Consolidated Business & Enterprise Computing Rant Thread

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by elvis, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. Whisper

    Whisper Member

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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. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2008
  2. alvarez

    alvarez Member

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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.
     
  3. GazG

    GazG Member

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    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".
     
  4. Taceo Corpus

    Taceo Corpus Member

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    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.
     
  5. ShaggyMoose

    ShaggyMoose Member

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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.
     
  6. Taceo Corpus

    Taceo Corpus Member

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    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...
     
  7. KillerBunny

    KillerBunny Member

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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.
     
  8. oohms

    oohms Member

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    You know its time to move on when you start rejecting promotions that have been offered to you :tongue:
     
  9. Atti

    Atti Member

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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.
     
  10. HunterBunter

    HunterBunter Member

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    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.
     
  11. azron

    azron Member

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    someone needs a hug.

    elvis, you sound jaded - a result of being hard done by peers who exhibit a lack of respect for what they do. you are right, there are far too many people who live the 'jost a job' mentality within the IT industry, and it shows everyday in the 'work' they do. Has the industry become lazy with google and 'bootcamp' training courses? (apparently if I sit a five day course I can earn 80K and drive a BMW by the end of it:shock: lol)

    Is it this perception bestowed upon us from a part of the industry which makes the 'entry' level candidates simply want to run before they walk? I think so. I sound like my old man when i say, 'kids these days want everything without having to earn it..'

    I too get my hands dirty, I love it, and love IT - I could easily do what I do now for the rest of my days.

    Apart from sounding a little lost and shirt-fronted by the sudden realisation of the inept world around you - be safe in the fact that at least these turkeys will keep you in a job!

    Hey if it all goes pear shaped up north, consider coming down south for a bit ;)
     
  12. -=N0N@ME420=-

    -=N0N@ME420=- Member

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    Does avoiding ms at all cost and instead relying on other products consist of being 'the unix guy'?

    I was also wondering where you had gone Elvis, OOS is missing you :p
     
  13. seamer

    seamer Member

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    It isn't specifically IT persay, but you hit the problem on the head early on.

    Guys go in, build a custom solution, contract ends, guy leaves. Cheaper guy comes in, breaks something, lots of money is 'wasted' recovering the mess. Pennypinchers say 'fuck custom, get something anyone can come in and handle to save costs. Use something I can figure out'. So the cash goes to names like Honeywell.

    ==

    And I'll add that most of the people you're looking for as equals probably dont have the accreditation that recruiters are looking for. 'Whats that, you taught yourself the ISO stacks? Wheres your TAFE degree? dont got one? Sorry, not interested'.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  14. ShaggyMoose

    ShaggyMoose Member

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    Unfortunately, its easier to just look at someones paper qualifications that to figure out if they actually have a bloody clue. Especially if HR is running the interview and don't have a clue about the job themselves. Of course, its obvious a few months in when everything catches fire, but its usually too late by then.
     
  15. bloodbob

    bloodbob Member

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    Why does anyone specifically need knowledge of GFS? really all they need is knowledge about clustered files systems in general.

    Do you really need knowlodge about both iSCSI and FC?

    You know how to script for every OS in existance?

    Well so you need Sun,MS,Novell,ect administration skills.

    Ahh so I see your silicon engineer now too designing your own chips.

    Your whinging about junrior systems admin not having all these skills. Well what training path do you need to become a "Junior sys admin"?
     
  16. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    First up, I want to say thanks to most of the folks who have posted in this thread. I expected to be flamed to hell and back, and instead there has been some great discussion had, and valid points raised.

    I find this a two-fold attitude - one part from the employer, but the bigger part from the employee.

    I'm regularly known as "the fixit guy", due to the fact that when something does break, I'm the one people come running to.

    Again, I think this goes back to my point about professional qualifications (ala law, medicine, architecture, etc) as well as mentoring. Wages need to start somewhere. I've met some folk who qualify well enough as junior sysadmins, and honestly $40k is more than enough for their skillset. Shit, I started my career in IT on $23k a year, and I worked my arse off even on that wage. But I worked my way up very quickly through a combination of hard work and not taking shit.

    Again, mentoring would help here. But you are very right: many companies cap sysadmin wages quite low, and expect so much for their money. I think this is ignorance on the employers side, as they don't understand exactly what these people do for them, and just how much of a modern business relies on the combined mass of digital equipment within the office.

    Higher wages would keep good sysadmins around. But I'm struggling to find people worthy of such wages these days.

    Agreed. I make it well known that I will mentor anyone with a passion to learn. In two businesses so far when going through the annual review process, I've been called "innovative" due to my desire to mentor. Innovative? I consider it a necessary thing for the industry as a whole, as well as the business itself. How the hell is it "innovation" to do what should be mandatory???

    Yes, the reliance on vendor support these days is disgusting. For starters, I'm seeing it more and more common where 50% or more of IT budgets go out to third party support. Now, that would be fine if the support was worth the cash. A 4 hour SLA used to mean you got a tech onsite in 4 hours fixing something. Today it means you get a phone call within the first four hours, and some bored guy will turn up when they feel like it to fix the problem at a later, unconfirmed date.

    But tell a business to deal with the problems in house, and your average CIO will shit a brick. As if swapping out a HBA, controller, fibre switch, or some other piece of kit is the hardest thing in the world, and will cause your server room to spontaneously burst into flame if done by "unqualified" hands (that are usually attached to a brain of an onsite sysadmin with ten times the experience of the third party tech).

    Yes, which is why I expected more flames. But there are hidden gems lurking on this forum, and I think many of them have risen to the surface here, which is pleasantly surprising.

    I expected more of this...

    This is what I'm talking about. Being proud of your skills is considered "stuck up". Demanding a higher quality of output from the people around you is being a "know it all prick".

    Why is it that where I work now, there are 4 specialised sub departments in IT, all with their own "specialists" and team leaders, yet when it comes time for someone to be called in to lead a project, or a representative of IT is needed to meet with a production leader, I'm the one called in? Is it because I'm a "know it all prick"? Or is it because I say what I mean, mean what I say, only promise on what I know I can deliver, and always deliver what I promise?

    I'm a renowned ranter, even "in the real world". Yet for some reason words from my rants are the ones invariably coming out of the mouths of the production folks 6 months after I join a company, demanding to know why they aren't getting the quality and integrity the deserve, and why IT continually make excuses about why things aren't being done on time instead of just shutting the hell up and getting them done.

    For starters, there's no formula or silver bullet when it comes to business. Anyone who claims the above is making grand sweeping generalisations, and I have no doubt that you'd be the sort to apply that logic to any business you walked into. This is another gripe of mine: nobody takes the time to really look at business need any more. People just hammer in ill-fitting solutions because they are "industry standard". I've seen some businesses use generic stuff, and it worked very well. I've seen others migrate from generic stuff to highly customised stuff at the hands of competent IT staff, and seen their productivity go skywards.

    But that's getting off the subject. One of the glaring problems today is that people are so hyper-specialised that they stop being useful in a business. Dedicated comms guys are great, but ask them to assist diagnosing application level network dropouts, and they throw their hands in the air and say "not my problem".

    So yes, I'm getting real. I'm asking people to give a shit outside of their realm of expertise. I'm asking people to spend a day once a month learning something that has nothing to do with their job. I'm asking Windows guys to learn scripting, and I'm asking Linux guys to play with an Exchange box. Why is it such a bad thing to cross-skill your staff, and get people understanding stuff outside of their job title? More to the point, when did it become typical to demand mediocrity?

    I agree, you do have to think of the big picture.

    I build and deliver highly custom solutions where ever I work (and it should be noted that I choose places to work based on very picky criteria - my job offer to job acceptance ratio is around 20:1 at the moment). I also mentor my juniors, train other staff, and document the seven shades out of everything I touch. At the last place I worked, within 3 days of starting I built a wiki, and for every solution I built, wrote a manual, as well as possible extensions of the product and ways to hack it and/or remove and replace it. I added over 3000 articles to the wiki by the time I left the company. Said company dropped their IT expenditure to 1/3 it's amount while I was there.

    Then a new CIO gets hired, complains that the custom solutions are "too difficult" (for who? All the staff onsite were trained up in it, and all new staff got trained up on it within days of arriving). He decided to replace the lot with "off the shelf" stuff - all badged and name branded. He spent 10 times my annual budget it 3 months, and the whole lot fell apart and went tits up.

    Again, custom solutions don't always work. There is no silver bullet. I've seen plenty of businesses where a turnkey product is enough to get the job done, and means they can get support from anyone at any time. But there are places and times when they work alarmingly well. And if you're the type who insists on generic stuff everywhere you go because you're too afraid to learn something new or have to build a solution yourself, then you're doing your business, and more importantly yourself, a huge deficit.

    Skill up, learn, grow. You'll surprise yourself at what you can achieve.

    You mention something there: "... until you leave". It should be noted that for every single business I've left, I made my intentions, desires and annoyances well known, well in advance. Sometimes up to 6 months prior, I would warn of the disasters to come if certain paths were taken (the example above is such a case). And in all cases, the day I place my resignation on my bosses desk is the day when the grovelling and begging starts, with cries of "what can we do to keep you?". I'm at a loss how to answer these people, when I spent the last 6 months advising what they could do, and nothing was done.

    Perhaps more businesses would find staff sticking around longer if they too demanded a higher quality of output from all, and upped the integrity of this sorry industry. You'd be amazed at how motivated people can get when you give them a challenge and a realistic but high expectation. I don't know when this "wet lettuce leaf boss" syndrome first appeared, when all bosses thought they had to tiptoe around their staff. I've had people under me in the past who thrived under the right challenges. More often than not when people leave, it's not stress or a tough job. It's frustration and apathy for an ever sliding quality within their work and team that causes people to walk.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2008
  17. kbekus

    kbekus Member

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    remember that 50% of the population has less than the average IQ.

    I would imagine it's very difficult in life to be a passionate person when most people aren't. I think the phrase 'do unto others as you would have done to yourself' is completely wrong also. The best you can hope for (IMO) is to meet or exceed your own standards, and to leave a strong legacy. To expect more from others is only going to leave you banging your head against the wall.
     
  18. Rubberband

    Rubberband Member

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    If only more managers thought like this. It's in a business's best interests to cross-skill after all.

    The only point against what you have said is that you have to consider the amount of effort it takes to gain a broad range of skills whilst managing your workload. Those who want to upskill are usually those who want out of where they are due to low pay or high workloads or whatever. My problem is that work stays at work, with a new son I refuse to compromise my downtime, but then that's at the expense of developing my career, which is my choice.
     
  19. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

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    The IT boom happened. People thought "IT means big dollars", and got into IT.

    And so all the people who did it for the love of it get mixed up in it all and are hard to find. But they do exist...

    It's these people doing it just for the money that have caused it, primarily by making it hard to find the truly passionate ones. I've done a little bit of IT recruitment ("on the side" in a sense), and have worked with a lot of HR and Recruitment Consultants (and have wanted to slap most of them btw), and the use of these people for IT recruitment has truly fucked things up.

    They'll put a resume on the desk, and a list of required skills next to it. Search for the keywords, tick them off, and the rest get binned. Then this douche, who has no real skill but has an MCSE + CCNA and worked under other fools for a year or two at a government department, gets a phone call offering him $40k for a shitty role at a company that wont appreciate him.

    And so someone who didn't list the right skill but could probably pick it up in a few days is sitting on his arse browsing seek thinking "wtf has this industry come to i need out of this shithole". He also thinks "i can't even get a $40k job", he gets out of IT, and the world loses a truly good IT Professional.

    ----------

    I gotta say though I don't agree with your mentality that every IT Professional should know everything. You certainly wouldn't. The world has moved forward thanks to specialisation, and there is no problem with that, however it is critical to know not just your own job really well, but just a little bit of those people you have to deal with. It's what was taught at the beginning of engineering back when I was at uni, and I completely agree with it - if only to help you appreciate the complexity of your colleagues job, but also to help you communicate with them.

    That said, I'm a big believer in giving things a shot. I've been criticised by a few people including some on this forum for giving things a go, and copped the "get someone who knows what they're doing" bullshit. Yet after some wanker who apparently knows what he is doing has stuffed something up, I have had to fix it, and the stuff now works.
     
  20. Iceman

    Iceman Member

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    I haven't read the whole rant, but I'm familiar with the concept. But I think your question can be answered fairly simply:

    What the hell happened to professional IT?

    "Close enough is good enough"

    Also the lack of realistic qualifications makes judging competent people impossible by anyone non competent.

    And I have to agree with people who say "you don't need every skill under the sun to be a sysadmin".
     

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