The minute someone finds out I’m a software developer is the minute someone asks me to help them with their computer problems. Or I might be referred to as an “IT Guy.” This is something of a pet peeve for me. I generally try to avoid these situations altogether. It’s usually something like this:
Person: “So what do you do?”
Me: “I’m a computer programmer.”
Person: “Oh, maybe you can help me. My computer is doing XYZ.”
To me, an “IT Guy” is the guy who maintains the network at your workplace or comes and fixes your computer when you do something stupid and get a virus. It’s more of a vocational skill and it’s completely different than what I do.
My job is to create software. I love creating software. It’s challenging and limited only by our imagination.
What my job isn’t: I don’t deal with other people’s petty computer issues and I don’t want to. The engineers who designed your car engine aren’t auto mechanics, either. Sure, they could probably figure out what’s wrong with your car but they have better things to do.
Also, being a programmer or a “computer person” doesn’t mean I instantly know how to use whatever random software you use. In fact, here’s a nice flowchart for that: http://xkcd.com/627/
So unless you’d ask your janitor neighbor to come over and clean your bathroom (or even if you would), don’t ask me to fix your computer.