Recently (about 1 week ago) I was having this conversation with a friend of mine who happens to be a chartered accountant, that software guys have it all easy. And there I was righteously defending the honour of an entire tribe out there. In the process, I chalked out a number of hazards, dunno if I ended up with a few outrageous ones in the process or not. But honestly, I was too miffed to think straight. I simply leaned on my ability to bluff and well.... he bought my story. What happened after that later, till then here's a snippet from that conversation:
CA: "I mean all that you guys do is in front of that computer and punch away something on the keyboard. An absolutely relaxing job I'd say."
Me (absolutely caught unaware on this one): "Huh!!! What makes you think so?"
CA: "Aw c'mon!! I mean what do you apart from sitting in front of that computer and chatting. Play TT?? That's it!! Quite a fun life!!"
Me (really wanted him to work on my project that minute): "Not really, you have a wrong impression. Our work stations might be stationary, but it's not esy work on soemthig absolutely conceptual. You never get to see what's happening after you've written that piece of code. And let's not talk of all the benefits and professional hazards."
Me: "Yeah! Not for us though. It's for all you people out there. You talk on the phone, you book your tickets, the salary that you see on the screen at the ATM counter, the Orkut that you swear by, the e-mail that helps you connect... they all are due to some software techie slogging it out in front of a computer on a diet of a few packets of chips, burgers and coffee."
CA: "And hazards??"
Me: "Ah well..... all those hours typing causes the wrists to damage. The angle they bend after is all too unnatural. The starin on the eyes. The serious inactivity and bad diet causes all sorts of diseases in the long run for them. Obesity, Heart problems, chronic back problems, bowel problems, spondilitis, depression, stress induced damages.... these are just to name a few. I'm sure there are more. They do pay a handsome salary, but then that would hardly compensate for the loss of health causing a 25 yr old to resemble a 35 year old. Which is why, you'd see many youngsters givinh up the life of a coder before long."
CA: "Then why are you still in?"
Me: "For am qualified to do nothing else!! Sad but true....."
CA: "Hmmm.... all that glitters is not gold!! I guess it's so true."
There I had won another sympathiser. Believe me, it was not as easy it seems in this converstion, for it was longer than this and quite a argumentative one. But then I don't remember much of it now!!
The moot point is this got me thinking. The picture for the world outside is that we software guys have it real easy. Whereas this job isn't really that hunky-dory. It's as good as any other job out there. And frankly, a telecom engineer does much better with time than a software engineer. At times I really feel terming this entire lot, especially the ones in the service sector of Software as "White-Collared Labours". Tell me what do you think?