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Old 1st July 2008, 8:08 PM   #16
feistl
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Couple of very good points mate,

Im just starting out in the industry, and there are a lot of things i dont like. Firstly, its hard to find a decent mentor. It seems like no one has the time or the motivation to make the effort of training the younger generation.

I've also found there are a lot of IT people who know their field very well, but thats it. They lack communication skills, personality and motivation. In my very short time in IT ive tried to be as friendly and approachable as possible to non-IT colleges.

Its one thing being able to setup and maintain a network, but it you can talk to the CEO or the users then you have limited use.

I'm trying to learn a little of everything, obviously windows, linux, networking and hardware.

I guess it depends on the size of the business... A smaller business needs an all rounder, someone who can take care of multiple systems and tasks. When you look at larger firms they are able to employ a bunch of people with a specific role each.

The money is pretty poor though, these days you can earn better money as a brick layer than a systems administrator (depending where you work and how good you are).

Back in the day an IT professional would be regarded as one of the highest skilled professions, up there with medicine, engineering, law etc. These days all you need is a cheap microsoft cert ($1000 and a few hours training).


And what happened to the days of general intelligent people. I must admit my dad is one, he has the technical skills of a project manager, yet knows how to rebuild a car, build a fence, design a garden etc etc (i know this as he built our house, from plastering to tiling, the garden to the roof. Everything he was legally allowed to do, he did).

Seems to be a dying breed... Someone technically smart who can do anything. Most of the IT people ive worked with couldnt change a tire, let alone service a car.
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Old 1st July 2008, 8:58 PM   #17
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feistl you are definitely doing the right thing, being able to talk to both end users and management alike is an acquired "art" in itself... a social art which does not always lend itself to those working in IT... the reason why I added the company "politics" aspect It is not to be under-estimated!

The average length of time for a helpdesk person is, I believe, 18 months... not even 2 years before burn out! Often it is this timeframe before people move on, and start skipping jobs, on their way up the corporate ladder. I believe it is hard in todays society to find someone willing to put in the hard yakka to learn about a company and stay with it. I believe finding a mentor is made that much harder because of this and it needs to change.

Personally I am looking forward to the day I get to employ my own assitant, but guaranteed he will be getting the shit kicking jobs.... to me it is the way you learn about life and the company you work for.

As they say, you do not learn by fighting on the side-lines but from the trenches!

My god, after reading that I sound like a prophet.... sorry for that....
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Old 1st July 2008, 9:08 PM   #18
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My solution was to become the outside contractor giving random advice for an hourly rate, and make easilly twice what I used to being on the recieving end of this advice.

It is a about as soul crushing as it sounds, at times, however.
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Old 1st July 2008, 10:06 PM   #19
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I used to be a Sysop, then a Net Admin, then a provisioner/installer (all for the same global provider), then moved into 3rd tier support and now technical sales. I like ot think I've seen the industry from a number of angles, and elvis is very right - things are going to hell in a hand basket.

Gone are the days of sysops, sys/net-admins being expected to get their hands dirty when things go wrong - now it's all about calling the provider/vendor and demanding they fix it for you. Not only does it take longer, but you're then stuck with whomever they decide to send out, and whatever fix if flavour of the month.

I have fond memories of the days in a server room where I got to roll up my sleeves and get stuck into fixing a problem. It was those days that taught me the skills that let me develop, and gave me the confidence to take on new challenges without worrying about if I had the qualification to do it.

I too had some great mentors. Unfortunately a lot of these guys are moving out of the industry, or at least out of the hands-on roles, meaning much of their knowledge is being lost. Many of the new starters only looked at IT because they thought it was easy money, and don't want to spend the time to learn. They seem to think they deserve a good mentor from day one, along with personal tutition and a corner office. It seems there is no concept of proving yourself first before expecting the rewards.

I've had the joy of interviewing "paper warriors" who have a laundry list of qualifications with absolutely no real-world experience. They have no concept of how to work with limited resources or scope whilst troubleshooting, or finding the quick fix that gives you time to work on the better solution.

Now there is an oversupply of overqualified applicants which means the more entry-level positions (and even many mid-level positions) are being under-valued. Those with the intellect and drive to succeed are finding greener pastures and leaving IT to those who are willing to take minimum wage. Still don't know why I'm here though...
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Old 1st July 2008, 10:20 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feistl View Post
Most of the IT people ive worked with couldnt change a tire, let alone service a car.
most of SAU are i.t geeks
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Old 1st July 2008, 10:32 PM   #21
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Lol elvis

The fact that you bothered to post in this forum at this time is quite ironic.

This forum is the bastion of mediocrity, in your valiant but vain search for IT excellence.
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Old 1st July 2008, 11:01 PM   #22
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Ive had very limited experience but I think I can see where you are coming from.

What shits me the most is (usualy low level IT) companys who hire 16 year old kids who have no idea of how to do anything aside from format windows XP. Mainly its just in IT sales but Ive met a couple who have worked their way into higher roles.

I briefly worked at a school which employed 2 guys both an apple guy and a microsoft guy and these two spent all of their time contradicting each other and undoing each others work, This was to the point where there was essentially two independent systems. and to stretch the budget to this they cut corners everywhere.

IMHO the heart of the problem is that nowadays an IT system is pretty much a must in even small businesses but still alot of people dont know who they should be hiring and many sub standard people are getting jobs.
Im all for a national IT licensing scheme.
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Old 1st July 2008, 11:20 PM   #23
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I look at other professional industries - lawyers, doctors, engineers, architects. All of these people need to maintain a certain level of education and prove a certain minimum of competence to practice their arts. My guess is if the same thing happened in IT, 2/3 of the workers would be out the door, and rightly so before they destroy something important.
To me, this is the most salient point you have raised in your rant. AFAIK, there are no legal requirements to be an "IT guy".
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Old 1st July 2008, 11:25 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by alvarez View Post
Ive had very limited experience but I think I can see where you are coming from.

What shits me the most is (usualy low level IT) companys who hire 16 year old kids who have no idea of how to do anything aside from format windows XP. Mainly its just in IT sales but Ive met a couple who have worked their way into higher roles.

I briefly worked at a school which employed 2 guys both an apple guy and a microsoft guy and these two spent all of their time contradicting each other and undoing each others work, This was to the point where there was essentially two independent systems. and to stretch the budget to this they cut corners everywhere.

IMHO the heart of the problem is that nowadays an IT system is pretty much a must in even small businesses but still alot of people dont know who they should be hiring and many sub standard people are getting jobs.
Im all for a national IT licensing scheme.
And then there are the 16 year olds that actually know what they're on about who are out in the world fixing computers and getting ahead in the world with their knowledge that they picked up through experience while getting paid very well for it (in comparison to say, the standard pay for a 16 year old) due to their owning and running of a successful business.

I see a lot of work done by "qualified" people (much of which is crap) and to be honest, I personally don't believe that any amount of training can make up for a lack of experience. Most training courses teach a great amount of head knowledge, but really, it's experience and problem solving ability that counts.
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Old 1st July 2008, 11:26 PM   #25
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The business I work in places a low value on technical skills. You are basically invisible until you fuck up. This is a pretty standard IT mantra unfortunately. For some reason, much more emphasis is placed on "business skills" and "project management", which as far as I can tell are euphemisms for "spouting bullshit" and "fucking up projects that were running fine". Yes, I'm bitter.
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Old 1st July 2008, 11:29 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by ShaggyMoose View Post
The business I work in places a low value on technical skills. You are basically invisible until you fuck up. This is a pretty standard IT mantra unfortunately. For some reason, much more emphasis is placed on "business skills" and "project management", which as far as I can tell are euphemisms for "spouting bullshit" and "fucking up projects that were running fine". Yes, I'm bitter.
You have a right to be bitter. Hell, I'd be bitter in that situation too. You should have to prove your skills first, rather than prove your lack of skills last...
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Old 2nd July 2008, 12:06 AM   #27
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Mate, you need to get over yourself, you come accross as a stuck up IT know-it-all prick that regular everyday staff hate.

sysadmin varies between 35-120k+ type jobs, and there are obviously different levels of sysadmins. I would not consider programming in 10 different languages a sysadmin task... Basic scripting yes. Programming is for developers. id rather hire 3 staff who are specialist at comms, AD/Server Software and a developer then have 1 know-it-all IT guy claiming every man and his dog in IT should be able to do all 3 under the 1 title... get real.

Custom solutions are great and all... until once you leave the company (Which it looks like you have done multiple times) leaves the company fucked over because they have 0 support on some totally customised system that took you 6 months to build, let alone someone who has not used it before would take to actually LEARN it to your level being the person who built it and all... You gotta think about the whole picture. Sure you can build something amazing, but what the consultants who come onsite say is true - If it's not supported by anyone else but yourself, its a shit solution and will only come back to bite later.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 12:13 AM   #28
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You know its time to move on when you start rejecting promotions that have been offered to you
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Old 2nd July 2008, 12:15 AM   #29
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i gave up IT long time ago because i found out billgates did stole windows idea from charles something so and he made it.

i worked as a storeperson and knew more about computers then the newly qualified network admin... but they didnt give me the opportunity so i never made it.

guess i was happy with lower pay and doing burnouts on a forklift then putting myself out there then eventually lost interest in computers, was called wizzkid with computers in my early teenage years with no training what so ever just hands on and self taught using dos.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 12:40 AM   #30
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I'm disgusted. I'm pissed off. Quite frankly, I'm over IT. I don't consider myself smarter than the average bear, and I don't consider that I have higher expectations than is realistic.

Many moons ago, I used to have a mentor.

So when did this happen? When did "the IT guy" turn from the person who was cross trained with the breadth and depth of knowledge across a wide variety of systems and procedures turn into a drivelling half-wit


If you think I'm some sort of uppity, pompous, self-righteous know it all, then you really don't know me. A long list of excuses as to why mediocrity is acceptable and nobody should strive for anything other than average. Your comments will be filed away with the rest of them.
Sounds like you have a case of the mondays ^^.

You obviously are smarter than the average bear...don't sell yourself short; only when you stop doing that will you realize your expectations of others are unrealistic.

Truth is you are a visionary, and have a deep passion for something. 90% of people (imho) have nfi what passion or vision are, and they're the ones you're going to mostly meet no matter where you go. They have no idea what it's like to envision a better world, and see a path to achieve it. They care about consuming a "living", and since IT was seen as a great way to earn a lot of money, naturally the masses flooded that path. *Most* people just want a job that pays their bills, and to try to fault 90% of the population is pointless...they all have their uses.

Your fault lies in thinking that it's not your responsibility, as a more intelligent human being, to lead the less intelligent to do better things. Empowering someone with the desire to learn is amazingly difficult...either people have it or they (mostly) don't. You can teach them skills, though, and more importantly setup processes to keep them occupied, but when the blind lead the blind, you see the results in catastrophic system failures. YOU need to collate your wisdom and pass it on. If you find a way to do it that you enjoy, you'll make yourself financially comfortable too.

I started in IT, but saw what you saw, got bored and frustrated, and eventually went into manufacturing...where I felt I really could improve the world in one ever so slight way by making the most amazing indian curry sauces that you or anyone else'll ever taste. Consider yourself very lucky you had a mentor you respected. I've been searching for one for a long time, and still haven't found one...having to learn all the hard stuff via experience with what I do, and while it's draining, I know I'll still get there in time (mentor just speeds things up like crazy, as you found).

Don't feel too down about your situation. Know that there are people like you all over the world, just as frustrated with the carelessness of others as you are. Find them (e.g. apply to mensa, or business networks, or park benches, or whatever), look to them for hope, and inspiration, because it's easy to lose hope for humanity if you expect conscienciousness from everyone; you'll only become disappointed, bitter and hate the world even more. Learn to accept your strengths, your weaknesses, and the same for others, and to apply your strengths to other's weaknesses, and vice versa. I don't need geniuses to help me produce my jars perfectly every time (my weakness -> huge effort in time/labour/multitasking)...I've made the processes so simple that anyone can do it, and I'm having great success with teaching that to my minions; their strengths have overshadowed my weaknesses, and my strenghs have ensured their needs are satisfied (work/pay/living; their weakness -> not wanting to really think).

If you get a chance, I recommend reading the E-Myth Revisited. An interesting look on why McDonalds have done so ridiculously well, amoung other things. It might give you some perspective on the different roles a person can play in any venture.
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