No, I Don’t Type The News Stories

It has happened to me so many times now I think I’ll just have to accept it and just go with the flow.
Trying to explain what a software engineer does for Yahoo! News to people I meet or family members has been interesting.  Here is a sample conversation with a friend I met.

Friend: “So what do you do for Yahoo!?”
Me: “I’m a software engineer for Yahoo! News”
Friend: chew on some noodles..
Me: “Well, I write instructions for the machines so that everything is automated and even when I’m not at my desk the web site is updating”
Friend: “oh! you don’t type up the news for them?”
Me: I start cracking up.. No no,  I don’t. News comes from satellite or from the internet, I write….  I see the blank stare..
Me: Here is my usual answer: You ever watched The Matrix?  You know that green screen where all these non sense characters are flowing by?  That is the screen I usually stare at all day long except the characters does make sense
Friend: Hmm, ok, continue chewing noodles
Me: I’m a highly paid equivalent to a VCR programmer. Thought bubble: “It’s not that hard to understand, someone has to write the software for you web surfers to use web site”
Friend: I’m sure you are good at what you do.  Is that your pager going off?  Are you tech support or something?  I know what they do, they fix my Windows machine

Makes for funny conversations if the blank stare doesn’t come on too early.

Published by Tony Tam

Senior Engineer Manager, Engineering Productivity @ Splunk, ImpactfulEngineer.org & SFBadminton.org