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Thursday, 11 October, 2001, 11:40 GMT 12:40 UK
Techies choose Gates not glamour
Bill Gates addresses Comdex
Would this be your choice as a dinner guest?
Glamour model Jordan is no contest to Bill Gates as a dinner guest for British techies.

But the TV character Ali G comes a close second to the Microsoft boss in a survey of the lifestyle of 5,000 professionals working in the world of technology by database company Embarcadero.

Dinner guest choices
Bill Gates: 23%
Ali G: 22%
Jordan: 15%
The results are more surprising given that most people who work as programmers, contractors or system administrators are still men, with women accounting for just 17%.

But the survey shows that the image of the computer geek is far from the truth. Most work harder than average, are well-educated and are well-informed.

Independent streak

The survey also showed that many have a strong independent streak, with over a third saying they would not work for a large computer company like Microsoft or Apple.

Glamour model Jordan PA
Jordan: Gets the techie boot
More than half of the people who took part in the survey had degrees, working 42 hours a week compared with a national average of 32.

They are well rewarded for their work, earning 35,000 a year, whereas the national average wage is 21,000.

They are also well-informed, making extensive use of the internet to find out what is going on. A third of them even felt online news sources were more useful than newspapers and magazines.

EastEnders vs Corrie

As for their social lives, most computer professionals go out about twice a week, enjoy a few pints of beer and are competent cooks

Tim Varley Mavica
IT professionals: Well-informed and hard-working
About half are married, making time for family and friends at the weekend.

When it comes to relaxing at home, they spend an average of 11 hours a week watching television.

In the battle of the soaps, professionals prefer EastEnders to Coronation Street.

When it comes to the world of technology, 40% see the internet as the most important innovation of recent years.

As for the future, e-commerce and the availability of broadband are seen as the key developments to come.

See also:

21 Jun 01 | Sci/Tech
Sexiest geek declared
18 Jun 00 | Education
Computer 'geeks' are cool
17 Nov 00 | Business
It's chic to be geek
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