Last night some members of my chorus met for dinner. The topic of my new job came up, and most were somewhat surprised by my description of extreme programming. (They wondered why it was necessary for people to work in pairs.) Then the conversation shifted a bit to how some companies in the SF bay area are still struggling and how even people who have jobs are worried about their futures. The hostess told me that several of her neighbors live in very nice houses but one family member (usually a woman) has to work as a teacher because of the benefits and less risky employment futures. I've actually seen other posts online that agree with this sentiment, mostly by men whose female partners hold a steadier job than they do. It is ironic that not too long ago (before the dot-boom), a career in computers was considered to be reasonably secure.