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Steven Torrence
Steven Torrence

Posted on

What do you call yourself to people outside of tech?

I was asked what I do for a living the other day and I stumbled to provide an accurate yet understandable answer for people not in tech.

I've never really considered my job title before. Am I a:

  • coder?
  • programmer?
  • back end developer?
  • front end developer?
  • dev ops engineer?
  • cloud developer?
  • mobile developer?
  • Ruby on Rails developer?
  • React.js developer?
  • software engineer?
  • software developer?
  • professional Googler?
  • professional printer fixer?

What do you tell your non-tech friends your job title is?

Discussion (19)

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egilhuber profile image
erica (she/her)

I usually go for software developer or programmer - it's usually enough for people to know that I work with computers. Although I've gotten "what exactly is programming?" to which my best response is "it's telling computers what I want them to do and them sometimes listening"

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storrence88 profile image
Steven Torrence Author • Edited on

I agree. Although, I feel sometimes the term "Software developer or engineer" seems so academic or proper. I'm not sure if I qualify just building APIs and some frontend work! haha

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egilhuber profile image
erica (she/her)

That's my favorite reason to use it! Makes my work feel more exciting on those just tweaking some formatting days.

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ekafyi profile image
Eka

I initially said "web developer" but most non-tech people around me don't know what a "developer" does (or will assume I'm in charge of property construction!). My friends refer to me as a "programmer" and I went with that.

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storrence88 profile image
Steven Torrence Author

I agree. I've used web developer in the past and most people think I work on building websites like Wix or Squarespace instead of seeing the parts of my day dealing with API integration or troubleshooting a deploy to an AWS instance. lol

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR

I just wanted to post the same reading @ekafyi 's comment hahaha

Then you can use the entire name Web Application Developer, which sounds larger and more difficult (of course, there's a word more) and usually people link this information to Facebook or Google Drive, apple cloud... so it's, at least, much better than they think you build a wordpress, squarespace, wix etc.

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fossheim profile image
Sarah

Usually software engineer. It's not exactly accurate, but accurate enough for those who don't know much about tech. Everyone has heard the words software and engineer before, so it's the one where I have to explain the least myself.

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storrence88 profile image
Steven Torrence Author

I totally agree!

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georgewl profile image
George WL • Edited on

Web Developer.

It's none-specific enough to not need explanation, and it's broadly true.

If I'm talking with a tech recruiter who knows their stuff, which honestly can be rare, I'll use Front-end Developer.

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storrence88 profile image
Steven Torrence Author

Makes sense!

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amlana24 profile image
amlan

For my family I tell them I am a Software Engineer. But what they think is that I work on fixing computers.

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buginether profile image
bug-in-ether

Tell me about it. Keep fighting the good fight! ๐Ÿ˜Š

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR

Feel you bro

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storrence88 profile image
Steven Torrence Author

Haha I definitely share your pain!

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kastona profile image
Stephen Kastona

I find that Software Developer does the trick. The person knows that you develop/produce/make software.

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davidmm1707 profile image
David MM๐Ÿ • Edited on

Programmer. I find it funny how people without career (like myself) calls themselves "Software engineer".

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR • Edited on

well, on Europe you are not an engineer for finishing a 4 year grade, you need the IT Engineering master for it, and you can be an IT engineer without the IT Engineering 4 year grade (you can pass another grade and then go for IT Engineering Master).

But this is another question for real, you can call yourself by what a paper from a college say, or for the job you realize.

For example I was on a company a pair of years ago where, after few months they set me as "implantation engineer". I'm usually hands on front-end dev but I knew something about DevOps, bash scripting and back-end (java, php) and DB too, so they fit me on this job, orchestrating deploys of a very big banking web app, setting daemons and scripts on the server, synchronizing jobs with another softwares, logging processes and fixing some blocking processes if some java line explode (or SQL server if any procedure did something wrong). And, of course, moving into banks main headquarters for smiling at the people that pay our company while trying that all processes work well at the same time and praying that any blocking issue appears.

At this point I was a Software Implantation Engineer like it or not, this was the job i was performing, and that was specified on my access card and on my contract after all.

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avalander profile image
Avalander

I usually go for programmer or software developer.

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joelbonetr profile image
JoelBonetR

Magician, arch-mage, illusionist, polyglot, code seller... all of them sound interesting with flavors of mystery, so must work well in any conversation and on any party