After all this time, I still get looked at with disbelief and dismay when I say I am not the best person to upgrade someone's neighbor's friend's relative's new operating system or that I'm not the most qualified person to take apart your printer. I mean sure, I'll be happy to take apart your printer. But you may not be happy with me doing so. Assuming you want the problem, whatever it is, guaranteed fixed and all parts back in their correct places and functioning properly.
I willingly throw myself upon the mercy of the repair guy or gal when my motherboard pukes or my external drive locks up or my video controller goes psychedelic. I do have an advantage in that I can generally figure out what is going on ("oh crap, the xyz controller has gone belly up"), but that doesn't mean I am going to put my sticky fingers in there to mess with it. With or without a magnetic screwdriver. I want everything back in one place and better than functional at the end of the day. Instead, I call in the pros.
But I'd never ask that same repair whiz to develop a pedagogically sound online tutorial, or lay out the requirements for an enterprise software system, or develop an effective computational biology DNA algorithm. The repair whiz would likely think me slightly deranged for asking.
We go through high school classes in chemistry, physics and biology and we come out understanding a few distinctions between chemists, physicists and biologists. For the most part we have at least a basic understanding of what chemistry, physics and biology are because we have taken classes in those topics.
I was watching a strange concoction burbling on the stove the other day. I pondered that I was watching chemistry and physics in action: burble burble the molecules interact in order to boil in a certain way, the electrons bounce around, the foam develops and slithers around.The Pyrex nicely distributing heat from the element is the result of some darned smart chemists. I recognize the relationship between chemistry and physics in front of my eyes. And the biology involved with my quivering nostrils and soon to be activated taste buds.
I am a Computer Scientist. Also at times a Mad Scientist (and proud of it). I'm not a Chemist or Physicist even though I can cook. Doesn't it sound crazy to even suggest that?
Perhaps we need to teach Computer Science in high school along with Chemistry, Physics and Biology?