Public sector vs Private sector IT

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by PabloEscobar, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. OP
    OP
    PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    Funny that you should say that, Many of the other current/ex public servants have said that there is tonnes of training opportunities.

    I'm a mostly self sufficient learner, so if I've got spare time, I can spend it to learn fun new things.

    Hopefully My new role is one where the people are good (or at least, not actively stifling innovation). But from all the feedback, there's no real way of knowing without diving in.
     
  2. Lukenet

    Lukenet Member

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    +1 Bargillion......................
     
  3. AthlonMan

    AthlonMan (Banned or Deleted)

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    I worked in I.T for about eight years now. Of those eight years four have been in the private sector and four have been in the public sector (Education). I've found some very distinct differences.

    Private sector I.T work, in regional areas at least, is a pretty dull affair with limited exposure to new technologies with the majority of work coming from SMB and home users. Long hours, very average pay an it's difficult to gain practical experience.

    In comparison the Public sector is like a holiday camp. If you're prepared to switch your brain off you'll have a good time. The word monotony comes to mind. Day in day out, same shit different day etc. But the pay is okay, the conditions are great and you get plenty of time off.

    Private Sector;
    Pro- More interesting work. More potential depending on where you work.
    Con- The usual crap with I.T work. Low pay, poor conditions.

    Public Sector;
    Pro- Very secure work if permanent. Low stress.
    Con- Boring as batshit. You could actually have more fun watching paint dry.
     
  4. QuakeDude

    QuakeDude ooooh weeee ooooh

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    Sweet jesus, I don't think I could go back to the Public Sector. I've only had a short stint, so I'm not going to claim any great depth of experience, but I had a 6 week contract at a QLD government department some years back, doing SOE design / development.

    I'll never forget the day I asked to change the wording on one of the pop-up windows (as I thought it was a bit ambiguous). All we wanted the user to do was to insert the next CD, but it took a week and a meeting with 8-10 people to get this approved.

    Today I'm in the private sector as don't have time scratch my ass with everything thats going on.
     
  5. mwil7034

    mwil7034 Member

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    Dude this happens in Private sector too. I had a meeting early last year that debated whether an activation key (arbitrary string) should be upper or lower case. It went through 3 meetings before I told them to shove it and just standardised it myself. Unfortunately that kind of incompetence is rampant in the Financial institution IT departments from what I hear.
     
  6. AthlonMan

    AthlonMan (Banned or Deleted)

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    I've worked on Govt. projects before and most of the meetings went like this;
    Arrange meeting
    Get to meeting
    Order lunch
    Talk for more than six hours a day

    Sounds pretty normal right? Nope, because we were never going to have any impact or influence on the project whatsoever because the decisions had already been made months earlier and everyone knew it. It's a joke and it happens all the time.
     
  7. QuakeDude

    QuakeDude ooooh weeee ooooh

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    So... to make a difference, you realistically need to get a role which is in upper management. This is pretty much the impression I got working there.

    From a work-life balance though - it can't be all that bad, can it? I work in a role where its high-stress, and going home its hard to unwind and not think about everything thats going on at work (due to the sheer volume of it). My dream job would be one where I can do a good job at work, but actually go home and enjoy my evenings.
     
  8. brayway

    brayway Member

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    I worked at Queensland Health, I'd agree with some of what people have said here.
    Flex Time was awesome, and the job wasn't stressful.
    The short contracts were a bit annoying, being only on 3 Month contracts meant you never had any certainty.
    The people were great though, and the work wasn't too bad, although it was repeating the same thing over and over again. Pay was also pretty good, and so was the super an.
    Although as people have said, a lot of useless meetings...
     
  9. Tinian

    Tinian Member

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    The more I work, the more I find any large organisation is the same, regardless of whether it is private or public. The similarities are generally a growing bureaucracy predisposed to empowering middle management stasis.
     
  10. QuakeDude

    QuakeDude ooooh weeee ooooh

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    That's true to a degree, however (some) large organisations have a stronger drive to get things completed. Take HP for example - everything we worked on had to be billed against a customer account, and the drive to get paid by the end customer was stronger than the drive to fall prey to bureaucracy.
     
  11. Tinian

    Tinian Member

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    HP is a prime example of the stasis I'm talking about. Billing is one thing, achievement is another.

    [edit] Let me expand on that; whilst most employees are happy to do their job and a reasonable amount of them are actually competent, it's the management level introducing new policies and procedures to generate ever increasing reports, which require increasing amounts of supporting structures without consultation that irritates. Then after months of needless confusion and annoyance, the new procedure is either rejected or replaced. All without a single benefit accruing to anyone who actually has to use it.

    To make matters worse, it is entirely possible to circumvent some of these procedures and often it is easier to put up with the pain of complaints rather than implementing them. Then there's the resourcing; more work than people? Bad luck. Shit packages from clients? Bad luck. Scope creep because an account executive wants a KPI (client happiness) to increase with no complementary change in timelines or funding? Bad luck.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013

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