After talking about the weather, one of the easiest ways to strike up a conversation with someone is to ask them "what do you do?" Like you, I've been asked this a lot. I don't know what kind of responses you get, but one of the top ten I receive is, "Really? You don't look like a programmer!" I usually smile, and try to find something witty to say, often asking them in return what they think a programmer should look like.