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Jason Steinhauser
Jason Steinhauser

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"Oh I Can Do That!" - How Everyone Is An "Expert"

One of the upper level executives at my company (Terminus Software, and shameless plug: we're hiring software engineers!) recently posted this on Twitter:

And I mean, he's not wrong in that everyone seems to think they could be an "actual marketer". However, I've had many people tell me that they can do something better than I've done things all throughout my career. Sometimes they had good advice and prefaced it this way ("have you considered x?" when I actually hadn't), but most akin to "I saw this Python tutorial on how to do a weather service and you need to do that... but for your project" 😒.

And I get it why Sangram has his viewpoint - he's been in marketing for nearly 2 decades, and he's probably heard "marketing is easy" constantly. And people seem to think marketing is magic, because marketers' worth is hard to quantify without solid data. When I ran a local escape room with my wife, I tried my hand at marketing. It turns out... I had no idea what I was doing. WTH are impressions? I ran TV and radio spots. How effective were they? I have no idea because I didn't know how to get data to see which marketing channels were working for me. And as you can undoubtedly tell, I decided to continue a software career.

Hell, I've even done it too. While I was running that escape room, I was also writing the software to interface with the electronically-controlled puzzles in our room, as well as the monitors in the rooms, and the game masters' consoles. I definitely thought, "I've written software; I can make good UIs!" As it turns out, I had to learn a lot before I could "make good UIs". I'm still not great at it, but I'm passable!

When I dabbled in standup comedy, I took classes on how to craft jokes, and then expand those into bigger bits, and then into solid timed sets. That never stopped people from saying "Hey, I've got a joke idea for you!" 🧐 Someone outside of your field will inevitably tell you they can do your job.

So... what stories have you got? I want to hear them below!

Top comments (2)

kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman • Edited

My mom, who is not into tech at all, keeps telling me I should become an Oracle dba. Point being, career advice is harder than it looks.

jdsteinhauser profile image
Jason Steinhauser

Oh I agree! Career advice comes from good intentions, but it does feel like people are challenging your choices at times (especially from family).