RIP Philo

What do you tell people when they want to get into IT?

I will get these requests for advice from time to time.  Someone in another department will ask me how to get into IT.

I ask them what area they are interested in and some do not know how to answer the question.


The last guy to  ask.....  I kinda gave him an overview of the different areas and his options to educate himself.  He seemed to appreciate the advice but what concerns me is that the first question he asked was "is IT easy?".  Not really the field to get into if one is looking for easy.
Permalink . 
October 7th, 2018 5:35pm
After the conversation was over, I thought maybe I should have done him a favor and advised him not to go into IT.  I really don't know what field to recommend to someone just starting out these days.
Permalink . 
October 7th, 2018 5:39pm
I'm starting to think the standard advice for "Should I get into IT?" is "No."

- too many people chasing it

- if you don't have the aptitude for it, then it's a real slog

- it's a race to the bottom, with cheap 3rd world labor driving down salaries
Permalink Send private email FSK 
October 7th, 2018 5:51pm
If you get to big tech or finance, it’s doctor money much sooner and more flexible work arrangements.

As FSK says, if you don’t have the aptitude, it can be unpleasant.

Ageism is also real. Older techies may have to pursue alternative career paths.
Permalink Bored Bystander 
October 7th, 2018 6:09pm
I'm working in a non-programmer role now, as an analyst.

In my last job search, I was looking for a year, and only got one offer.

It definitely seems a lot harder for me than it used to be.  It's counter-intuitive, because I feel so much more productive and effective now.
Permalink Send private email FSK 
October 7th, 2018 6:18pm
> I'm starting to think the standard advice for "Should I get into IT?" is "No."

I took a law class in college and the instructor was a praticing lawyer who recommended not getting into law.  He tried to talk one guy that planned to go to law school into not going.  I don't want to be that guy....but those are very real issues that you brought up.
Permalink . 
October 7th, 2018 6:22pm
Why not offer them a trial run? Assign them some programming tasks and see how they do.
Permalink McCain's Tumor 
October 7th, 2018 6:22pm
"Older techies may have to pursue alternative career paths."

Exactly.  It is not like my own career is skyrocketing.  Almost 20 years in and I don't feel qualified to give advice.  I feel like I need to ask someone what alternate career path to go into lol.
Permalink . 
October 7th, 2018 6:25pm
"In my last job search, I was looking for a year, and only got one offer. "

Were you targeting developer positions?
Permalink . 
October 7th, 2018 6:27pm
"Why not offer them a trial run? Assign them some programming tasks and see how they do."

He is not into programming...more of a networking dude.

I just kinda gave him an overview of different paths he could go.  Seems to want to join the dept but we have no openings nor do I do any hiring.
Permalink . 
October 7th, 2018 6:30pm
Yes, I was targeting developer positions.

I'm overqualified for individual contributor roles, but don't have the experience to get hired as a lead or manager.  Most of my recent experience was in PHP, which didn't help much.

In my current job, I interviewed for a developer role and they offered me the analyst role.  Now that I see what a disaster the q/kdb project is, it's probably better for this role.
Permalink Send private email FSK 
October 7th, 2018 6:40pm
Do you think the ass clown devs in kdb team make more or less than the analysts?
Permalink . 
October 7th, 2018 6:48pm
Not sure, the salary in the ad is close to my current salary.
Permalink FSK 
October 7th, 2018 6:59pm
"I'm 20 years in to this mess, but honestly, I don't feel qualified to give that sort of advice to others."

That's the best answer to the question I've seen in this thread. Just tell the guy that: After N years of this fiasco/mess/nightmare, you're not the best person to advise eager young newbies. Wouldn't want to squash their hope. Maybe things will be different for them if they work hard enough. Your 10 years of schooling didn't make things better. Maybe the newbie will find some less painful path and make it all work somehow. Good luck guy.
Permalink McCain's Tumor 
October 7th, 2018 7:28pm
Should I be a developer?

Here's some programming tasks. Try them out and see if you enjoy them.

Dude, I am not into programming.

Well then why are you asking me.

Just tell me this. Exactly how easy is your job?
Permalink McCain's Tumor 
October 7th, 2018 7:30pm
It beats being a car mechanic*.


*If you have the aptitude.
Permalink Legion 
October 7th, 2018 7:53pm
McCain's Tumor summarizes it well.
Permalink X 
October 7th, 2018 8:07pm
"That's the best answer to the question I've seen in this thread. Just tell the guy that: After N years of this fiasco/mess/nightmare, you're not the best person to advise eager young newbies. Wouldn't want to squash their hope. Maybe things will be different for them if they work hard enough. Your 10 years of schooling didn't make things better. Maybe the newbie will find some less painful path and make it all work somehow. Good luck guy."

Heh.  Too late now but I'll keep this in mind if someone else asks.
Permalink . 
October 7th, 2018 11:53pm
"Should I be a developer?

Here's some programming tasks. Try them out and see if you enjoy them.

Dude, I am not into programming.

Well then why are you asking me.

Just tell me this. Exactly how easy is your job?"


He's asking about IT, not programming, but yeah that's how it went.

First thing he asked was "is IT easy"?  How the fuck am I supposed to answer that?  (not asking but just pointing out what a ridiculous question that was).  He's seen me come over a few times and fix a few easy issue by rebooting, plugging something in, etc.  He's got no clue about all the behind the scenes stuff we do. 

When I asked what area he's interested in, he didn't have any ideas and his eyes kinda glazed over when I went through the different areas.  He wants to stay with the company and transfer into our group but that's not going to happen without a degree and/or experience.  He did build himself a PC so I guess that's a start if he really wants to get into the field.
Permalink . 
October 7th, 2018 11:58pm
I mean, obviously ... when he opens with "exactly how easy is your job" it's painfully obvious his angle here is an insult. This guy is just fucking around with you to have something to pass the time, amuse himself with, and feel better about what a dweeb he thinks you are so he can tell his friends later.

You can call him on it and assert dominance by taking his bullshit at face value and giving him some tasks to fail miserably at. And not putting up with the bullshit excuses he'll come up with to try to deflect.

This should be straightforward. Unless you are a giant pussy.
Permalink McCain's Tumor 
October 8th, 2018 12:20am
What is the relationship between "Computer Science" and "IT"?

Typically, as I've seen it in college tracks, IT is a business degree in business applications of computers.  This focuses on web-site generation, database design, applying off-the-shelf products like SAP for doing payroll, HR, etc.

It's been difficult to discover this, since asking about Computer Science will get you answers between Engineering and Math, and hardly ever will IT be mentioned.

And if you ask about IT, hardly ever will Computer Science be mentioned.

That's my experience, anyway.
Permalink SaveTheHubble 
October 8th, 2018 8:09am
> I mean, obviously ... when he opens with "exactly how easy is your job" it's painfully obvious his angle here is an insult.

Maybe so.  There are people who think that all IT does is sit around and play video games while waiting for something to break, and then just walk around and reboot shit. 

> This guy is just fucking around with you to have something to pass the time, amuse himself with, and feel better about what a dweeb he thinks you are so he can tell his friends later.

Think so?

> You can call him on it and assert dominance by taking his bullshit at face value and giving him some tasks to fail miserably at. And not putting up with the bullshit excuses he'll come up with to try to deflect.

Assert dominance?  This is just some hourly dude in another department.  Why be a dick?
Permalink . 
October 8th, 2018 11:46am
I tell everybody who asks me that question the same thing. Do you like it so much that you don't care about the money? If that were true, of course they wouldn't even be asking the question - they'd already be too busy programming.

I got into this profession because I loved it and I still do. If I'm on vacation, after about 2 days I'm already coming up with new programming ideas and concepts that I can't wait to try when I get back.

If you're just doing it for the money, you're going to hate it.
Permalink Send private email Home Despot 
October 9th, 2018 12:04pm
Tell me one job that is fun, you make a ton of money, and have cool boss?

There is only one job and I don't know how you can even start: gigolo. There isn't an intro guide about this job. It is like a secret job.
Permalink Dr. Pepper 
October 9th, 2018 1:01pm
I'm guessing gigolo is one of those vastly overrated occupations.

Don't forget what happened to Jon Voight in Midnight Cowboy.
Permalink Zaperoony 
October 9th, 2018 3:31pm
"Tell me one job that is fun, you make a ton of money, and have cool boss?"

That's my job.

But it wasn't always so. It took a lot of suffering and hard work to get here. I personally think my being both creative and a genius helped as well, but if you say this everyone will shit in your mouth, so I just say "Gosh fellas, I shore am lucky to have such blind luck. Shucks!"
Permalink Scott 
October 9th, 2018 4:58pm

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