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Dilbert As FUCK
Sep 8, 2007

by Cowcaster


Pillbug

Old thread http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=3447793


:supaburn::siren: IMPORTANT PLEASE READ THIS THREAD(AT LEAST THE FRONT PAGE) PRIOR TO POSTING "I HAVE NO INSIGHT/EXPERIENCE INTO IT HOW DO I GET IN" :siren::supaburn:
THE PRIMARY GOAL OF THIS THREAD IS TO HELP PEOPLE GET INTO IT EASIER AND HAVE BETTER JOBS/LIVES NOT TO BITCH ABOUT YOUR DAY THAT GOES HERE

I.What is IT’
IT is a very broad term now of days, it can essentially mean anything from a person who sits in a cubical farm answering a phone about crappy made software, to designing and implementing full scale Infrastructures. The important thing is to realize what you want to do in this field and do what you enjoy, no one cares if you are a helpdesk guy, virtualization Engineer, or System Admin, set your own goals and stick to them. It is also to note that this thread may not be geared towards a Computer Science degree, while the usefulness of it is debatable, personally from the curriculum from local schools I work at, attended, or volunteered at it wasn't much there to help you build a *NIX system, or maintain a windows AD environment. To separate fields out I am going to explain the diffrerence between a IT Generalist and someone with a specialization.

Generalist
Generalists is the term I use to describe things such as Customer Service Rep. jobs. Recruiters LOVE to market the original job opportunity as a "IT professional career!", when in actuality you are troubleshooting badly made applications, explaining why you can't wave a magic wand and have excel do the work they are paid for, or jumping through SLA's. At the end of the day this can be seen as 90% of "Helpdesk" jobs, mostly unrewarding and no end to a onslaught of calls and forwarding tickets. Pay is usually on the low end of the spectrum and minimal Technical skills are built. While it does provide a nice foot in the door into the world of "IT", job security is on the leaniatent side, and you won't grow much marketable skills for anything other than helpdesk. Which leads me to my next point of

Specialized Fields

This is where things get fun, jobs become more and more in demand, and pay is better. However, the hardest part about finding a specialization is find out what you want to do and doing it. Seriously, no one will be able to tell you what you want to do other than you. We can give advice on honing in on a skill or field of expertise but in the end it is up to you to discover what you enjoy. Below are a few of the specializations that most of the people go into

System Administrator
System's Administrator is a broad term as well but is usually defined to someone who administers servers, not the one fixing the user who doesn't know how to open word/excel. Generally you are dealing with Servers which do in term affect users in the form of, printing to logging into their computers at the beginning of the day. There is a wide variety of technologies that System Administrators need to know, from windows to unix, firewalls to routers, and workstation interactions with servers.

DataBase Management

KennyG posted:

Database Administrator
Database Administrators or DBAs as they are usually called will encompass almost anyone with direct authority over a structured (and increasingly unstructured) data system. This can involve anything from writing queries, to provisioning users and security policies, to making backups, to even designing access methods and multi-node cluster environments. If you are the type of person who was pissed at the boy scouts for not being prepared enough... you can make a good DBA. A huge percentage of DBA work is going to be making and verifying various forms of backups and contingency plans. After all, you are the gatekeeper of the data and your company has already potentially written a check with anywhere from 6-9 zeros on it to protect that data. If you manage to figure out the backups, you might get to do optimization where you need to work with developers and users to understand usage patterns to optimize the database. Database tuning, especially for Oracle, can be an un-ending (and very rewarding) process. Virtually all DBAs pick a vendor and stick with it. Popular ones are Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL (pronounced Post Gress). There are others but if you knew about them you wouldn't be reading this. Oh, and you will hate developers.

It is worth mentioning that a lot of the growth in databases right now is in the non-structured/webscale/nosql/non-acid-compliant area. These are all colloquially termed 'Big Data' databases. These databases forgo 40+ years of development and research to go for massive scalability. These are very popular and used by the biggest names in tech (Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, etc) but can be extremely challenging and are the bane of some's existence. In this space you will likely spend more time working with coding and less time making backups. If you want to learn more about this, start with Hadoop, Cassandra and/or Hbase.

Networking
Network Engineers have an equally important job, this job field requires people to have a decent understanding of how data needs to move, this means engineers may need to have some insight as to how the, Client/Server model that SysAdmins deal with, works. NetEngineers, have to in reality have to build connections from each end device to their appropriate destination while keeping in mind things like data bandwidth, security, and connection availability. Generally a Network Engineer will not work directly with an end user, as networks don't require the same amount of maintenance that a end user device would need; Not to say that networks do not need maintenance after they are deployed but doing said maintenance is different.

Virtualization Administration
THE CLOUD THE CLOUD THE CLOUD!!! The cloud is coming and with that, Virtualization Engineers are needed, these people need a solid understanding of networking, operating system, and storage skills. The hard part about being a Virtualization Engineer is not setting up storage, Hypervisiors, or Network devices, but getting them to all talk and work together in an acceptable manner that fits customer and client needs. If you are not versed in dealing with Switching, Storage, or Operating System functions you will have a difficult time creating and maintaining a well performing infrastructure.

DevOPs

Misogynist posted:

You're right, in a sense, but a little bit of history is necessary here to really understand some nuances of the movement.

Information Technology has traditionally been one of two things in most organizations. It started out as a loose confederacy of "computer people" who had no ability to actually do important things like estimate time and budget on projects. Businesspeople started getting frustrated at this, so they started doing what businesspeople do worst: micromanaging. Lots of CIO types turned to so-called "process frameworks" like ITIL and COBIT that try to distill down a list of best practices on how to run IT environments. These frameworks cover every crumb of the pie from how to run a service desk and respond to user issues through how to document incidents. Most of it is very bureaucratic, and most of it is very closely aligned with the PMI method of project management. For those who are unfamiliar, the PMI school of project management is super-reliant on "big design up front" and is roughly analogous to the waterfall model in software. It works really well for some projects where your requirements really can't change mid-project — designing and building a suspension bridge, for instance — but it's very inappropriate for many (most?) software projects. Since most crucial software, like ERP, was built using the Waterfall method around this time, this methodology worked. At least, it worked no worse for the business than the applications they were supporting.

Somewhat recently (largely within the last decade), many corporations figured out what most smaller software shops already knew for a long time: that the waterfall model was very good at delivering a finished result, but that this finished result was very often not the right product. After all, if a business kicks off a project that takes three years, or even one year, what are the chances that the market conditions and business priorities are going to be the same at the end of that stretch of time as they were at the beginning? So companies started relying on Agile and Lean software development practices, which eschew the idea of Big Design Up Front and add features iteratively instead. Without getting too far into the mechanics of it for non-developers, the process of Agile software development is really built around the idea that the business's requirements will change at a moment's notice, so the requirements of the software should be able to change at that pace. Minimize and simplify the project, and build 80% or 50% or 20% of the features people want instead of 100%, and you'll make sure you actually hit all the ones that are really relevant to the business. Most importantly, you'll ship those features quickly, so the business isn't waiting a year for a feature they need today in order to be competitive.

Agile software development is really great for a lot of software projects. The problem is that it started leading to this big impedance mismatch between developers who iterated really quickly and infrastructure people who were stuck in a modality from half a decade ago where six months to deploy a minor infrastructure project was okay. When you release features every three months, or every week, or sixty times per day (yes, some shops actually release builds this often, especially in web technology), you can't take sixty days to deploy. You can't bring the system down for two days to run error-prone manual upgrade processes. This led to disconnects between developers and operations people. Operations people (at the behest of the business) were too stodgy and risk-averse. Developers weren't giving operations people enough time to prepare before they threw something over the wall and said "here, make this work."

People with some development background picked up on this much faster than people who were stuck behind a desk babysitting their departments' ERP implementations. Back in the mid-2000s, I was working on a manifesto of "agile systems administration" — I suspect a lot of other sysadmins were doing the same — that applied principles of Agile software development to infrastructures. Iterate quickly, test automatically, catch regressions fast, and be ready to roll back instead of wading through six weeks of change control meetings. Turns out that John Allspaw, Jez Humble and some other people much smarter than me came up with the same ideas, put them into place in much higher-profile places and gave it a much catchier name.

Despite what the proponents of the movement will tell you, DevOps isn't really about developers and operations people working together. They've been working together for years, and to say otherwise is kind of an insult to people who have been in this game a long time and doing their jobs well. DevOps has been about getting PMI-style IT departments on board with a systems management methodology that isn't totally antithetical to the development model of the software it needs to support. There's specific tooling behind that: infrastructure as code (robust systems management), continuous integration, infrastructure testing. But these things are just part of doing IT well. The real movement behind DevOps is getting IT to move at the speed of development, so development can move at the speed of the business's goals.





II.Education
A popular topic in the last thread and a very important one to say the least, everyone learns differently, there is no "right" way to get educated for IT. However, their are many popular ways that people choose about going into the IT field.

a.Finding out what you want to do
Arguably the hardest part of IT, when I was going to school I decided to take some of all the fields of IT they had other than Oracle(gently caress oracle), I took classes for the Cisco CCNA, UNIX classes, Windows Administration Classes, EMC storage classes, Computer Science Classes, and finally Virtualization. It took me about 3 years in an AAS program to where I finally found I enjoyed working with Vmware and virtualization technologies enough to make it my career, now I really couldn't be happier working with my job. Everyone learns differently the important part is finding out what best suites your likes and dislikes.



b.Schooling
Their are various ways to go about this however, you should avoid things such as unaccredited colleges, if the school is promising you a degree for a Bachelor Degree in 2 years and can all be done online, I would be hesitant as to the quality of your education. Mostly these are classified as business colleges, examples as DeVry, Phoenix, or other colleges shouting 2.5 years! and should be looked at sparingly. I would look into anything such as a Community College PRIOR to going to a business college.

Community Colleges/ Associate Degrees
I am a big fan of community colleges, not only because I was offered a job to work at one, but also because of what a great value they are. They cost much less over a 4 year school, generally have more to offer, do not require any special testing over an entrance exam to be accepted into, and best of all Credits can usually be transferred over to a big name 4 year school to finish out. Their is also another feature such as networking and job placement that many CC's have, my CC does constant job fairs for skilled students, and many people who already work in the field often attend classes to stay up to date. Hell my lab partner in my last VMware class is the Vice President of the company I work at now as a Virtualization Architect, and I love my job! Community Colleges are also great if you are thinking about changing fields in the IT industry, they normally will work around job hours and provide many courses online. If nothing else, this degree will get you past the HR blockade of no degree and generally open up many doors, coupled with a certificate or two in the field you want to go into their should be very little stopping you from getting a mid to entry level job.

Four Year Degree's/ Bachelor Degrees
For others who want the "college experience" and a bigger degree, 4 year schools are plentiful, and have many opportunities to spread out and get deep into the inter-workings of computer systems. Again I would look at the course curriculum for these 4 year degrees, many try too make "computer science" into a IT degree, while they may have classes in IT that doesn't mean all of them will be as useful to you. Example my former roommate went into a 4 year B.S. of CS for Programming, he now does CCNA/P level Network Engineering. He does enjoy his job and he degree did help him, however it was mainly due to his internship that he found what he wanted. Bachelor Degrees are great because they do knock down many more doors that will get you into a job, many also provide an internship which you can write down on the resume as 4 years EXP with you degree.

:qqsay: But Dilbert! What's the degree I need, the right answer is the infamous phrase of IT, it depends, it depends your goals, your budget, and your learning style. For me I hate sitting on my hands and have the attention span of a gnat, if the teacher is going to fluff and puff on a bunch of poo poo I'll goof of, I also had no idea what I wanted to do 4 years ago so out of HS I knew I was good with computers and started out in CompTIA and worked my way up. My friends went to 4 year degrees where they found their loving jobs, so weigh what you want, ask some professions(CC professors will generally let you sit in a few classes and give advice for education).



c.Certificates
For some with experience, or just don't like a class room and prefer to work at their own pace, certificates can provide a great way to get a jump start on a field of IT. There are 2 primary types of Certificates Vendor Neutral and Vendor Specific, each with their own use. The best place in my opinion to start if you are a newbie to IT is with the vendor neutral or CompTIA certs.

Vendor Neutral Certs
The only respectable vendor neutral cert provider I can think of is CompTIA. This means they focus on a general area of technology rather than a specific vendor such as Microsoft, Cisco, or VMware; which is good if you are thinking about entering a field or changing fields to get a good idea and concept of the field. Below are 3 of the most common CompTIA certs and a short brief about them

CompTIA A+ Ceritfication Great Cert for people new to all things computer, if you are thinking about hopping off that Masters of Art degree and looking into computers, you should start here. I would however, over look this somewhat if you are competent: troubleshooting drivers, viruses, non-booting windows installs, applying updates, or upgrading software.
CompTIA Network+ Ceritfication Good Cert to those new with networking, some may argue to hop on the CCNA/CCNET wagon and don't waste time; but speaking from going through a Network+ course I can say it did help pull many of the cisco concepts together for me as well as making it much easier for me to grasp how networks network. I would however avoid this if you know you network class ABC's, the difference between a router and switch, how servers and clients talk etc.
CompTIA Security+ Ceritfication Good Cert for anyone who has a focus on security and is required for pretty much any government job as per [rul=http://www.giac.org/certifications/dodd-8570]DOD-8570[/url], it's not a bad cert to have, but don't expect to come out |337 HAXX0R!11!

Vendor Specific Certs
Vendor specific certs you may have heard of a Microsoft Certified Professional such as MCSE/MCP/MCSA or Cisco Certified Network Professional CCNA/P, these certs tailor to specific vendor and do not teach a broad field area, meaning that a MCSA which is meant for Windows System Administrators may not help you too much in a job that is Linux Based such as the Red Hat Certifies System Administrator RHCSA.

I will give breif overview of the cert vendors but for more detailed discussion I would look into the certification thread.
Microsoft Certs Popular Certs MCSA and MCSE, MCSA is focused more on administration of an existing infrasture while MCSE will provide more focus on and Engineer who may do more design and implementation of systems
Cisco Certs Popular Certs, CCNA/CCNET and CCNP, CCNA is the cisco's entry level cert, obtaining this will prove you have a decent understanding of how switching and routing network work as well as some insight into designing and implementation of networks. CCNP will provide additional insight into bigger more complex networks, troubleshooting, and designing.
VMware Popular Certs VCP, VCAP-DCA, VCP provides you understand a wide varity of Network, Storage, Hardware, Redundancy, and the building blocks for a "cloud" environment. VCAP-DCA is a lab based test which proves you can do the required work in builting, troubleshooting, and implementing a virtual solution.
For more info on certs check out the Cert Megathread

:siren: IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATIONS!!!! :siren:

  • Certifications are only as important as the knowledge behind them, this means avoid things like CertKing, TestKing, Pass4Sure, doing this will gently caress you over, and make your cert laughable. You'll also instantly lose respect from most any IT professional who is worth anything if you mention the use of them to obtain your cert.
  • Education is only as valuable as what you put into it. This means if you coast through college realize your job will be that much harder because you would have learned the tools needed for your job and will be google'fuing you way through your job
  • Labs of some kind are almost required in this field, even if it is a simple VMware workstation install it's worth it to keep up with the new technologies and practice on things you don't know. We have a great thread bout lab building here!
  • Read some books, there are some amazingly good books that come with lab guides that will help you with a lot of what you are doing.



3.Work
So now that you have the knowledge to what you want to do, it's time now for a new change to come, putting that knowledge to work. Realize that getting a Job in IT while has a great demand, is not always easy. It's hard to get a job without experience in the IT field but you also need experience to get a job, it's a nice chicken and egg scenario. Certs and a degree open many doors, experience opens up pretty much all the rest to get an interview, you knowledge that you have accumulated gets you the job. However getting to that point is not an easy feat, and can be difficult.

i.Resume
Your resume is a very key part into getting a job, it is the very first point of contact employeers see and can't defend itself. Having a solid resume is vital to getting a job in any field, and making one can be difficult. Luckily we have some goon who will take your money and give you a pretty good one. He is in the goon mart and can be checked out here
Couple of pointers for a resume
  • Add any information at a professional level such as work experience, tutoring, or achievements you have even if they seem somewhat small
  • Keep it short, detailed, and on topic. Don't include personal information on how you have over $200 of cartoon comics and art drawings, or how you configured Novell back in 1995 for some company that no longer exists. Keep it relative to the job or field you are going to.
  • Be sure to Proofread, nothing is worse when you realize you send out a reusme w/ msipeeelingz no ti!
  • Make sure your resume is up to date, don't include junk that is old or forget to include new things you worked on
ii.Interviewing
Took this bit from the last thread because I like it
DO
:v: wear a clean suit, or dress appropriately
:v: Make sure to shower
:v: Be sociable, talk say hi, make small talk
:v: Be honest, if you don't know the answer to something talk out the troubleshooting steps, say where you would look,
:v: Don't bullshit, again, don't act like you know it all, more than not you will get hired for being easy to work with rather than having an acclaimed know it all who won't ask for help.
:v: Show up early, about 10 minutes early
:v: Make eye contact, use your hands when you speak, and speak clearly, even if you are shy once you get the job this is the only impression they have of you, make it count.
:v: Keep the conversation moving, don't spend to much on yourself or a question, no one likes dead air.
:v: Document Everything

DON'T
:cry: Show them your neck beard, please shave
:cry: Correct people and be snarky about it, they may say you are wrong about a question that you answered right so do politely correct them but don't be snooty about it
:cry: do the opposite for the Do's

TRS look here

Dilbert As FUCK fucked around with this message at 03:27 on Jun 10, 2014

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Dilbert As FUCK
Sep 8, 2007

by Cowcaster


Pillbug

-reserved-

Dilbert As FUCK
Sep 8, 2007

by Cowcaster


Pillbug

-reserved-

evol262
Nov 30, 2010
#!/usr/bin/perl


Excellent OP. If you want elaboration on Linux or THE CLOUD and what it means, happy to do a writeup (I'm in the cloud eng department of Redhat and actively work on/with OpenStack.

Where are the ACID NoSQL databases?

SeamusMcPhisticuffs
Aug 2, 2006

republicans.bmp


I had a phone interview today for an IT job. I think it went pretty well, really basic filter questions. Soon I'll leave working in Law Enforcment...to work IT in Law Enforcement :confuoot:. Apparently I'll hear within two weeks if I get a real interview.

Dilbert As FUCK
Sep 8, 2007

by Cowcaster


Pillbug

Also PROTIP: Keeping this thread to remain constructively criticism NOT poo poo THAT PISSES YOU OFF

sudo rm -rf
Aug 2, 2011


$ mv fullcommunism.sh
/america
$ cd /america
$ ./fullcommunism.sh




Got my third recruiting call today, and instead of inquiring about a position I'm clearly under-qualified for like the first two, this one, well, you'll just have to see for yourself:

quote:

Technical Support

The Blank Organization, Information Technology (IT) Department is seeking personnel to assist with a district-wide project.

The position requires traveling to project sites daily. Applicants must provide their own reliable transportation and be flexible to traveling across the district. The Blank Organization will not reimburse for any travel expenses.

Hours range from 30 - 40 hours per week.

The technical team will be directed by the technical lead. They will travel from four to six sites per day. The responsibilities will include: computer installation, configuring each computer installed, renaming each computer, connecting the computer to the network printer, and verifying the computer is operational for the end user. The project schedule is very aggressive and it is imperative that all tasks are completed accurately and on schedule.

Qualifications:

A+ certification

Minimum of 2 years experience with MS Windows XP & 7 OS

Knowledge of attaching Windows XP&7 to an MS domain

Proficient in MS Office Suite

Applicants must be self motivated, a team player, detail oriented, conscientious, honest, dependable and have excellent customer service and communication skills.



I look forward to hearing from you very soon...



Sounds awesome!

SRQ
Nov 9, 2009



If I manage the families computers, and hate myself for it, do I get to post in here?

Dilbert As FUCK
Sep 8, 2007

by Cowcaster


Pillbug

SRQ posted:

If I manage the families computers, and hate myself for it, do I get to post in here?

Trying to keep this mostly constructive and non " I HATE X <VENT>"

SRQ
Nov 9, 2009



So I can post here if I keep my hatred for myself, others, and the world bottled up deep inside until it reaches a breaking point and I explode in a ball of pure hatred. Got it.

Any ideas on how I could do like, freelance computer repair work? I've got the skills to do basic rear end poo poo like "Unfuck a computer" or "Clean up grandmas laptop.", but not sure how to go about doing that for money and be:
A: Legally sound if something fucks up
B: Professional

Paladine_PSoT
Jan 2, 2010

If you have a problem Yo, I'll solve it



SRQ posted:

So I can post here if I keep my hatred for myself, others, and the world bottled up deep inside until it reaches a breaking point and I explode in a ball of pure hatred. Got it.

Any ideas on how I could do like, freelance computer repair work? I've got the skills to do basic rear end poo poo like "Unfuck a computer" or "Clean up grandmas laptop.", but not sure how to go about doing that for money and be:
A: Legally sound if something fucks up
B: Professional

There's more overhead to that than it's effectively worth given the need to build and maintain a massive client base.

SRQ
Nov 9, 2009



I'm not talking massive, I'm talking stick some ads on the neighbourhood mail boxes and maybe unfuck some lovely Vista laptop for a 50 now and then.

Paladine_PSoT
Jan 2, 2010

If you have a problem Yo, I'll solve it



SRQ posted:

I'm not talking massive, I'm talking stick some ads on the neighbourhood mail boxes and maybe unfuck some lovely Vista laptop for a 50 now and then.

Unfortunately, people refuck them in short order, then when you want to charge them again, they bitch and moan and word of mouth becomes more negative than positive. If you don't charge, you turn into an unpaid doormat and may as well be a rogue*.

I recommend that if you want to make money doing this sort of thing, depending on your position in life either working towards helldesk or pre-helldesk retail computer work.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



Wanna get in on the first page and say to any newcomers that SH/SC is a really great resource for figuring out your illustrious career in IT. In aggregate, I've learned more about how to advance myself in the field here than any other single place. This thread will be full of some very sharp, experienced and insightful posters that you should really listen to.

Compared to four years ago, I'm making roughly 3x as much in total compensation, working on much more interesting and challenging projects, and--maybe most importantly for my sanity--I'm on-call about one week every two months instead of literally 24/7/365. I attribute most of that to this forum prodding me to get out of my rut/Stockholm Syndrome, poke my head up and see what was out there. Spoiler: what's out there is almost certainly way better than what you're doing right now.

Thanks to everyone who has made this a great and frank place for IT discussion. Let's keep it going.

Docjowles fucked around with this message at 08:19 on Aug 24, 2013

Alliterate Addict
Jul 10, 2012

dreaming of that face again

it's bright and blue and shimmering

grinning wide and comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes


SRQ posted:

So I can post here if I keep my hatred for myself, others, and the world bottled up deep inside until it reaches a breaking point and I explode in a ball of pure hatred. Got it.

There's already at least one other thread for that. We'd welcome your tales of user hate any time v:shobon:v

e: Actually, kidding or not-- Dilbert, you might want to have a link to "the venting thread" in the OP.

psydude
Mar 31, 2008

Perry'd.


IT: come for the computers, stay because you're hung over and the server room is nice and cool.

DragonReach Ghost
Sep 16, 2002

My Avatar is a Red Avatar

Since I do interviewing sometimes I'll be happy to answer questions on what I look for in a tech interview, but to be honest Dilbert's OP of Do's is a good list and accurate.

For instance:

Interviewee start BS'ing me and I give a no hire recommendation. If I get a resume that lists a ton of certs and I know the subject of those certs bet on getting everything from easy questions up to and including in depth architecture. I'm not trying to make the interviewee look bad or anything like that. I need to know how deep the applicants knowledge really is, and honestly I need to hear a "I don't know, but" with whatever follows the but being what the applicant thinks would work or a logical process to get somewhere near the answer.

Also I personally don't like applicants that try to butter me up, or schmooz. Be yourself, I'm not looking to have my ego stroked in the interview. I need to know your real personality so I can make a judicious decision of if you have what it takes to do my job.

Oh yeah and I can talk about Cloud too, just from the MS perspective.

MrMoo
Sep 14, 2000



Is a Data Scientist considered IT? I have no idea on typical background, is it something covered in CS?

Also now I'm seeing the title Architect being abused more frequently, no longer engineer or administrator, one is a network architect, systems architect, or cloud architect.

psydude
Mar 31, 2008

Perry'd.


The architect is supposed to be the senior-most network/systems engineer. In practice, it's never used this way.

evol262
Nov 30, 2010
#!/usr/bin/perl

DragonReach posted:

I'm not trying to make the interviewee look bad or anything like that. I need to know how deep the applicants knowledge really is, and honestly I need to hear a "I don't know, but" with whatever follows the but being what the applicant thinks would work or a logical process to get somewhere near the answer.

Quoting this for posterity.

skipdogg
Nov 29, 2004
Resident SRT-4 Expert


I wanted to touch a little on the hiring/interview aspects of IT as well. I'm not a hiring manager but we do team based interviews and I've been involved with those for about the last 5 years, and I'd like to think my voice carries quite a bit of weight with my boss. The following is my opinion based on my experience with my current company. The last guy we hired didn't even interview with our VP he said "If you believe he's the right guy for the job, I trust you, this one is on you if it doesn't work out". The guy's worked out great so far.


Technical Proficiency is not the most important thing when trying to get an IT job. It's probably my 3rd most important qualification. When we interview I look for 2 things first.

Personality: Can we get along with this guy? You spend more time at work with your co-workers than most people do with their families all week. Interpersonal relationships are very important. Bringing someone into the team that doesn't 'fit' personality wise can be a killer and affect the entire team. Is this the kind of guy to talk down to non technical people? That's a personal pet peeve of mine. The HR lady isn't there to be technical, don't be condescending because she's having issues accessing a 'shared drive', or printing duplex. Everyone serves a purpose in the organization

Can we trust this person? We're not looking for the most technically proficient candidate, but we need to get the impression that we can trust you. Will you accomplish what you say you will? Will you own up to your mistakes? Everyone makes mistakes, but trying to cover them up instead of getting in front of them is usually not good. Are you a cowboy? We had a network engineer a few years ago that just had this cowboy attitude. Making changes during business hours without running it by anyone, not following change control procedures or getting business unit owners approvals. He didn't last long. Yes the red tape in corporate can be frustrating, but it's there for a reason. We're a global company and just because you make a change at 8AM west coast doesn't mean it isn't affecting the folks on the east coast and in Europe. That gentleman didn't last too long. He was very technically proficient, probably the most knowledgeable network engineer we ever hired when it comes to straight technical knowledge but he didn't play well with others or followed the rules and was shown the door.

Now we get to the technical knowledge. We decide to talk to folks based on their resume, but remember, job postings are 'Wish Lists' for candidates. It's very unlikely anyone is going to hit every single skill bullet point we're looking for. We're really looking for someone that hits a fair bit of them and shows us during the interview that they could get up to speed in a reasonable manner in our environment. This means don't be shy about apply for jobs because you don't have X qualification that's listed. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain by applying for a job. If they want 5 years of VMware and you only have 3, who cares? Apply anyway. Or you use NetApp but they are an EMC shop. I'm sure you can get up to speed on the differences pretty quickly, go ahead an apply.

I'm going to question you on what you put on your resume, it is unacceptable for you to list a skill but then not be able to back it up, but if you don't list it and I ask you about it and you say you don't know well that's totally fine. Here's an example from the last position we hired. I used to handle servers and desktops for a 450 seat call center so scripting and automation was big for me.

Me: I see you've listed powershell scripting as a skill on your resume, tell me about a script you put together and what it did and how it saved you some time. (I'm not looking for specifics, just a general answer like oh I needed to change X setting on X computers so I threw together a powershell script that took a text file list of computers and changed the setting remotely, or I used powershell to run a weekly report of free disk space on servers)

Candidate 1: Oh well you know I don't really have too much powershell experience. He bullshitted his experience on the resume and that immediately makes us question everything else on his resume.

Candidate 1 is pretty much not getting the job at this point because we can't trust him.

Candidate 2 didn't list powershell or scripting experience on his resume

Me: So Candidate 2 do you have any experience with using powershell or any other kind of scripting?

Candidate2: No, not really. I haven't really used scripting before.

Ok, no problem, I was just fishing for something not on his resume to ask questions. This isn't a positive or negative in my eyes since it wasn't listed on his resume. Obviously someone with powershell scripting would be more desirable than someone without, but this answer didn't disqualify him in my eyes.

Candidate 3 - Has some bash/perl scripting experience listed on his resume since he managed Linux systems at a previous job, no Windows scripting listed on resume

Me: So do you have any experience with Windows scripting? Powershell, VBS? Anything like that?

Candidate 3: A little bit. I've googled how to do things and put some basic scripts together to accomplish a few things, but I wouldn't consider myself proficient with Windows scripting

That right there is a good answer. He didn't bullshit us on his resume, was candid about his skills and showed he has the initiative to figure something out on his own by piecing something together off google. Candidate 3 ended up proceeding in the interview process.

In a nutshell, be personable, be honest, and don't bullshit us and you have a good shot at getting the job.

skipdogg fucked around with this message at 16:29 on Aug 24, 2013

Dilbert As FUCK
Sep 8, 2007

by Cowcaster


Pillbug

MrMoo posted:

Is a Data Scientist considered IT? I have no idea on typical background, is it something covered in CS?

Also now I'm seeing the title Architect being abused more frequently, no longer engineer or administrator, one is a network architect, systems architect, or cloud architect.

Depends what you mean by "Data scientist" it sounds like a high name for a DataBase Administrator, or Storage Engineer.

Architect usually pertains more to someone who evaluates a environment and designed and builds around the business requirements. Most of these are upper level, have experience in Administration, this title does appear more in VAR/MSP situations however, where you will be upgrading client networks/servers/storage.


Of course MUCH of HR just googles "IT title" and will paste the first thing they come across

evol262 posted:

Excellent OP. If you want elaboration on Linux or THE CLOUD and what it means, happy to do a writeup (I'm in the cloud eng department of Redhat and actively work on/with OpenStack.

Where are the ACID NoSQL databases?


If you want to write about the linux portion I'll quote you on it, I know a great deal of *nix but I won't go off spouting things that isn't my main job. I'll grab more of the cloud stuff here in a bit.

Dilbert As FUCK fucked around with this message at 18:16 on Aug 24, 2013

MrMoo
Sep 14, 2000



Dilbert As gently caress posted:

Depends what you mean by "Data scientist" it sounds like a high name for a DataBase Administrator, or Storage Engineer.

Data scientists are typically employed to make sense out of Big Data, i.e. a glorified data analyst.

quote:

Architect usually pertains more to someone who evaluates a environment and designed and builds around the business requirements.

I have the title "Solutions Architect" and I seem to do anything. This week its VM CJ-ing.

Tasty Wheat
Jul 18, 2012



When my new contract start date got moved back from Mon to Wed and so far I have seen two different job titles, Analyst vs Engineer, this is going to be interesting.

How many people have jumped ship on a contract before your first day on a contract? I always have this crazy moralist point of view about running the first option year on a contract before leaving.

psydude
Mar 31, 2008

Perry'd.


Are you working down at DSCR, or are you done with the government game?

evol262
Nov 30, 2010
#!/usr/bin/perl

Tasty Wheat posted:

When my new contract start date got moved back from Mon to Wed and so far I have seen two different job titles, Analyst vs Engineer, this is going to be interesting.

How many people have jumped ship on a contract before your first day on a contract? I always have this crazy moralist point of view about running the first option year on a contract before leaving.

Do you really think this is a bad sign? As long as the job description is the same, who cares about the title? I've been "Application Systems Engineer 4", "Operating Systems Engineer 2", "Systems Analyst", "Data Center Specialist", and more. All of them were basically "systems administrator", and the first two were literally the same job on the same team, just in different locations.

Alliterate Addict
Jul 10, 2012

dreaming of that face again

it's bright and blue and shimmering

grinning wide and comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes


evol262 posted:

Do you really think this is a bad sign? As long as the job description is the same, who cares about the title?

Because the job title implies what the company is willing to pay you, generally based on the average of {job title} in the area. If company A wants to hire you as a "Senior Systems Engineer" and company B wants to hire you as "Computer Assistant II", it can end up being pretty telling exactly what your potential for advancement in the company is, not to mention the respect for your work you'll get when you're there.

Crosby B. Alfred
May 20, 2006


What's the "best" way to ask for a raise?

DragonReach Ghost
Sep 16, 2002

My Avatar is a Red Avatar

Tab8715 posted:

What's the "best" way to ask for a raise?

Have another job offer in hand for more money, and then explain that your current responsibilities exceed your compensation. Be ready to walk.

Alternatively be truly indispensable, and do the same thing.

Others I am sure will have better advice. Those two have worked for me. BTW I didn't stay at either job for much longer. For the first one, they didn't have any extra money in the budget, for the second, I didn't like the job that much anyway.

Vulture Culture
Jul 14, 2003

I was never enjoying it. I only eat it for the nutrients.


Tab8715 posted:

What's the "best" way to ask for a raise?
This is completely circumstantial and depends on things like your importance within the organization, your relationship with your boss, and the reason(s) you're asking for a raise. Give us some better background, and maybe we can help you more. :)

barnold
Dec 16, 2011


what do u do when yuo're born to play fps? guess there's nothing left to do but play fps. boom headshot


If the minimum wage ends up getting raised, is it fair to ask that my pay get raised in accord with the amount it was raised by?

Alliterate Addict
Jul 10, 2012

dreaming of that face again

it's bright and blue and shimmering

grinning wide and comforting me with it's three warm and wild eyes


DragonReach posted:

Have another job offer in hand for more money

Be careful about doing this, because there are definitely some companies who will use that to start looking for your replacement even if they do give you a raise.

Ranter
Jul 11, 2004

:downs:

Ursine Asylum posted:

Be careful about doing this, because there are definitely some companies who will use that to start looking for your replacement even if they do give you a raise.

If you carefully document everything can't you sue them if they 'fire' you, even in an at-will state? The evidence is in your favor.

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



FFStudios posted:

If the minimum wage ends up getting raised, is it fair to ask that my pay get raised in accord with the amount it was raised by?

Unless you're within a buck or two of minimum wage to begin with (and if you are making $9 an hour in IT, holy gently caress, get out), my gut says this would not have good results. Either you're in a low wage position where the main goal is keeping costs down, and management will come back with "you already make more than that. Nope!" Or you're well paid and asking for another 75c an hour would be silly. Your time would be better spent arguing for a major pay raise than a 0.5% hike, or updating the resume and jumping ship.

Docjowles fucked around with this message at 05:44 on Aug 25, 2013

EAT THE EGGS RICOLA
May 29, 2008



d3rt posted:

If you carefully document everything can't you sue them if they 'fire' you, even in an at-will state? The evidence is in your favor.

You can sue whoever you want, that doesn't make it easy or a good idea in all cases, even if you're right.

Ranter
Jul 11, 2004

:downs:

EAT THE EGGS RICOLA posted:

even if you're right.

God bless America.

barnold
Dec 16, 2011


what do u do when yuo're born to play fps? guess there's nothing left to do but play fps. boom headshot


Docjowles posted:

(and if you are making $9 an hour in IT, holy gently caress, get out)

I'm making $10.15/hour :unsmith:

joe944
Jan 31, 2004

What does not destroy me makes me stronger.


The sysadmin section is pretty slim, and I think could use some bulking up. It's been a while since I've done corp/windows stuff so I'll leave that to someone else but what do you think about this section for ops?

System Administrator - Operations

Opposed to the corp sysadmin who builds and supports the tools that help employees do their jobs is the ops sysadmin who supports applications that usually provide direct revenue for the company. Web operations, an example I have direct experience with, will require a vast variety of skillsets - with lots of potential for specialization if you want to work for mega-huge companies.

The obvious first step towards getting a career in a web operations role is to learn about web servers. There many different choices although nginx and apache are definitely the most popular, each with their own benefit. Are you just running simple static pages or dynamic content generated by backend application servers?

How do you scale? Software load balancer, hardware? What caching application best suits your data model? You'll likely need to work with developers when deciding on what technology to use to run the products they create, which means you need to understand the benefits of memcache vs redis vs cassandra vs mongo vs hbase, etc, for whatever application you need to run.

Beyond the production applications there are the operations tools that will decide how the work flows through your team. Learn to use version control. Git is a good choice, and when tied in with a continous integration app like jenkins, allows you to verify that quality code is being pushed in addition to providing automatic updates on build status to your irc channel, jira ticket, email and whatever else you need. With virtual application stack testing using vagrant you can rest safely knowing your code is fully tested before going live.

What code is an ops sysadmin likely to write? Besides whatever scripts any admin worth his salt is going to write on his or her own there will be some form of configuration automation - perhaps puppet, chef or cfengine, although there are many others.

Now that you have an environment that can easily push code to and that can rebuild itself, you better make sure you have everything from system health to application status monitored intelligently so that you only get called for actual problems. Which brings us to one of the many facts of life for operations sysadmins - on call duties. You will most likely be participating in an on-call rotation along with your team to provide 24/7 support for the company. Since the computers you are responsible for are directly making the company money, any problems with the infrastructure will immediately become your problem after hours. Even if you build a 'perfect' system, developers won't always write good code, and problems will occur at some point so just always be prepared.

These environments are largely run on linux, if that hasn't stood out to you by this point. From what I've seen it's difficult to find sysadmins with the deep skill-sets required to flourish in fast paced operations environments, which is why employers are paying large sums of money to keep talented individuals. The learning curve is high due to the sheer number of different technologies you will be responsible for, and of course can be frustrating when you get woken up for bad code instead of an actual systems issue, but it is a very rewarding career path.

joe944 fucked around with this message at 17:46 on Aug 25, 2013

Docjowles
Apr 9, 2009



FFStudios posted:

I'm making $10.15/hour :unsmith:

Goondolences. Sorry, maybe you're more entry level than I was assuming. I've been there too and when I asked for a similar minimum wage bump was basically told to get hosed, so that colors my perception. Maybe your employer is less of a shitlord than some in my past. What's your job title and usual duties? $10 an hour seems super low but maybe not if you're grinding it out at Geek Squad or something. If that's the case and you want to move deeper into the IT field, I'd point you to the Home Lab and IT Certification threads here in SH/SC as a good next step.

joe944 posted:

System Administrator - Operations

This is a good post. Maybe also make mention of on-call as a fact of life for anyone in ops. But with the caveat that there's good on-call (rotation among a team, NOC guys taking the brunt of off-hours crap if you're really lucky and/or work for a larger org) and lovely, exploitative on-call (you are responsible for everything personally 24/7. vacation? lol!).

Docjowles fucked around with this message at 06:22 on Aug 25, 2013

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DGK2000
May 3, 2007

Hotel Soap is super proud of his little perfumed balls that never get dirty or stinky

So I was recently hired by a company as an Information Systems Analyst. I am literally the only IT person in the company, and as such I travel the entire county supporting numerous sites. I get paid mileage and 17.50/hour. Does this seem right?

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