty generalization: but people get annoyed and offended too easily (at least when they dont understand the culture they are observing). Did you really make an effort to try and empathize or understand the other persons point of view? Usually its just a superficial first impression, if you can get past that: youll discover really interesting aspects about the culture (or person) that you may like.

Id give you historical examples, pop culture references etc; but I cant even make a decent car analogy without getting in over my head.




Yeah I agree with a lot of what you say. The guy is proud of what he is. Frankly, I've never had a problem with him or other stereotypical nerds at the office. We all have a job to do and what you do on your own time is your own business. It was just his comments that struck a nerve yesterday. It began to make me wonder if I was in the wrong industry...


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Squamry
Member


Reged: 01/22/07
Posts: 145
Loc: UK
Re: Can a non-nerd be successful in IT? Stereotyping.. [Re: seminole]
      #719864 - 11/15/12 07:49 AM

Quote:

I agree completely. You know what is interesting. I notice you are from the UK. Well, as an American, we get a ton of people from overseas-- mostly from India and other Asian areas. The people that come here really have no concept what a "nerd" is. They all seem to be into athletics-- be it soccer (football) or cricket (sports that they are into).




Don't worry, these cultures still have their own nerds/geeks but it seems less prevalent than in Western culture. By this I tend to think of nerds as those who are more interested in the technology than the problems the technology solve.

--------------------
The story so far:
In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.


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CPat
Member


Reged: 12/08/09
Posts: 102
Re: Can a non-nerd be successful in IT? Stereotyping.. [Re: seminole]
      #719874 - 11/15/12 10:05 AM

The US 'struggles' in those fields because we aren't placed in school 12 hours a day at the age of 3. I honestly don't hear anyone use the term 'nerd' any more. I mean, I think it was used in the 1980's.

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cybersurf
Member


Reged: 12/15/09
Posts: 261
Re: Can a non-nerd be successful in IT? Stereotyping.. [Re: Squamry]
      #719876 - 11/15/12 11:24 AM

Quote:

Nerds are usually content to stay doing nerdy things but it is the non-nerds who tend to progress up the food chain so if you measure success on where you end up in the hierarchy then the nerds will lose out.




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dilbert_principle

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Putt%27s_Law

It's almost as if their is a science to it.

--------------------
Software Testing, Second Edition: "Intelligently weighing the risks and reducing the infinite possibilities to a manageable effective set is where the magic is."


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cybersurf
Member


Reged: 12/15/09
Posts: 261
Re: Can a non-nerd be successful in IT? Stereotyping.. [Re: seminole]
      #719877 - 11/15/12 11:27 AM

Quote:

It began to make me wonder if I was in the wrong industry...




Welcome to IT. We're all in the wrong industry: but we're all in it together.

--------------------
Software Testing, Second Edition: "Intelligently weighing the risks and reducing the infinite possibilities to a manageable effective set is where the magic is."


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Joe Strazzere
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Re: Can a non-nerd be successful in IT? Stereotyping.. [Re: Squamry]
      #719891 - 11/15/12 02:27 PM

Quote:

Nerds are usually content to stay doing nerdy things but it is the non-nerds who tend to progress up the food chain so if you measure success on where you end up in the hierarchy then the nerds will lose out.



Sometimes. Not always. I'm not even sure "usually" applies these days.

--------------------
- Joe
Visit AllThingsQuality.com to learn more about quality, testing, and QA!

I speak only for me. I do not speak for my employer, nor for anyone else.


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