Today, I had some work to get done, and I also had to get my car serviced. So, I made an appt with the service center near my work, because I figured I could get my car serviced and then go to work. The technician told me it will take 4-5 hrs for the service, and I could use the shuttle. I took the shuttle to work, and worked for couple of hours
I got a call back from the service center telling me that my car is ready, and they are sending the car to pick me up. On the way back, the driver started talking to me about what I do. I started telling him in very high level of detail without using any jargon, because hey he's a valet, what does he know about using running java to run Monte Carlo analysis on the cloud , right? So, as I'm explaining to him, he's totally getting what I'm saying, and I'm thinking, this guy is pretty smart. Then he says, he is going to community college and he is learning Java!, and he is going to switch over to GMU next semester. So, I started talking to him about Java and Amazon cloud, and using all that jargon that maybe like 5% of the population will understand, and he is totally getting it. I didn't talk to him at the deep technical level that I would talk to the developers, but I talked to him at the level that our customer service people talk.
Now that I think about it, could it be that people who want to get into software jobs hang around areas that have concentration of software jobs? Like how aspiring actors take jobs delivering pizzas in Hollywood? The guy didn't ask me for a job or anything, and he was very decent. But, I could see someone going to school take a part time valet job at a BMW service center hoping that a CTO might just drive in one day. I would totally do that if I were in his situation.