South by Southwest Interactive just ended. It's a self-described "incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity," in which thousands of people charged with incubating that creativity descend on Austin, Texas, to talk technology, eat tacos, and drink.
I was browsing through some of the bios of people there and realized that even after reading them I had no idea what these people do. Their bios consisted of words, certainly, but in an order and with a conviction that made no sense.
Technology has inspired some of the strangest, most ill-defined job titles. (Example: I'm supposedly a UX designer at Vox, but I spend most of my time working on development, and at the current moment, I'm writing a story that has nothing to do with UX or design.) We are still trying to understand just what is possible in most digital jobs, and we're nowhere near agreeing on any set standards. This happens at any time of major technical change — remember when we used to call car drivers automobilists?
At some point, we'll settle on set terms that are somewhat understood by people in the industry, but until then, people can and do create totally opaque job descriptions. What the hell does "divergent fields" mean? Are you a mathematician? What do you actually do?
I asked for help from the Vox Product and Vox.com teams to enter business 2.0 nouns and verbs into a spreadsheet, and then used those to create a bullshit job description generator.
Try it out. Add it to your Twitter bio, or whatever.