Consolidated Business & Enterprise Computing Rant Thread

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

  1. daffy

    daffy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2001
    Messages:
    1,280
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Interesting debate with good points made by many- and it hasn't been closed yet because of flaming/personal attacks etc.:)
    The one parallel i do see here (and i had this line of thinking) was that to specialise in I.T. would be a good way to go.
    It's been pointed out to me that specialising is not always a good thing- i certainly don't have the time to specialise in what i currently do as i have too many things to look after and learn.
    Being new to I.T. i can see pitfalls of this industry just as there are with many others i have worked in.
    Elvis i can certainly understand where your coming from-no easy fix for any of it and i'm certainly not qualified to offer advice.:o
     
  2. juppy

    juppy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    1,836
    Location:
    Coffs Harbour, Australia
    Whilst I agree with many of the things you have said, there is probably an 80 year old guy posting on some forum for geriatric geeks who has a similar rant, however in his rant he is pissed off that none of these young guys even know how to fix a Zuse Z3 these days.
     
  3. KRiSX

    KRiSX Member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2002
    Messages:
    7,989
    Location:
    North-west Sydney
    like i always say... just cause you might have a piece of paper saying you know something... doesn't mean you know jack shit...

    i've been working in IT for many years now... i'm only 23 but started off very young, i've always had a passion for this stuff since a young age and now I do it every day.

    I work for a small company that looks after the SMB space, we're Microsoft Certified and all that rubbish and I'm the only staff member that isn't completely ignorant of alternatives to Microsoft products... it annoys me, but I live with it.

    We've also got a junior tech who did a cadetship or something and has more qualifications then me and my boss combined, but he's still fairly useless and makes us look pretty half arsed when we send him out, luckily our clients understand he's young and inexperienced and we don't loose any business over it.

    There are a lot of clowns in this industry, people that think they know what they're doing and know sweet FA... to those people i say good luck and they will soon fail... for those of us that know what they are doing and talking about, its just about getting out there and proving to people that there aren't a bunch of knobs in IT
     
  4. LinX

    LinX Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Messages:
    510
    Location:
    Digital Nomad .. I go where my whimsy takes me.
    Wow... Took the words out my mouth you did.
    I've Been a systems admin for a year, network engineer for 1 year before that, and have completed the obligatory "time" on an IT help desk. Not getting ahead of myself. I stilll consider myself a little green in this industry. I had no previous study before getting the helpdesk position. 3 and a bit years I'm my own Systems Admin, with my own 300+ node network looking after a range of systems from Windows 2003 AD (cringes), AIX/Universe Database server and various linux servers and cisco routers. My current projects include a LDAP+Samba linux or BSD server for a new dealership, (saving upwards of $20000), and getting some uniform hardware happening in this dealership. (I still have p2 350's IN USE)

    What gets me is the sheer gaul of the person that used to manage the IT dept about a year before I got here. You see, he was an MCSE, and it's only recently I've figured that It's in this vender certification (microsoft specifically), that where MOST IT disasters lie. They are taught that the "microsoft way" is the only way, and generally to most Microsoft certified people out there I've met, thinking outside this box is an absolutely ludicris venture to them ...
     
  5. andys

    andys Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2001
    Messages:
    711
    Location:
    Sydney
    Good rant.

    One solution is to become one of these consultants that get brought in. At least then you're getting paid a truckload more for your efforts and paying attention to detail.
     
  6. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    42,791
    Location:
    Brisbane
    But not paid to read at night, so you don't bother? I see...

    Agreed. But engineering has much fiercer standards. Sure there are cowboys in that industry as well, but they seem far fewer in percentage, and most are kicked out before they can hurt anyone.

    And again, to become an engineer, you have to pass a must stricter batch of tests. Same with being a doctor, lawyer or architect. All of these professions require strict testing and re-testing of skills, as well as membership to a professional board or group, which itself requires some years of training and BEING MENTORED by others.

    Given what IT is used in these days - our power and electricity, our health systems, our finance, bank and superannuation, our police, our governments, our tax - why the hell is nobody outside of IT standing up and demanding that IT people prove their worth before touching these sorts of systems?

    I think the answer lies here:
    And that's the sad part. When people see mediocrity everywhere, they should fight it and demand more. Instead, people become desensitised to it, and learn to live with it.

    When people talk about global warming, they talk about the frog in the water: put a frog in boiling water, and it jumps out in shock. Put a frog in cold water and heat that water slowly over several hours until it boils, and the frog won't notice the gradual change, and will eventually boil to death. I think that suits the current IT situation pretty well: the slow slide of professionalism isn't being noticed, and things are starting to break because of it.

    I'm sure most of you know about this site:
    http://thedailywtf.com/

    I used to get a chuckle out of it. Today it makes me want to scream.

    Believe me when I say, they are the only reason I'm still in IT: three children, a wife, a mortgage, and a dog. If it weren't for them, I wouldn't have a reason to work at all right now. Given that I have to work, I'd like to take pride in it - but it's hard to be proud at the moment.

    In another year all three kids are in school. When that happens, the wife has expressed a strong desire to return to work. I've offered to drop back to something either contract or part time, work from 10 to 2 every day, and spend the rest of the day with my children before and after school. I'd much rather watch them grow than watch the IT industry crumble, that's for sure.

    And if I didn't have the mortgage at all, I'd quit IT work in totality today.
     
  7. Genomic

    Genomic New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Messages:
    1
    Sounds like you have the overblown Protestant work ethic that plagues this country. My dad had it and my family barely saw him when we were kids. He was too busy being a 'professional' and saving the world from his office. You say you have 3 kids. You say you used to clock 90 hours and were only paid for 40 (absolutely nothing to be proud of). You say how absolutely dedicated you are to your career. Perhaps you need to step back for a dose of perspective. You are not your career. It shouldn't even be the most important thing in your life. Your family should. That and your existence as a well-rounded human being.

    Now, you may say I'm prejudging you, and that you have an extensive life outside your work. Though the way you talk about your dedication, accomplishments and so on it's like you should be wearing a cape, standing rigidly fist on hips while dramatically staring into the middle distance. In other words, it seems you take your job (and it's importance) far too seriously. Sure, some level of prefessionalism is good. But you're not curing cancer, and besides that you have a life and family that should be your priority.
     
  8. Soarer GT

    Soarer GT Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,834
    Location:
    Melbourne

    People without IT certificates are always pushing the proverbial *shit* uphill. I was a dynamic systems admin and when it came time for a new job, not having that MCSE or whatever certificate just got your resume thrown out. I was fortunate that I found a place that put more emphasis on the 1 on 1 interview than the resume screen.
     
  9. Rubberband

    Rubberband Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    6,756
    Location:
    Doreen, 3754
    Whilst I agree with what you are saying here his rant isn't about life it about standards. If you take the human perspective out of it and judge his post solely on a professional basis, you have an entirely different discussion.
     
  10. seefarr

    seefarr Member

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2005
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Londinium
    You're ideas intrigue me and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.
     
  11. Alepro

    Alepro Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2004
    Messages:
    35
    Location:
    Sydney
    Wow,

    I have to say that you hit the nail on the head Elvis. Very astute observations, although I'm sure they don't seem very subtle to you ;)

    I've been working in various roles in IT for the previous six years, and what was a blessing at first has turned me off the whole industry in the end:

    I got into IT almost by coincidence. I sat down at an job agency back in Europe and wanted to get a simple job to make a little money on the side while going to uni, and when asked if I knew "something about computers" I
    nodded along and ended up getting my first break into IT. I delayed uni, and after 6 month I got myself another job as a network controller at a major backbone provider. I didn't even dress up for the interview. Walked in with jeans, shirt and a pair of Vans and got the job. No cert's, no degree just the right answers to some tricky questions.

    I delayed uni again and kept on doing this for years, and when I finally took some time of work to start my long planned architecture degree I quickly realised that that wasn't for me, and IT offered me much more.

    So I moved to Oz and got another job for a Telco but finally the reality of the industry started to occur to me clearly (I assume I didn't see it before since I always had architecture and uni in the back of my head): I was surrounded by people that stopped learning all but the absolute essentials many years ago and were really just getting by, day by day. They had clearly lost all passion for the job but were stuck in it now, until they retire or are beeing made redundant in the next wave of "cost cutting".

    On top of that, they had no interest or knowledge of what was happening in the broader tech world around them. One day I came into the office to find that everyone was spending their day drooling all over Google Earth like it was the fisrt time they saw it, even though it had been around for years. Turns out it was the first time they saw it, since one of them had read about it in the Sunday paper. Welcome to the web 2.0.

    These guys run the Australian arm of a major Telco carrying a significant portion of Australia's international network traffic, and would just shrug their heads if you asked them what (OSI) layer they are working on when standing right in front backbone router.

    As time wore on I got more and more frustrated with IT and finally made the hard choice and quit altogether some time ago. I have decided that engineering is the way forward for me, and am currently a degree in COMP Eng. I am lucky to a have wonderful wife that supports me, and I realise that this is an option for very few, but it was the right choice for me.
    I tended to dismiss uni education as unnecessary and not applied enough for the IT reality, but I have to say that that was a very arrogant believe. If you pick the right institution you'll come out with a wealth in knowledge that working on the job can never give you.
    Take it from me: I've done both.

    Australia isn't big on engineering jobs, but they are out there, and once you're there you'll find that you are likely to be in good company. Australian university's are producing some very good talent and luckily not all of them go overseas.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  12. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    42,791
    Location:
    Brisbane
    Let me explain myself a little there:

    When I was young and single, 90+ hour weeks were common. Then I had kids, and cut well back to "normal" weeks. I try to keep the average week to 40 hours. Some creep out to 50, but these are the exception to the rule.

    When I had no family, family obviously wasn't my priority. Now that I do have family, they certainly are. However, does that mean I immediately give up caring about my profession? Does that mean I need to suddenly ignore/accept the mediocrity of the industry? Does it mean that while at work, I'm not allowed to care about the integrity of the work I do?

    When at home, I'm dedicated to my family. When at work, I'm dedicated to my job. Family comes first (indeed, the rant I initially wrote was written at home, as two of my kids were ill that day, and I was home caring for them, and wrote the spiel while they had their afternoon naps). But again, just because I am a "family man", doesn't mean I can't also care about my profession.

    I'm sorry if you had a father who put work first. My dad is my hero. While being totally dedicated to his profession (he was an Applied Scientist in Chemistry who is now in the world of upper management), he too made it well known that family always came first. He was one of these people who managed to do in 3 hours what others seem to need 8 to accomplish. He put in a 110% to his work day, every day, and came home to put another 110% into his family life.

    Don't assume just because I care about my profession that my family misses out. Trust me when I say this: if push comes to shove and someone forces me to choose between a career and family, family wins.

    I was offered a job in New York back in January to come build a custom 250TB data store (think of it like a homebrew SAN built from Linux and commodity/generic iSCSI and FC hardware) for an advertising firm there, and then go on to manage their storage, render farms, and other infrastructure. The dollars on offer were huge, and all moving expenses were going to be paid. I turned it down. Why? My wife and I want our kids to grow up here in Australia, for a wide variety of reasons. Family comes first.

    But when at work, I care about work, and the integrity and competence of those around me.

    Funny you should say "You're not curing cancer". I've worked on a few installs for the haematology clinics here in Brisbane. Most of which was used to store data for cancer research. Once again: IT is everywhere as a base tool for the people doing the real work. And because of that, I care about the quality of the industry as a whole, and how it affects other industries. Even those curing cancer.
     
  13. V8R

    V8R Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2001
    Messages:
    2,555
    Location:
    Mudgee, NSW
    great thread, many feelings reflected here are also my own. a long reply to come later, must head to work now(Freelance IT&T Consultant)..
     
  14. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Messages:
    9,581
    Location:
    Townsville
    This is such an important point that you make, and something even business owners themselves don't appreciate. They don't necessarily still have thousands of faxes a day, or couriers delivering documents, they don't have a heap of staff dedicated to shuffling documents around and doing manual filing, binding and so on.

    Maybe when businesses start to appreciate the importance of their IT infrastructure and staff will all be fixed, but I can't see that happening any time soon. This is one reason why I've been close to taking on the thought process of the lazy IT worker - do your own job, do your minimum hours, and GTFO. The business world needs a wake up call.
     
  15. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    42,791
    Location:
    Brisbane
    This has been bubbling away inside me for the better part of three years. These last 12 months in particular were boiling point.

    The day I wrote the rant had no special significance. In fact, it was a far better day than most.

    I can deal with the odd bad day. When I have to put up with a bad half-decade, then it's a different story.

    As mentioned, I completely expected to be shot down in flames from all of this, and that there would have been a far greater percentage of the "meh, you get paid, so stop caring" or "you're just up yourself" style posts. The responses here and the dozens of PMs that have come through have shown me that there are plenty of people who feel the same way, and care just as much. That much has raised my faith in the whole situation somewhat.

    Although in the same breath my fears are realised that it is something spread far further than I could have imagined, and is affecting the innocent bystanders and consumers of products and services held together by IT far more frequently than I knew.
     
  16. hypersonic6

    hypersonic6 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    Messages:
    316
    Location:
    listening to ASoT
    If you are talking about the people starting with an I and ending with an M, ive had the same experience. They would rather send out level 1 techs who know nothing, have thems screw around for days, only to then send out people who actaully know the system they are working on.
     
  17. stewpot

    stewpot Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2001
    Messages:
    1,306
    Location:
    NW Tas
    I think this quote illustrates at least part of the problem.

    From here:
     
  18. OP
    OP
    elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    42,791
    Location:
    Brisbane
    While I agree that IT expenditure in many companies is too high (it's not about spending more, but about spending on the right things instead of the common or "industry standard" things that really don't suit your individual business), I'm blown away by the number of business owners who do see IT as a mere expenditure, or worse, "the enemy".

    Business owners need to see IT as a resource, and not a necessary evil. Nobody hates stationary or telephones, and most people understand that they are merely a tool to do business, and not the business itself. I'm at a loss as to why IT is seen as something bigger and nastier than it needs to be by most business owners.

    But then again, if I were a business owner who had IT staff who consistently bought ill-fitting systems and software because they didn't know any better or weren't willing to deliver solutions that met the business need directly, I guess I'd be pretty cynical about the whole thing too.
     
  19. phreeky82

    phreeky82 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2002
    Messages:
    9,581
    Location:
    Townsville
    Funnily enough, combining that article quote and what elvis has just said, it's a HR problem. They don't know WTF they're doing, they either recruit dead beats, or they recruit people with brains but then kill their will to work hard, and THEMSELVES make IT an inefficient component of the business.

    This all makes me really angry because I am not having a positive experience at work at the moment, my 15.5hr day yesterday didn't bring a smile to my face - especially on origin night - and I work very closely with HR people.
     
  20. ewok85

    ewok85 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Messages:
    8,105
    Location:
    Tokyo, Japan
    I'm sitting looking at this mail server, waiting for the tech in Europe to wake up (called 4 times now...) so he can do a 10 second fix.

    I love globalisation and think it is great that someone on the other side of the globe can log into a server as if they were right here, but that means squat when the mail server is broken and I'm onsite to provide "escalation" when I could have this working right now. My users are inconvenienced, I'm inconvenienced and I don't think this guy is going to be happy when I eventually get him up either.

    What is with these crappy support deals!?

    See the above - its a business issue. People don't want to pay money for good quality when they can get mediocrity that's good for 90% of the time for less. I've been in some situations that border on the insane in terms of cutting corners (Servers running NT, PIII desktops running Win2k, sharing/renting office space to the point where you cannot use certain power sockets because "it isn't ours", making some random secretary the "IT contact" and then expecting them to handle a network meltdown, outsourcing support of everything to overseas then when something critical onsite dies we can't do anything because of permissions or some other bs)
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008

Share This Page

Advertisement: