Monday, August 08, 2011

CNBC: "The ten most hated jobs." Note that most of them are performed by men.


Blogger Ern said...

I'm just as happy that most of those jobs are performed by men. I've had to clean up software written by women; it's not a pretty sight.

8:31 AM, August 08, 2011  
Blogger Zorro said...

I see that marketing and electronics/technical are the two swamps of job dissatisfaction. I also see that "lack of direction" appears several times in the slideshow. I've certainly had a few of those positions.

11:53 AM, August 08, 2011  
Blogger Zorro said...

Ern: I don't work in the software industry, but I have heard that women were essentially competent code writers. Have I been misled? Is there a pattern to women's code writing?

11:54 AM, August 08, 2011  
Blogger Dale B said...

The Electronics Technician job they describe should be more properly called Field Service Technician. It's only one of several jobs called Electronics Tech. That's what I did in the Navy; I repaired fire control radar and computers on fighter aircraft.

It was a pretty demanding job but very challenging. I learned a lot. There was a great deal of pressure to make sure that the aircraft were available when required by the flight schedule. We were always short of parts and never had enough people to do the work. Twelve hours a day, seven days a week was normal at sea. When we had a heavy flying schedule, it was more like 14-18 hours a day. It was very exciting.

The Technical Specialist job described is sort of what I do now (electrical design engineer). There is also a lot of pressure to meet unrealistic schedule as well as insane product cost and performance requirements. You never have as much control as you'd like. It's very hard and I spend a lot of my time confused and having no idea how I'm going to get the design done and into production.

Still, I've been doing this for thirty years and I really like it. You have to be able to deal with ambiguous goals, poor direction from above, and a lack of resources and knowledge. I guess that I just like solving hard problems.

You'll never get decent direction from above. You have to make your own and go with it. I pretty much ignore all the people pounding on me. As a geek from birth with limited social skills, Ignoring the kibitzers is easy for me. That annoys the hell out of them but they need to suck it up and deal with it.

I think that to survive in these sorts of jobs you have be able to tune out all the interference and just do the work. If you can't do that you'll go crazy.

12:20 PM, August 08, 2011  
Blogger Ern said...

ZorroPrimo -

My experience with software written by women is that all the unimportant things are done right - lots of calls to subroutines and functions, a fair number of comments, different levels of logic nicely indented - but the software simply doesn't work. In many cases, the women were simply innumerate, and either not honest enough to admit that they didn't know how to do the math or not bright enough to realize that they didn't know how to do it (the math wasn't very challenging, either).

12:29 PM, August 08, 2011  
Blogger Joe said...

This article seems like bullshit push marketing to me. This was research by a placement firm who tend to deal with people dissatisfied in their jobs. Their sample size is suspect, highly skewed toward high-tech and the difference between their most hated job and their hundredth most hated job is probably very minor.

In at least one case--Senior Web Developer--they miss the boat. What frustrates engineers, especially web developers, are fickle managers and clients and too many MBAs with their heads firmly planted up their collective asses.

Any hated jobs list that doesn't include a significant number of manual labor jobs is simply nonsense. I'd still rather work for the worse manager I've ever had than dig ditches for sewer lines (again.)

1:01 PM, August 08, 2011  
Blogger Joe said...


Your experience differs from mine. While there aren't any women in my top ten list of programmers I've worked with, there aren't any in my bottom ten either. (Interestingly, my top ten list is dominated by EEs and MEs with only one or two CS majors and some with no degree or liberal arts degrees.)

Yet, I've worked with several extremely good female software engineers. One female colleague just left for a better, well deserved position. Absolutely brilliant woman who can pick up new technologies very quickly and competently. She will make an excellent team lead/manager in time and I'd work for her in a heartbeat.

The second-to-last women I worked with directly couldn't think much outside the box (though I think this was because she was native Chinese, not because she was female) but by God, she could write good, solid, stable code.

One several years before that was one of the best software testers I've worked with in my life.

1:11 PM, August 08, 2011  
Blogger JNorth said...

Eh, I've done most of the (non-web) technical positions listed there. Like Dale B worked Fire Control systems in the Navy, though my systems were on ships, not on targets. (-:

I can see the CNC stuff getting dull after a while if all you are doing is feeding new stock and keeping fluid levels up. If you are doing smaller runs where you get to program the systems its pretty interesting.

Don't care much about the marketing pukes, they are barely a step up from trial lawyers.

2:12 PM, August 08, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

My job is pretty close to the senior web developer position. Right now my department is entirely male. Few females apply.

We have a couple of good female programmers in other departments in my company, but the programming and other technical positions are overwhelmingly male alhthough the company as a whole is probably 60-70% female.

4:00 PM, August 08, 2011  
Blogger David Foster said...

These results smell very fishy to me.

The marketing managers I know---numbering quite a few---are mostly creative and ambitious people; the last thing on earth they are looking for is more "direction." If they're talking about somebody who does the flyers for a 3-store pizza chain, maybe things are different.

CNC Machinist is a totally different job depending on whether the person is purely doing production machining or whether they are programming the machine for new jobs.

The assertion that a "technical specialist" should know Linux makes no sense...a technical specialist in what?

4:30 PM, August 08, 2011  
Blogger M said...

Don't get it. Most of these jobs look like pretty good jobs, some of which I have actually performed. I also don't see how they are mostly performed by men. Sales and marketing? Very oriented towards women. Technical jobs? Women are breaking into that field more every day. If men hate these jobs, I'm sure women will be happy to replace them.

6:59 AM, August 10, 2011  
Blogger DADvocate said...

Don't get it.

Much of the problem comes from working for people that have no idea how any of this works and what the limitations are. They think anything they see on the Internet can be easily accomplished.

A couple of weeks ago, a guy emailed me that he didn't understand why a task I did took 3 hours. Of course, he knows nothing about programming, etc and any explanation I gave him wouldn't help him understand more.

Typical crap and unreasonable timeframes for tasks. Half the time, the person wanting something done can't even explain the logic or requirements adequately to program it. You end up doing an elongated trial and error process.

The jobs are pretty good in terms of pay, but can be frustrating, pressure filled, and will make you old before your time if you're not careful.

11:09 AM, August 10, 2011  

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