Consolidated Business & Enterprise Computing Rant Thread

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

  1. bennyg

    bennyg Member

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    My dad sub-sub-contracts for indigobravomike and he'd agree with everything said about them here, but he's said the same thing about both state and federal govt departments and all kinds of industry - 90% of IT people are one or a combination of
    a) ego obsessed
    b) socially inept
    c) in the wrong position
    d) overpaid and unqualified
    e) nospeakadeenglish

    Pretty much the same as the rest of humanity except more of e), mediocrity and egomania seem to be the new industry standard for more than just IT. Customer service is a dying art across the board.
     
  2. chip

    chip Member

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    I wouldn't agree that working insane hours is a protestant work ethic, it's more a cliche of a Japanese salaryman. The protestant work ethic I seem to have inherited is that your attitude to work and the quality of your work are a reflection of the content of your character. Bluntly, you give a shit about what you do and how well you do it.

    This attitude seems to be rare across the board, not just in professional IT. With the ascendancy of beancounters and professional mangers, the little bit of extra time to do a technically thorough job just shows up on the balance sheet as lost profit for is quarter.

    I wholeheartedly agree with the OP's sentiments.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  3. s4mmy

    s4mmy Member

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    Im listed as support working on a more sysadmin project and get paid more than that! :tongue: I have no "official" qualifications i just started as a support lackey ghosting PC's for 8 hours everyday (that was fun).

    You say people dont know enough about every system and you state you've worked in a fortune 500 company? Any in the last 3-4 years? If you had you'd relise how many systems there are... one person isnt capable of knowing them all. In the company i work for alone there are people dedicated to specific systems who dont know anything about most of the others... ie. the comms guys... they are cisco geniuses but ask them to install windows server and they will blink at you for a few seconds before walking off.

    The scale of business now days makes it hard for one person to know/do everything, so they specialise. Big deal... if you want to be the ducks nuts in everything go find yourself some small business where the world and your network doesnt extend outside the 4 walls of your little office...

    ...or go get paid 3x times a smuch driving a dump truck!
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  4. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

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    If you were (which you obviously aren't :) ), then you'd be a fool who deserves what he gets due to bad management/HR decisions. These are unfortunately very common these days. They then proceed to blame the easy target, 'damn computers' rather than their own incompetencies.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2008
  5. Rass

    Rass Member

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    I have to say that times have changed. You will still find some awesome people out there, but IT is now seen as a comodity and treated like a non critical resource.

    I think business in general is now rather jaded by IT - there's been huge amount failures and shortcomings in all these initiatives to make the office better via IT. That and all the problems associated with the people who follow the cash really have put a dent in the industry's reputatio.

    I'm currently working on a huge network project, and I have two CCIE's working with me, one of them didn't understand EIGRP and the other one spent 20 minutes working out why a straight through patch cable wouldn't work between a fast ethernet port on a router and a gig interface on another router when hard coded to 100/Full. In the end I had to tell him because we needed to commence testing.
     
  6. ewok85

    ewok85 Member

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    Thats exactly the problem - if the networking guys have no idea about the basics of AD and Exchange, what happens when there is a network problem, and vice versa?

    I had fun chasing an issue where computer were not finding the domain controller on startup - desktop guys had no idea, network denied that there was any issue with their equipment. Turned out to be simply portfast not being enabled, and our new superfast computers were booting before the port was available. Since then I've gone and taught myself how to configure switches which means I can fix the issue on the spot, or at least forward a detailed and precise request to the relevant person.

    You should be aware of at the least what everything is and how it works, even if you don't know every single fine detail. You will rarely face a problem that is just isolated to one system.
     
  7. glasnt

    glasnt Member

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    There is being a jack-of-all-trades, and there is knowing a little bit of other areas, as well as your own expertise.

    I never knew about hardware of any kind until about 7 months ago when I thought of building my own system. Since then I have enough knowledge to work out what goes where in a machine, and basic hardware troubleshooting, enough to be able to build a machine on my own.

    Its this kind of going out there and expanding your knowledge that is valuable. If you take a group of employees with their specific skillsets, and have them teach each other a few of the basics that other people do, such as the comms guys taking the developers out for a hour session giving a quick overview of what they do; then the devs to the same, both people know what the other does. This does pose the problem that the dev guys may not have the rights or the authorisation to fix things the comm guys can fix/have access to, but at least the devs know what the other groups do, and can then say 'Oh, this isn't something i can do, but i know Dave from comms knows how to do that, go ask him' and so the process of getting things fixed is made faster.

    Its all a matter of breaking down the silos of the knowledge areas enough so there is an understanding of what everyone does; and if you think its interesting, heck, go learn more abuot it. It can only help you in the long run.
     
  8. s4mmy

    s4mmy Member

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    Sounds like you guys need a little "team" building exercise... ;)

    Exactly... and as you know by the size of the company we work for (we work for the same company for those who didnt get that) it would be impossible for any one of us to do/know everything.... a very basic understanding is needed and outside of what we do day in day out thats all most of us understand of each others jobs.

    This whole idea of one person being a jack of all trades belongs in small business.
     
  9. ewok85

    ewok85 Member

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    When "IT" consists of over 130 people, the "team" tends to be small groups of people who handle small slices of responsibility. Within the teams you get people who work well and are pretty tight, but when theres a cross-team issue (ie. mail is fsked because networking changed something, and the desktop team is screwed because now there some very pissed off people with important sounding titles throwing heavy objects at you) things just go out of control.

    Then there is clients where different tasks are handled by an overseas or main helpdesk. Try getting to know them better ;)

    That is ridiculous. I'd expect that most people could at least be able to understand the basics behind desktops, desktop hardware, networking, networking hardware, servers and basic server functions - the sort of thing that is at the heart of almost every basic office system I have seen to date, the sort of stuff that you could teach in a day if you wanted to. Maybe its because I'm still just an IT grunt who has to go to battle out amongst the users, but if you don't know that much, what use are you?

    I don't expect you to be able to sit down and do someone elses job, but it pains me to tears when someone doesn't even understand something basic like DHCP or DNS - one guy believed that you could auto-assign addresses between two computers if you renewed the interface at the exact same moment.

    "Not my problem", "not my area", "talk to <insert group>" is not going to fix my problem. I don't like bouncing problems around when I have an irate user on my arse for something that would be simple to fix.
     
  10. bloodbob

    bloodbob Member

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    I'd be checking up with cisco to make sure they are really CCIEs. I could maybe understand the second one it can be a pain to see the little coloured wires and maybe he checked incorrectly and dismissed that idea. CCIE is an 8 hour prac it really should be more than a memory dump. Now if you had said CCNA that would be entirely believable.
     
  11. GiantGuineaPig

    GiantGuineaPig Member

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    So much stuff, good discussion here :) Some general thoughts/perspectives from me:

    From my point of view, I often find management is the issue. Not willing to change, having ideas that they need X because vendor Y won't support it, outsourcing to get something built rather than getting internal people either trained, or having the available time to do it.

    I've recently gone from being 'the guy who's in charge of anything with Windows' to 'Premium Desktop Support' because the latter is paying much more, less stressful, better working environment, and I can go home and not have to worry about work.

    Some of you might have seen posts from me in this sub forum a little while ago, I was doing things I would call 'high end' - rebuilding clustered exchange 2007 environments with no experience or training, as well as administering it - along with numerous other bits and pieces. I moved up from Helpdesk, and got into my 'Windows' role based on my performance, without any certs.

    I'm now getting some Windows 2008 Server certs because I enjoy being a server admin more, I've created a wiki from the ground up in fedora core (yes I know that's basic but I've only had some *nix experience, mostly admin/troubleshooting but not had to actually build anything).

    A lot of stuff amazes me with the basics that 'IT Professionals' should have, basic troubleshooting skills and people skills are the primary two.

    I must say I'm lucky where I am now because everyone is over-qualified for what they're doing, but also paid well, and a good team with good communication. It only takes 1 bad person to bring a team down to that level of mediocraty too.
     
  12. GreyWolfe01

    GreyWolfe01 Member

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    Why should we care more when:

    - We don't get paid enough.
    - No one cares about what we do until something breaks.
    - IT is seen as an unesessary evil until something breaks.
    - It's not seen as a department that 'makes money' rather than spending it.
    - Did I mention we're invisible till something breaks?

    When you get that 24/7 for however long you're employed, you really don't see the point in ranting. Yes it would be wonderful if IT wasn't like it is, but it is, so deal with it or move to another industry where you are more appreciated. I like my job, it might be shit sometimes and I may loathe management, but hey, at least I'm doing something I like and getting paid for it.
     
  13. ACodingFettish

    ACodingFettish Member

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    i think the main thing that has been mentioned a few times is that we can't have a jack of all trades anymore. 15 years ago maybe we could, but these days, there is just TOO MUCH out there to know.

    I agree, every IT pro should know the base principals of each, and thats what Uni is for, but the idea of an IT pro knowing multiple fields is not acheivable these days. You have to have specialists.

    Just like medicine, maybe back when we didn't know much about medicine, a GP could do it all, but nowadays we have to have specialists for that stomach problem, as the Gp can't be expected to know it all, though he should still have a basic idea.
     
  14. FuzzyKaos

    FuzzyKaos Member

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    perhaps instead of working overtime, doing the work of 10 people and busting your gut, you do what your job description says.

    you do the hours your supposed to.

    you do the work your supposed to.

    you stop caring so much and realize that it is j ust a job and your in it for the money.

    that way, when things start to fall down, or productivity levels are not met, the company will think of hiring more people, instead of relying on one super being to who seems to think they can manage everything, but in reality, burns out and wants to move to another job.

    your simply magnifying the image of a computer geek who will work for 24/7 on diet coke and pringles.

    do what your paid to do.

    learn some discipline and learn to say 'NO!'
     
  15. Phool

    Phool Member

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    Yep, no point in striving for anything other than bare mediocrity; too many clueless employers prepared to pay a fortune for crap/mediocre skills from lazy underqualified kelloggs packet pros who only speak Redmond with no real work ethic and an appetite for as much budget as they can grab.

    All good until you are outsourced to India when the employers get a clue....

    Whats that American Beauty line .... I dont want to be ordinary.... yet ordinary is so acceptable these days...
     
  16. soujir0u

    soujir0u Member

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    So were people much more professional before these last 3 years?
     
  17. Soarer GT

    Soarer GT Member

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    I'd say yes.

    About 5 years ago, to be called a Systems Admin/Engineer you really had to know servers/scripting/pabx systems etc. and if you didnt know it, you'd learn it. Problem solve complex issues when they arise and more importantly, have an understanding of the "whole".
     
  18. SuperRoach

    SuperRoach Member

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    Firstly, wow, a breath of fresh air, Elvis.
    I think along the lines of your first post a lot of the time, not at this new job but im only new there. Some points that I think might be responsible for changing the industry in the last 10 years.
    - It has gone more mainstream.
    This also leads to what you see - cowboys jumping on assuming they will be fine, with a high confidence level ready to get shot up. And part of that ego will stop them from learning too, and becoming good at it - they'll just bunny hop from job to job until they rage quit.
    When I walk past an helpdesk and the conversation topic is along the lines of what games are they getting from the net for their 360, that's "ok"... It means a bit of outside work knowledge in getting it to work, for the enjoyment of it. When you hear another one shrugging and not knowing about synching an iPod though, then you get worried. There is a very strong base level of knowledge I feel you develop from a mix of on site work, reading (in books!), and practice yourself or a hobby/genuine interest in

    I remember a I.T Professional on whirlpool making a thread recently, with similar problems about professionalism. What struck me was that he decided to become a plumber (or electrician?)... He trained, then only had to work business hours at most, often free days, and earned 70k plus a year. Not that wage is the sole decider for me, but personally when I get offered a job involving PHP/html etc/And Server maintenance work for $34k, I knew something was seriously wrong with the perception of a Web guy like myself.

    So what did I do? I spent a little bit of time adapting the skills I had with php to asp.net and visual basic, and personally think because of their nature its a inferior language - but my pay straight away went up at a new place, and im a lot more appreciated.
     
  19. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    For my POV

    The problems with IT (in no particular order)
    - Uni courses (IT, not Comp Science), they do nothing to prepare students for work, no skills, and an over inflated view of themselves. Ooooh I've got a degree, gimme $100K
    - IT 'colleges', you know the "get your CCNA/MCSE/insert qual here in 12 weeks and we'll find you a job for free" places. Again they only teach how to pass the test - I know I used to work for one of these places, years ago. I didn't hang around long.
    - Employer perception/hiring techniques. Every advert says 5+ years experience, how is anyone supposed to get a start. How do they expect to find an guru DBA and network engineer in the one person.
    - Jack of all trades/master of none. If you want interesting work and the big bucks specialising is the way to go. You wouldn't go to your GP for a heart transplant, why go to a level 2 support person to design your enterprise multi service comms core. IT is far to big and complicated to be able to know it all.
    - Management, in my experience the vast majority of management in IT (from line managers, through to CIO's/CTO's) have little concept of IT essentials. This would be fine if they listened to the experts they hire, instead of playing buzzword bingo trying to appear they're knowledgeable.


    But don't despair, if you're good enough, the pluses of IT are very rewarding both financially and personally.
     
  20. dadust2

    dadust2 Member

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    Elvis,

    I hear ya! If I was in Perth - I would try and hire you! I think it might be more satisfying for someone with your experience to go and work with a small consultancy, where you can have greater control, not only over what goes on at client sites but also over hires/fires.
     

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