What’s The Official Car Of IT Professionals?

Illustration for article titled What’s The Official Car Of IT Professionals?

CES is happening in Las Vegas at the same time as the Detroit Auto Show, so let's pause a moment to consider the computer specialists and system administrators in our lives. What is the most appropriate car for your office's information-technology staffers?

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Being an informed gearhead and being a skilled computer maven are not mutually exclusive pursuits, but the time and involvement required for either sometimes crowd out the other. Therefore, it's reasonable to expect computer people to skew a bit towards something that reflects their tech priorities instead of ours.

You'd think a Nissan GT-R would be the aspirational technoid car of choice, but back in the real world where your corporation has skipped raises for the third year in a row that's out of reach. Closer to home yet with all the tech kit you can reasonably get in a modern car, the Acura TSX with the Technology Package definitely taps the touchscreen the right way. Uninvolving driving traits and clinical personality? Perhaps. Voice control, multiple telecommunications channels, real-time weather and traffic? Now we're chatting.

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What's the best wheels for the folks in the server room?

(QOTD is your chance to address the day's most pressing automotive questions and to experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits, and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good Question of the Day, send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)

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DISCUSSION

As an "IT Professional" this is a great question. I've got three rides: G37S Coupe, '98 Ranger (w/ the V6 and towing package), and a '70 Austin Mini. The G is great for a professional who needs to appear grown up from time to time, but still drives like a little kid with a nuclear weapon when there is a clear stretch of corner. The Ranger used to haul a karting trailer, now hauls bikes / plywood / bark mulch / camping stuff a couple times a month, and the Mini is a great kart for the street which is one hundred and eight-five percent the anti-modern-technology vehicle. It's nice to come home and play with a car that I don't have to think about computers in any way, shape or form. Hurray Carbs!

But I seem to be one of a small set of car-guy exceptions in the parking lot.

The majority of the folks I work with could care less what car they drive as long as it gets them to work and back, and then off to their dungeons and dragons LAN party tweetup. I see a boatload of poorly maintained mid-90's Corollas and similar. The odd person here and there has a model GT40 or Viper sitting on their desk, but just because "it looks cool." Instead of spending money on a car ("why would I spend extra on a car... it just goes from home to work in traffic when I don't just work from home.") they spend on the latest gadgets and gizmos. I've seen more crazy home networks with closets turned into server rooms for hosting whatever side job they're doing's site. All totaled up, the cost of the hardware I've seen would have upgraded them from a Civic to a E350 pretty easily.

The other car guys I know of in the parking lot seem to focus on the BMWs though. the 3-series seems to be a hot thing for many of 'em. A few who have received their bonuses regularly drive 5 series.

But what, as an IT guy, do I want? The car that one of the other IT / car guys in the lot has (but doesn't often drive): Lotus Exige. It follows the K.I.S.S. model while still being absolutely badass, which is what we'd like to follow in our jobs (PM's and crazy customer demands not withstanding, we would follow that model...). The technology is in the engineering. You'll never see the cool script we wrote to recalculate the exact timing of a flying bird hitting a grunting green pig with half the lines of code, twice the accuracy and three times the efficiency. But we find that cool. Similarly with Loti, you'll have to poke around under the covers to see the engineering marvels that made it lighter and tighter.