2009-07-10-100-essential-skills-for-geeks-how-did-i-score

100 essential skills for geeks, how did I score?

Wired.com put up a post today on their GeekDad blog that I could not resist.  I often wonder how much of a geek I really am.  I only had to read the first 10 questions to get my hopes up.  I scored 7 out of 10, but after that, it got hard.

How did I score?  I'm only half geek!  Yep, 50/50.  Right down the middle.

At first, these results sound quite depressing, especially if you are looking to hire me.  However, I'm quite happy with the results.  If I were to take the survey "100 essential skills for business", I'm certain I would score 50/50 on that one too.

Being a great software developer (or freelancer, for that matter) means knowing your area of expertise, understanding that it is a means to an end, and quickly coming up to speed on business processes (or domains outside your expertise).

Read on, for my individual responses....

Properly secure a wireless router. [Yes]

Crack the WEP key on a wireless router. [No]

Leech Wifi from your neighbor. [Yes, but he said I could.]

Screw with Wifi leeches. [No]

Setup and use a VPN. [Yes]

Work from home or a coffee shop as effectively as you do at the office. [Yes]

Wire your own home with Ethernet cable. [Yes]

Turn a web camera into security camera. [Yes, ask my dog.]

Use your 3G phone as a Wi-Fi access point. [No]

Understand what “There’s no Place Like 127.0.0.1″ means. [Yes]

Identify key-loggers. [Yes]

Properly connect a TV, Tivo, XBox, Wii, and Apple TV so they all work together with the one remote. [Yes, but it takes a looooonnnngggg time]

Program a universal remote. [Yes]

Swap out the battery on your iPod/iPhone. [Yes]

Benchmark Your Computer [Yes, is there anything geekier?]

Identify all computer components on sight. [Yes]

Know which parts to order from NewEgg.com, and how to assemble them into a working PC. [Yes]

Troubleshoot any computer/gadget problem, over the phone. [Yes]

Use any piece of technology intuitively, without instruction or prior knowledge. [Yes, but it gets harder every generation of gadget]

How to irrecoverably protect data. [Yes, oh, hell yes.]

Recover data from a dead hard drive. [Yes, who hasn't.]

Share a printer between a Mac and a PC on a network. [No need :)]

Install a Linux distribution. (Hint: Ubuntu 9.04 is easier than installing Windows) [No]

Remove a virus from a computer. [Yes]

Dual (or more) boot a computer. [Yes]

Boot a computer off a thumb drive. [Yes]

Boot a computer off a network drive.  [Yes]

Replace or repair a laptop keyboard.  [No, thankfully!]

Run more than two monitors on a single computer. [Yes, who wouldn't want a 25% productivity boost.]

Successfully disassemble and reassemble a laptop. [No]

Know at least 10 software easter eggs off the top of your head. [No.  Who has the time?]

Bypass a computer password on all major operating systems [No]

Carrying a computer cleaning arsenal on your USB drive. [No]

Bypass content filters on public computers. [No]

Protect your privacy when using a public computer. [Yes]

Surf the web anonymously from home. [Yes]

Buy a domain, configure bind, apache, MySQL, php, and Wordpress without Googling a how-to. [No]

Basic *nix command shell knowledge with the ability to edit and save a file with vi. [No]

Create a web site using vi. [No]

Transcode a DVD to play on a portable device. [No]

Hide a File Behind a JPEG.  [No]

Share a single keyboard and mouse between multiple computers without a KVM switch. [Yes]

Google obscure facts in under 3 searches. Bonus point if you can use I Feel Lucky.  [Yes]

Build amazing structures with LEGO and invent a compelling back story for the creation. [Yes]

Understand that it is LEGO, not Lego, Legos, or Lego’s. [Yes]

Build a two story house out of LEGO, in monochrome, with a balcony. [No]

Construct a costume for you or your kid out of scraps, duct tape, paper mâché, and imagination. [Yes]

Be able to pick a lock. [No]

Determine the combination of a Master combination padlock in under 10 minutes. [No]

Assemble IKEA furniture without looking at the instructions. Bonus point if you don’t have to backtrack. [No.  Ever heard the term "flat pack"?]

Use a digital SLR in full manual mode. [Yes]

Do cool things to Altoids tins. [No]

Be able to construct paper craft versions of space ships. [No]

Origami! Bonus point for duct tape origami. (Ductigami) [No]

Fix anything with duct tape, chewing gum and wire. [Yes]

Knowing how to avoid being eaten by a grue. [No]

Know what a grue is. [No]

Understand wherre XYZZY came from, and have used it. [No]

Play any SNES game on your computer through an emulator. [No]

Burn the rope. [No]

Know the Konami code, and where to use it. [No]

Whistle, hum, or play on an iPhone, the Cantina song. [No]

Learning to play the theme songs to the kids favorite TV shows. [No]

Solve a Rubik’s Cube. [No]

Calculate THAC0. [No]

Know the difference between skills and traits. [Yes]

Explain special relativity in terms an eight-year-old can grasp. [No]

Recite pi to 10 places or more. [No]

Be able to calculate tip and split the check, all in your head. [Yes]

Explain that the colours in a rainbow are roygbiv. [No]

Understand the electromagnetic spectrum - xray, uv, visible, infrared, microwave, radio. [No]

Know the difference between radiation and radioactive contamination. [Yes]

Understand basic electronics components like resistors, capacitors, inductors and transistors. [Yes]

Solder a circuit while bottle feeding an infant. (lead free solder please.) [No]

The meaning of technical acronyms. [Yes]

The coffee dash, blindfolded (or blurry eyed). Coffee <brew> [cream] [sugar]. In under a minute. [No]

Build a fighting robot. [Yes]

Program a fighting robot. [Yes]

Build a failsafe into a fighting robot so it doesn’t kill you. [Yes]

Be able to trace the Fellowship’s journey on a map of Middle Earth. [No]

Know all the names of the Dwarves in The Hobbit. [No]

Understand the difference between a comic book and a graphic novel. [Yes]

Know where your towel is and why it is important. [Yes]

Knowing the answer to life, the universe and everything. [Yes]

Re-enact the parrot sketch. [No]

Know the words to The Lumberjack Song. [No]

Reciting key scenes from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. [No]

Be able to recite at least one Geek Movie word for word. [Yes]

Know what the 8th Chevron does on a Stargate and how much power is required to get a lock.  [No]

Be able to explain why it’s important that Han shot first. [No]

Know why it is just wrong for Luke and Leia to kiss. [Yes]

Stop talking Star Wars long enough to get laid. [Yes]

The ability to name actors, characters and plotlines from the majority of sci-fi movies produced since 1968. [Yes]

Cite Mythbusters when debunking a myth or urban legend. [No.  But I should.]

Sleep with a Cricket bat next to your bed. [No]

Have a documented plan on what to do during a zombie or robot uprising. [No.  But I should.]

Identify evil alternate universe versions of friends, family, co-workers or self. [Yes]

Be able to convince TSA that the electronic parts you are carrying are really not a threat to passengers. [Yes.  But not without laughing.]

Talk about things that aren’t tech related. [Yes.  In my mind, at least.]

Get something on the front page of Digg. [No]

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