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Old 10.09.2009, 07:17
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In IT for 20 years

As of next month I will have been working in IT for 20 years.

Every year I think about getting out and doing something else.

Any other IT bods out there who have got out or are thinking of getting out - and how / why.

FWIW I quite enjoy the technology side of things - tinkering with stuff and getting it working. What I hate is the "dilbertness" of having to work alongside crap middle managers who one minute give you a task which is really urgent and then the next minute book you in to an entire day of meetings.

The other aspect is (especially when you work in a business) how IT is somehow considered as an afterthought and secondary to the business, so therefore not worth spending money on; and the same people then jump up and down when a key part of the business cannot operate because a system is down (due to the fact that they were only willing to pay for the quick-and-dirty solution).

Cheers,
Nick
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Old 10.09.2009, 07:43
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Re: In IT for 20 years

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The other aspect is (especially when you work in a business) how IT is somehow considered as an afterthought and secondary to the business, so therefore not worth spending money on; and the same people then jump up and down when a key part of the business cannot operate because a system is down (due to the fact that they were only willing to pay for the quick-and-dirty solution).
Sorry if this is a kick in the shins but, eh, IT is a tool not a goal. I am an engineer who heavily relies on IT and unix stuff but it is just a tool to do my job which is to design electronics. My company is in the business of designing and selling IC's, we're not in the business of having cool IT stuff...

I do get your point though... Have you thought about working 80% or something like that so that you have more time for hobbies and such ? Working 80% probably only costs you 15 to 20 % of your after-tax income but it does give you 50% more time off !
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Old 10.09.2009, 08:35
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Re: In IT for 20 years

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Any other IT bods out there who have got out or are thinking of getting out - and how / why.
Yes. Suggest you start a microbrewery. It is very therapeutic and helps soften the influence of the pointy haired boss.

.
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Old 10.09.2009, 09:31
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Re: In IT for 20 years

I got out after 23 years in IT and now I'm probably getting back in. I don't miss the stress but I do miss the money...

Try working for a much smaller firm where you are more likely to be appreciated and have a better quality of work. In large companies you get caught up in the everyday incompetence, mindless meetings and endless (needless) reviews.
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Old 10.09.2009, 09:37
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Re: In IT for 20 years

got out, then back in, want out again unfortunatly there isn't a lot else that pays like IT, especially if your starting at the bottom again.

Always fancied buying a small village pub somewhere remote in the uk, one day maybe, Think I'll call it the slaughtered lamb
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Old 10.09.2009, 09:41
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Re: In IT for 20 years

I'm working in IT with the goal of getting into management in the next few years... I see the support side as a great way to jet off the career, but if you want to stay in IT you do need to get out of direct user support within a certain amount of years I think, to not get sick of it. As you say, dilbertness takes it's toll on the psyche...

The money though, while not exceptional compared to legal or finance positions, is nonetheless very solid... and you can lead a very good lifestyle from it. And hey... it's the lifestyle that counts, right? There is no "golden career" for most people and unless you work in your true vocation or dream career, which for most of us ir very rare, ANY job will get a certain amount of tedium after a while. Choose a career that suits and make the most of it in the time you have until retirement, I would hate to have to give up IT and then start all over again now... it would just be a step back in life at a point where I need to be going forward. .
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Old 10.09.2009, 09:44
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Re: In IT for 20 years

I guess any job after so much time could be come too "confortable" or just a bit boring. I go through fases of wanting to become a housewife but these usually last hours (or minutes) after I have had a bad day at work.
My husband is in IT and wanted to go into Bioinformatics which have something to do with IT I guess.

GOod luck!
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Old 10.09.2009, 10:51
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Re: In IT for 20 years

I'm in complete sympathy with the OP. Thirteen years in IT for me and I have exactly the same feelings about it.

I'm torn between trying to improve my position within IT . . . possibly towards project management or pushing the eject button. But what else to do?
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Old 10.09.2009, 10:54
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Re: In IT for 20 years

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I'm in complete sympathy with the OP. Thirteen years in IT for me and I have exactly the same feelings about it.

I'm torn between trying to improve my position within IT . . . possibly towards project management ....
If you can't beat them, join them eh ?
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Old 10.09.2009, 10:58
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Re: In IT for 20 years

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Sorry if this is a kick in the shins but, eh, IT is a tool not a goal. I am an engineer who heavily relies on IT and unix stuff but it is just a tool to do my job which is to design electronics. My company is in the business of designing and selling IC's, we're not in the business of having cool IT stuff...
And for someone else presumably your electronics are a tool rather than a goal . . .

At our company it's not really about cool IT stuff, but I would like to see us able to use products with support agreements. And it would be great if they ran the software by us to check if it would fit in our environment before they purchased it.

And if we are forced to work with unsupported software that isn't designed to run on our platforms, don't blame us if it goes tits up occasionally.
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Old 10.09.2009, 10:58
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Re: In IT for 20 years

i am only 5 years experience in IT and i feel very hard to keep myself updated with all this different technologies doom and gloom.

I never tried to eject myself out of IT but tried alott to keep updated, i guess it is never going to end, please share your ideas when you were going by the same experience


should i keep going with one technology ?

i do work in niche market technology (cache)
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Old 10.09.2009, 11:05
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Re: In IT for 20 years

Strange, I have been trying to stay within a field and build up expereince and expertise, and hence improve my career prospects... but infact my career takes a turn every few years... and I dont complain as long as the money is better.

I wouldnt mind going into IT, but dont want to start from the bottom of the ladder.
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Old 10.09.2009, 11:09
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Re: In IT for 20 years

You guys should try high performance computing. Most of the stuff we see is Fortran. Not that I mind. :-)
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Old 10.09.2009, 12:12
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Re: In IT for 20 years

whats the worst about IT is you bend over backwards to help some idiot (usually manager+) who then sends bitchy emails cc'ing everyone because they 'already told someone in your team that' Oh yes that mythical IT team, tell you what, I wont bother in future.
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Old 10.09.2009, 12:16
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Re: In IT for 20 years

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As of next month I will have been working in IT for 20 years.

Every year I think about getting out and doing something else.

Any other IT bods out there who have got out or are thinking of getting out - and how / why.

FWIW I quite enjoy the technology side of things - tinkering with stuff and getting it working. What I hate is the "dilbertness" of having to work alongside crap middle managers who one minute give you a task which is really urgent and then the next minute book you in to an entire day of meetings.

The other aspect is (especially when you work in a business) how IT is somehow considered as an afterthought and secondary to the business, so therefore not worth spending money on; and the same people then jump up and down when a key part of the business cannot operate because a system is down (due to the fact that they were only willing to pay for the quick-and-dirty solution).

Cheers,
Nick
Hi Nick,

Ive thought about this quite a lot recently, having also worked for quite a while, 15 years, in pure IT. The main problem is money because after it becomes your established trade then its always a big pay drop to move sideways. Many people would like to im sure but its the money in the end.

For investment I think it depends where you work. If you work in Banks up until the recent crash I always found the investment in IT was substantial. Out of the financial sector though you are always fighting for kit.

But yes, I would like to be a fighter pilot as well....
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Old 11.09.2009, 07:17
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Re: In IT for 20 years

Nick, have you considered joining one of the big(ger) consulting firms, which offer both technology and business consulting?

The projects might be more entertaining and even if they are not you wont be stuck with them. And you will be able to apply a lot of your other skills. Also your customer interaction might be at an entirely different level.

My other thought would be to move into technical architecture, which should also allow you to escape a lot of the B/S.
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Old 11.09.2009, 12:58
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Re: In IT for 20 years

Hi

I've also been in IT for over 20 years and I think that as a profession we're our own worst enemies.

Think about any professional with specific domain knowledge that you might have to deal with on a personal basis.. doctors, lawyers, architects etc.

Normally you present them with your issues and ask them for their advice. If they're any good, this will always be accompanied by a sucking in of cheeks, lots of huffing.. lots of 'well that can be tricky' type statements.
You'll expect to pay a lot of money and you'll have to just put up with any patronisation or feelings of inadequacy.

Now imagine going to your, say, architect and saying "I want a 4 bed detached house built on that hill with sun all day which maintains a constant internal temperature, and is cheap to run, and is eco friendly... and I want it next month.. and I'll pay [insert figure based on half of what your neighbour said he paid for his house].. and don't think about skimping or coming up short 'cos I once built a house made of lego and I know it's easy and if you can't do it, there's a bunch of starving architects in [insert developing country] who will jump at the chance."
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Old 11.09.2009, 13:15
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Re: In IT for 20 years

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Yes. Suggest you start a microbrewery. It is very therapeutic and helps soften the influence of the pointy haired boss.


If only I knew where to start
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Old 11.09.2009, 13:28
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Re: In IT for 20 years

I spent about 5 post-graduate years in IT before moving on to a related consulting field. Frankly, I didn't experience a lot of the problems described above with "pointy-haired bosses" and the like, though my coworkers did; I always attributed it to a strong customer focus. As mentioned, IT is the tool for the business to do its primary activity, and so long as I approached it with that attitude, I found I got on quite well with my internal customers. Sure, had the occasional jerk customer, but you get that in any field.

However, I didn't find it satisfying. In the end, while problems could be technically challenging, and I often had to spend significant time learning, it was all so.... logical. A + B makes C every time. What I do now requires a much more creative mindset while still requiring the base technical competencies, and that makes it more interesting (for me!).

The change in coworkers helped too. I can't tell you what a relief it was to start working with people who might, from time to time, have conversations about which wireless router is best, but more often want to talk about the latest football game or such. People who don't walk around with a finger up their nose or stutter themselves into silence every time a woman looks at them. I feel so much more well-adjusted now. Of course, I knew great people in IT, and there are plenty of crappy people in other fields, it was just my personal experience at that particular Fortune 100 company.

Don't get me wrong: from time to time, I miss some of the more challenging problems. Once we had a problem where all of the 1600 or so Unix systems started having NFS issues over time. Only a kill and restart of the NFS daemon would solve it, and then the problem would reappear over the next day or weeks. Couldn't seem to find a pattern to it... till we busted out a network sniffer, came to the conclusion that one of the many transfer ports used by NFS had recently been blocked by the network people in response to an internal worm outbreak, and after a given number of attempts to use that particular port, the NFS daemon crapped out. That sort of thing is fun, but there were just too many other things in IT that didn't suit me, and I'm a much happier man now.

In short: if you're not happy, do something else. There are plenty of gigs out there that pay more than IT, if you're willing to work for them.

Lance
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Old 19.05.2011, 16:40
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Re: In IT for 20 years

LOL, at most of these posts. I'm in It and started off at the bottom ish, and have now worked 3rd/4th line as support analyst for about 7 years, just about to start in Geneva now (on Monday!! arrgh, haven't worked for 6 months - long story pm if you wanna know!).

Anyway, back to the point, IT is a tool, yes, but it is a tool which enables people to do their jobs, would CERN be around if IT was not as advanced as it is now? Similarly would bankers and traders be earning the amount of money they earn if they had to calculate the risk of their trade/insurance/buy out without the use of computers?

Would most of us be where we are now without the use of computers and the associated technology?

It's a very complicated TCO question which I've been in countless meetings trying to explain why we need to spend 50k to basically not do anything. The role of any customer facing analyst (and the end user is your 'customer') is to give them the best answer/resolution which is available - there are very technical IT roles where other IT members are the customers - yes there are crappy managers as there are everywhere, I think if you like IT stay with it, there is BS and pointy managers in every role, be it banking, insurance, plumbing or even brain surgery.

What I like about IT is that it is constantly changing you can't sit on your arse and go, thats it job done

Just my two penneth worth!
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