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Interview with a Computer Programmer

* What is your job title and what industry do you work in? How many years of experience do you have in this field? I wear a number of different hats, including computer network technician, and computer repair technician. I have about five years experience with each of those main disciplines, writer, and social media enthusiast.

* How would you describe what you do? What does your work entail? Are there any common misunderstandings you want to correct about what you do? I set up networks for home networking and small businesses, and provide technical support and troubleshooting when there are problems with the networks. I also help repair computers, especially those that have issues due to computer viruses and malware. The work I do is relatively simple, and women can do it just as well as men. It often seems that many women think it is a difficult and physical demanding job, and it really is not.

* On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your job satisfaction? What might need to change about your job to unleash your full enthusiasm? I would say my job satisfaction is about a nine. Increased money, and more balance, for the work that I do would add to my enthusiasm for what I do. That being said, I am pretty satisfied with what I do because it allows me to work from my home office, or really any place that I happen to be.

* If this job moves your heart – how so? Ever feel like you found your calling or sweet spot in life? If not, what might do it for you? I think my "calling" in life is to write and teach others how to create their own living using what they know and what they can do. I hate the "9 to 5" mentality that people have fallen into, whereby they think they'll starve to death if they don't find someone, anyone, to hire them right this minute. My home business is much more profitable and fulfilling than flipping burgers or pouring drinks. Dead end jobs have a place: they are for kids. Grownups have skills and should use them to earn a living.

* Is there anything unique about your situation that readers should know when considering your experiences or accomplishments? I am not the typical computer technician. I learned the skills by helping with the networking and computer crashes in a previous office job. My boss taught me a considerable amount, and I have learned more by researching and reading everything I could get my hands on.

* How did you get started in this line of work? If you could go back and do it differently, what would you change? No, I would not do anything differently. I did take some computer courses in college, but they were not hands-on courses and I learned little more than specific terms by taking them. On the other hand, by digging in and working on a non-functioning computer or network, I gained the confidence to tackle just about any broken computer system.

* What did you learn the hard way in this job and what happened specifically that led up to this hard-learned lesson? I learned that I am not always right about what is causing a problem. I had one computer that kept crashing and shutting itself down whenever music videos were played. I bought and installed a video card, and found out that was NOT the problem at all. The actual problem was a faulty memory stick, which I already had on hand. I have learned to test a part that I think is broken before replacing it, saving myself quite a bit of money.

* What is the single most important thing you have learned outside of school about the working world? The corporate world is filled with competition, backstabbing, and lots of other nonsense that I will not address here. The extra stress it adds to work is ridiculous. Some people might enjoy that, but I find it disgusting, and I much prefer picking and choosing who to work with.

* Why do you get up and go to work each day? Can you give an example of something that really made you feel good or proud? I love to do my job because every day it gives me a chance to help people. From helping with computer bugs to network issues, and even blogging and how to build an online reputation, I spend my days giving others the information they need to be successful, and that is a good feeling at the end of the day.

* What kind of challenges do you handle and what makes you really want to pull your hair out? Some viruses are annoyingly persistent, and even when you think you have them licked, they worm their way back in to a computer.

* How stressful is your job? Are you able to maintain a comfortable or healthy work-life balance? My work is stressful, but mostly it is self-induced. I want to do more than I have time to do each day, and end up behind the computer for more hours than I should spend there. I am working on a trade-off where I work for an hour and take a half-hour break to do other things. I hope that will hope with the balance.

* What's a rough salary range for the position you hold? Are you paid enough and/or happy living within your means? Obviously, the more work I take on, the more I can make. There are opportunities to grow and add some people to the company so that we can do more work and help more people. One person by themselves can make $30,000 and $60,000, depending on how much work they take on.

* How much vacation do you take? Is it enough? This is an interesting question. We spend about two months in Florida each year because my husband works in outside construction, which he cannot do in the winter in Ohio. However, I would not call it a "vacation" because I work the entire time we are there. I do get in some beach time and get to visit with things, though, so I love going.

* What education and skills do you need to get hired and succeed in this field? You need the skills to be able to set up the networks and understand the way that they work so you can help troubleshoot. Formal education is probably a good idea for most people; I find I learn better hands-on.

* What would you tell a friend considering your line of work? I would not only tell them to try it, I would help them learn the ropes.

* If you could write your own ticket, what would you like to be doing in five years? I probably would not change much as I am pretty happy. I would like my blogging and writing to take up more of my time, and I hope that I will have a few best sellers by then.

This is a true story told to LatPro.com, the worldwide leader in providing online employment resources for Hispanic and bilingual professionals since 1997. With 95 of the Fortune 100 companies using its service, LatPro is the largest diversity employment site in the U.S. and the most complete personal career advancement service for Latino and bilingual professionals.. Visit to find careers in your field specifically tailored for Hispanic and bilingual professionals like yourself.

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Tuesday, 20 October 2020
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