Aid to Evaluating Your Accomplishments

part of Career Guide for Engineers and Scientists
Compare yourself to these four ordinary people who were selected at random:

Corsican Lieutenant Napoleon Bonaparte

Conquered most of Europe and Egypt. Emancipated the Jews throughout Europe.


Unemployed Californian Larry Ellison

After being divorced by his first wife because she said that he would never amount to anything or make any money, started Oracle Corporation, world's leading supplier of relational database management software (Note to academic computer scientists: don't worry if you aren't sure what an RDBMS is; it isn't necessary for running Microsoft Word).


University Dropout Carl Friedrich Gauss

By the age of 21, he had constructed a regular 17-gon by ruler and compasses, the most major advance in this field since the time of the Greeks. Subsequently developed method of least squares, normal probability distribution, Fast Fourier Transform, and a non-Euclidean geometry.


Child of Japanese and Korean immigrants Sho Yano

Earned PhD in biology at age 18 while attending medical school, from which he received an MD at age 21.


Programmed by Eve Astrid Andersson and Philip Greenspun back in the mid-1990s. If you're a nerd, you might find the source code useful.

Original Inspiration: How to Make Yourself Miserable, by Dan Greenburg