I received a lovely letter and resume from a young man tonight who would like for me to help him find an internship in tech. I am delighted to help him but suddenly I realize how vast the field is. His request would be similar to asking to learn about the new industrialization 160 years ago. I could simply place him in any tech company and hope he learns what he would like to learn. Instead I wrote back and asked him what he would like to learn. I am interested to see how he responds.
He may ask me to help him narrow it down. So now I am thinking about how to classify the jobs in tech that I know about.
There has been an explosion of types of jobs available. In the early 80s every job known could be listed in a single thick book. Now I am not sure you could contain them in an encyclopedia set. In fact, I bet you couldn't. How do you help narrow something like that down?
I suppose you could start with categories. I think I will give him a set of a few categories and hope if I point him in the right general direction he can find work that suits him. There are so many choices to consider, even as a novice. He could consider work building webpages or collecting data from web. He could go to a company which focuses on a programming language like Ruby, PHP, C++ or my favorite- Python. He could study one of the operating systems like Windows, Unix, or Linux. He could learn about hardware and computer repair or networking, Information security or even robotics. It's so hard to narrow down. With this list I haven't even scratched the surface. I didn't even mention local opportunities in the game industry or animation. I just hope he knows what he would like to study otherwise it may take a while to narrow it down.
Fortunately for this young man I have a map and a compass. We will figure it out.