In my first job out of college, I worked with an intern named Don. Don was not a typical intern. He had gray hair, was in his late fifties, and had come to us through a Mass Software Council program to transition out of work hardware professionals into the software industry. This was the tail end of the minicomputer bust in Boston, and over 40,000 professionals from top name companies - such as Digital Equipment, Data General, Prime and Wang - had been laid off in the preceding years.

I don’t remember which big company Don had worked for, but I do remember wondering how someone could allow their skills to fall so far behind the industry. But looking back, it all seems obvious: Don had spent one too many years in a backwater in a big company, only realizing on getting laid off that the jobscape around him had fundamentally changed. When he came to Easel, he had come to terms with the fact he was unemployable without new skills, and made the difficult decision that an unpaid internship was the best of his available options.

I’ve met a few people like Don in my years in high tech. In some cases, they are smart and talented individuals who simply are not thinking about their long term careers. They often work for years at large companies, in comfortable and not overly challenging jobs. They are usually paid well, with dependable bonuses, and work in an environment where little is to be gained by overachieving. In short: they are fat and happy, and oblivious to the risks they are taking to their future careers.

So today’s post will be a quiz to see if you are managing your high tech career.

Sorry, quiz no longer available since move from WordPress