Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Talk about anything and everything here within reason.
muffinman   100 W

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Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by muffinman » Feb 16 2013 5:22pm

as i spend time here, reading peoples posts (particularly anyone that speaks with authority on any of the technical issues), ive been wondering what they do for a living.
so, what is your job/career? im mostly interested in the what, not the where. i have a suspicion that there are a couple engineers here...
as for my self, for now im a cook.
This is the ultimate truth of freedom. A man must do his own believing as he does his own dying. -George Grant

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spinningmagnets   100 GW

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by spinningmagnets » Feb 16 2013 5:54pm

I was a US Navy submarine mechanic; hydraulics, pneumatics, air-compressors, back-up diesel. Then I was an aircraft hydraulic mechanic for developing the C-17 cargo plane when it was new. Truck driver, heavy equipment operator for a hazardous clean-up company, now a water plant operator.

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Farfle   1 MW

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by Farfle » Feb 16 2013 7:28pm

Currently living the dream working at an electric bike shop, and part time as a machinist. Before that I worked at a shop that refurbished lapidary equipment like saws and finishing equipment. We refurbed a saw with a 102" circular blade that a guy was using to cut obsidian into 72x48x1" slabs for executive desks. Its a 27 hour cut :shock: and half of them get thrown away due to imperfections.
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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by Trackman417 » Feb 16 2013 7:48pm

I'm working part time at A&P as a seafood clerk worked my way up from a cart boy, cashier, grocery, and frozen . I am going to college for a bachelors, and maybe masters, in civil engineering.
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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by MikeFairbanks » Feb 16 2013 9:44pm

I teach fifth grade. This is my 18th year (13 of them in fifth grade and 5 in fourth grade).

It's a great job. The day flies by. Years ago I worked in a factory for a couple years and the clock seemed to move so slowly, but with my current profession that is never an issue. In fact, it's the opposite. I look at the clock and think, "darn, I need more time."

The kids are amazing. They are definitely the better half of the species in terms of generation. I am constantly amazed when adults complain of today's youth. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. It isn't children who kill each other and pollute the planet. They just want to be happy and carefree. They'll work if it's interesting to them or if you take the time to explain why something is important, but they don't really understand war, racism, and all the other bad things we adults engage in.

That's what I think every time I hear an adult complain about kids and teenagers.
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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by deardancer3 » Feb 16 2013 10:12pm

electronics and computer guru, mainatainability engineer.

part time bike mechanic on bike tours

tour guide

FCC radio and TV engineer
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Dauntless   100 GW

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by Dauntless » Feb 17 2013 2:36am

Hard to answer. My career has been in television, but that's fallen way off. While there is some prospect that you've seen sports footage, comedy footage, PBS educational television, Good Neighbor Pharmacy commercials, music videos etc. that I was a cameraman for, much of my career has been in training and sales materials, municipal cable channels, miscellaneous obscure stuff, and so on. It's largely a freelance field, many involved don't make a living at it (I Sure was for a while there) and they also sell real estate, haunt temp offices, etc. Oh, I've done some writing as well, nowhere near enough to live on.

So lately I'm living on royalties/residuals, investments, not much work. Not sure how long I'll be able to hold out. So I feel funny about simply answering that question with "Oh yeah, I work in TV."

I guess it might take as much as a decade for me to earn that AA in Physics I set out to get sometime back. Campus crowding and budget cuts at the California Community Colleges has made it difficult to get classes, plus I'll need to have 7 back to back math classes out of the way before I can take the 3rd Physics class. Meaning I'll have an AA in math before I get to the AC/DC circuits in Physics.

So do I really think this will help me to stay in television? Well, all the "Infotainment" programming requires someone who can relate to the experts, but I'm actually taking it for the fun of it. I'm serious when I say I'm hoping to catch up with building things the way some people are doing here. Not that I'd mind if SpaceX decided to give me a full time job cranking out the kind of video that just pours from JPL because I have some understanding of what's going on. In a year or so my background will be of a type that's hard to find. Well, actually it already is, but nobody is looking for it at the moment.

And if my career really is dying, maybe I'll go to grad school at CalPolytechnic Pomona and learn to do CFD and FEA. Someone from Swift Engineering was supposed to be on an advisory board I was associated with but couldn't tear himself away from work because of some past due CFD work. Remarked that they'd tried to find additional help but none was available. Darn, I'd love to be working at a racecar company. They might wind up needing video, too. . . .
Any sufficiently advanced technology is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC!
- Arthur C. Clarke

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by dogman dan » Feb 17 2013 6:49am

I'm one of the dummies here, technically. Construction and landscape maintenance. Currently maintenance supervisor at a condo complex.

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Miles   100 GW

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by Miles » Feb 17 2013 8:11am

Run my own business doing restoration work on 16th, 17th & 18th century antique harpsichords, for museums etc...

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by bigmoose » Feb 17 2013 8:41am

First and foremost, I am a coal miner's grandson! I was old enough to help and remember when my Dad and I put the first flush toilet in his Dad's home. After that my education was as a nuclear physicist, but I worked in the aerospace community for my career. About 10 years for the DOD on making things fly higher, faster and farther; then the rest of it for another agency on base technology, launch vehicles and space power. I "retired" about 4 years ago and now consult based on that skill set.

Too old to still be doing this, but glad to share a little from the school of hard knocks. Glad the Good Lord is keeping this ol guy alive and well. Spent 34 years as a Aerospace Engineer. Accomplished more than I ever dreamed, dreamed more than I ever should. Love to work, love to push the limits, love to build, create and play in His universe. Love to be with my wife and two girls (and new son too with Sarah married)....just spending time together.

Make sure you take the time to tell your Wife, Kids, Mom and Dad that you love them. And your close friends that you appreciate them. Its a gift that keeps on giving. Remember "Courtesy is contagious" and the world runs on unrequited acts of kindness.

I've worked, I've played, I've served. I've laughed, I've cried, and I've picked up the pieces more times than I can count. Each day, taken one at a time, shaken not stirred. Life is kewl... and the joy is in the journey!

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Ypedal   100 GW

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by Ypedal » Feb 17 2013 9:20am

Worked 16 years in a call centre for a shipping company, Tech support.

As of Nov 26, 2012, i am on severance and enjoying the simple life :P
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Ykick   100 GW

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by Ykick » Feb 17 2013 10:00am

Diesel mechanic, electronics technician, cattle rancher, musician.
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alan   100 W

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by alan » Feb 17 2013 12:06pm

Spent my 34+ years since getting some electrical engineering degrees doing mostly software, in three separate careers:
Six years designing avionics, including inertial and satellite navigation systems, embedded real-time operating systems, math coprocessors, and automated flight control systems.
Then, seventeen years doing artificial intelligence development, including military planning, factory diagnostics, automated maintenance, computer graphics, and legal reasoning for patents.
Currently finishing twelve years in communications and information assurance, and, as of last week, moving to part time to phase-in retirement.

muffinman   100 W

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by muffinman » Feb 17 2013 2:01pm

maybe its because im young, but hearing peoples histories is facinating. i have to say though, im surprised at a couple of the responses, dogman and miles in particular. ypedal, i read most of your thread on your circumstance, i hope all is going well for you.
This is the ultimate truth of freedom. A man must do his own believing as he does his own dying. -George Grant

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by Kingfish » Feb 17 2013 2:08pm

After the squirt, everything started with crayons, a blank sheet of paper, and a creative imagination. My three adolescent skills were: illustrate ideas, fix things – w/ or w/o plans, and gab (…or fib my way out of trouble spelled with a capital-T]). Since this time my cousins have called me “Kingfish”. :P Teen interests were motorcycles, cars, machine- & woodshop, and cartooning. Then I joined the Navy and operated the steam engines.

Went back to college; double-major in Art & Engineering. Became an Electromechancial Design Engineer and for 10 years worked on all sorts of Consumer, DoE, and DoD projects. Desktop computers came out about the same time; knew PCB design and how to package product so building them was easy and became a part-time business. Also figured out how to use CAD and program; eventually this led to Computer Graphics, 3D Modeling, Animation, Simulation, Multimedia, Internet & Software Applications with SQL, and Architecture. Strangely, I have a penchant for Organization, Spec Writing & Content Authoring. I’ve been an Engineering Consultant since 1987. The ebike is an extension in a fun and function to portray creativity – targeting clients in much in the same way that I used to with Brewing Knowledge many years ago (another hobby that went nth-degree technical).

Often I am restless though dislike boredom… Sometimes I game when the weather does not cooperate: Skyrim/Mass Effect is good, Age of Empires was better – at least we could build cities and empires… something I enjoy even if make-believe. I like working with the UI of virtual worlds as a means to explore where we could go with machine interfaces in this reality. I also enjoy reading on a large variety of fun and technical subjects, and of history.

“Immersion” is a good term to describe how I approach a challenge where mastery is not required. Learn enough to swim with the tide, off-load weighty problems onto specialists to keep afloat, cut your losses when mired by circumstance, and paddle towards port keeping the team on target and complete the deliverable.

I plan to work all my life… that is if you can call it “all work”, when in fact some of it is very fun! 8)

Life should be fun: Live it, breathe it, do it!
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MikeFairbanks   100 kW

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by MikeFairbanks » Feb 17 2013 2:28pm

I forgot that even though I'm a teacher right now, in a few years I'll retire (about ten years) and then I'll move to the coast (any coast) and work in the surfing industry in some capacity.

My dream job would be to travel with the top-level professional surfing tour doing anything they want me to do. Take photos, empty trash cans, rake sand. I don't care. I just want to follow the tour: http://www.aspworldtour.com/schedule/as ... -schedule/
Stay frosty

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Dauntless   100 GW

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by Dauntless » Feb 17 2013 2:58pm

muffinman wrote:. . . . Im surprised at a couple of the responses, dogman and miles in particular.
Everyone loves the histories, that's why these threads exist. Funny, I was expecting Miles to say something eclectic and Dogman to be what my Dad would've called 'Smart enough to grab what's steady.' There can be great sacrifice involved in being reliable.

Mr. Magnets, Kingfish, we can envision all that background as we read. Mr. Fairbanks, the west coast surfing industry is sort of dying off because the beach cities are condemning the perfectly good buildings they're in to make room for condos, restaurants, things that bring more money for the politicians to spend. Even in 'Surf City,' Huntington Beach. Ontario, meanwhile, is the new surf city an hour from the beach. http://goskate.com/s/ontario-ca-surf-lessons/

http://www.swaylocks.com/forums/cerrito ... oard-class

Oh, but Mr. Moose, my Father was the son of a Bohemian immigrant farm laborer who grew up poor but went on to a PhD in Physics and a career in radar, guidance systems, then resuscitating the moribund Minute Man Missile while he was supposed to be running its phase out. Picture a real Fred Flintstone type doing all that. Oh, Grandpop and his brothers wound up opening a string of regional bakeries in the south that helped foster the growing supermarket era, until the big chains figured out they could operate their own.

I just don't think anyone with projects here vanishes into the crowd at work. Unless they work with one impressive crowd.
Any sufficiently advanced technology is INDISTINGUISHABLE FROM MAGIC!
- Arthur C. Clarke

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Arlo1   100 GW

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by Arlo1 » Feb 17 2013 3:04pm

Grew up with my dad who was a licenced auto mechanic, dragging me into the shop to help him from ~2 years old when I was 3 I could read all the wrenches and pass them to my dad under his 69 charger he was restoring at that age I also knew what a piston was. I saw dad siphon gas and walk away so I tried it and swallowed some it was nasty. That night I puked it up at the dinner table. As I grew up mechanical skills seemed to come easy. My parents run a janitor business instead of mechanics so It was a bit tricky to go to school in a school I stayed at to clean afterwards by the time I gadded grade 12 I had my 1969 road runner on the road and it was the fastest in school and the guys voted the nicest that meant a lot to me at the time showing them a Janitor can do it! In hi school. I lucked out and landed a job as a mechanic at a ski doo shop and one of my first jobs was putting a modded/dyno'ed 210hp triple into a sled for a guy who said he added all his receipts up for and figured he spent around $80,000 on the sled this was the 3rd 10,000 motor! I new then I wanted to be a mechanic for motorcycle/ski doo where the fun is not laying under rusty cars!
I went on to become a motorcycle mechanic and got the hi marks everytime in college and one instructor pointed out how well I grasped electrical it was him who taught me and inspired me I wanted to build electric things from scratch that was 13 years ago! I then worked at a big shop in Edmonton before moving out to Vancouver island for a paradise living style. On the island one of my co-workers showed me how to use his handheld 2 channel oscilloscope for looking at motorcycle electrical. Once I saw that I ordered a cheep single channel to get started and it has helped me learn to become one of the best for electrical diagnosis!
I just got accepted to be a motorcycle instructor (sub for now) at the local university and this is very exciting! I know I have a lot to offer so I figure I am hoping to get in full time by my 40s for the retirement plan and because I need to find more free time and this is one way!
When I was in high school I wanted to be an engineer but I think I have the right path. I am if you want to say an engineer for my own mad scientist experiments and getting where I am was not easy and there will be a lot of work to finish some things like my controller but I can do it on my own time with out a boss looking over my shoulder and that works for me!
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Lebowski   1 GW

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by Lebowski » Feb 17 2013 3:11pm

I'm an analog/mixed signal IC design engineer / researcher. A typical project for me starts with an idea or specification for an IC building block. An example, for my last company I had to make a 15 bit ADC with a few 100 kHz bandwidth, running on 2.5 V and using as little current as possible (this was the ADC for the receive section of a mobile phone, its being used in some Samsung phones now). Based on all kinds of system knowledge and experience that I have, I design the system and then start making the (FET) transistors schematics for the building blocks. Amplifiers, comparators, integrators, ADC's, DAC's etc etc. When the schematic is complete I draw the layout. The layout for a chip is a bit like a PCB, you place individual components (FETs, resistors, capacitors) and then have anywhere between 5 and 11 metal layers to connect everything. A design can have from around 100 to 10000 transistors. The transistors I work with are like 45 nm long (1nm = 1e-9 meter).

I've published papers, have some patents etc etc. I started working 18 years ago at the Philips research laboratories in the group responsible for the electronics of the very first CD players. After some years I moved to Zurich and started work on mobile phone IC's. My dream is to live in a warm country, preferably close to a beach. I always say my career direction is 'South' :D (being on the northern hemisphere, for all you Aussies out there)

Would I recommend my job ? No. The work is very interesting, don't get me wrong. But it is engineering work done in an office on a computer, and therefore can be done anywhere in the world. Meaning for 1/4 of the Swiss prices in India or China. Last year the inevitable happened and we all got fired. Luckely I found something new (at a very good company) but I cannot shake the feeling my type of work in the Western world is dying and will move to low wage countries. My advice for anyone thinking about engineering, make sure your work needs to be done local and cannot be outsourced abroad...

about the ebike hobby, I've always liked doing mechanica stuff. Rebuild a Honda 50 cc Supercub when I was 15. Moved on to motorcycles when I was 18. Because I was a poor student I drove around on an old suzuki GS750 and, my all time favorite, a Moto Guzzi Le Mans III. Have 2 old Shovelheads and a modern beemer now. Started cycling to loose some weight and found out I liked it. Build some kayaks to make use of Lake Zurich here but didn't like the idea of tipping over and getting trapped so looked for a new hobby. After a short stinch of RC planes (which I found boring) I decided I wanted to know how come such a small motor could make so much power. Build my first axial flux motor to test out some controller ideas, the rest is history.

chroot   100 kW

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by chroot » Feb 17 2013 3:41pm

I used be an AutoCAD operator and Drafter for Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) working on Peacekeeper MX missiles and electronics. Then I ran internet provider business for many years as unix system administrator.
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Now work with UPS, Doing unloading, loading, driver helper and small sort pkgs. Excellent benefits, 6 weeks vacation, 3 weeks sick leave and etc. Can't complain and I am an UNION teamester member.
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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by Bluefang » Feb 18 2013 3:55am

Hmm, some great minds around on this forum :)

I am a handyman with no qualifications other then a few short courses in management. Internet is a wonderful thing for finding answers to just about every problem :mrgreen:
Building high powered electric vehicles.
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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by Craigh85 » Feb 18 2013 7:18am

I'm currently a light vehicle technician for a Mazda, ford and Nissan franchises, But go to uni at nights to do a business and management degree, I'm in my final year so who knows what the future holds.

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by salty9 » Feb 18 2013 8:08am

I am but an egg waiting to grok in fullness. Looking for wisdom in knowledge and not finding it there. Like Omar

"Myself when young did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, and heard great argument
About it and about: but evermore
Came out by the same door where in I went."

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Drunkskunk   100 GW

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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by Drunkskunk » Feb 18 2013 10:56am

I herd cats for a living.

I'm a telecom tech, working by remote test equipment all over the country to troubleshoot problems and either remotely adjust, reroute, or repair the issue, Or organize the people nessessary to get it done. That's the cat herding part. I spend much of my time trying to get customers, their vendors, our field tech's, and often some interested 3rd party all in the same place at the same time so we can acomplish something.

The trouble shooting side of the job is actualy a lot of fun.
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Re: Your Job/Occupation/Career?

Post by zombiess » Feb 18 2013 11:35am

My day job is IT related. I recently gave up a full time position at a large gaming machine manufacturer as a network admin/engineer to work for my own company as a IT contractor. Current contract is pretty menial with most of it being installing new PCs, fixing old ones, but the pay is double what I made before.

I guess lately my career is entrepreneur :lol: So far I'm winning, but I just started.
Last edited by zombiess on Feb 18 2013 11:42am, edited 1 time in total.

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