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Old 2nd July 2008, 1:02 PM   #61
JonBob
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what's wrong with professional IT? easy answer.
I can go out and go to a learning centre that GUARANTEES that if I study with them I'll get the MS and Cisco certs, provided I can pay.
who thinks that will NOT result in a lot of people with IT qualifications they shouldn't have getting jobs?
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Old 2nd July 2008, 1:07 PM   #62
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There are a lot of things to say and many of them have been said.

But I would like to suggest something before you stage an exit. Why dont you just climb up the ladder, it sure looks like you have the ability and the drive.

I can see you being a great mentor, it might do the industry some good and it might do you some good. I have had really good luck with work places and have always had great roles with great mentors. But from the onset of working in IT I have known that being technical is more a chore then something I wanted to do through out my hole career. That is why I have made a move to project management. I have not looked back since.

Regardless in the end i you dont like it, get out
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Old 2nd July 2008, 1:10 PM   #63
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I agree wholeheartedly with most of whats been said.

I think elvis has a really valid point, it seems everyone is just looking to specialise in a very narrow skillset and demand more money once they're the only one experienced or qualified enough for a particular job. There's a real stigma that you need an 'expert' in for any given project in order for people to get that warm fuzzy 'we did out best' feeling. Or if you're into project jargon in order to mitigate risk.

Unfortunately IT systems aren't that modular!
You need to know, if not intimately at least conceptually, how everything works together so you know that when you effect a change in one system how and when it will impact the system as a whole.

I also believe that not owning issues or avoiding responsibility like the plague is truly one of the great problem. Contemporary western culture has placed so much emphasis on the negative connotation of mistakes that its the ultimate evil. Mistakes are how people learn, fixing broken IT systems will force you to learn about a given system more intimately than you ever cared for before.

I can't tell you how angry it makes me to have a good long chat with a client or fellow employee about changes to be made to their system, impact, risks, and so on, reach an acceptable conclusion and go to walk away only to have them ask for the whole conversation in email form. This is blatant arse covering and it also implies that i'm going to stab them down the line if it all goes pear shaped. I accept responsiblity for every piece of advice or change i've ever made as should everyone, if you can't and need things in writing that just makes me doubt your integrity and quality.

And i'd also like to dip in full favour of the mentoring mindset. I too was lucky enough to come across someone to look up to and who helped me build an attitude towards work that i'm proud of. He wasn't a genius and was far from having all the answers but was always willing to bounce ideas around and i've never actually seen him tackle a problem that didn't get solved. Due to working with him I now consider the answer to technical questions of "I'm not sure but we can figure it out" to be many many many times more valuable than the opinions of 'experts' who are so aware of their shortcomings they're afraid to highlight them by ever answering they didn't know something.

Whenever a junior or helpdesk comes to me with a question if I have time (and I make time 90% of the time) i will explain to them how something works so they can figure it out themselves rather than just answering. This is both selfless and selfish! If you teach them they will never ask you the same question again.
(Although I do have a strict 2 explanation policy, if you forget a 3rd time you're on your own)
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Old 2nd July 2008, 1:24 PM   #64
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Old 2nd July 2008, 1:27 PM   #65
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I can understand why these things happen. The field of (classical) engineering has fragmented and specialised, and we wind up with electrical engineers, civil engineers, hydraulic engineers, aeronautical engineers. All of these disciplines have clear lines of demarcation and responsibility.

What I have seen in Government, Fortune 5 companies and large outsourcers is an attempt to institute that model onto IT as an field. This is why you see people specialising in Networks, Servers, Midrange, Security, Desktop etc. Rarely will you see an Electrical engineer attempt to tell a Hydraulic engineer how to perform his calculations and design his hydraulics - perhaps the framework guides the behaviour somewhat when you see a Network engineer refuse to assist a Desktop support engineer?

The description that elvis gives of a 'senior sysadmin' is almost a life coach for the business. He is expected to know the business, its logic, processes and desired outcomes, and find ways to enable them more efficiently or cheaply. That lifecoach role has been usurped by 'the consultant'. Typically they come from 'the big 4', and bring with them nothing but promises and a multi-thousand dollar-a-day billing rate (plus travel expenses). These consultants are snavvled up by the IT manager and the CIO, because they have nice hair and expensive suits and their business card says KPMG, or Deloitte, or Ernst or similar.

This is why 'senior sysadmins' are despondent and working to rule rather than to enhance their employer's systems - because they watch these salesmen in suits fly in, charge stupid amounts of money, and still wind up doing the actual work themselves.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 1:29 PM   #66
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Elvis sounds like someone I would like to work for.
I'm fairly low down the chain in IT and I've always been a jack of all trades type. Mentoring and direction is paramount for people like me.
Even within my fairly supportive and well structured environment, there are a few people with the 'correct' mindsets, but the majority are here for the cash.
I'm lucky in that I have the freedom to move and network, and continue to learn. Within a managed services company of this size, this seems quite rare.
I'm frequently asked if I want to stick my finger in another strange project and I'm jumping at every chance, even though it's well "out of scope".

I'm sorry to see that quite a few of you have lost the drive you once had.
To the guys just starting out in IT (I've only been working in the field a few years, fwiw) - there are still companies around where the best solution is the one employed. Problem is you won't know what your employer is like until you're already working there.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 1:38 PM   #67
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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 who sees more value in a commercial certification than actually learning and building things, and who decides to be "the Microsoft guy" or "the UNIX guy" or "the Cisco guy" and learns nothing but one brand-name item to the ignorance of all others, and often poorly because they can't separate concepts and ideas from brand names and marketing acronyms?
I think that about covers it, we have IT where specialisation is pushed more and more to the point where you have people (myself included) who know nothing outside of their own little bubble and are scared/unable to consider alternatives, of which are many, to be able to do a job.

I love to script and I'm constantly surprised how little is done. I worked for a company that sits somewhere in the top third of the Fortune 100 and they did all of their remote software/patch administration through pure shell scripting - not even VB. Amazingly robust, flexible and reliable.

The one part I have to agree about the most is about "mentors" - I was lucky enough at my last company to have people who were highly skilled and willing to give you half an hour to talk about anything you didn't know about, and I've got even more people in my current company who I can learn from.

Edit: My wife recently asked me if a friend of hers would be able to get into IT and "do what you do". I had a think about it and considering the amount of time I've spent to get where I am now its not something you could just step into, like many people I've messed around with computers both at home and at work, made enough mistakes and read enough material, that I can't really see it being easy to do. Its like wanting to just "start" being a doctor - its not like that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazper View Post
This gives them the incentive to study. Now I'm not saying all study these days is good, cause a lot of the MSCE crap is just that, crap, there I said it. I think that there needs to be some unification and some serious thought put towards IT education (in a *nix environment).
My company "gets" this, and all of the staff are able to claim back money for any study (or "self improvement", ie. going to the gym) they do. Its use it or lose it, so if I come across something that I don't have a clue about I can hop on Amazon, grab a book and know what it means. My latest example would be packet sniffing

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Originally Posted by KillerBunny View Post
Mate, you need to get over yourself, you come accross as a stuck up IT know-it-all prick that regular everyday staff hate.
Irrelevant, he isn't ranting about users but processes.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 1:58 PM   #68
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If I worked in a place where *everyone* was more productive than me, it would make me the happiest man alive.

And I can tell you now, I'd be lifting my game even more and striving to be the most productive. Friendly competition is a marvellous motivator, and very satisfying. Apathy on the other hand is dangerously contagious, and a catalyst for destruction.


That attitude stinks too. Being paid well for a job is not a reason to sit on your arse and not care. Attitudes like that are a huge part of the problem - money chasers who don't give a toss about delivering a promised level of quality.

"Integrity". Look it up, and then go find some.
I am also in the pointy end of the technical/hands-on hierarchy and I can tell you now i work in the finance industry and have never encountered what you've experienced -Then again i've never been a sys admin.

I specialise in multi vendor environments relating to LAN/WAN, Security and Voice...It is rare we outsource anything. The group is given a chance first before capex is used.

For me i love coming to work since its so varied. On any given day i can be lead/point for projects and the next i will be installing/programming a phone.

All in all i've never been anywhere near your position and cannot relate to it even after a dozen jobs ranging from Tier1/2 providers, Integrators to Enterprise.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 2:04 PM   #69
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I guess some background for me would help with my post

i did a year of telecom engineer/comp sci, dropped it and went for multimedia with a networks and computing major.
i'm smart, have a genuine interest in computing, and i'm quite capable of learning new things.

after uni i was fortunate to get a graduate role (as in a graduate program, not an entry level) in the IT dept. of a large aust company.

my 1st rotation was on the helpdesk, i was taught how to use all of the internal programs, etc, etc. used out internal knowledgebase and so on. after 4 monthe i was teaching the people on the helpdesk how to do things (people who taught me and had been there for years) even basic simple things which i had learned by working there which they should know

2nd was second level / comms. i learned the more technical side of issues in second level, things like remorely deploying software, redeploying windows, some registry hacking here and there with the odd piece of software, most of which i investigated and taught myself. comms team i did project based work, mainly investigating ups's, PoE for phones, diagnosing wan link issues, as well as pretty much doing all the patching and comms setout for 3 office levels (300 users, phones, and some faxes) in this time the team was learning some cisco so i decided to help out with teaching (since i'd recently done it in uni)

next role was programming for SAP. talk about a curveball! i hated programming at uni, but i was good at structuring programs and so on, so after about a month i was fine with both diagnosing issues inside existing code, modifying programs and creating my own (with some tutoring here and there when i didnt know certaing syntax or functions)

now i'm in a SAP Basis role, where i'm doing some basic basis work, but running and working on a project for implementing tivoli monitoring for our SAP systems... its "my baby" as they call it.

Now i by no means call myself an expert or anything like that. i dont see myself becoming somebody in a senior technical role, but i could be if i stayed in one area (so far each rotation has been 4-6 months)

i must say though there are some idiots in IT, half of the people that taught me things i have given technical advice/help when dealing with a problem in their own field. i only know what i've learned, and what i can figure out, but it seems to me that some of the people here are just admin workers that know how to use a pc!

i am not planing to stay in IT, i'm more looking at being in a managment role (pref in IT) or being an IT Business Analyst (which i will be in a junior role in a year)

Please note the following is a personal opinion:
one thing i can say is everybody i have met that has gone to excom is on par with IT that gets outsorced to another country with cheap as chips labor, I'm not being racist, but i have found that when it is outsourced the quality of work is shocking, if they even understand the situation, and their technical knowledge is very limited.

i think there are far too many fools employed in IT which makes the other fools not look that bad when hireing. this is why some of the more technical areas tend to have less idiots eg; working in IT with SAP or unix (even still you get some fools here)

and thats my rant
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Originally Posted by clinic: psychobunny'd twice in one thread. Well played sir, well played...
Originally Posted by Agg: I am not good with computer.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 2:12 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by alvarez View Post
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.
If they even know that... I've met some pretty ordinary IT people, most of whom run their own businesses.

While I don't know everything elvis listed in the OP, I did find myself agreeing with it all.... Except one part....
Certification/qualifications: I personally am against making a requirement of licensing/certification for IT jobs pretty much because there are some IT geniuses out there who have none, and plenty of total retards that have 4 or 5 certifications from large vendors. Who will set the standard? MS? Redhat? Cisco?
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Old 2nd July 2008, 2:21 PM   #71
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If they even know that... I've met some pretty ordinary IT people, most of whom run their own businesses.

While I don't know everything elvis listed in the OP, I did find myself agreeing with it all.... Except one part....
Certification/qualifications: I personally am against making a requirement of licensing/certification for IT jobs pretty much because there are some IT geniuses out there who have none, and plenty of total retards that have 4 or 5 certifications from large vendors. Who will set the standard? MS? Redhat? Cisco?
Just to cheer you guys up from a pretty glum thread... have a look at this :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcQ7RkyBoBc&eurl
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Old 2nd July 2008, 2:44 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Soarer GT View Post
Just to cheer you guys up from a pretty glum thread... have a look at this :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcQ7RkyBoBc&eurl
Hehehe... That's just like real life.
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Old 2nd July 2008, 2:52 PM   #73
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Originally Posted by Soarer GT View Post
Just to cheer you guys up from a pretty glum thread... have a look at this :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcQ7RkyBoBc&eurl
CLASSIC (10char)
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Old 2nd July 2008, 3:42 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tin View Post
Certification/qualifications: I personally am against making a requirement of licensing/certification for IT jobs pretty much because there are some IT geniuses out there who have none, and plenty of total retards that have 4 or 5 certifications from large vendors. Who will set the standard? MS? Redhat? Cisco?
I agree with this myself.

I feel that IT went astray when Degrees and Certs became the rage for IT and now is the "must" have in this industry, I think IT should be based on an apprenticeship system just like say an Electrician. This then would cover training from competent (hopefully!!) mentor and then maybe backed/enforced with some formal training. Just my thoughts though
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Old 2nd July 2008, 4:08 PM   #75
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One of the hardest questions I get asked in interviews (and from time to time at work) is "Where do you see yourself in 5 years". I usually say on a beach, somewhere tropical. No idea where I see myself in 5 years... I hate the idea of specialising and being stuck, but without something fancy to tag onto my name I can't really see a decent career ahead of me
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