A few months ago, Fast Company posted an article that showed how difficult it is for children of developers to understand what their parents do for a living.
Many of the kids thought their parents’ jobs were to play games and that development was not a very important job.
Inspired and curious, we decided to see if we’d have similar results. We asked members of the CQL team (not all of them developers) who had kids to ask them the same questions as the Fast.Co article and share their answers.
Here’s what we found:
What is your mom’s/dad’s job?
Most of the kids whose parent is a developer understood that they do something on the computer.
Sydney, 11: Makes websites work. Improve important websites. Sneaks a game of Supreme Commander in so he can beat me.
Others were confused, but adorable.
Lorelei, 4: Ummm, I love you daddy. I don’t know. Ummm.
What do they make or do?
This questions was the most difficult for the kids.
Sam, 6: Make air, bread, and stuff. (Sam’s dad is a Project Manager).
Cash, 5: You make a game on your computer that builds sandwiches for other people that don't have food. (Cash’s mom thinks he’s referring to her work with Kid’s Food Basket, where the team volunteers).
Anna, 5: You makes CDs and brings papers and does different stuff on the computer and put music on.
Sam and Lorelei had a hard time putting their answers into words, so they drew some pictures to depict their dad's job.
Seems pretty accurate to us.
Is it a fun job or a boring job?
The kids were split on whether or not their parents’ jobs were fun. About half thought they were, while others thought the jobs were boring because, “the only thing you really do is click on stuff.”
Is it an important job or not so important?
Almost all of them thought their parents’ jobs were important, either because the parent needs to have a job or because the work itself is valuable. Cash said his mom’s job is, “important because she has to work.” Alisa explained that her dad’s job is important because “otherwise companies wouldn’t have someone to do the work they don’t know how to do.”
What do you want to be when you grow up?
A few of the kids did want to work with computers when they grew up (or at least use them).
Kate, 3: Go on the computer when I’m bigger.
Anna, 12: Something in computer information systems, because it has a lot of math.
Aaron, 17: Something in software
But most of the kids had other plans.
Keaton, 7: Be a scientist. But I’ll work at McDonald’s first.
Rylan, 9: I want to work with my dad and the foosball table! (And vending machine and upstairs).
Sam, 6: I want to hunt dinosaurs.
Cash, 5: Dentist, Lego Engineer, and Singer/Songwriter
Though Mason, pictured above, is only 8 weeks old his dad says his answers were “vague but enthusiastic.”
What do your kids think you do?