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If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...

by apl (Monsignor)
on Jun 01, 2009 at 09:31 UTC ( #767196=poll: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

vote on If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...

be a Mad Scientist / Engineer
[bar] 234/16%
run my own Vineyard / Distillery / Brewery
[bar] 135/9%
be a Poet / Writer
[bar] 95/6%
be a Critic
[bar] 21/1%
Act
[bar] 18/1%
be a Porn Star
[bar] 210/14%
run for public office
[bar] 21/1%
Teach
[bar] 78/5%
Travel
[bar] 102/7%
be the Captain of my own Starship
[bar] 158/11%
do stand-up comedy
[bar] 28/2%
Struggle for World Domination
[bar] 82/5%
some combination of the above
[bar] 223/15%
other
[bar] 92/6%
1497 total votes
Comment on If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by targetsmart (Curate) on Jun 01, 2009 at 09:44 UTC
    Where is the option
    Continue my father's job from where he left.

    Vivek
    -- In accordance with the prarabdha of each, the One whose function it is to ordain makes each to act. What will not happen will never happen, whatever effort one may put forth. And what will happen will not fail to happen, however much one may seek to prevent it. This is certain. The part of wisdom therefore is to stay quiet.
      Don't stop there... What did your father do?
        My father was a priest in a temple, here.

        Vivek
        -- In accordance with the prarabdha of each, the One whose function it is to ordain makes each to act. What will not happen will never happen, whatever effort one may put forth. And what will happen will not fail to happen, however much one may seek to prevent it. This is certain. The part of wisdom therefore is to stay quiet.
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 01, 2009 at 09:55 UTC
    Farmer
      ..in Fiji!


      Wait! This isn't a Parachute, this is a Backpack!
        With goldfish nibbling on your toes.
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by lakshmananindia (Chaplain) on Jun 01, 2009 at 10:15 UTC

    I'll serve for my country

    --Lakshmanan G.

    The great pleasure in my life is doing what people say you cannot do.


Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by Bloodnok (Vicar) on Jun 01, 2009 at 10:17 UTC
    ... be a drummer &/or software engineer ... no wait, I'm already (ostensibly) one of the above - which one is left as an exercise for the (dis)interested reader :-D

    A user level that continues to overstate my experience :-))
      Q) What's the difference between a drummer and a pizza? A) A pizza can feed a family of four.
        Q) How do you get a drummer off of your porch?
        A) Just pay him/her for the pizza

      "Location: Behind a drum kit"

      Well, that was easy...

      Rule One: "Do not act incautiously when confronting a little bald wrinkly smiling man."

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by McDarren (Abbot) on Jun 01, 2009 at 10:36 UTC
      Howdy!

      You're OK!

      yours,
      Michael
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by arc_of_descent (Hermit) on Jun 01, 2009 at 11:13 UTC
    other (Musician)

    --
    Rohan
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by ambrus (Abbot) on Jun 01, 2009 at 11:21 UTC

    I voted for mad scientist but I should have voted for combination because I'd do mad science aiming for world domination.

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by apl (Monsignor) on Jun 01, 2009 at 11:58 UTC
    I had to share the reason why "Be the Captain of my own Starship" was included as an option...

    In 1972 or so, just before I left for college, a friend went to see an Off-Broadway show entitled (something like) Harvard Lampoon Follies. He showed me the program book, which was decidedly weird. because one of the performers had "His desire, when he grows up, is to become Captain of his own Starship" in his listing.

    The performer was John Belushi. Two or three years later, Saturday Night Live started, and one of it's best early sketches was The Day They Cancelled Star Trek, with Belushi doing Kirk...

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by tbone1 (Monsignor) on Jun 01, 2009 at 14:07 UTC
    I want to be a race car driver and win the Indianapolis 500. Unfortunately, they don't make those cars for someone built like I am. I blame my German ancestors.

    --
    tbone1, YAPS (Yet Another Perl Schlub)
    And remember, if he succeeds, so what.
    - Chick McGee

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by Limbic~Region (Chancellor) on Jun 01, 2009 at 14:28 UTC
    About the only thing I can remember ever saying I wanted to be when I grew up was an astronaut. When I got a bit older, I didn't think I would live to be 21 or - if I did, I would be homeless or in a Monastery somewhere (seriously).

    I kind of fell into the world of IT (not a programmer by profession). It was something I had enough proficiency in to be paid well without having to work/train/study hard.

    I remember in high school thinking that I should be a teacher. Not that I wanted to teach really or that I had any illusions I could actually cut it long enough in college to actually be certified - but that I could do soooo much better than the crap I was getting. Yes, I was an arogant lazy bastard.

    I was always the lead in school plays. I think this had more to do with a good memory and no fear then it did with actual talent - I never had any interest in celebrity stardom though and gave drama up in my sophmore year. While I enjoyed math and science, it was always reading and writing that I excelled at on the standardized aptitude tests we were forced to take in school. People seem to like what I write so I have considered trying my hand at it.

    I guess what I am saying is that I don't really know what I would do if I weren't doing what I am doing. If money were no object I think I would stay at home raising my children, travel the world and spending my time in contemplation and learning.

    Cheers - L~R

      "It was something I had enough proficiency in to be paid well without having to work/train/study hard."
      That should be one of the answers for a new "How did you get into programming" poll.
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by kennethk (Monsignor) on Jun 01, 2009 at 14:34 UTC
    But what I really want to do is direct!
      I can act, write, direct, ... but I really want to grip.

      --
      tbone1, YAPS (Yet Another Perl Schlub)
      And remember, if he succeeds, so what.
      - Chick McGee

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by swampyankee (Parson) on Jun 01, 2009 at 14:42 UTC

    I voted for the combination: I am an engineer (I used to be an aerodynamicist), and have taught as adjunct (which was fun, albeit not very remunerative).

    Everybody's a critic, so's there's not much point in that ;-)


    Information about American English usage here and here. Floating point issues? Please read this before posting. — emc

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by pileofrogs (Priest) on Jun 01, 2009 at 15:41 UTC

    I chose Starship Captain because it's the closest thing to sailboat captain. Actually, it's not very close, since any sailboat I captain isn't going to have any crew so I'll also be the yeoman of privy, chief sprout officer etc.. etc.. And I'll be fat and disorganized and dishevelled and as unlike a Starship Captain as you could imagine. So, I probably should have chosen Not a Starship Captain...

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by jhourcle (Prior) on Jun 01, 2009 at 16:03 UTC

    To whomever was the one person who voted for 'run for public office' ... don't do it!

    Or at the very least, don't hold a public office while also holding down a full time job. You thought you went to a lot of meetings now? Imagine weeks where you get to sit there and take abuse from the the citizens because they're unhappy about some relatively minor idea (hey, we think that what the Town's been doing for years might be a violation of the Town Charter, so let's fix it ... and the codification might make the ordinances easier to understand, but the goal is actually to make them consistent as some conflict with each other, the charter, or state law.)

    Any then, after taking all of the abuse from the citizens, you then get to go to meetings to relay their displeasure to the appropriate groups (the state, the county, M-NCPPC, etc.)

    So ... it's a noble goal -- but be aware that it can be a *massive* time sink. (and I've turned into the tech support for the office, too, as we only have 3 commissioners, 2 office staff, 5 police officers, and 6 public works employees ... they just don't seem to understand that I know next to nothing about administering Windows computers)

      You shouldn't let that stop. I'm a Windows sysad, and many of us know next to nothing about it as well.
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by zentara (Archbishop) on Jun 01, 2009 at 16:08 UTC
    Hey, that list is almost my exact job description.........

    ..oO( is someone playing mindgames with me again ) :-)


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth.
    Old Perl Programmer Haiku
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by jgamble (Pilgrim) on Jun 01, 2009 at 19:49 UTC

    Some combination, one half of which would be "actor".

    Because whatever you do works out better if you can act it.

    Teacher? Yes. Stand-up comedy? Sure. World domination? Yes, especially if it saves you from chewing the scenery. Starship Captain?

    Erm. Well, a single counter-example doesn't invalidate the whole theory.

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by almut (Canon) on Jun 01, 2009 at 19:56 UTC

    Other:

    • Photographer
    • Musician/composer
    • Mountain guide
    • Cook

    At least, those jobs would be related to activities I enjoy doing in my spare time these days. 

    OTOH, I'm not sure it would be a good idea, because every time I tried to "go professional" with one of my hobbies, it was the end of it, kind of...

    For example

    • I studied electrical engineering/electronics, mainly because I had been doing this as a hobby for many years before (in quite a geeky fashion actually, ever since I had been a little girl — much to the bewilderment of my environment...). But then I somehow suddenly lost all interest — even before having finished my degree. And I haven't touched the field ever since.
    • So I studied psychology (something I'd always been interested in), and even worked in the field (i.e. scientific research) for some time. But then I got more interested in doing programming full time — which I already had been doing quite a lot to get my psych. experiments carried out, data evaluated, reports written, etc.
    • So I switched again, and became a programmer/software engineer — which is what I'm doing for over a decade now.  Still doing it (in part because there is Perl), but who knows...  (yes, I still do like hacking in my spare time, too, but it's no longer the same thrill it once was).
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by tye (Cardinal) on Jun 01, 2009 at 21:48 UTC

    It stinks!

    "Nobody remembers that show" - tye        

      The Critic is available on DVD... I certainly remember it. (Especially the kid from Easter Island...)
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by Nkuvu (Priest) on Jun 01, 2009 at 22:16 UTC

    While traveling the galaxy in my starship, I'd perform mad scientist experiments with brewing -- while doing stand up comedy for my dogs (who would, of course, be on the starship with me). Telling my jokes to my dogs is the only way I can guarantee that nobody throws things at me (if only because my dogs do not have thumbs).

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 01, 2009 at 22:33 UTC
    murder for hire

    or

    vigilante

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by AI Cowboy (Sexton) on Jun 02, 2009 at 00:54 UTC

    Other. Pianist. I love the piano, and am still deciding whether to be a pianist or programmer :D still need to improve my piano skills though :P

    awesome poll! I almost clicked on "Captain your own starship", but then thought about piano. nice poll :D

Re: If I wasn't an Engineer, what I'd like to do is... be a Programmer!
by toolic (Chancellor) on Jun 02, 2009 at 01:09 UTC
    Who says all Monks are programmers?
      Ouch!! My bias is betrayed...

      I'm from NJ. Does that mean i Professionally Profile?

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by carlin (Beadle) on Jun 02, 2009 at 09:06 UTC
    Captain of my own Starship is the only option that isn't currently possible. The rest of the options are rather nondescript.
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by tweetiepooh (Friar) on Jun 02, 2009 at 10:28 UTC
    I'd like to gain a skill that I really enjoyed and then be able to make a living out of it without it becoming too much like work.

    For example learn to skipper a sailing boat then make money by taking folk around tropical islands for real money. You would also need to learn the waters, fauna, flora, befriend the locals etc. I mean you don't just want to be a floating drinks platfrom.

    The knack is to get paid to do something that you want to do or would do any way.

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by targetsmart (Curate) on Jun 02, 2009 at 10:41 UTC
    become a monk, preach peace, silence and Advaita
    soon I would be doing it.

    Vivek
    -- In accordance with the prarabdha of each, the One whose function it is to ordain makes each to act. What will not happen will never happen, whatever effort one may put forth. And what will happen will not fail to happen, however much one may seek to prevent it. This is certain. The part of wisdom therefore is to stay quiet.
      The tao that can be preached is not the eternal Tao ...
        atleast to tell the ignorants that such tao exists, some preaching is required!. I got the start from Ramana_Maharshi, from there I continue myself. So everyone needs a start to understand the self and god within oneself.

        Vivek
        -- In accordance with the prarabdha of each, the One whose function it is to ordain makes each to act. What will not happen will never happen, whatever effort one may put forth. And what will happen will not fail to happen, however much one may seek to prevent it. This is certain. The part of wisdom therefore is to stay quiet.
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by zentara (Archbishop) on Jun 02, 2009 at 11:09 UTC
    Be the drummer in the band Perl Jam...... but I would have to give up my day job as pizza delivery executive. :-)

    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth.
    Old Perl Programmer Haiku
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by punch_card_don (Curate) on Jun 02, 2009 at 17:06 UTC
    If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is... figure out why I spend all this time sitting at a computer writing code!



    Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by hangon (Deacon) on Jun 02, 2009 at 18:08 UTC

    Travel internationally, drive fast cars, shoot guns, jump out of airplanes, play with high tech toys, blow stuff up, drink vodka martinis (shaken, not stirred) and get the best girls.

    Actually I would probably end up being more like Q and spend my time inventing and building cool gadgets.

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by ksublondie (Pilgrim) on Jun 02, 2009 at 19:35 UTC
    Be a stay-at-home mom and raise little baby programmers

    ...but then I'd probably end up writing programs relating to any household or child-rearing task, so I might as well collect a paycheck!

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by Argel (Prior) on Jun 02, 2009 at 19:54 UTC
    Where was the
    I'm not a Programmer you Insensitive Clod!!
    option?? :-)

    Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by planetscape (Canon) on Jun 03, 2009 at 03:19 UTC
    be a Mad Scientist / Engineer

    This one brought me no end of trouble on "Career Day" at school...

    HTH,

    planetscape
      Curiosity demands I ask... Was the problem due to
      • your being in school, and you wanted to be a MS/E
      • your being in school, and your Dad was a MS/E
      • your child was in school, and you were a MS/E

        The problems definitely began when I stated my aspiration to become a Mad Scientist...

        HTH,

        planetscape
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by sabari (Beadle) on Jun 03, 2009 at 09:15 UTC
    No chance of others ........... By birth i am a programmer then how can i go for next ......... if i would like to be CEO or CTO in upcoming days .........
    Best Regards, S.Sabarinathan,
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by arkturuz (Curate) on Jun 03, 2009 at 15:49 UTC
    I would be a poet / writer definetely. I was writing a good amount of poetry some 8-10 years ago, but somehow lost the inspiration and turned to a different kind of creative work - programming.
    In high school I wrote an essay for a german class about being an astronomer, but that was just too much of A.C.Clarke and Carl Sagan in it. Although, I would like to do it some day, or maybe in another incarnation. :)
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by Popcorn Dave (Abbot) on Jun 04, 2009 at 03:01 UTC
    Travelling Mad Scientist/Engineer


    To disagree, one doesn't have to be disagreeable - Barry Goldwater

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by blahblahblah (Priest) on Jun 05, 2009 at 02:13 UTC
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by stonecolddevin (Vicar) on Jun 06, 2009 at 07:21 UTC

    I'd totally become a mountain man. Own a few guns, a big knife, wear animal skins for clothing, and have my own house built out of trees I've fashioned into walls. That'd be pretty sweet.

    meh.
      Wait a sec, you told me this was how you live your life already!

        Living in a dumpster doesn't quite count as "mountainous" :-P

        meh.
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by dHarry (Abbot) on Jun 06, 2009 at 12:31 UTC

    I always wanted to be a professional chess player, i.e. grandmaster, alas not enough talent. I gave up becoming a musician (guitar) long ago.

    Writing a novel and doing a PHD in philosophy is still on my TODO list.

    Maybe I can become a guru and sell BS? Or some religious fanatic, like a Jim Jones clone;) Naah

    I would really like to be president of Italy and fool around with 17 year old lingerie models:-))

    By accident (some collapsing wave function) I first ended up in ICT and later in the Space Industry. Well... itīs a living;)

      I'm sorry you gave up playing guitar (must be professionally). I play tuba for fun when I can, even if I don't get paid, it's still a great opportunity to relax.

      tubaandy
        I bet your neighbours love you ;-)
        -- Time flies when you don't know what you're doing
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by cdarke (Prior) on Jun 07, 2009 at 10:07 UTC
    Combination: teach Perl and do stand-up comedy - more or less the same thing.
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by blue_cowdawg (Prior) on Jun 08, 2009 at 16:01 UTC

    I'd have probably become one of several things depending on fate:

    • A career Navy guy
    • A fireman
    • A policeman
    • A farmer
    • A truck driver (and I was a card carrying Teamster for a while)
    • A brewer
    • A chef/restauranteuer
    • ..... or some other non-technical career path
    All that in no particular order.


    Peter L. Berghold -- Unix Professional
    Peter -at- Berghold -dot- Net; AOL IM redcowdawg Yahoo IM: blue_cowdawg
      Great, Even i would be either Defense Personal or Police.
        Gee, DP or P :D
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by the_hawk_1 (Scribe) on Jun 08, 2009 at 21:33 UTC
    If I wasn't a programmer means that there is not computer nearby, so probably I'll be dead.

    With all my cerebral faculties, the only thing I can do is programmer, or maybe a gamer, wich in fact is not really money-making-profitable.

    Anyhow, long live to PERL!

      the only thing I can do is programmer, or maybe a gamer, wich in fact is not really money-making-profitable.
      Friends keep telling me to try to turn my hobbies into money-making opportunities. If eating, reading SF or comics, or watching old movies could make me money, I would...
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by Illuminatus (Curate) on Jun 09, 2009 at 22:19 UTC
    Like:
    1. Roustabout
    2. Two-fisted Cutthroat Executive
    3. Alcoholic Author who likes to Hunt
    4. Bounty Hunter
    5. Blade Runner
    6. Ghostbuster
    7. Time Lord
    Avoid at all Costs:
    1. Choreographer
    2. Cuisinart Salesman
    3. Mime
    4. Accordion Player
    5. Red-shirt on a Starship
    6. Ring-bearer
    7. Kenny
    (Many shamelessly pirated from The Manly Handbook)

    fnord

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by jonadab (Parson) on Jun 10, 2009 at 09:42 UTC

    Baker. If I couldn't work with computers, I'd settle for being a baker.

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by sweetblood (Parson) on Jun 10, 2009 at 15:39 UTC
    just another BOFH
    For the glory!

    Sweetblood

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by leocharre (Priest) on Jun 11, 2009 at 14:02 UTC
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by Xilman (Friar) on Jun 12, 2009 at 11:04 UTC
    I'm already a Mad Scientist, so the choice was easy.
      What do you do, if I may ask? Death Rays, Giant Robots, Mind Control Helmets?

        Mostly crypto and number theory these days. In the past, I've been employed as a molecular spectroscopist, a nuclear physicist, a roboticist and a geneticist. I still dabble in spectroscopy and astronomy.

        Paul

Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 15, 2009 at 22:03 UTC
    This is topical for me, because I'm going to recording school in February. I'm going to be an audio engineer. :-)
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by Kanishka.black0 (Beadle) on Jun 19, 2009 at 22:09 UTC
    well i will be definately a MAD scientist ...
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by shoness (Friar) on Jun 22, 2009 at 21:43 UTC
    I'd just like to say "wow" to 1147 votes (and counting)! I don't have real data, but it's nearly twice as many votes as the last five polls could average.

    It seems almost everyone who visits has taken the time to vote in this poll. It seems many Perlmonks fantasize about not being a programmers. :-)

    Cheers!

    Oh, and me, I'm a traveling poet and vintner who occasionally acts, teaches, critiques and tinkers among other things. I chose "combination..." :-)

      Some of us daydream, some look to our retirement, some worry about downsizing. I was looking to the next phase of my life.
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by BluePerl (Novice) on Jun 22, 2009 at 22:38 UTC
    The most thing's I'm keen on I do on my job or in my spare time. I'am not only a programmer.

    For you guys dreaming to drive a spaceship as a job, believe me: It won't be fun at all. At that time, as spaceships will get common like cars nowadays, this job will be something like a cab driver or a trucker. Low payments, boring and dangerous.
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by BJ_Covert_Action (Beadle) on Jun 25, 2009 at 19:29 UTC
    I put 'Some Combination...' intending it to be a combination of writing and stand-up and star ship captain. However, I realized that they are missing one of the best options that also burns in my heart: Lighthouse Operator
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by cjfoy (Initiate) on Jun 27, 2009 at 06:38 UTC
    Is that possible? Why I would rather die a slow and painful death and have the buzzards pick at my rotten flesh and my bones scattered like the sands.... –or- just sit around the house and drink beer.
Re: If I wasn't a Programmer, what I'd like to do is...
by fernandes (Monk) on Jun 30, 2009 at 00:45 UTC
    Actually I'm not a Programmer, so the question forms a counterfactual proposition on the anaphoric deixis. In the best possible world any answer are going to generate the same fregean truth values. I should choose "other" as well as "some combination of the above", or "other" should be above "some combination of the above including this one".
      In other words, there should have been a "coke and whores" option :)
        I guess you are right. No matter what is the answer the answer will be the same.
        I also should say: thanks by the "'coke and whores'", point for us.

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