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Old 4th July 2008, 12:14 PM   #151
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Originally Posted by looktall View Post
hey, we're using you guys for our ITIL training/alignment.
lol, it's a small country is it not

enjoy
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Old 4th July 2008, 12:19 PM   #152
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Apologies upfront: I haven't read the entire thread, it all sounds interesting to get everyone's opinion so I'll hopefully find the time to go through it all.

I think one of the key problems (again, sorry if this has already been beaten to death), is that people who have no passion/interest in an area decide to take a uni/tafe course to get "qualified" to work in that area. I placed quotation marks around the word qualified as it means very little, passing a test does not make you qualified, just makes you able to pass a test.

Compare this to people who have been interested in computers/networking/coding/etc. from a young age, who engage themselves in forums such as these, who spend their spare time reading tech blogs/articles/etc.

It's the same with most industries really, a family friend of mine was keen on Architecture, he spent his days sketching by hand or learning to use CAD software, reading magazines, getting inspiration when out and about and capturing them in photos to stick on his wall. This was from an early age (pre high-school). He was damned good, and now works as an Architect. Since the first grade I'd try to emulate his skills (he was 5 years older) and eventually learnt to sketch with correct perspective and shading etc. and later learnt CAD programs and 3D rendering packages... these were hobbies while I was looking for stuff to do on my PC instead of playing games (of course 3DStudio etc. were pirated - you can't expect a primary schooler to be able to afford the software!). I stopped when Windows broke compatibility with my pirated 3DStudio ehehe. Anyway, enough of the ranting - I've been through so many phases of hobbies that I can't even remember them all.

I think the main thing is there aren't enough passionate kids around anymore. Not enough kids with hobbies that they stick to, kids are surrounded by an abundance of entertainment, they don't get bored as easily - they don't then decide to devote themselves to something of interest - none of their friends are doing so. This leads to teens choosing professions which they believe has better bang for the buck because they aren't passionate enough in another field to pursue it. The other side of this is that kids don't stay interested long enough in anything anymore, they live a fast paced life, they wan't more of everything and want it instantly... hard work, dedication, education aren't of much value, perfection (or the thought of it) is no longer sought, good enough will probably do. The rest of the time they are on IM/Facebook/Myspace/mobile phones/mp3 players etc.
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Old 4th July 2008, 1:16 PM   #153
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Just to put my thoughts in perspective: I am basically brand new to the IT industry having just finished my IT degree and CCNA. I spent two yrs doing my CCNA because i wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing. My degree is useless, didn't teach me anything and I got very bored. Now i am looking at getting my first proper It job and i have been blown away by what has been written here.
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I'd be checking up with cisco to make sure they are really CCIEs. I could maybe understand the second one it can be a pain to see the little coloured wires and maybe he checked incorrectly and dismissed that idea. CCIE is an 8 hour prac it really should be more than a memory dump. Now if you had said CCNA that would be entirely believable.
Hey hey ease up on the CCNAs! I worked very very hard to get my CCNA, not that the test was that hard, but i put in alot of hours to make sure i knew how everything worked (theory and prac)
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I'm currently working on a huge network project, and I have two CCIE's working with me, one of them didn't understand EIGRP and the other one spent 20 minutes working out why a straight through patch cable wouldn't work between a fast ethernet port on a router and a gig interface on another router when hard coded to 100/Full. In the end I had to tell him because we needed to commence testing.
You can't be serious! I read that and I was gobsmaked! They didn't know the difference between a straight through and crossover... That is just crazy. Here i was thinking that one day I wanted to be a CCIE because they must know their stuff and it would be really hard to get it. Damn wasn't i just proved wrong.
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Originally Posted by ewok85 View Post
I don't expect you to be able to sit down and do someone elses job, but it pains me to tears when someone doesn't even understand something basic like DHCP or DNS - one guy believed that you could auto-assign addresses between two computers if you renewed the interface at the exact same moment.
Again... Are you serious? Can these people even turn a computer on. That is such an eye opener for me... i thought that most people knew what they were talking about in the IT industry... crazy times!
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Originally Posted by SuperRoach View Post
.
When I walk past an helpdesk and the conversation topic is along the lines of what games are they getting from the net for their 360, that's "ok"... It means a bit of outside work knowledge in getting it to work, for the enjoyment of it. When you hear another one shrugging and not knowing about synching an iPod though, then you get worried. There is a very strong base level of knowledge I feel you develop from a mix of on site work, reading (in books!), and practice yourself or a hobby/genuine interest in
Insannooo! (nods head). Crazy times huh.
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For my POV
The problems with IT (in no particular order)
- Uni courses (IT, not Comp Science), they do nothing to prepare students for work, no skills, and an over inflated view of themselves. Ooooh I've got a degree, gimme $100K
We are TOLD this at uni. There is this misguided view at uni these days that a degree is worth sooo much, having one and seeing first hand what i teaches it totally agree.
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- IT 'colleges', you know the "get your CCNA/MCSE/insert qual here in 12 weeks and we'll find you a job for free" places. Again they only teach how to pass the test - I know I used to work for one of these places, years ago. I didn't hang around long.
This really sucks, as I did the academy (took a yr) and then did the exam, as i felt that if I got a job doing it i should at least know how to make it all work!
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Originally Posted by cvidler View Post
- Employer perception/hiring techniques. Every advert says 5+ years experience, how is anyone supposed to get a start. How do they expect to find an guru DBA and network engineer in the one person.
I am finding this problem, everyone wants the best and wants experience but doesn't want to train people up. Makes it very hard to get a start, damn all i want is a job networking where I can have fun doing really geeky things... am i asking to much?

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Originally Posted by cvidler View Post
But don't despair, if you're good enough, the pluses of IT are very rewarding both financially and personally.
Thank you, you have made me feel a bit better Cvidler Your post was really good.

Elvis, man your like an old skool super geek. I would love to know about all those things that you know about!! At my current job, no one is really interested in teaching the young kids how stuff really works, as we are just seem as fix it guys, all the sys admins guys have "to important" stuff to do. Really blows cause i would love to learn more! Oh well back to the certs i suppose.

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Old 4th July 2008, 1:27 PM   #154
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Just to cheer you guys up from a pretty glum thread... have a look at this :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcQ7RkyBoBc&eurl
"You can't arrange them by penis"
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Old 4th July 2008, 2:15 PM   #155
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I.T is not worth it these days. shit job, shit conditions, most job advertisements are fake and/or the hiring person does not understand I.T technical roles, much better things to do..
I have been going to uni doing a bachelor of information technology, and have realised that it just isn't for me (Could switch to computer science, but I think I want to change out of the field altogether). Reading that and the rant above has just furthered my reasoning for not wanting to go into this field.

I'm unsure of what to go into though Considering dropping out of uni, as there is no point continuing a course that you do not intend to use. Just a waste of time and money.

Any suggestions on what to do?
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Old 4th July 2008, 5:18 PM   #156
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TrennaHowar, seems you have the right attitude. If it's truly where you want to be in life, keep pushing (as you explained, by going above and beyond simply 'learning the test').

You'll gain the 'gurus' respect one day; be it from helping at a critical time, or simply by always being useful, then you'll be set.
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Old 4th July 2008, 6:34 PM   #157
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http://forums.overclockers.com.au/sh...d.php?t=693324

This seems to be surprisingly common - whoever happens to know the most about how to use a computer is thrown into the deep end to deal with everyone's problems.
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Old 4th July 2008, 7:22 PM   #158
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Default I couldn't agree more

I don't think I've -ever- wholeheartedly agreed with a post more than this one.
I'm sick of dealing with people/managers who are completely fucking useless.

The scary thing is, I'm only young as-well. Early 20s infact, but I too had a mentor who brought me out of my shell. Unfortunately it turns out he's one of the rare ones.
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Old 4th July 2008, 7:55 PM   #159
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I don't think I've -ever- wholeheartedly agreed with a post more than this one.
I'm sick of dealing with people/managers who are completely fucking useless.

The scary thing is, I'm only young as-well. Early 20s infact, but I too had a mentor who brought me out of my shell. Unfortunately it turns out he's one of the rare ones.
and now this post has brought you out of your overclockers.com.au shell

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Old 4th July 2008, 7:58 PM   #160
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Elvis I feel your pain. I had one or 2 mentors in my career and I am kicking myself for not having enough time to spend with them.

HR/recruitment/managment is part of the problem. Certs and degrees dont mean much these days, all it shows is that you have the determination and intelligence to pass the course, which may not be applicable to the real world. I have had a manager that was technically great but not the best people person or mentor, happy until something went wrong resulting in dutch-courage abusive emails at 3am.

Another problem is a lot of people at uni select a degree based partial on potential income and IT seems to be one. IT and IS teach a fuzzy sort of managment knowledge and limited tech and these people quite often end up as sysadmins. Also some IT folk some times need to be kept away from the client (as has been illustrated in this thread) as that have no idea how to interact. I remember one uni kid drop kicking a beach ball into clients at an xmas party and I pulled him aside. Shit his nix knowledge shat on mine and he stayed, never to see a client alone .

One thing I believe though, as society advances we are also advancing in mediocrity, as popultaion grows so does mediocrity. Over specialisation is breeding in weakness.
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Old 4th July 2008, 10:17 PM   #161
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Originally Posted by Daft_Munt View Post
Elvis I feel your pain. I had one or 2 mentors in my career and I am kicking myself for not having enough time to spend with them.
It seems from judging from the amount of times it has been said within this thread, a mentor is very important to helping one's knowledge base grow. Interesting stuff.

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Originally Posted by Daft_Munt View Post
HR/recruitment/managment is part of the problem.
I totally agree with this. You can tell the job ads that have been written by the HR department and the ones written by a geek (in the good way of being a geek, as i'm proud that i'm a geek ). The ones written by HR name and and every protocol and OS and langauge in existance. I can see it now:
HR person: hey i heard you need a sys something guy ?
IT awesome dude: yeah we need a guy that can manage the new rollout of RSTP over the current deployment of switches.
HR person: so you need... guy with switch xp... yep got that. IT also manage like windows don't they we can put that in. Oh and outlook, oh and that thingy called Citrix. Ok and we can chuck in electronics xp cause I KNOW that computers use that. awesome where done, thanks buddy.
IT awesome dude: ummmm.
/end rant.

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Originally Posted by Daft_Munt View Post
Another problem is a lot of people at uni select a degree based partial on potential income and IT seems to be one. IT and IS teach a fuzzy sort of managment knowledge and limited tech and these people quite often end up as sysadmins.
Agreed. Makes it harder for use people that ACTUALLY like having 5 servers at home! I quickly became friends with the people who liked comps at uni. The funny thing was (my uni course was pretty small, only like 20 of us) that the ones that liked comps also liked drinking beer and were pretty social, the ones that had no idea didn't have very good social skills, though meeting diff ppl is the awesom thing bout uni.
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One thing I believe though, as society advances we are also advancing in mediocrity, as popultaion grows so does mediocrity. Over specialisation is breeding in weakness.
I kind of agree. I think that it is the breaking down of communication (as this thread indicates to me) within departments that is causing this mediocrity. I think that overall perspective of the business within an IT department is gone because like other ppl have said, they just do what they need to and go home.

Quite sad really. Is it sad that i'm super excited to play around with jumbo frames when i install my Gigabit network? (random pirate)
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Old 7th July 2008, 11:33 AM   #162
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Originally Posted by TrennaHowar View Post
It seems from judging from the amount of times it has been said within this thread, a mentor is very important to helping one's knowledge base grow.
I would say having a good mentor at some point in your career is *the most* important thing.

It's honestly one of those things you don't appreciate until you have, and don't miss until you've lost.

Sure, we all read documentation and manuals. We all post on forums and mailing lists, and we all tinker with software and hardware. But honestly my learning has never seen a boost in both quantity and quality like it has under my mentor.

Mentoring in itself is a fine art. Too much or too little and you are more of a hindrance to a person's career than a help. But get it right, and you can change their lives.

It's important as well as you advance in your career that you take others under your wing and teach them too. Learning to teach is a skill in itself, and being a mentor is as much a learning experience for you as it is for those you teach. As a good mentor you are not only doing your part for the industry/community/individual, but also gaining valuable communication and patience skills.

And most importantly: know when to let go. This applies to both parties - when you've learned/taught all you can (technical or otherwise), move on. Stalling leads to stagnation, and it's important to keep going with your careers and education.

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Elvis, you are here in Perth ?

Then you have seen the xcom adverts on TV. That is what's wrong with the industry (Not that I'm working in the industry). "You can get a job in IT and earn big dollars with 3 months training GUARANTEED!!!!"
I'm in Brisbane, but we get these ads too. Quite frankly they disgust me. I've been responsible for hiring in the past, and when I see someone with one of these 3 month certs and nothing else, their resumes get "filed" immediately.

And before anyone comments on the "experience conundrum" - I started my career doing graveyard shift first level helpdesk support from 5PM to 2AM, 6 days a week. Everyone starts from the bottom. Expecting to be a sysadmin within 12 months of starting in IT is a mistake I see people make time and time again.

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This whole idea of one person being a jack of all trades belongs in small business.
I'm not insisting everyone know everything about all aspects of IT. (I know you understand this, the following is just more ranting...)

But honestly, when I'm teaching MCSE's to diagnose Exchange faults via telnet, or showing CCNE's how to test if SSH is running on a router without the use of an SSH client, it all gets a bit bloody ludicrous.

There's being a specialist, and then there's being an ignorant sod who sticks their head in the sand at the first sign of effort.

If it's not too much for me as a sysadmin to know how to log on to a Cisco router and do basic fault finding and maintenance, why is it too much to ask for network guys to understand the basics of how LDAP lookups and CIFS file transfers work, or to ask Windows guys how to log onto a Linux box and get basic info like "uname" and "dmesg" out of a server?

I'm not asking your average CCNE to architect/design/build a Linux cluster. I'm just asking them to understand the basics of what goes on, so that they as service providers of network infrastructure can better tailor their setup to the needs of the business, and that we together can help each other diagnose problems. Currently I find myself constantly fighting other departments in massive finger-pointing wars when there's a fault, and nobody wants to work together to get it diagnosed and fixed (regardless of whose fault it is).

Similarly, I have no qualms if the network team require me to understand the OSI model, MTUs, packet fragmentation, etc if it means assisting them with diagnosis of communications errors between servers. When I can break out wireshark/tshark and do packet analysis between two servers, it makes network people very happy to know I can speak their language and get them the data they need to diagnose an issue quickly. If the issue is a fault with my server/software, then so be it. I'm not here to blame, I'm here to fix. And to do so, knowing a little something outside my realm of expertise helps the issue enormously.

Currently I find people's expectations of "knowing something outside of their field" is the grand total sum of them being able to point at the physical device in the server room. And of course that helps the situation naught when it comes to things not working properly and requiring diagnosis.
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Old 7th July 2008, 4:42 PM   #163
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I have been in IT since the 8 bit days ( C=64 ect ) so I missed all the fun of punch-cards and mechanical computers ect

Even so I still love them and I love it that I get paid quite reasonably for something I enjoy still.

What I have found however is there has been something of a shift in IT - years ago people using computers were seen as hobbyists ect - now computers are just machines that are part of every day life.

So what we wind up with is you get some people like the OP who have been in computers forever and can do everything (to an extent) as they love it and not only spend their work time "studding" but also personal time. As a lot of the concepts in computers remain constant over time you build up a good picture of how everything interacts and works - even systems you may not have ever seen in person but read about years ago in some mag or whatever. Diagnostic and troubleshooting methodologies also remain somewhat consistent over time so this also helps.

I suppose what annoys us is when we have people jump in and out of IT who can't make up their mind - but this is the same for a lot of professions/trades.

I guess what I am saying is if you enjoy IT then stick with it and do a good job, have some ethics, join an IT organization and help make IT more professional.

If you don't enjoy IT and are just in it for the money then you can probably make more money doing other things anyway so why waste your time in an industry that is volatile and only really a means to an end? - ie companies only spend money on IT as they think it will reduce costs and/or increase productivity/revenue/profits.

If you "sort of" like IT and have already spent a lot of time studying/learning, are good at what you do and like to stick with things then yes you should probably stick with IT. This would be much the same as if you were a good accountant or whatever over time as you get really good you can expect to be paid more but you need to stick with it.

BTW I do also agree that IT should have a better mentoring system and career development path.
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Old 7th July 2008, 5:20 PM   #164
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I wont quote all of Elvis's last one but a few more thoughts:

I would love a mentor, I always feel good that there is someone I can go to who knows more than me. Not because it's someone who can just fix stuff for me, but someone who can show me something when I get stuck and actually explain what's going on.

Sadly I've never had a manager who has been good for this...

Secondly I did a 2007 Exchange course - a week through Dimension Data that was supposed to prepare me for the exam. I'd had a years real experience building/administering 2007 and I did learn a few high end things from the course, but things like telnet was mentioned once without any practical. The exam didn't mention telnet either - so I can see why a MCSE doesn't know how to troubleshoot exchange issues via telnet. Some of the blame for that has to go to MS.

I always love any opportunity I can take to learn something in IT, in or out of my field. I've had bigger problems finding someone knowledgeable enough and having the available time to do so.

Luckily I have had a few workmates who have semi taken the mentoring position with me so I've had a taste of what it's like, but currently not in either situation.
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Old 7th July 2008, 5:26 PM   #165
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a better mentoring system is indeed needed, IT is a young industry, engineering etc have got that kind of thing downpat.

When you think about it, to be really good at IT, you need to do more in your field than alot of others. Engineers, doctors etc, they are all very smart people, who study hard and get a degree, but they dont LIVE their job as IT people do.

IT people work 40 hour weeks, study out of hours and then go home and tinker with their computers - who does that? doctors don't go home and muck around with their kids intestines, engineers don't go home and check the loads on their columns, IT guys LIVE their job.

To be a good IT guy you need to things:
1. To be smart enough
2. to live your job.

Too many IT guys are either just smart fellers, or are just nerds, not both. That's a problem.
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