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How Do You Describe Your SharePoint Job?

How often does this happen to you?  I’m sitting at my laptop, reading blogs, responding to forum postings, 2 copies of visual studio open and VPN’d out to another server with its own visual studio + 15 browser windows (a typical day) and someone named Samantha (my wife, apparently) tells me, "We have be there in 30 minutes.  Get dressed."

I get up in a daze, wander around the house confusedly, get in a car and next thing I know, I’m at a party with a beer in my hand and someone asks me, "So, what do you do for a living?"

These conversations never go well.

Me: "Ahh … I’m a solutions architect for EMC."

Nameless Person: blank stare

Me: "I work with a product called SharePoint … it’s from Microsoft."

NP: "Aha! I’ve heard of that company!  What is SharePoint?"

Me: "Umm … it does collaboration … people use it to share information … It’s a platform for building busines sol…"

NP: Eyes glazing.

Me: "I’m a programmer."

NP: "Aha!  I know people in my company that do programming!  When I was in high school, I played around with BASIC."

And with that part of the conversation over, we turn to something easier to talk about, like politics.

Anyone care to describe how they handle this? 

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10 responses to “How Do You Describe Your SharePoint Job?

  1. Marwan July 11, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    talk about the latest movie of Will Smith.It is really tough conversation :)Marwan Tarekhttp://www.sharepointblogs.com/marwantarek

  2. Jereme July 11, 2008 at 3:11 pm

    You just explained a conversation I have on a weekly basis. It also ends the same way, I\’m a \’programmer\’ and no I don\’t know whats wrong with your computer.

  3. Rick July 14, 2008 at 8:44 am

    Draw a parallel.  I make solutions to common business problems.  Just like a carpenter creates a step stool when you have to reach the top shelf, I create an app that helps accounting work with marketing. 

  4. Rob July 16, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    WOW!  That\’s a funny blog!  "someone named Samantha (my wife, apparently)"…I almost fell out of my chair!  Seriously, though…I have this conversation A LOT.  I usually just say "i\’m a computer guy".  That usually shuts them up and I try not to get into any of the gory details about my gig because they really don\’t care anyway unless they are in the industry (and by in the industry, I really mean that they are a SharePoint person).  🙂
     
    SHAREPOINT NATION!

  5. Samuel Morin Jr. July 22, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    That is very funny and very true.  Ironically, no matter what answer I give them, I am always known (within my family) as the guy who knows how to fix computers.
     
    Truthfully, I have never trully fixed a computer…. I just make them work long enough to recover my data and then buy a new one.

  6. April Wolfe July 23, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Soooo true. I say "Web stuff" and that satisfies their curiosity enough. I\’m a girl, so they don\’t expect any tech details LOL.

  7. Martin July 28, 2008 at 5:25 am

    it\’s funny … because it\’s true … I usually go for "I work in IT" or "I\’m a programmer" … I occasionally get people who try to understand "what it\’s all about" … but they invariably go "oh yeh .. we have a server too at work . it sits under Geoff\’s desk and we store all our emails on it"At that point I go and find a bigger drink …

  8. Isabelle September 25, 2008 at 2:30 pm

    We are still lucky, \’cause we can still recap in 2 words understandable to the average Joe what we do for a living (computer guy, programmer, whatever). People can relate; almost everyone has or uses a computer.I feel more sorry for my fiancé, who has no such luxury. For one thing, he\’s self-employed. For another, he has a scientific background.At every family Christmas party, my uncles and aunts ask him what he does for a living. They do it every year. The same uncles and aunts as the year before. So if you find a good solution, please share \’cause I\’d love to have a different conversation for once at Christmas. 🙂

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