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Call to IT professionals

justonemore

Active Member
justonemore said:
Manufacturing is starting to not look so bad! Thanks guys for all the input. Maybe I'll just educate myself, for, MYSELF! ;)
jlehnert, I hope you weren't grinding your teeth because of what I posted. If so, then that's not what I meant. I meant teaching myself some computer skills to use for myself, in and around the home more or less. I didn't mean I wasn't getting the info that I wanted from this board. Quite the contrary. Sorry if there was confusion.
 

jlehnert

Active Member
justonemore,

No problem with anything you did. As E mentioned, I had a problem physically posting, and if you look at the length of my post, you can understand why I was PO when it got erased. ;)
 

justonemore

Active Member
Whew ! ;) Guess it would have been better had I read that thread first!

You guys have been very helpful today. I'm 37, and you're right, Levittown, PA prob isn't the hottest spot for IT.

Age and Exp were my 2 major concerns. Would I be happy doing something else? Well like all other changes, probably for awhile, then I'd get burnt out or bored again! ;)

As I mentioned earlier. I think that maybe I'll just take a few courses or try to teach myself some skills. Just for my own benefit. And hell...if it scores me something, even within same company - GREAT. If not then I'll have picked up skills I can use for myself and/or friends, family.

I'll admit though. I think I'll be going to work tomorrow with a new found enthusiasm! :(
 

deranged

Active Member
All of the offices are 99 percent women



And you are complaining?!? Sounds like an excellent situation to me. But of course I'm single, so that's the way my mind operates.

You would think at first, But most are much older than I and "set in thier ways".
And the younger ones test my patience with attitudes like completely clueless, I don't care, whats in it for me, only buy it if you can't steal it and where's the "ANY KEY"

DOH !

StevenE
 

Bruce L

Active Member
I was in IT from 1984 thru 1996. I started with an AS in CS. 1st job was programming hotel reservation systems. Then moved on to writing code for embedded aircraft avionics. Started on my BS in 1987, finished in 1995.

I loved writing code but to progress in my career without changing cities I would have needed to move into management. So I changed directions and went into medicine, which took an additional 4 years of training - all without a paycheck. Now I'm much happier in my career and thankfull I changed.

My point is this - life is too short to be miserable every working day. Follow what you like to do. The trick is to combine what you like to do with what will pay your bills. Your plan of getting additional training while in your current job is a very reasonable one, even if only for your own education. The skills you gain today may come in very useful tomorrow.
 

Shawn

Member
All these thoughts look quite familiar.

I made a career change to IT about seven years ago. I had already gone back to school to obtain a degree in CS when my company hired me as a prgrammer before I finished the degree. During the few years I programmed I often could not wait to get to work and often stayed late because I was actually enjoying what I was doing. My previous work experience was in management, so my demise came when I was put into IT management (that's what I do today).

To amplify the pain and suffering in IT management, I also work at a nuclear power plant - where everything naturally has to be 100% accurate, complete and on time. Anyway, I also hire other IT professionals, and job skills and/or experience are key. I could care less about certs - there are plenty of places that'll "boot camp" folks thru certs which do nothing for actual skill levels.

I have grown a lot thru my IT experience, so I won't say that I wouldn't do it again. But one does have to have thick skin and deal with a lot of stress and BS to make it thru the day. I'm in central california where (at our shop) a programmer brings in 60-90+k a year, supervision picks up from there.

In the mean time I'm counting down the months until I can retire (about 100 months to go).
 

jlehnert

Active Member
My point is this - life is too short to be miserable every working day. Follow what you like to do. The trick is to combine what you like to do with what will pay your bills.

If a third of our politicians had half of the wisdom in that statement, this world would be a much better place.

so my demise came when I was put into IT management

Doesn't that always seem to be the case. I moved into management because it was the only promotion path available (promotion = more $ = more toys = good things ;) ). I was the SME on taxes (god, what a lousy topic to be a subject matter expert), and to this day, two proteges who are still with the company say that at least weekly, they run into a problem that they would love to call me up about. If I had stayed as a team lead, I probably would still be employed. Oh well, water over the dam and I've exhausted my supply of cuss words regarding the company long ago.
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
Work basically interferes with my life style! That's why I have home automation projects to take my mind off of it and actually be productive and use my talents for something that benefits ME! ;)
 

huggy59

Active Member
Lots of good info here. I'm a 20+ year veteran of IT, initially getting BA in Comp Sci (programming) and studying hardware (electronics, music, and radio were hobbies of mine, too). I have purposefully not risen to the status of CIO because, frankly, I'm not "asshole" enough for that position in most companies.

I started my own PC and network consulting company with my soon-to-be wife back in the early 80's in Maine. Not that there was a lot of work, but I kept busy by doing just about anything that came my way. That broadened my experience a great deal.

Since then I have been with small to extremely large businesses, mostly either by moving from one company to another as my career advanced, or through acquisitions. I have been on both sides of acquisitions, too. In the last 6 years, I have been unemployed due to lay-off or other job-related problems 3 times, for a total of over 14 months total (so far - I'm still unemployed at the moment).

In recent years, and with the passage of Sarbanes-Oxley (SOx) and other "responsibility" legislation, IT has become a serious stress producing, fun-sucking job. Pressures at most organizations are to reduce costs in IT to the single digits percentages of revenue, which makes for extremely lean running (and just what E's been saying about not having tools to do the required jobs). Most larger companies have done or are doing outsourcing to overseas service solutions for anything that can be done over the wire - meaning Help Desk, remote admin, network management, etc. Couple that with the pace at which IT changes, and you have a nuclear warhead being hit by a 6-year-old with a hammer.

I have found that certifications get you in the door, largely due to the HR types using them as gatekeepers. You don't have to have a degree or any certs if you have good experience and you know the hiring manager, but to get through the typical job search via HR and headhunters, you've got to have the passkey, and those are certs.

I don't have my certs, having moved into management years ago, but I always kept up with technology so that I could at least apply it properly to my business solutions. The problem I see now that I'm unemployed, is that middle management is being laid off and positions are being eliminated due to outsourcing. If I apply for an admin position, I'm competing with people who are all out of work due to the outsourcing and they have their certs. If I apply for Sr Management, I'm comnpeting for very few openings.

Even though I've been lauded as one of the best IT people ever seen by most of my colleagues, they don't have a place for me at their organizaton because I threaten their jobs.

IT is no longer fun. The business community has for too long ignored and underfunded true IT responsibilities and the pace at which IT changes is now under fire because companies can't afford to replace 1000 desktop OS eveyr year, let alone server apps and OS. Because financials were being tweaked within the systems and no real accountability paths were established within the computer systems and software at many companies, we ran into Enrons, WorldCOM's, etc. The execs actually exploited the fast pace at which IT changes, to make it possible for them to screw with the accounting and produce the results they wanted.

This has led to Congress passing laws to obstenisibly "protect" the consumer from public companies cooking their books. However, the real loser here is IT. For years business has said they have to move faster to keep up with competition, but it has been a ruse - when businesses move too quickly, they make mistakes, produce and execute poor plans, and alienate both their employees and customers. The excuse has been that IT moves so quickly and enables the company to move more quickly, we can now turn on a dime. But SOx, for example, will slow down this trend, and force companies to do more planning and record-keeping in the automated areas that previously were "black boxes".

And much of this was driven by the leader's (Microsoft) marketing strategy. Rather than produce good code and then refine it, they kept releasing new versions that cost more money, and the pace was quickened over the years. Only recently, with the attempt by MS to force businesses to move to XP and 2003 by sunsetting all OS support other than those, has the business community rebelled and aid, no, we will not, cannot change OS every two years across our 1000's of systems. In fact, MS was forced to continue support for Windows 2000 licensing because of this last year.

Ok, so why am I telling you my opinions about all this? Because IT (in general) is no longer what it was in the 80's and 90's. The pendulum is swinging back to a time where IT is part of the financial arm of an organization. Yes, there are still pockets of areas where IT is a product or a means to getting a solution, but in larger companies, the issue is that IT is the communications and operational backbone of the company, and execs have for far too long ignored the true value of IT in their organization and what it means to the business. Since they did this over years and years without bringing IT to the proper executive and upper planning levels within the organization, and because of the Enron's and WorldCOM's, laws have been passed to make the contributions of IT a much more valueable and therefore risky asset in business, and to make those businesses finally recognize that by forcing them to deal with it in black and white, put-it-on-paper terms.

So, companies are pressured to spend less, legislation requires more documentation and proof and traceability, and CFO's and CIO's are held accountable for the results of their organizaitons - both people and systems. And yet again, businesses under-funded their SOx implementations, believing it to be an IT issue, when in fact it is a business and processes issue.

Tighten the reins! Here come the handcuffs! The design of basic IT systems is in fact, a significant problem from a security and evidentiary (proof) angle. Great steps must be taken and enforced at policy and procedure levels to insure things are traceable and provable. How would you feel if your personal integrity and job were on the line because a software program you bought might glitch and make a mistake in your accounting numbers, and the company making that software has a no-liability clause in their license??

That's where we are today. That's the reason I'm looking to get out of IT. My prediction for IT types like me is that the jobs in the US will become more of an auditing and/or vendor management position, making sure the systems and contractors are doing things they were designed to do, and most admin and other jobs will be done over the wire. The larger companies in the IT sector now will start (they already have) buying or using smaller concerns for the local installs, and turn the operation over to overseas or world-wide companies that can cut those costs by leveraging low-cost employee markets like India, China, etc.

Well, that's my take on IT right now. I don't know what I'm going to do, personally. But I'm not going to be an auditor.
 

deranged

Active Member
It is true, truly capable IT staff is hard to come by and they threaten the less capable staff. I currently have 2 techs that I am a administrator for, 1 tech has been with the company 10 years. The 2nd tech has only been with the company 2 months. The 2nd tech has been handling more delicate stuff than I would ever let the first tech even look at. This has turned into a mess, he is paranoid he is going to be fired. Even though he has plenty of work everyday and he beleives I am favoring the other 2nd tech and complains to upper management. Even though he has had more time and resources to advance but does not.

UGH !!!!

My current position was obtained by a client insisting they wanted to hire me and working out the details with my previous employer. The end result of the that is, I have to be a last resort support for my previous employer. If any tech is in the field at a client that had been serviced by me. I have to provide phone support for 2 years. Rather odd but okay, I was friends with all my co-workers so it is nice to talk to them once in a while.

I have even had some old large clients find me in my new position to speak with me directly on problems, projects and recommendations.

To be honest my job isn't what I would call horrible and I don't hate it. I have had my share of truly horrible horrible jobs. Ones that caused physical ailments everyday just driving to work, but at those times I had to pay the bills.

So I guess the end result after reading this thread is, IT is the same everywhere.
Lack of support and poor planning from upper management and way too much political BS.

StevenE
 

Flyerdad

New Member
OK, I'm new here and its likely that I'll be violating some unwritten rules in this post (seems to happen every time) but I AM an IT pro with some 25+ years behind me.

I've done desktop support, owned a consulting firm and managed some major help desks, including one at a little company called Novell and another for the Salt Lake Olympic Comittee. I currently can't get a job, so I've opened another business to try to make a living. ;)

In 1986 I got a certification from Novell. As a CNE there were 3 jobs over the next 5 years for my consulting company that I got that I know I wouldn't have gotten without the certification. The profit from the 3 of them was just short of 1/2 the cost of certification.

I notice that most of the IT pros on this board are management and that at least one of them has recently been laid off. Another has mentioned 150 people have been downsized in his department recently. I see this as an overall trend in North American business. IT is just another department in companies that hold the opinion that outsourcing is the right answer. Setting my own opinions aside on this subject, the meaning of this is that the infrastructure of these companies is moving elsewhere, and they are not taking us with them.

I would support that a career change is a great idea. I would suggest that a job in your new career is not as good an idea. A business in your chosen field is probably better. All it takes to be a computer consultant, or onsite repair person if you prefer, is a yellow pages ad and enough money to survive while you build your business. As for training, that is something best performed by you, on yourself. Find a problem and solve it, then remember the solution. There, now you're trained in that problem.

When I managed help desks, I would hire people based on their mindset instead of their training. I developed an interview technique that gave me this information. I found that I could inject facts into anyone, but real troubleshooting capability was something that I couldn't teach. From reading this board, I suspect you have that troubleshooting capability. You will do well.

Darwin Long
Partner
Silicon Alley
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
You aren't violating any rules Darwin, your opinion is definitely very welcome, it is what the original poster was looking for. Welcome aboard, and stick around!
 
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