Humanities and IT: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


To say that over the past 3-4 years IT has become mainstream means to say nothing. Attracted by tempting prospects to receive many times more than in their main specialty, people generated such a proposal that no demand would help here. Both young and old today consider it their duty to learn at least a couple of hours of HTML and CSS, when, as before, people would simply laugh at the "wonderful" ones. More advanced adherents of IT dreams have already taken up JavaScript and proudly display the same “Hello, world!” On the monitor, considering, apparently, a little more and “a million dollar work” will be at their feet.

Well, the desire to develop and get more, in order to provide for himself and his family, has not hurt anyone yet. Of all those who watch educational videos on, for example, testing, only 10-15 percent will enter the industry, but this will be progress not only for IT in the vast expanses of the former USSR, but also for the whole society. "Computer environment" is changing people and, it is worth noting, most often for the better. One way or another, everyone turns out to be in profit, even those who haven’t gotten into IT this way - broadening their horizons has not hurt anyone.

Meanwhile, not all people who work in IT can program, test, work with servers and hardware. To “enter the IT”, it is not necessary to be an IT specialist - you can also be a “lyricist”: HR and PR specialist, marketer, copywriter, translator, etc., etc. The humanities in the IT industry are actually a wagon and a small cart ...

Is it necessary to get a technical education to get into IT? No, not at all necessary. Psychologist diploma? - Become an HR Specialist! Translator diploma? - Try yourself in marketing or copywriting. There are enough options. Even if you will receive less than your colleagues in the workshop, but you will do exactly what you can, and if you are lucky, you really want to. Why plague yourself with JavaScript or Python if you simply don't have the ability to use programming languages. The option “not by washing, so by skating” can work, but only to some extent. Can humanities naturally become, for example, Senior Developer or Senior QA? I doubt it very much.

I myself am a translator by training. I have been working in IT for more than 3 years, being at the same time a complete ... humanitarian. This has its pros and cons, and very fatty cons. Actually about this, I would like to talk. Let's start with the positive, of course.

The good


New information - constantly

Humanitarianism definitely does not save you from working with purely technical information. It is a lot and it is necessary to understand. Somewhere, somewhere, somewhere to search the Internet, somewhere to ask colleagues questions. Fortunately, there are no particular problems with answers, especially if you can ask questions.

More information - more development, more neural connections. In general, working in IT, you can accurately postpone the onset of senile dementia for 5-10 years, and possibly more.

IT is the elite

Someone will say that to consider IT specialists as some kind of elite is generally uncivilized and not tolerant, but I'm used to telling the truth. Here's what it consists of: to get into IT, you need brains that a simple layman, fond of only a football player and a beer maker, does not possess. Everyone understood the hint.

IT is an elite not only intellectual, but also cultural. Yes, no one here discusses Tanizaki’s novels and the latest Xavier Dolan’s films, but you won’t find complete dullness in the flesh. IT is an area where you can push the “scoop” into the background as much as possible, and for me this is a huge plus.

Good salaries

Humanities in IT receive less than techies, but still much more than their “like-minded people” who were lucky enough to work in such beautiful places as copywriting exchanges, translation agencies, dating agencies, comprehensive schools, foreign language courses, etc.

In addition, there is a progressive salary formation system in IT: you are paid more for specific merits, and not for the fact that you spent the last 10 years in one place. Personally, this more than suits me - keeps me in good shape and encourages me to develop.

The bad


There castes rule the world

Personally, I have never come across a dismissive attitude towards “non-techies”, but they talk about this quite often: they say that you don’t have IT, but some kind of India, only Indians are not enough. Programmers don't like testers; testers look askance at programmers; both the first and second can not stand project managers; nevertheless, together they are united in a united front against the humanitarian, who are already waiting for the red and yellow I'm lovin 'it.

Such conversations are most often heard from women. Representatives of the fair sex complain that, they say, programmers show sexism and generally do not really answer questions, refuse to help, etc. Perhaps the techies are just flirting with the “humanitarian women”, or maybe they are really fed up with constant questions about the same thing every day. I repeat: I myself did not become a victim of this. Maybe it's all about gender?

A certain isolation from interests

Humanities love fiction, watch arthouse films, go to museums, read poetry under the moonlight ... Khhh! On the glass. Obviously, in IT, no one will let you write texts about Brodsky or Gauguin, there are only tough technical texts where there are no thoughts about beautiful things at all.

As a result, it is unlikely that at least some pure humanities can say that he works in IT “with a spark”. Yes, this is a job. That's all. Yes, often there are interesting moments, but this is far from what you live for and wake up in the morning. There is only one joy - 100% of the humanities in IT practically do not fall, and, if they do, they will soon leave. Well, such a mechanistic environment does not suit them.

In truth, I also suffer from some isolation from interests and hobbies, but this is not expressed too much. I like the work, because it helps to fulfill oneself and bring some dreams closer.

Difficulties of adaptation

Humanitarians and techies have different interests, which leaves an imprint on communication and adaptation in the team. Talking with techies about some books and films, and even more about some vital issues, is often quite uninteresting. Why? The point is not only that they have not heard much, but the lack of flexibility, inability to listen to another point of view.

It’s clear that people are different and it’s not worth cutting everyone under one comb, but still it will not be a mistake to say that techies are more logical, and, therefore, subconsciously strive to build some models. Models are a beautiful word, but in reality they are the most commonplace prejudices and impenetrable principles for which they cling as soon as they can.

To the prejudices, a somewhat overestimated ChSV is added. Apparently, high salaries and really strong technical intelligence give people the right to think of themselves as specialists in all matters of life. You have to be more flexible and tolerant, comrades!

The ugly


Hazy career prospects

You are a humanist. Point. You can’t jump above your head. Why am I? In addition, in fact, that the humanities in principle, and in IT in particular, have not too bright prospects for career growth. Today you are a copywriter, in a year - a content manager, in two years - the head of the content creation department, for example. What's next?

If you are a techie, then you are first junior, then middle, then senior, then team lead, and then you can already count on a higher managerial position or even open your own company, some kind of start-up. Of course, no one interferes with the humanities being businessmen, but you must admit that in our technocratic world, the techie will have more chances and opportunities not only to open his own business, but also to rise higher in the company's hierarchy.

A techie can easily lead an IT company, but humanities are very, very unlikely. As they say, c'est la vie.

The fight against inferiority

Say what you like, but the IT company is the realm of techies, and the humanities here act as service personnel who pick up the leftovers from the royal table. Being an appendage is not very pleasant.

Another factor: technical failure. You can read a ton of information on the Internet, but you can hardly figure out technical issues like a developer. As a result, errors appear in the texts for which you have to blush, and regularly. Mistakes are part of the work, but the constant struggle with them is extremely exhausting and does not give a feeling of satisfaction. If you are used to doing everything right, then your humanitarian self-esteem will constantly suffer. You have to be prepared for this.

Men alone

To be honest, after 5 years of studying at the translation department, where 98% of girls, you find yourself in IT as in some other dimension. You have no gossip behind your back, and you don’t have to rush to solve the problems of everyone. For some time the eye rests elementarily.

However, time passes and you begin to get tired. Moreover, years go by and you need to start a family. For me, a person who is quite introverted and uncommunicative, it was the environment, first at school, then at university, and then at work, that always became a source of friends and acquaintances. Therefore, the problem is: if there are only men around, outside the usual groups I don’t get to know anyone especially, then how can I look for a wife?

Of course, it may seem that this is all frivolous, but this problem is clearly not only mine. You are a humanist or a techie, but you think about your life. Moreover, if for a female humanitarian, IT is a real gold mine that can be dug for years, then for a man - a dead number.



In IT, working just fine. Yes, there are disadvantages, but you can quickly get rid of them. You get used to the employees, delve into their interests, learn to communicate without reference to Nabokov and Heidegger. You gain some knowledge and gradually make fewer mistakes, and, therefore, less distract your colleagues from work, and you believe in yourself more.

There are a lot of pluses, even though I highlighted only three. Working with intelligent and smart people is a pleasure. Yes, you have to argue and prove something, but everything is done without insults. I am glad that IT people can admit their mistakes and work on them.

I am sure that the humanities can take place in IT. Here you can always learn something, plunge into a completely different world, so to speak, make a mental journey from the world of bookworms to the world of hardware and algorithms. Find a buzz in IT and you will be happy.

Worked on the article: greebn9k (Sergey Gribnyak), silmarilion (Andrey Khakharev)

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