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

rocket posted:

Ok, I guess SELinux is mostly for protecting system memory from malicious programs.

SELinux is does a lot more than that, but it's way beyond the scope of this discussion. It doesn't protect you from yourself, though (it can, but not in default config, and Linux facls can also protect the system from root doing this, but also beyond the scope).

Always check (especially in scripts that blindly "cd /somedir; rm -rf *"), never "rm -rf .*", etc.

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

rocket posted:

It's just nice to know that it can be done. Thanks!

If you're really curious about it, there are a bunch of docs I could link you. But setting contexts is going to be a PITA unless you really love SElinux. facls are dated, but "man setfacl" will get you started on protecting things from root without the rigamarole of selinux.

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

orange sky posted:

So, in my country most of the market is Windows Server, but I seem to find that the big bucks and high responsibility jobs as a sysadmin involve Linux (not always true, I realize that, but I wanna learn anyway). That's as good a reason as any to look into it, in my personal time. What do you guys suggest I read about being a Linux admin? I have no idea about anything related to it (what is used instead of AD, and OU's, and WDS, and whatever else I know about Windows Server).

This is probably a false association. You're seeing "big bucks" and associating it with Linux because Linux people are (broadly) harder to find, and the "big bucks/high responsibility" jobs in other specialities don't show up on your searches or are filled by direct recruitment.

Anyway, most enterprise Linux shops end up tying into AD, and OUs are part of LDAP. If not AD, then RHDS/FreeIPA (which is also LDAP+Kerberos, like AD, and will handle DNS and DHCP for you if you want), old Netware shops, and pretty much the same directory services you find in Windows.

It's definitely possible to use NIS or similar, but in practice, almost nobody does these days.

Instead of using WDS (which uses PXE), you use kickstarts, jumpstarts (solaris), preseed (debian-alikes), or another method of automated installs. In practice, the difference from WDS is that, since the system is comprised of a bunch of different packages instead of big images, you can just specify what packages you want and what repository to find them in. Many shops in 2014 are just installing a base system and provisioning the application/user layer with Puppet, Chef, or another configuration management system. You may want to look at Foreman.

The Red Hat (or Fedora) documentation and the FreeBSD handbook are excellent places for "how do I get basic poo poo done on Linux/BSD". For more complex questions (like directory services, automated deployment, best practices), hit the Linux thread or any of the generals, which are also read by people who work with Linux.

It's a totally different operating system, though. Forget about the stuff you asked about until you get a handle on using the shell, basic scripting, wrangling packages, configuring services/networking, etc. You've probably spent your whole life using Windows and knowing how to do this just came with the territory when you started using Windows Server. Linux is gonna be a very different experience.

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

Tab8715 posted:

Not sure if I am following you here, you're saying it's untrue but at the same time it's more difficult to find Linux people?
I'm saying that because it's more difficult to find Linux people, public requisitions for high pay/high responsibility positions tend to make it out in disproportionately high numbers compared to the number of total positions, and searches for sysadmin jobs won't bring up other "high pay/high responsibility" jobs (Sr. Network Eng, Oracle DBA, etc) even if they do get posted.

Linux people make slightly more an average than Windows people, but there's a bias if you just look at job boards.

Tab8715 posted:

Would RHCE/RHCSA training material cover this?
Yes and yes, especially the RHCSA, though both assume a bare level of familiarity with the shell. I wouldn't take the combined fast-track at his level of expertise, though.

Read the docs, play a little, learn the shell, then try the RHCSA.

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

Docjowles posted:

I do struggle with what I want the next steps in my career to be. Thinking 1,3 and 5 years out. I really love doing technical sysadmin work but I also don't really want to be in my 40's or 50's and still carrying the metaphorical pager. Even with a fairly deep rotation and stable-ish environment, being on-call blows. I don't want to do it forever. But neither do I want to go into pure management and stop getting my hands dirty, at least in the near to middle term. I need to identify the mythical "sysadmin that isn't on call" role.

Systems engineering. I haven't been on call in 6 years.

Also, being a team lead and mentoring people as a senior on a team which actually includes juniors is immensely satisfying without dragging you into the business meetings, wrangling PTO for employees, etc, and you're certainly qualified to go be a Sr. Sys. Eng. somewhere.

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

Aunt Beth posted:

For all the sysadmin types out there, about what percentage of your architecture is x86 compatible and what's proprietary (like POWER, SPARC, zEnterprise, etc)? I work for a certain blue behemoth so my picture of what people run is kind of skewed.

Also, what's everyone's opinion of the closed systems? I know in school I was taught that the world runs on Windows and Linux on x86 (virtualization notwithstanding) and then there are a few people to still run UNIX variants and that mainframes are dead and buried. I've seen this is very much not the case, but what's everyone else's perception?

It's run the gamut.

First job ran everything but HP-UX, including VMS and Nonstop. Nobody else has been that diverse (thankfully), but I don't think I've ever been at a shop which isn't running other systems of some kind.

I spearheaded the move from AIX to Linux at one, but we kept around a few HP-UX boxes even after the migration was complete because the enterprise Oracle people still ran on HP-UX. Next one had Solaris/SPARC. The one after that was Solaris/x86 and Linux. I currently work for another major vendor, so we've got pretty much any box that might be expected to be supported on RHEL (Linux on z, POWER, especially since KVM on POWER is coming up fast, significant ARM).

I still think most of the world runs Windows and Linux on x86. If I were a new company, I wouldn't bother with anything else unless the (Open) POWER8 stuff is very good -- and price competitive. ARM may get in with the same caveats. But it's really hard to go wrong with x86.

Older shops still have investments in code they don't want to port or teams with enough sway to keep buying AIX. It's pretty unlikely that a greenfield would pick AIX, though (for a variety of reasons). Not gonna die, but not gonna grow.

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

Misogynist posted:

Sometimes there are crucial commodity software products whose best support is on a certain proprietary UNIX, as well. It's not uncommon at all to see shops that are otherwise entirely x86 keep around a handful of pSeries boxes to run Tivoli Storage Manager. The Linux support isn't bad, but TSM on AIX is widely regarded as a more stable, robust, and performant package.

I actually love TSM, and it's worth running AIX just for some Tivoli product (not only because IBM is terribad at getting them working on new versions of RHEL, though it's also a thing), but I've can't say I've seen small shops shelling out for Tivoli licensing regardless of platform.

Also, :ibm:. We always joked that the icon for SMIT was IBM running away with your money, but the Tivoli's not at all cheap, and you inevitably have to listen to them pitch TPM and other products with belong in the 8th ring of Hell.

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

Cenodoxus posted:

I geek out watching videos about System z and trying (read: failing) to do even the simplest of tasks in Hercules. I've always found exotic poo poo like Irix, AS/400, and z/OS to be intriguing, but Irix is the only thing I was ever able to get my hands on.
IRIX isn't actually that exotic, though SGI's hardware was. IRIX is so run-of-the-mill that you can use pkgsrc on it.

z/OS is not that different from OS/400 or OS/390 or OS/360 or... the line follows pretty logically back to the 60s.

MVS, AOS (and RDOS), and VMS are the dead mainframe operating systems that are fun to play with. Actually, AOS, RDOS, and MVS aren't fun, but they're enlightening in a "look how far we've come" way, as is GCOS.

That said, for odd but important operating systems, playing with CP/M, QNX, VxWorks (if you can get your hands on it), and Minix can teach you an awful lot about how things came to be the way they are, both in realtime OSes and otherwise.

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

Aunt Beth posted:

z/OS is vastly different from OS/400 (AKA IBMi nowadays), they're two completely distinct systems. They intersect somewhat in that neither are gui-driven, but that's about it. z/OS traces its roots to the System/360 introduced in 1964, whereas OS/400 was designed for midrange computers as a successor to the System/36 and System/38 in the 1980's.

MVS is not dead at all; it's continued evolving but OS/360 MVT=MVS=OS/390=z/OS. You can trot out a COBOL program that was written for System/370 in 1975 and run it on a z/OS LPAR you installed on a zEC12 last week with no modification. It's a very tricky OS to run because it has basically no architectural similarities to anything else currently in use today, as well as a lot of complexity to maintain full backwards compatibility. UNIX system services are available that provide a POSIX-compatible interface to the OS, but it's not terribly widely used in my experience.

While they're distinct systems, the compatibility subsystems and ability to trot out code from the 70s is why I described them as similar. System z or z/Series or whatever it's called now is a different heritage and can't really be replaced as an operator console or JCL host, but I guess I tend to see them all as "RUN YER COBOL HERE" and the I've never laid eyes or hands on an actual i/Series or AS/400 or whatever IBM is calling it now, so my only interactions have been inside a partition on a z/Series and I conflate them.

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

Tab8715 posted:

Now, at my current position half of my duties are IBM Power / IBMi focused. There are literally thousand of applications for tons of industries written in COBOL/RPG that just are more economic to maintain rather than migrate to Linux/x86. Maybe in the future IBMi will become depreciated but it's going to be around for a while...
Coming out of banking, I think their core platform will be "whatever can talk to Hogan and whatever Hogan runs on". Just not worth the effort. Their current push is implementing a teletype-looking interface in a web browser talking to J2EE running on Tomcat on Linux, which ultimately talks to the mainframe. Software changes, workflow doesn't.

Tab8715 posted:

I know that IBM is aggressively positioning Power to take on the Linux market. All the major vendors are on-board Red Hat, Canonical, Novell, etc but software developers are still hesitant. While many big corporations refuse to leave HP-UX/Intel Itanium eventually they're going to have too and there only options are migrate to Linux/x86, x86/Windows(lol) SUN-SPARC or IBM Power. Guess which two are cheaper?
IBM contributes a lot of code and hardware for POWER. Many of the KVM/POWER developers and a ton of the code coems out of IBM. When you say "major vendors are on-board", we're on-board insofar as it's "patches accepted -- your customers want to run Linux and you're putting most of the legwork into keeping Linux current on your hardware". IBM's a strategic partner and all that, and I really like what they do, but we're gunning for ARM harder than POWER.

Tab8715 posted:

I can't say if IBM's plan will work out but supposedly Power offers higher VM density vs x86 and a plethora things like hot-swappable PCI-Express Slot, RAM Memory Compression and I can't remember the term off-hand but there's feature where if a bank of memory or processor fails it'll immediately switch over to another bank or proc... Does this even exist in x86 land? Lastly, the only thing I hate about IBM is if you need to learn mainframe you're paying some education partner several thousand dollars for training, you can't go to a bookstore and study in your free time like you can for your MCSA/VCP/RHCSA...
Unless I'm really mistaken, PCIe is hot pluggable everywhere. Higher VM density really depends (*PARs on AIX can get higher density, but the underpinnings of KVM are basically the same across platforms). It's higher density in the sense that newer POWER stuff is beefy as hell and has a ton of memory, and their virt extensions are a bit better. Dynamic bus repair is pretty hot, though I'm less sold on the memory expansion. I'd love to see it take off, but price, price, price is always POWER's problem.

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

Tab8715 posted:

Can you even purchase ARM hardware or even let alone download a ARM Distribution? I'm hoping you'll link me to something
I'll let you infer from public links, plus AMD's aarch64 announcement yesterday.

See also, Richard W.M. Jones' blog.

The Olinuxino and Cubietruck are probably your best bets to play (<$100, SATA and KVM supported, Cubietruck also has eMMC and comes with serial and everything else you'd need). Fedora runs natively on both, along with probably Arch, Debian, and others. No aarch64 stuff I can point you at, but it's coming.

Tab8715 posted:

The only circumstance where memory compression is worthwhile is when you've got more than a terabyte but it's not really useful for anyone else but I'd agree POWER isn't cheap but IBM is investing...
OpenPOWER is super hot if it goes anywhere...

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

Tab8715 posted:

How come all the hardware comes in physical boards and not a complete unit? Or is that much in it's infancy?

ARM server kit is just happening.

Years ago, there was the guruplug (and a devkit with dvi/VGA and a case and whatnot). But the board+PSU+serial pretty much is the complete unit for a lot of ARM for now...

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

hanyolo posted:

Pretty sure the 1 page rule only applies when you're just starting out looking for work or have only been in the industry for a few years. I've been explicitly told by recruiters / hiring managers to start using 2-3 pages now after being in the industry for 8 years. At this stage of your career it's probably worth removing the Call Centre / Helpdesk roles if you've had any, otherwise maybe start joining multiple jobs you've had in the one company into the same section?

My CV is still one page, and I'd still recommend "one page" (just the stuff that's relevant and that you care about) to everyone. It's amusing in some ways to see a CV with a list of skills and say "so, JumpStart, I haven't used that in about 5 years". Neither had he. None of his most recent jobs included Solaris at all. Why is this on your CV? Keep it cogent.

I've removed old jobs with skills I don't want to advertise (.net Dev, AD admin, etc), and I don't have a "skills" section because I pretty much figure out what my skills are from my work experience, we're not a fit anyway.

It's 5-6 project bullet points per job, header at the top, education at the bottom, as many jobs as I can fit on one page (3-4, generally).

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

mayodreams posted:

Since this comes up a lot, the Mac Pro is not a desktop, and really shouldn't be considered as one. I am not going to stand here and fight for the Trash Bin Pro, but its using server hardware, and a comparable Dell Precision or HP Workstation will cost roughly the same.

HP Z620
Xeon E5-1650v2 (matches MacPro)
2x FirePro V3900 (Likely underpowered compared to the MacPro)
16GB DDR3-1866 ECC
256GB PCI-E SSD

$4047
I liked this argument with the old Mac Pro, which was, y'know, actually a workstation with removable memory trays, dual sockets, easily-swappable drives, etc.

It's still competing in workstation space, it just doesn't belong anymore, and it's ludicrously overpriced given the design.

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

mayodreams posted:

My point is that yes, it is $4k, but it's not like there is a $1000 Apple tax on it. Everyone bitches about the Apple Tax, but it really doesn't exist anymore.

This is sort of my point. The old Pro played in workstation space, and it was comparable to precisions, oracle workstations, HP Zxxx, and debatably aix workstations (definitely intellistations).

But Xeons and ECC are a lot more commonplace than they were. The e5 is a little more exotic, and they're workstation GPUs, but there's probably a $1500 tax on a box that is, essentially, throwaway. Workstations are worth it for expandability, not just having server-grade hardware. Go look at the internal design of z620. The old Mac Pro was in the same class and deserved the premium. The new one is not.

The Apple tax does not exist on their laptops or iMacs, and not really on minis (they could be cheaper). It is 100% in force on mobile hardware. And it's there on the new Pro.

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

Dilbert As gently caress posted:

Uhh, If your in the south Dell has some awesome openings around Georgia. I mean what qualifications and expirence do you have over a degree? Seriously, A degree may get you in the door but it is the experience and knowledge that will sell your value to the employer.

This is terrible advice.

I mean, I only got a degree a few months ago. But it's better to have one and not need it than need one and not have it. Degrees confer knowledge, believe it or not, and most employers consider a degree worth 3-4 years of experience for applying.

Experience and knowledge helps a lot, and it's arguably better for now, but there's always the possibility of the industry changing in the future. And you will be hamstrung if you ever want to pursue a management track at a large company without a degree.

If people don't want to get a degree, their choice. But don't deter people from a beneficial decision because school doesn't fit your personal narrative.

E: the choice of major has little bearing on where you end up. If we sounded off, I bet almost none of us have degrees in CS, CIS, math, or any engineering discipline. History represent.

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


Please stop. I know the ROI argument. I also spent the first 7 years of my career without a degree. It didn't matter. Some of us are in relatively hot/niche roles (virtualization, Linux, etc), and it's easy to be misled.

Again, experience is more valuable, to a point, but "Dell is hiring people, think about that instead" is not considering your options. It's making a shortsighted choice.

I went to school while I worked full-time in the industry. I don't recommend it. "HR filters" get bypassed once you have enough experience that you're applying somewhere looking for a skillset instead of ability. "Bachelor's or above for director and above" does not.

I don't mean this to denigrate, but you're in your early 20s in a niche role and you've never worked for a major company, or even a large one. Don't give general career advice like this. Don't take it personally, but don't do it. You are a neophyte, not an expert. I'm not an expert either, but I knew a lot of people (including myself) making the same kind of arguments you're making when I was 24. That changes when you're 30 at a point in your career you didn't think you'd be at until you were 40, and wtf are you gonna do for the next 30 years.

Think of how far you've gone in the last 5 years. Think about going that far in the next 5. How do you plan to keep that pace going for the next 5 after that? And after those 5? Eventually you, too, will hit a point where a degree will be required for the role. And hopefully you will have done it before you got married or had kids or have to take care of your parents or the other poo poo which eats up time as we age.

Don't tell people to "consider". Especially "considering options" which suggest working instead of a bachelor's. Almost everyone would rather make money than pay money for school. This is a bad choice for your career in the long run if you ever expect to be in a leadership position.

A degree is not vocational training. An AA may be. A BS or BA is not. It's not about getting the next job. It's about being qualified to get the job you want in 20 years, or emigrating, or whatever. Do you want to go to school and work because it's required for advancement when you're 35 or 40 and you have a family? Don't make life decisions on short-term objectives.

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

Dilbert As gently caress posted:

I'd like to discuss this over PM so the thread can get back to the original topic, thanks.

I'm happy to respond over pm, and I know that was a little bit of "listen here, junior" condescension, but the career value of a degree while/for working in IT is perfectly suited to this thread (even judging by the OP), regardless of whether or not you like where the discussion is going.

This is the thread for career discussion, after all.

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

jaegerx posted:

I have a GED, I left highschool early to start a career in ISP tech support. Moved on to sysadmin for a wireless ISP and now I'm a Systems Architect for a fortune 1000 company.

I have an RHCA, CCNP, and working on my CCIE in security.

Please ignore everything dilbert as gently caress says, he's a complete idiot and should stay on his meds.

This is exactly the problem. I dropped out of high school, started in the industry at the age Dilbert is now, was heading a team of admins at a Fortune 50 five years after that, and working as a dev for Red Hat two years after that. I have no certs and didn't have a degree until last May.

I'm an outlier. You're an outlier. He's an outlier. Many of us got to where we are without formal education. But that doesn't make it less valuable for people less lucky, less talented (I mostly think I lucked into where I am and was anyway), trying to break in in 2014, or hitting the upper limits of the engineering totem pole (architect is awfully close) and thinking about bigger things (director, CTO, etc).

Telling people that you make six figures without it (as an aside, talking about how much you make is a little uncouth -- the more you make, the less it should come up), are an architect with a GED, et al does them a disservice. People aren't required to get a degree, but it's a good choice for a vast majority of workers, even IT workers.

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

lampey posted:

Now more than ever a degree is less important to a career in IT. If it is important at a later date there are increasingly non traditional options like WGU to get a degree.

The increasing availability of nontraditional options makes it more important, not less, as the number of people you're competing against who have degrees goes up proportionally.

The industry's legacy of "no degree, no problem as long as you can do the job" stems from the relative newness of the field and the tendency of early professionals to come from other specializations as the "computer person" who's now managing the business' VAX and math/physics majors learning how to code to run computations.

When pretty much anyone can get a degree these days, stagnating wages, and a glut of unemployed degreed people, what's an employer's incentive to hire entry level people without them? To pay you wages on par? There are people in these threads all the time asking for advice switching to IT. Why hire a high school grad or dropout when someone with a degree will do it for the same price?

It has never been more important, and it's only going to keep getting more so.

There will always be exceptions, but the industry is changing.

And, as noted, it's better to do it while you're young than to wait until you need it and you're trying to juggle other obligations while you try to finish a multi-year program so you can get on with your life and your career. Even the nontraditional options take years as a best-case. Do you want to wait until it's "important"?

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

georgesil posted:

Hey Guys,


OK...you are right, there's always better to have a degree than not have one; unfortunately when i was in the second year of college my parents told me that they can't support me anymore and not with the taxes that i paid myself but with keeping me in their house and feeding me. So obviously i had to go to work and i had to freeze school. I began to work as a helper for a warehouse keeper, loading and unloading trucks manually for the minimum wage, from there i began my ascension moving first to a warehouse keeper after the guy left the company and finally after 7 long and painful years i was promoted to regional sales director in that company, but after a while i realized that i wasn't in the right place, i wasn't doing what i liked, i wasn't passionate about it and i dreaded every day going to work. I was always passionate about IT, the first day that i got my first computer (again a bank loan) even if it had the warranty sticker on it i opened the case and i took out all the components to see how they look. So when i realized that I'm not in the right place i decided to quit and i took a job as a junior help-desk analyst for a 50 top Forbes company after a hellish screening process. The hours were awful and i was working 9 hours out of 8 but i felt that i was in the right place, i was happy, i was doing what i was passionate about. From there trough hard work and some luck i guess i was promoted to senior analyst, after to duty manager, major incident manager, quality assurance and finally reporting. In all this time i wasn't asked about a degree, i didn't confront with the lack of a degree, maybe I'm an exception or maybe i was just lucky and I'm not excluding the possibility of going back to school as now i can do it but anyway...if i would have the choice again i would stay in school.

Now it's your choice.


psydude posted:

Get a degree just for the sake of being able to write. Because god damned, there are so many people in IT who cannot write.

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

lampey posted:

The increasing commoditization of IT means that individuals require less job specific knowledge to perform the needed roles, and it takes less time to learn than previously. A bachelors degree is not without merit, but many of the experiences that result in a being well rounded can be learned while on the job. If someone was 30 years old and wanted to get into IT should they get a 4 year degree first?
If this is your level of reasoning and reading comprehension, maybe should avoid IT for other reasons. You're arguing against something I didn't say. Don't make me a strawman.

The idea that it takes less specific knowledge and less time to learn job skills is patently false compared to even 10 years ago, when the average candidate could have been expected to have grown up on a command line and moved into an entry-level role deploying applications on physical hardware, likely Windows. Virtualization, configuration management, devops, cloud paradigms, scripting (even on Windows) for basic tasks, and other industry drivers are shifting the knowledge of how to be a "pro" further away from what a consumer can reasonably be expected to know, not towards it. It's abstracting away the daily experience.

That aside, I'll put it in real simple terms for you.

I didn't have a degree when I started and I don't need one now (yet). I got a degree a couple of months ago, but it's not IT-related. You're right that some of what a degree offers can be gained on the job (not much, because a degree is not vocational training, and you're unlikely to teach yourself mathematical induction so you know how to prove recursion, or learn formal logic, or whatever -- school shouldn't teach you Node.js except as a means to learning abstract concepts which are mostly irrelevant to the job and theory you may never use).

But that's not the point. The point is that a 30-year-old or an 18-year-old (under the assumption he/she'd be trying to get 4 years of work experience instead of college) without a degree is competing against a pool of applicants who, increasingly, do have degrees, and aren't looking for more pay than those without. What is the incentive for me to hire someone without a degree when I can post a position and get a hundred applicants with one?

Once you have the experience you don't need the degree, but getting into the field without one is a lot harder than it was 10 years ago or 5 years ago. The industry isn't regulated (ala nursing, law, engineering, accounting) and will probably never outright require a degree. But the "degree or X years of relevant experience" is slowly starting to go away for junior and entry level jobs. And a few years after that, you can expect many of the people in senior positions to have come through that experience and senior postings will do the same.

For those of us working in the industry with years of experience already, it doesn't matter much.

But the slew of "I don't have a degree and I'm doing fine in my mid-level position" (this mostly includes "senior" admins, devs, and systems engineers, including myself, since we're mostly mid-level on a company's org chart) is also stupid. When you start bumping up against the director, .*VP, and C-level positions where a degree isn't optional, you see where it limits you.

I get staying on the technical track. I'm still on the technical track, too. But I'm a senior Dev who's been a senior admin, and a senior engineer, and I'm 31. Bluntly, though I enjoy my work and I'm good at it, I'm good at solving this class of problems. I want to solve bigger problems, and new challenges interest me. And that probably means go into a leadership role (I like mentoring a lot, but technical/team leadership roles aren't what I mean). Degrees aren't optional if I want to succeed there.

Please give me a good reason why a degree is not a good career move which doesn't involve "I made it to my mid-level position without any problems after starting in 1995-2010"

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

jim truds posted:

With the current climate towards higher education I kind of wonder if a degree is going to stay relevant. As a younger generation moves into management and hiring roles I would not be apprised if they started caring less about degrees. You already see that with younger startups.

This is the opposite of the industry trend.

"Younger startups" also have more people with degrees than did "young startups" three decades ago, or two decades ago during the .com boondoggle.

The current "climate towards higher education" is a lot of young people who got degrees because they had been told a degree in anything at all will get you 6 figures and a corner office, then they all got law degrees because that would get you six figures". The world doesn't work that way. But now they have a ton of loans and no good way to pay them back, so they're railing against it.

It is true, though, that not everyone needs to get a degree. And not everyone can make six figures. And not everyone should go to school. But think of it this way:

We're in one of the most lucrative industries in the country, with demand for foreign workers so high that the H1B visa pool fills up instantly every year, with jobs in the hippest cities in the country (with some of the highest cost of living in some of them).

Having a degree has always been a competitive advantage. I really don't mean what you mean by "younger startups", but github has more degrees than Microsoft did. This is true for everyone else. In no startup known for success (we can just pick top100 websites and companies who've been bought out by major players) is there a bias or backlash against degrees.

I suspect you were trying to make an unfalsifiable statement. Or conflating non-entry level workers (like the infrastructure admins or lead coders) who already have experience.

I'll repeat: why should I, as a hiring manager, founder, or whatever even hire someone without a degree when I can get someone with a degree and the same amount of experience for literally zero extra cost? Because that's the market. And that's the direction it's been going in for a while.

More people are getting degrees, not less. In no industry are they becoming less desirable.

If you want to make this argument, please give concrete examples of companies defying every metric.

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

Fiendish Dr. Wu posted:

So here's a different spin on the whole degree / certification thing: With the advent of free MOOC's like on Coursera, how valuable do you think certified specializations are, or will be?

Considering the weight given to "soft skills", you would get much of the same, and many of these free classes are taught by top level education centers like MIT or Berkeley. Should these be given consideration? Do you think they will be looked at negatively because of the free nature?

I'd say just do it.

My argument "for" degrees is largely aimed at entry-level people (or more broadly, anyone who thinks that having a degree may be competitive against your experience) and people who are bumping up against hard executive-level requirements.

I'd pursue those 100% if I had interest, and I suspect employers would like them

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

go3 posted:

While HR may think having a degree means this it really doesn't and we'd be better off just saying 'Get a degree because it fills a checkbox'

It actually does a little bit, in the same way as staying at employers for longer than a year early in your career does. It says "I can hack it even when it's lovely because I see you the long-term value in this". I mean, a degree doesn't say " I have job skills " (necessarily), but it does say "I'm able to complete long-term projects"

jim truds posted:

I made a lovely quick phone post so let me expand, a lot of the backlash is because degrees have gone from being a good to have to a must-have with not a lot to actually show for them. This thread can't seem to even agree on what hiring someone with a degree gives you. We have too many people in IT with a degree that has nothing to do with IT so it isn't technical skills that the degree is giving people. Soft skills? Sure, being in college will help with soft skills. But it should not take someone 4 years to learn how to write well and work in a team. And having pretty much any job should help develop your soft skills, even a guy slinging hamburgers at McDonalds should be picking up how to interact with people and work in a team.

I don't disagree that a degree is a good career move, if you are trying to get into an entry level position or move up a degree will probably let you beat out someone who has the same work experience and certs as you. However, I think the reasoning behind it is a lot of bullshit. So my lovely post was me wondering if they'll be a backlash to that trend as a generation that has had to deal with the degree being the ground floor moves into hiring manager/founder/whoever is hiring positions.

Also as someone who just hired for an entry level position I did pick the candidate based on the fact that he was getting his degree. He was older, had a really long list of help desk jobs, but the fact that he was still going to school and learning suggested that he'd work in the position. The guys who'd been hired before who had degrees and a long history of experience were complete poo poo because they were in their 40's and decided that learning and effort were beneath them.

I'm phoneposting, too, and even though I have to repeat it, I want to be clear about the fact that I didn't have a degree for the first 8 years of my career and I don't think having one will change my prospects a hell of a lot until I go into upper management.

That said, even if I don't think the "soft skills" of a degree necessarily matter (and the availability of non-traditional options makes that harder to assert anyway), and I do think the IT industry in particular has a lot of people who don't like change and see the doors we came in through slowly getting gated with degrees, the backlash from a few pro-"bootstraps" startups doesn't drive industry trends compared to financial giants, large software firms, and people who just follow traditional practices so they hire whoever (meaning, largely, degrees) ala github/etc.

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

Comradephate posted:

I know of no fewer than 5 people from my graduating class in high school who were very openly condescending towards me when I didn't go to college who are now underemployed doing menial jobs or are completely unemployed with their bachelor's degree. Meanwhile I'm making drastically above average income in a very expensive city despite spending 3 years as a semi-nomadic drunk before deciding to actually pursue a career.

I hope their degree makes them feel superior to me, because they certainly need something to comfort them while they make the schedule at Panera.

I guess on the converse, the people who were about me dropping out of high school to drink and experiment with recreational drugs for a few years instead of going to school (there's a reason why I'm 31 with an 8 year career and it wasn't school -- hi5 wasted youth buddy) are mostly doing OK, if not as world-changing as I hoped for them.

The people who didn't are selling appliances.

There's some overlap (went to college, selling appliances), but it's mostly consistent.

That's probably just the way my friend group split, though, and I'm probably the "didn't go to college, making dramatically above average income despite spending years wasting his life" outlier for them, I guess.

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

JHVH-1 posted:

I decided to take an offer for a 100% remote position (the entire company works this way). Anyone have any tips for working out of your home without going insane?

I plan on checking out some local co-working places to maybe mix it up a bit. Everything is flex scheduling with on call, so I'll have a lot of freedom most of the time.

I also work 100% remote. It's a difficult thing to adjust to at first, so...

  • Get good at scheduling your own time. I don't mean actual tasks to complete, since that's probably a skill you already have. I mean that on the days where you're busy, it's going to feel like a much longer day than being in the office, because all of your built-in breaks are gone.
  • As a corollary, nobody stops by your desk to ask you something. Nobody asks you out to lunch. You don't run into anyone while you're getting coffee. It's just you and your work with no interruptions, and nobody to vent to or bounce ideas off of without reaching out over IM or the phone. This also means that when you're swearing at your computer, nobody pipes up and asks you what your doing and gives you suggestions
  • Co-working spaces and hackerspaces are good to break this up, but those people are also (broadly) not familiar with the circumstances of your job and what you're trying to fix. They still may not be able to give you meaningful help and they definitely won't be able to log into the server/switch and help look at logs or troubleshoot it with you.
  • Schedule weekly or bi-weekly video chats with your team. This actually helps. A lot. Nobody really likes meetings, but seeing the people you work with face-to-face (sorta) makes it more bearable
  • Try to get together with your team in person a couple times a year if possible
  • Set up your office out of the way. Seriously. Like another bedroom that you never go in. And close the door when you leave. Eventually you won't need to do this anymore, but it really helps create a mental separation in the beginning
  • Similarly, even though you'll probably be able to most of your work on your own hardware, don't. Use the laptop they give you and don't do work unless you're using that, in the beginning, at least.
That's really it. The actual job isn't that different, but the working conditions are (some in a good way, some not), and establishing mental barriers was really the hardest part.

Unless you're married or have someone else living with you. In which case setting clear boundaries about the fact that you're actually working even though you're at home and you don't really have any more time than you did before to do housework or get lunch or whatever is beneficial. You will actually have more time to do these things. But people take advantage, or you get distracted, and all of a sudden you've spent your afternoon going to the market and making beef bourguignon. It's best to just pretend you're in an office as far as time-management and social activies go, at least in the beginning.

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

psydude posted:

YOTJ. Just accepted an offer to become a Sr. Security Engineer. $12k salary increase, $52/mo PPO, 3 weeks of paid vacation each year, and $6250/yr in tuition reimbursement.

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

MC Fruit Stripe posted:

IT chat: we're all hideously out of shape, some of you are downright ugly, and all of us need to exercise more.

Implying.

Actually, wrestling just gave me a weight complex that stuck, so I'm in fantastic shape.

Self-improvement via learning and self-improvement at the gym don't seem that far apart. Spending an hour a day lifting can dramatically improve your life, and we all have time (play less vidya, drink less beer, post on SA less, wake up earlier, whatever). I managed to go to school full-time, work full-time, make it to the gym every day, and still found plenty of relaxation time.

Misogynist posted:

Speaking of positivity, sorry to be a self-promoting pain in the rear end, but we just had a huge product launch of Rabbit, and we held together despite huge traffic surges from Reddit's front page and friends. If you're tired of Google Hangouts, or if you want to watch Netflix or HBO Go with a friend across the country or the ocean, give us a shot (and send us feedback).

Congrats! Why no Firefox? Or maybe I just don't see it (I'm on mobile and fully intend to visit).

We're currently evaluating platforms, and hangouts v bluejeans is the play right now. But this looks really promising. Pricing? Support for more than 10 participants?

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

Tab8715 posted:

Eh, I'm rail then because I have an awesome metabolism but probably should work out

I just want to say that this isn't really true. Metabolic differences between individuals are about 200 kcal/day.

Extreme cases notwithstanding (feeding prisoners ludicrous amounts of calories to test set-point weight theories), most people with "fast metabolisms" just underestimate their intake. Studies back this up, but I'll use myself as an example.

If left to my own devices without overtly thinking about eating 4000 calories, I'd fall down to around 145lbs. I'm currently 190 at about 10% body fat. I eat 'a lot' even while skinny, and I can 'outeat' almost everyone I know, but I don't habitually snack, so I pretty much just eat at mealtimes (even if that "meal" is a bag of chips). So I might eat a large pizza and a dozen wings for dinner after having a burger for lunch. But the next day, I'm just not that hungry. So I'll go out to eat, but eat lighter (relatively). Maybe it's still tacos or burgers, but it's not that many calories in absolute terms.

Eating a lot is actually really hard for some people. I guess what I'm saying is that if you tracked your caloric input for a while (on myfitnesspal or wolfram alpha or whatever), it wouldn't be as high as you think it is on a week-to-week basis.

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

Misogynist posted:

Free! We also don't (currently) have any plans to charge end-users -- that seems like a losing play and even Skype backed away from that model. Support for larger group chats is coming in a future release; if this is something that's important to you, please submit feedback! I'd be happy to relay it on your behalf, but it makes our product team happy when they hear directly from users. The stack can easily accommodate dozens of users at a time in a chat, and the 10-user limit is honestly pretty arbitrary, but we've been trying really hard to figure out what a good UX feels like for that many users in a room.

Firefox is complicated. Its support for WebRTC is really lacking in fundamental areas across the board. The echo cancellation is bad enough that if a user without a headset joins a chat (say, using a built-in laptop or webcam microphone) they'll ruin the audio for everyone in the chat. It also doesn't do SRTP key renegotiation correctly, so the CPU usage is literally an order of magnitude higher on all our WebRTC servers when we have Firefox users because we need to re-encrypt the stream separately for every source->destination pair instead of using a single key for each room. We're going to be investing significant dev resources in the coming months to make sure Firefox users have a good user experience, however we manage to do that.

Firefox is getting bad again lately in a lot of ways, it seems.

Flat/free pricing is great! But there are a lot of businesses who'll pay (ala spideroak blue). I'll send some mails to internal lists and see what kind of feedback we get.

The biggest complaints so far are that Hangouts is limited in users and the bluejeans plugin is unreliable (and sometimes frankly bad). Group video chat with screen sharing that supports more than 10 users with no plugins required really strikes me as the kind of product people will happily pay for...

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

lampey posted:

Wages are going up mostly because there is a tech bubble. You don't need a degree to have soft skills, and many people with and without degrees have terrible soft skills. It is a stereotype in general that many people in IT have poor soft skills.

The tools we all have available require less knowledge to use. It is relatively simple to deploy email with archiving, spam filtering, message encryption and availability for an organization through Office 365. This is much simpler than installing exchange properly. There is a group at Microsoft that is doing the job of hundreds of different sysadmins spread out with less time and delivering a better product.

Do you still need to know how to setup an exchange server? How to host a website? VOIP PBX?

Wages are going up because you're expected to know a much wider array of skills than ever before, and rolling "Jr. Network Admin" into the duties of whoever is managing your AWS infrastructure comes with a commensurate rise in pay.

Yes, you still need to know how to set up a web server. Yes, you still need to know how to set up VOIP (Lync is also dreadful).

You may not need to know how to set up Exchange (but a lot of regulated shops do). You do need to know basic scripting even as a Windows admin (you didn't need to before). You do need to know how to use configuration management systems. You do need to know about data storage, and horizontal scaling, and continuous integration, and virtualization, and high-availability, and load-balancing, and you do suddenly need to worry about routing through software defined networks and how that works, and the best backup strategy for your VMs instead of your email (but VMware doesn't tie into your backup strategy quite so nicely), and how to handle site-to-site failover without your infrastructure going to pot (because you don't have a "cold" or "hot" backup site anymore -- you have VMs, and the SAN better be replicating properly), and...

Just because some of the skills you considered important have been obsoleted doesn't mean you have to know less or that the job is getting easier.

You also need to learn what correlation is. Degrees are correlated with soft skills. Technical workers (specialized workers in general, whether enlisted v. officers in the military, electricians v. project/site managers, sysadmins v. business analysts) are correlated with not having soft skills. There are exceptions to both. It doesn't make it less valid. It also has absolutely nothing to do with the assertion that a degree is good for your career.

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

Sadly, common merger stuff.

Anecdotally, when we bought another bank, we kept our application, our admins, our devs, their managers (ours got let go). The acquisition before that (when the bank I worked for got bought), they kept our application, their admins, their devs, our managers.

Somebody who's never met any of you is rearranging names on an org chart so it looks less messy to them, because IT is ultimately a cost center and you're all interchangable anyway, but retraining staff on a new EMR costs real money so they'll keep it

I hear healthcare IT is even worse than finance, though. Maybe a blessing in disguise.

evol262 fucked around with this message at 06:14 on Aug 21, 2014

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

Tab8715 posted:

How the hell do you guys get let alone find gigs that offer 5-weeks of PTO? Or even get it approved to be able to use?
Find a job where your boss reprimands you if you don't use all your PTO or if you respond to emails/tickets during time off (weekends, PTO, holidays, whatever).

We shut down for about a week every year so it's more like 4 weeks anyway (actually 5 but I don't get a choice about a week of it), but lots of PTO just seems to come with the territory among some companies (financial, .com-ish)

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

skooma512 posted:

I think I should have sacked up and gone into programming. I got the basics down cold in college and never had any trouble with it. I imagine once I got to anything requiring pointers the Dunner-Kruger would fall away. Although a case can be made for having some natural talent based on the fact I can belt out a for loop after not touching any sort of code for over a year as fluently as I can order a cheeseburger.

Hi, scripting is also programming. And unless you're writing in a small subset of languages (go, c(++), obj-c, swift, Fortran, d, rust -- OK, not that small, but very small as far as the field goes given the dominance of JavaScript, java, .net, et al), you don't need to know pointers.

Having moved around on the infrastructure side and into Dev, scripting doesn't translate, though. Good scripters can be good devs, but the mindset and skill set required to work with a team and making sure your code plays nice are very different. When you're not writing 100-1000 line scripts by yourself to solve a problem and moving on, but going into a codebase with tens or hundreds of thousands of lines you didn't write and dissecting it to write patches or add functionality to the same thing day in and day out, it's...

You might be good at it. I was, much to my surprise. But it's simultaneously more and less satisfying, and it doesn't translate 1:1. You shouldn't conflate being good at one with the other. Cleverly gluing together system utilities in for loops is very different from building (and properly encapsulating) your own. Not to devalue either, but they're not that similar, despite both being programming

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

MC Fruit Stripe posted:

Which just seems shockingly expensive to me (my company is one of these companies).

Contractors are a fixed expense for a fixed time span, though, which is an easier sell on the budget

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

BaseballPCHiker posted:

This has been a painful realization for me. I've done work far and above my job title. Configured all of new cisco switches and ASA's as they came in as a Helpdesk Tech. Helped rewrite the company IT policy with the IT director and company president as a Helpdesk Tech. Then when I finally look to move on it's hard to get people to accept you at that next level because they just glance at your job title and then move on. My last company that I loved working at gave me the go ahead to just make up whatever job title and that they would %100 back me but I just havent had the gall to try it yet.

Broadly speaking, what HR is willing to confirm about a former employee and what your new company is willing to ask are both pretty small. Mostly, it's dates you worked there, title, eligibility for rehire, and maybe salary. A lot of places won't even provide one (or two, or three) of those. You're probably safe to make up a title which more accurately reflects whatever you think you were doing (within reason -- calling yourself a Sr. Network Architect may get you the wrong places). Especially in an industry with bizarro/meaningless titles.

Anecdotally, I worked for one company twice, for two 18 month contracts. Both times, I was working the same position (team technical lead) on the same team (UNIX). First time, my title was "Operating Systems Engineer III". The second, it was "Application Systems Engineer II". On my resume, I put "Sr. Sysadmin", because it reflects what I actually did.

Stripe has a point, maybe, but by the time they're calling your old employer to find out your title, you're pretty far through anyway. Personally, I'd never take a pay cut for a better title. Call me "Printer Toner Intern" if you want, because if I'm up for a position as "Sr. Virtualization Engineer" and you're calling to find out about my last job, you've probably already decided that I'm capable of doing the work, because I've already gone through your tech interviews.

Conversely, we've all watched people "fail upwards" with 6 months here and 6 months there, but it's just long enough to put on their resume even if they probably haven't actually accomplished anything other than getting let go for not performing, and suddenly they're translating their "5 years of development/admin/engineering/whatever experience" into senior level roles, and 5 years of failing at that into management. Don't ever trust titles, unless you're inside an org where being a "${seniority} ${job} ${level}" determines your pay scale, and even then you should only care until you leave.

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

Also chiming in to ask what, exactly, is exciting about an offer with a title you don't like, a work-life balance you don't like, and $15-$25k less (yes, if your intangibles and perks are worth $20k-$30k in your opinion, this isn't a $5k raise at all).

I'm also not sure why you think your current employer would keep you part-time with no on-call and a salary bump plus keeping the $20k in perks when you've checked out. He'd have to be retarded.

Reality check: this is not an upgrade or even lateral move. Titles don't matter, but going from "running the network" to anything with "desktop support" is a downgrade. You are more replaceable than you think you are and your current employer will probably not acquiesce to the demands of a part-timer. They may also just tell you to pack your poo poo and pay a MSP or a firm to run things until they can hire someone else.

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

Zero VGS posted:

It's a fortune 500.

About 10k, yes, multiple hard copies of every purchase, approved in writing by CFO.

Like I said they have me do it because I can for example get a dozen biometric timeclocks for $40 each on eBay and set them up myself, or they can put in a PO for them where they pay $3000 each, direct from the company. That actually happened, several times. That's why not having a company credit card sucks for them.
I, uh...

I'm really, really confused how you (making $50k/yr) are buying equipment on eBay because they don't have a corporate card, and you have a personal agreement with the CFO. At a F500. The CFO's executive secretary probably makes more than you. What's missing from this story?

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

Zero VGS posted:

It's a CFO of a subsidiary of the F500, not the CFO.

Are you in some idiotic org like a small medical facility that's part of a giant HMO, and feels the need to maintain its own board?

First -- I guarantee you have a corporate purchasing person. Find that person. I know that buying used biometric timeclocks for $40 is easier on your facility's budget than buying them new for $3k, but your purchasing person probably has a preferred vendor with a discount. And they're accountable, can be amortized over the expected lifespan (including the warranty and support contract), etc. It's entirely likely that your CFO is also a moron, and his personal stamp of approval isn't gonna mean poo poo for your personal card if he loses his job.

What are your actual skills?

I find it hard to believe that you find any of this -- crappy pay, crappy alternate offer, feeling like management is going to gently caress you until you challenge them with a counter-offer, buying used kit when you work for a F500, buying used it from eBay when you work for a F500, buying used kit from eBay with your own credit card when you work for a F500, salary so low other candidates literally laugh, obviously inflated title that has no correlation to what your skills and experience actually are -- acceptable unless you're in your early/mid 20s and you have no idea how jobs are supposed to work.

Let's work backwards. What are your skills, what are you currently making, and what was the counter-offer? I'm now thinking that anything that gets you the gently caress out of this place is actually a good idea, and that there's almost no way you're getting 25k in "intangibles" when you make 50k.

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