Consolidated Business & Enterprise Computing Rant Thread

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

  1. JonBob

    JonBob Member

    Nov 27, 2003
    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?
  2. connico

    connico Member

    Jan 30, 2004
    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 :)
  3. Wynne

    Wynne Member

    Sep 22, 2003
    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)
  4. Iroquois

    Iroquois Member

    Jun 27, 2001
    deleted post
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016
  5. j3ll0

    j3ll0 Member

    Jul 13, 2005
    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.
  6. opiate

    opiate Member

    Jul 2, 2001
    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.
  7. ewok85

    ewok85 Member

    Jul 4, 2002
    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.

    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 :)

    Irrelevant, he isn't ranting about users but processes.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  8. MrvNDMrtN

    MrvNDMrtN Member

    Dec 24, 2001
    SW Syd
    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.
  9. psychobunny

    psychobunny Member

    Mar 30, 2006
    Melbournish 3750
    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
  10. tin

    tin Member

    Jul 31, 2001
    Narrabri NSW
    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?
  11. Soarer GT

    Soarer GT Member

    Sep 26, 2007
    Just to cheer you guys up from a pretty glum thread... have a look at this :
  12. tin

    tin Member

    Jul 31, 2001
    Narrabri NSW
  13. Jazper

    Jazper Member

    Jul 28, 2001
    Melbourne Australia
  14. c3rb3rus

    c3rb3rus Member

    Jul 8, 2002
    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 :)
  15. ewok85

    ewok85 Member

    Jul 4, 2002
    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 :(
  16. Reaper

    Reaper Member

    Jun 27, 2001
    Brisbane, Qld, Australia
    Regulated, yes. ;)

    But there are downsides, how to police knowledge on propriety systems? How to avoid specific vendor locks?

    Also, I think you're stuck where you are Elvis, doomed to continue the cycle due to your excuses of mortgage and family. But I think you're more trapped by your skills and the money you can command (you like the money too much). Because, hear me out, if you really wanted out, you would've be out 5 years ago. I think you just really don't have other experience or skills to jump into another field that isn't IT at base wages, hence you're trapped.

    I do feel sorry for you there, and I've decided to pass on IT as a career and keep it my hobby, and I'm much happier for it. Sure I don't earn as much as I otherwise could, but happiness is worth more to me than having to remember every computing skill all day every day, because I'm the type of person that has to know everything there is to know, or I'm just not confident in doing anything, * and with IT, there just really is too much to know no matter how much a person knows, there's always more and more. It feels like a cage sometimes when all these stupid acronyms and methods fly around that just end up being the same thing.

    So I'd rather stick with the mediocre and be happy with it and have my passion as my hobby. :) I just wish that I realised this before now, but I've decided now, pick something that isn't what I enjoy to pass my spare time and stick with it, which is quite ironic because I tend to really excel in anything that isn't computing. :D

    And on this, you'll probably also find that this is why there arn't that many Professionals around anymore. They don't want to mix their joy with work. And also why you encounter the type of IT people you do, because they don't want to mix their own joys with work anymore.

    * I should elaborate a little there, confident as in applying for any high end IT positions. But when it comes to other areas of work, I'll jump straight in. I'm more confident with a new challenge that doesn't entirely fall within my skill set.
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  17. cbb1935

    cbb1935 Guest

    Theres one simple reason why the IT industry is full of wannabes, jocks, and tryhards who have no frigging idea what they are on about. Because there is no certification to keep these clowns OUT of the industry. Effectively one could bullshit their way into a job, charge a client a massive amount for stuff they DO NOT need, and walk out never to return with a large pocket. Rinse and repeat.

    I've seen this kind of thing before at a few clients we've taken over from. One was a 10 user setup with 4 THATS RIGHT 4 HP servers. One for internet serving (instead of a router), one for email, one for files, and one as a private server for the bossess (none being backed up).

    Imagine if you allowed anyone to be a sparky or a mechanic (and hell I'm sure this happens just with repercussions if caught), their industries would be in the same state the IT industry is. Most industries have some form of official certification, IT doesn't and it needs to.

    Before people start cracking the craps about this idea, if you knew anything about IT then you wouldnt have a problem sitting through certification in your relevant area and having your business as IT Certified according to say the Australian Government or some new governing body or IT.

    Until this occurs it'll only get worse with Dell PCs being cheap as piss to buy, and any cowboy who has read page 1 of Idiots Guide to Computers proclaiming themselves as an IT professional.

    For $30 an hr someone will come to your house and fix your PC, and charge the same to turn up to your business as do the same.

    For $60 an hr someone will come to your house and fix your PC, and charge the same to turn up to your business as do the same.

    For $100 an hr someone will come to your house and fix your PC, and charge the same to turn up to your business as do the same.

    For $150 an hr someone will come to your house and fix your PC, and charge the same to turn up to your business as do the same.

    For $200 an hr someone will come to your house and fix your PC, and charge the same to turn up to your business as do the same.

    Taking the above into account, most businesses are not worried when looking for an IT person (to being with) on how good they are, they are looking at how much it costs their pockets.

    I might charge $100 p/hr and offer brilliant service that is unmatched by anyone charging $30, but how are they to know that?

    At the end of the day there are reasons people charge themselves at $30 or $40 per hr. You pay for what you get. But these people are undercutting those true IT professionals who are qualified and charging a suitable amount per hr to make a living on.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 2, 2008
  18. nimmers

    nimmers Member

    Dec 20, 2005
    /sigh at this thread

    The answer is to turn IT into a trade but I hope they never do it.

    I came from an electronics trade and moved into IT a year after finishing and I now make double what I would earn now in the electronics trade if I was still there and had progressed to where the other apprentices of my year have progressed to. In point of fact at 21 a year out of finishing my trade I was earning as much as my "peer" tradesman who was 47 years old and had 28 years more experience than myself. I'm 30 now and I can honestly say I have never worked as hard or smart as I ever needed to working in that trade job.

    Just be happy that you work in an industry that isn't unionised and you can demand what you think you're worth.

    To Elvis: sure you have to work with morons but think about this. If IT was unionised, had award wages and was regulated like a trade it would mean that you would likely either be:
    a, a consultant and have to run your own business to earn what you do now.
    b, working for a company earning the same award wage as the retards you are pointing out.

    In all honesty I hope nothing changes, theres plenty to money to be made by being competent where nobody else cares, and theres nowhere else I could be paying off my house quicker.
  19. OP

    elvis Old school old fool

    Jun 27, 2001
    Yes. The plan is this financial year to get out of the "big stuff" and into the "small stuff". Honestly, at this point the SMB market is 1000% more satisfying. Dealing directly with business owners and building solutions that suit the needs of the clients directly instead of just slapping in generic crap, as well as not needing to deal with bonehead vendors is rapidly becoming a far more attractive place for me to be.

    Yup. I think we've all been there at some point. :)

    Funny story:

    A guy who I used to go to highschool with runs his own consultancy business. He's an MS MVP too, which apparently means you're better than the average MCSE. From what I can see, it means you hammer MS solutions into any problem, regardless of fit.

    Anyways when I knew the guy, he was always in trouble for something. Stealing video games from the local woolies, trying his own mini credit card scam by collecting credit card receipts from his day job at coles, etc. All as a minor, I might add. I should mention that he got his first "big break" by fixing his night manager's home PC, who then in turn recommended him to Coles Corporate as a "great IT guy", where he was spearheaded directly into one of their big point of sale rollouts. Obviously, because scrubbing a virus off a home PC is directly akin to writing major databasing software, right?

    Anyhoos, fast forward 15 years and I'm working for a largeish Aussie retail company. The same one that pops up from time to time in my stories, with the new CEO/CIO combo who come along and destory the company. Well guess who shows up as an "independant" third party consultant? You got it, Mr MS MVP.

    Blow me down if his recommendation isn't to switch a heterogeneous Mac/Windows/Linux/UNIX/AS400 network to a homogeneous Microsoft network. I didn't see that coming. 9 months and $AU 10 million later, the company is flat broke, and shit is breaking everywhere. 75% of the IT staff have left by this stage, replaced by consultants and staff from the CIO/CEO's previous company (which they also ran into the ground with the help of Mr MS MVP, as well as a business before that one too - see my "mates helping mates" rant earlier). Wages are up 500%, and consultancy fees are over $280K in 6 months just for Mr MS MVP and his business partner. That's not including the few million Data#3 pocketed from the venture either.

    From a production point of view, none of their new systems work. They were forced in too early and without testing to try and prove a point. Staff can't access the data they need, and at a sales level, people are leaving in frustration. Fewer than 50% of locations are now profitable, and the ones that are, aren't making enough to cover the losses. They went from $50 million profit a year to negative in under 12 months. Top effort!

    It seems there's huge money to be made in utterly fucking things up. Maybe I should change from IT Sysadmin and consultant to "professional fuckup", and join the ranks of hundreds of consultants and CIOs across this great nation of ours, making a packet and not giving a shit about the path of destruction behind me?
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2008
  20. jcocks

    jcocks Member

    May 17, 2008

    That was my problem when I was in Telstra about 5 years ago now... My role was so specialised that, when I was made redundant, my skills were next to useless... I've since spent the last 5 years in dead-end jobs that lead nowhere and bore me to tears. I wouldn't have taken them if I didn't need to to support my kids.

    I'm now going back to TAFE to renew my skills - but I find these days that you *need* certs to even land a job. Certs that cost money I don't have. (While I *DO* have some of the skills - albeit unused for some time)...

    It's frustrating..

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