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Journal perfessor multigeek's Journal: Competence: Another /. Challenge 20

So, I've got a question for you.

In what skills do you consider yourself competent?

The acid test is, if you had to make a living doing this, could you be up and running in two weeks?
Not Best Of All Comers. Not World Class. But competent.
An alternative test for those cases where local knowledge or changing data makes the above test difficult is: if you had to be the only person with this skill among a group of fifty people, would you be good enough to hack it?

Please note that I am asking about skill here, not credentials. I don't give a rat's ass what pieces of paper you've got. I'm asking could you do the job?

My not so hidden agenda here is that it is my thesis that among /., we have every single skill needed to run a society. I haven't noticed any doctors or lawyers AFAIR, nor can I offhand think of any accountants. I'm betting that they're out there.

I'll start with my list. Anything with a star is something that I've been paid to do.

*Appraiser (though I usually turn that down)
*Bookkeeper (though man-oh-man do I usually loath it!)
*Cook (though barely ever in a professional kitchen, usually doing meals for a couple of folks in a private kitchen somewhere)
*Document Management Consultant
*Editor (copy, not acquisition)
*Eldercare Consultant
*Film Outputter (as in film and repro for printing, not film from photographic stuff)
*Furnituremaker's Assistant (sand these, help me steam and bend that, carry the other thing. Trust me, when working under a professional furnituremaker on deadline, this is a skill.)
*Furniture Restorer
*Graphic Designer
*Healthcare Advisor (My, oh my, does that get dicey when ya ain't got a single sheepskin of any kind.)
*Help Desk Tech & Manager
*IT Director (different from help desk as IT encompasses budgets, meetings, etc.)
Industrial Designer
Intentional Community Expert & Manager (Sound like a cruise director, think like a megalomaniac, work like a dog. Yeah, I've done my time, just not for cash pay.)
*Interior Designer
M.C. (traditional version, not rap dude)
*Mac Tech (pre OS X)
*Move/Reorg Organizer
*Party Organizer/Caterer
*Personal Shopper
*Political Analyst
*Production Designer
*Project Coordinator
*Proposal Writer (though when it comes to just about anything marketshare-related, I'm a dimwit of the first order)
Prototype Maker
Public Speaker (no star since beer and other freebies don't count)
*Salesman (phone & in person, mostly tech but not all)
*Software Trainer
*Workflow Analyst

Please note that most of my computer and fiber optic stuff is not on this list. I may have been, say, a passable PC tech back in the days of 286s but I am certainly nowhere near competent now. I'm also not listing things I've done for money for which I had no discernable talent, like working in a market and doing demolition work.

So, what is your list?

This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Competence: Another /. Challenge

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  • This is a fun one.

    Auto repair (and assorted small engines as well)
    Fabrication (eh... Maybe. This one is borderline)
    IT management
    Not sure exactly how to list my medical skill list. I can certainly do first aid and most triage type work.

    There's more. But I gotta read at least a few pages of this book tonight.
  • i've got broad and diverse skills -- from bio-diesel producer to cook to computer programmer to trombone player to farmer to organizer... i've got skills. but which skills are needed for a society depends on the type of society. are we self-sufficient or do we fight our neighbors for what they have? what skills do you consider necessary for a society?

    i like the rough outline for a free city laid out in ringolevio: 1 [diggers.org] 2 [diggers.org] 3 [diggers.org] 4 [diggers.org]

    that site's nav sucks. here are the categories defined within those links:
  • Well, last night I pulled a dead lamb out of the womb of a sheep. Dunno if that makes me a vet, though... The sheep's fine but I kinda wish we'd been formally introduced beforehand, if you know what I mean.

    Off the top of my noggin':

    • IT/Computers, hardware and software. I'm a bit rusty with ye olde compiler, but downright deadly with a soldering iron.
    • Car/motorcycle mechanic. Grew up on dad's Texaco station, so I guess there's a fair bit of 98 octane flowing through my veins.
    • Designer. I can design stuf
    • Well, last night I pulled a dead lamb out of the womb of a sheep.

      Oh, c'mon. You've gotta give us some details on that one.

      • You've gotta give us some details on that one.

        I know. Just designing some suspense. :-)

        Before we bought our house [webhackande.se] a year ago, we rented a house in this very same village. That house was on a sheep farm, built in the '30s to accomodate the old folks of the farm so the younger generation could have the big house to themselves. Anyway, we lived there for ~3 years and occasionally, I helped them feed and water the sheep (~70 yews, some bad-tempered rams and upwards of 120 lambs at most) for a week or so wh

      • Damned good thing I didn't put "Master speller" on that list. It's ewe. Thanks to bersl2 for both noticing it and actually telling me about it. :-)

        Hm. Maybe it was a religious sheep?

  • Well, I would say skill is actually what you take pride in - not really what you are paid for or have creditials for. Skill is VERY subjective. IQ plays a big part - and then - it plays no part at all. I guess you have to look at the "Forrest Gump Factor".

    I would say I am most skilled at (in order), but not limited to:

    1) Writing editorial or fiction
    2) Debating
    3) Computer and Electronics repair
    4) Selling
    5) Sexual appeal
    6) Aquisition of facts/extraction of the truth
    7) Creativity - it is a skill (because you
  • Let's see what I can list:
    • Obvious Ones:
    • Troubleshooting. It's my job when it comes to computers, but I'm also good at engines, and gadgets in general.
    • Communication. Verbal or written, I have to do a lot of this for work as well.
    • Less Obvious:
    • Animal Husbandry. I grew up on a small farm with cattle, sheep, a few horses and various poultry. Helped with many a breach birth.
    • Horticulture. Give me .25 acres of decent soil and some tools, and I keep a family feed all summer and fall.
    • Perserving Food. Extr
    • *Title stolen from Spider Robinson essay.

      A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. - Robert A. Heinlein

      Yes, indeedy. I had Lazurus Long firmly in min
  • I think I could get by right away as a:

    Fiction Writer
    Editor (I can be quite meticulous when I need to be)
    Landscape Architect
    Interior Decorator
    Personal Shopper
    Speech Writer
    Professional Organizer
    Efficiency Consultant
    Resturaunt Manager
    Hotel Concierge/Guest Entertainment Expert
    Image Consultant
    Singer/Songwri t er
    Public Speaker (Press representative/PR)
    Graphic Artist/Designer
    Orchestra Director
    Plant Lady

    I'm sure there's more I could do, but I can't think of any
  • lets see...
    I'm very good at endearing myself to older women. It just comes natural. Sure, I'm charming to the young ones, but to the older ones I am a prized pearl. I'm sure that could be put to all sorts of uses.

    I can rock a jam.

    I can design chips, but I'm not especially good at it. However when it comes to debugging I can drill down through the kernel into the chip world, no sweat.

    I have a MacGuyver-like ability to craft a bong out of thin air.

    I keep planets in orbit.

    I can feed a nation.

    I can or
  • What am I to make of the fact that none of you mentioned brewing? George, how could you? One of the most ancient arts, one you pursue with, from the sounds of it, skill, vigor, and zest, yet no mention at all.

    Hmmm. . . . .?

  • Who gives a flip?

    Seriously? Competence doesn't matter that much when you are talking about making a living... the question better put for practical "pay the bills" problems is:

    Can you convince other people to pay you money to do it?

    That's really the question. Britney Spears is a much less competent singer than many a Choir girl but still she gets the money.

    And don't get me started on Software Engineering or Animal Husbandry.
    • Who gives a flip?

      Seriously? Competence doesn't matter that much when you are talking about making a living... the question better put for practical "pay the bills" problems is:

      Can you convince other people to pay you money to do it?

      Good question. Well, first of all, in my experience, the smaller the business doing the hiring, the more actual competence plays a role. A manager at AT&T won't usually hire a tech on the grounds of a recommendation from a friend ("we'll try you out and see how it
  • --Writing: Technical (end-user, programmer audience, educational materials, procedural, informational); Business (advertising/marketing copy, phone/voice scripts for various purposes, business letters, newsletters, certain types of proposals, e-mail solicitations [gasp!], memoranda, minutes, transcription); Other (fiction, poetry, non-fiction, pedagogy/andragogy, polemic, analysis, research and reporting, academic, etc.).

    --Editing: Proof/copy, periodicals manager, "galley slave," technical editing.

  • ok well with all the guys saying they can cook makes me feel not so special any more. It also makes wonder how any women can say she wants a guy to cook for her now, because that is as common as asking a guy to be male. As for sklls besides being a retired cook(KM), i can build a house like from picking out the ground it should be built on to moving all your crap in. Also anything that is outdoorsy i probly have done it. Certian underworld skills but havent done that in years, too many wanting to kill each
    • One thing that I find interesting is the prefiltering I'm seeing. I was very careful in how I worded my JE to be as non-normative as possible but several people seem (to my admittedly social skill-impaired eyes) to be only posting the "important" or "interesting" skills.

      btw, note that I also put in that whole star-for-having-been-paid-to-do-it thing. In udda woids, quite a few of us have cooked, but how many of us, for example, know how to go to the professional markets at 4:00 A.M. and do the day's buyin
  • First, a note: I assume that "skill", in this hypothetical context, does not include having the body of knowledge and methods needed for a specific job, but just being able to aquire it.
    (Of course, in the real world, this is rarely the case)

    Out of your list:

    Archivist, Bookkeeper, Cook, Furnituremaker's Assistant, Help Desk Tech & Manager, IT Director, Mover, Political Analyst, Proposal Writer, Software Trainer, Workflow Analyst.

    These I'll be able to do. Not well, perhaps, but do.

    Having recently orga
    • First, a note: I assume that "skill", in this hypothetical context, does not include having the body of knowledge and methods needed for a specific job, but just being able to aquire it.
      Oh no, quite the contrary. I was only allowing a "prep time" to learn the "local and latest". In other words, I'm only including those things for which one already has the conceptual understanding and the "muscle memory" that distinguish a professional from an amateur.

      As I pointed out above about the difference between ha
  • Following up on Mekkab's comments, it seems only fair that I include the famed "ultimate credentials" essay.


    - - - - - - -

    This is an actual essay written by Hugh Gallagher, who ended up going to NYU. I wonder if he graduated.


1 1 was a race-horse, 2 2 was 1 2. When 1 1 1 1 race, 2 2 1 1 2.