Autodidact: self-taught


Brief Lives: Webcomics About Geeks

by V. L. Craven

Whilst I have yet to work out what career I would find most fulfilling, there are certain career-paths I find somewhat interesting. Talking to people in those professions would involve, you know, talking to people, and, therefore is out of the question. Luckily, there are webcomics about geeks that illustrate the ins and outs of those professions so I can get an idea of what it’d be like to work in those fields without having to spend years working my way into the career only to discover I hated it.

Join me in a tour of the lives of:

Web designers: .net  by Brad Colbow, Ah, the life of a web designer. You just want to be simultaneously geeky and creative and the people who will give you money to do those things are entirely lacking geekiness or creativity.

The Oatmeal has a hilarious example of this, as well.

Software developers: Not Invented Here  by Bill Barnes and Paul Southworth. Sort of like Dilbert but more tech and less misogyny. And there’s a Goth character.

Internet service providers: User Friendly [this is currently on hiatus, but if you start at the beginning there are daily strips from 1997 to 2009. Hopefully, Illiad will eventually return to us with regularly scheduled strips.]

  Geek Gifts


Video game developers: The Trenches  by Mike Krahulik, Jerry Holkins, Scott Kurtz. The comic itself is enlightening, but the blog posts beneath each comic are written by people in the video game industry and those are…eye-opening.

Librarians: Unshelved  by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum. Books! Books everywhere! And the general public! The general public everywhere!

Grad students: PHD  by Jorge Cham. Sometimes I think that if I excelled at structured learning, I’d enjoy a life in academia. Then I realise I’d have to get through grad school…

fucknogradschool is a Tumblr account (page? blog?) rather than a comic, but it gives an excellent idea of what post-grads feel/think/experience.

On the other hand…

Bonus Content!

In a similar vein, Penny Arcade is about gamers and gaming, written by gamers. I have never played a first person shooter or MMORPG or…most other types of very popular games, but I enjoy learning about them and hearing people’s reactions to them. Their blog is also amusing and informative and helps me keep up with what my gamer friends are on about.

Also, PA is where I learned about 3-D printing, thanks to these strips:

Here is a video of 3-D printing:

Super Extra Bonus Content!

Shapeways is a site with lots of nifty products created by the general public…who happen to know how to design in three dimensions. You can also create your own designs and they’ll print them for you.

Thank you for joining me in this tour of careers-I-find-interesting-but-not-interesting-enough-to-pursue.

And if you know of any web comics about writers or bookshop employees, please leave a comment.

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