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  • Computer Science Majors?

    I decided this would be a good question to pose here, especially with the vBulletin developers around and other assorted experts.

    I'm going to college in the fall, and currently I'm a computer science major. However, in considering everything, a thought just kind of hit me. Software developers, network administrators, security experts...almost every computer science job I can think of almost solely depends on a computer (obviously ) but that would mean you have to sit on a computer for 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, 35+ years of your life for your career. Though I'm 18 and I log quite a bit of time on the 'ol PC myself, after another 35-40 years of this, I'm wondering whether my eyes will still work properly!

    I was just wondering if anyone with a "computer job" could shed some light on the subject. What's your daily schedule at work? If you've done it for awhile, can you still stand it, or do it for the rest of your life or do you plan to "switch" at some point? Do you worry about any sort of health problems or do anything preventative to avoid any health problems associated with the job?

    Any sort of input along these lines would be greatly appreciated! I could sit around and read about the field until I'm blue in the face, but it really helps hearing from some of the people who currently do it and what they think. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    I have been doing it since i got out of College in 1999, my eyes get blurry alot.
    It can become very stressful at times, and what you need to do is set aside a time for breaks, then plan a couple vacations per year "to totally get away from Computers for many days at a time".

    For example: I make sure i ALWAYS go out on Friday nights.

    I also spend very little time on the computer on weekends, or at least try too.
    And take that time for yourself, friends and family, relax and have a beer or two...

    Hope this helps a bit..
    MCSE, MVP, CCIE
    Microsoft Beta Team

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    • #3
      I've recently started a "computer job" myself, and while i use the PC a lot at home, at work you can't get up every so often to make a coffee and to stretch your legs. (you are legally allowed, but get classed as a skiver if you do this)

      Already my back is starting to ache, because the way i sit at work, is the same as a "comfy position" i sit at home, which puts stress on the back and is not idea for long periods of time.

      While i still use computers at home for leisure, my time is getting less and less on it.

      basically: get a good posture, it will be uncomfortable at first, but MAKE SURE YOU DO IT!

      rest your eyes and legs (regularly 5 mins every hour)

      take "me" time during your time off.

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      • #4
        I still see it as my hobby, I just get paid for it now.

        Make sure you keep life balanced and in focus.
        I wrote ImpEx.

        Blog | Me

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        • #5
          I actually had the same concerns as I too will be attending college this fall as a computer science major .

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          • #6
            As Jerry said, you pretty much have to love your Job "Love what your doing", and love to do it to really survive in the technical world...
            MCSE, MVP, CCIE
            Microsoft Beta Team

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            • #7
              My friend just got a job to do networking for a company. Mostly what he does is sit around and wait for something to do, or go hook up ethernet cables.

              As far as eye sight goes, I haven't had any trouble when it comes to working on one monitor for long periods of time. However, I recently set up my laptop next to my desktop, and switching back and forth (my laptop had a small font size) was straining, and I had to take a 2 day break from looking at any fine print. I increased the font size on (to 14pt) and never had the problem again. This was only because the constant back and forth between the two; I don't think my eyes were getting any rest between.

              How are your eyes now?

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              • #8
                Do you worry about any sort of health problems or do anything preventative to avoid any health problems associated with the job?
                Oh yes health.

                Get eyes checked regularly (I do every 6 months), get a very good chair (Herman miller aeron here) and understand ergonomics.

                Seings as its a sitting job most of the time make sure you keep up the sports and other activities, I dance a lot and play golf for instance.

                Common sense for personal health really.
                I wrote ImpEx.

                Blog | Me

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jerry View Post
                  Oh yes health.

                  Get eyes checked regularly (I do every 6 months), get a very good chair (Herman miller aeron here) and understand ergonomics.

                  Seings as its a sitting job most of the time make sure you keep up the sports and other activities, I dance a lot and play golf for instance.

                  Common sense for personal health really.
                  What style of dance do you do Jerry? Or is it just a bit of everything?
                  Dean Clatworthy - Web Developer/Designer

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                  • #10
                    Salsa, when I was in the UK it was Cuban, though over here its more L.A. and New York style. Bits of Merengue and I'll be starting Tango soon I think, though Salsa is 99% of it. I used to help teach it when I was in London.
                    I wrote ImpEx.

                    Blog | Me

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                    • #11
                      I <3 my computers. I enjoy being with them 24/7 for both work and play. I only go outside for food and exercise.

                      As other have said... spend a lot of money and attention on your computing environment. I use all LCDs for eye strain. I got a fat chair and desk where I can recline at my keyboard to remove back and leg strain. It took a while for me to get good arm / wrist position for that kind of strain, but it's fine now.

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                      • #12
                        Thanks for all of the replies everyone! I really appreciate it Atleast now I know that carpal tunnel with 0/20 vision isn't an inevitability if you take some precautions. I'll have to look at my posture more closely and see if I can buy a more ergonomic chair.

                        Chousho,
                        As for the eye thing, my eyes are kind of medium right now. I need glasses and I'm somewhat nearsighted, but the eyes are healthy and they haven't gotten any worse over the last few years. I see an optometrist every year, and he doesn't have any complaints.

                        My concern started to come in when I was getting some pretty bad headaches every day from sitting in front of the computer. I thought it might be the new LCD monitor, as I recently switched to an LCD over a CRT. After going to my doctor, I wasn't even in the ballpark. Turns out I have a very nasty sinus infection. I have a nasal spray and antibiotics, but so far it hasn't gotten much better. Might need surgery to clear everything out, but it does make me feel better that I can still do what I really enjoy doing in college and as a career, and that the headaches aren't caused by that (though the prospect of more weeks of antibiotics, or a surgeon cutting open my sinuses isn't particularly motivating either).

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                        • #13
                          I have 2 monitors right here in front og me. one CRT, the other lcd.

                          Now, i'd never notice the difference apart from picture quality, but having them side by side you can notice the differences you normally wouldn't.

                          #1: CRT's always have reflections in. never really notice before, but because of the glass i can always see what's behind me when it's light. can't be good for your eyes.

                          #2: CRT's are slightly curved, which again, over long periods of time really can't be helpfull for you eyes.

                          #3: picture quality, specifically text. again without them being side by side i'd never notice, but the text quality on LCD's is 100% better and if you're looking at text a lot really releives eyes strain.


                          long post short; LCD > CRT

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                          • #14
                            Your eyes should be fine I've been using computers since the age of six (Not that I can remember (I had to ask )) and my eyes are A.O.K

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                            • #15
                              My eyes have gone downhill since using PCs. I have to wear contacts now.
                              Dean Clatworthy - Web Developer/Designer

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