Web Development

No tech can know everything


Sometimes, being a tech can be a routine, quiet, and almost boring job. And then there are days when the Web site crashes. As the Tech of All Trades for my company, I support dozens of pieces of technology. I know a little about most of them, a lot about some of them, and a whole lot about a few of them. I support SQL Servers, domain controllers, Active Directory, XP and Vista workstations, switches, routers, firewalls, WAN connections, FAX machines, and phone systems.

One piece of technology that is on my low level of knowledge list is the company Web site. I know enough about HTML and Dreamweaver that I can make basic changes in text and, on our old Web site, add new listings of aircraft that we sell and manage. However, we just put up a new Web site designed in CSS and PHP. I know some of you are great at design, but that is not one of my strengths. I had no problem when we decided to have an outside agency create it for us.

I think our new website looks great. It's really not a complicated Web site. In fact, it's just glorified brochure-ware with lots of pictures of expensive jets. Believe it or not, we really aren't looking to get a lot of new business from our Web site. It's more about showing choices in aircraft available for charter. I personally think it was designed more for one-upmanship on the competition. The rates on these things are $4,500 to $8,500 per hour. A typical trip is $65,000 to $125,000.

Now back to my point - the crashing of the Web site. We asked the outside Web design agency to make some serious changes to put in a back-end database. We wanted to make it easier to add and change aircraft without being a programmer. I get an e-mail from the agency this afternoon with the subject, "Website crashed - need immediate attention!" Wait a minute. These guys are the experts on our Web site. They designed it. Why are they asking me for help to repair it?

We go back and forth. I suggest they restore it from the backup they made before their changes. They e-mail back asking if I have a recent backup on my server. I start to get a bad feeling about this. The account manager escalates it to the programmer. He starts asking if we have disabled PHP on the server. No, why would I do that? He asks again if I can turn it back on. Okay, I'll humor him. I go to the admin panel of our Web site host, delete and re-add PHP support. It works!

Here's the deal. Sometimes, we techs can fix things without really knowing what we did to fix it. A typical example is the reboot of a server when you have tried everything else. And you know what? There's nothing wrong with that. No tech can know everything about all the stuff we are expected to support. Even though I am an MCSE, A+ and Network+ certified, I still have to look things up all the time. In fact, a lot of my day is spent looking things up for people.

Google is my friend. I spend more time on Google than on any other Web site, even TechRepublic. I would never like to go back to the day when I had bookshelves of outdated tech manuals that were impossible to use in a pressure situation. If I learned anything in college, it was how to look things up. I think even for lawyers the main skill they learn in college is where to look things up. My company pays me more for my customer service and troubleshooting skills than my tech knowledge.

What do you think? I'm being partly facetious. Of course you have to know your stuff. Are you responsible for some technology on which you don't consider yourself an expert?

51 comments
Oz_Media
Oz_Media

Nothing better than diversity. I am teh type of person who will find help and use resources but I also want to do it myself and leran something new, whether directly related to my job or not. It was no different when I worked as a mechanic, ANYTTHING mechanical and I MUST know it. Well maybe nto but it sure is a lot of fun working it all out, especially when you fix things you've never fixed before. It's just the use of a mechanical/engineering mindset that makes it all work out I think. I completely concur that when you are THE IT GUY, it doesn't matter what is wrong, you are presumed as teh person to fix it. But again, I like that as it introduces new challenges, whether related to my work or not. I just couldn't stand being in a role of repetition and redundancy. Feiends always say I have done so many different jobs/tasks and been to so many places that they think I've done everything a person could do in one lifetime and must be getting bored with it all now. My mottos is , "If I haven't already done something already, tell me what it is so I can go and do it now."

rickydoo
rickydoo

I just learned today that Canon's latest printers are no longer supporting WinME. I should have known that BEFORE they dropped it. Time to start learnin' stuff again. I'm finding myself feeling like my father with engines. As a mechanic in the RCEME he fixed everything from motorcycles to tanks. When he bought his first new car back in '77 he took one look under the hood and told me "you're working on this, I'm retired". Now I'm looking at how web sites are designed and thinking "it's time to outsource this crap". And I started in this industry in web and graphic design. So far I can still fix any computer easily, but like the authour said "Google is my friend".

sonexman
sonexman

I work at a small college in Missouri. The IT department is myself and one other guy. The most frustrating part of our job is when some smart mouth student or staff member says to us "I thought you guys were supposed to be the tech experts!" in a super since fashion. There have been many, many times where I have had to walk out of an office supressing the urge to break some teeth. This usually happens when someone needs help with a strange mail merge/data merge in Word or is having a layout problem in Publisher. Every time I tell them that I am not an Office expert and I really don't have time for their formatting problems. Does your computer work? Check. Do you have network access? Check. My job is done. I have other things to worry about. True story: When I began my job as the Tech Director at this college 7 years ago, I had just been there about two weeks when the head librarian called me to her office to "look at a problem". I get there, lo and behold she had brought in her vacuum cleaner from home that wasn't working and wanted me to fix it. I was stunned!! I looked at her in total disbelief and told her that I have no idea how to fix a vacuum cleaner, I am a computer technician. Her retort was "Well I thought you were supposed to be the technical expert. I guess I was wrong." And it hasn't let up since . . .

info
info

You sound something similar to me, but I disagree with your comment about 'rebooting the server, we can't know everything...'. Sometimes you turn off a 'bad' service and turning it back on doesn't work, but rebooting does. How could you know that unknown.dll has stopped communicating with ntoskrnl.exe at node 00:00:00:00e? Why does a reboot fix it, when it technically *shouldn't*? I get issues like that all the time. I learned early on when I talked to Microsoft Sr. Tech support (back when it was easier to get to them) and they couldn't troubleshoot their own error. We worked together to solve it, and they STILL couldn't fully explain the fix. They built it, so if they didn't know, what hope did *I* have? We're like doctors. The job is to take an educated guess to diagnose the AREA of failure, and work in from there. The 'best techs', are usually the best guessers. And, like 'House', the correct guess is sometimes something totally unrelated to the symptoms.

Dr_Zinj
Dr_Zinj

of course trying to remember it when I need it is the real trick.

jgreunen
jgreunen

as true as true can be - at least i am not alone anymore - GOOGLE is you FRIEND !!!

glenn.uzell
glenn.uzell

Its amazing how much people believe that since you work in IT then anything that has a digital heartbeat can be fixed by yours truly. I've had requests to fix speaker systems,alarm clocks,mobile phones,mp3 players and the rather odd request to fix the jukebox in the local pub. Personally I enjoy the challenge of figuring out how things work outside my field but within reason.

cobus.bothma
cobus.bothma

I would much rather know one product & be a specialist that a jack of all trades.

mjd420nova
mjd420nova

I have to admit that I have been accused of being able to fix anything, well almost. Twenty five years of everything from circuit breakers to component level troubleshooting on motherboards, and everything in between. You name it and it's been tossed at me. With a manual and access to parts, I will give it a try. Made many a user happy when they can save some bucks and not have to wait for the tech rep from out of state to fit a call into their overloaded schedules. If a contracted user has something that we have no manual for and the mfgrs won't cooperate, we'll go out of the way by buying whole units and stripping for parts to meet contract parameters and keep the smiles coming. Yes, if it plugs into the wall and has more than just an on/off switch I'll give it a bloody go.

whitmj
whitmj

The difference between a generalist and a specialist is funding...and compartmentalized job functions. The bottom line is a bottom line. Smaller organizations usually do not have the available coin in their profit margin to have a sea of specialists on hand for specific tasks. Mitigating the overhead costs associated with IT is the name of the game these days. The trick is to clearly establish the boundaries with managment as to in-house capabilities vs outsourced vendor involvement. A site with 15 servers, a router, and a dozen switches does not require a CCNE on staff. But they do need the insight of a flexible IT person who is tuned into the companies requirements and is able to squeeze and manipulate the available resources to meet the requirements...for the least amount of coin & downtime. In my mind this is a much more complicated task than the CCNE specialist who may be responsible for 500 routers and switches but knows nothing about managing annual hardware replacements and rollouts. The fact is, you bloody well should be and expert if you are only seeing one facet of an implemented IT solution. I find however that most business organizations of 1500 or less require generalist's more than specialists. Once you move above that size, financially, the business rules changes significantly, and the term..."efficiencies" (IE: compartmentalized job function control) is used more widely. Unless of course you are part of a highly specialized small organization. Then everyone in the organization is a specialist with some additional general skills. It's a crazy business we are in.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

When they first graduate from school and don't know what they don't know.

taylora
taylora

You are bang on the money - although users think we know EVERYTHING!

jozhall
jozhall

[b][/b] Speak for yourself! I am a tech guy that knows absolutely everything that my boss hands me! It doesn't really matter if I was hired as the in house web developer, because everyone knows that HTML and CSS can repair broken drivers, fix registry errors, and troubleshoot the LAN. I mean I am so smart that I never look for answers on Google, or online forums. And, coffee?? Who needs that?? I mean give me a break! I actually work better putting my knowledge of PHP to work to fix my bosses VCR with out a cup of coffee! BTW, did I mention that I am dating a super model as well? [b][/b]

Derek Schauland
Derek Schauland

Great post. Not only must I admit to not knowing everything, but it seems every day, I know a little bit about a little more. Without google and sites like techrepublic I do not know how I would figure it all out. I have also found that coffee helps.

erikc_pcc
erikc_pcc

I work in a small 50 person company as the Network Admin. We have a few programmers who do DB stuff, so they handle the programming and SQL Server issues, which is fine with me. But everything else is me, if it plugs in to the wall, can be moved, then I am it. I even move and rearrange the office furniture and cubicle walls to add more people, which is no where close to IT. But now I can get an empty space and put up cubicle walls if my next job requires it.

armans15
armans15

Oh man you do not know how much I agree with you. Whenever the word comes out that you are the tech guy, than whammm thats it, you are responsible for anything and everything that requires electricity. Good thing that I work for a state institution so they cant legally ask me to fix things that are not my responsibility, but that rule does not apply with my friends and relatives. But what is even more sad is that a lot of employers have these outrageous requirements in the job adds where they want a web designer/database administrator/programmer/sys admin/network admin all in one. I mean I am sure there are people who know or even excel in more than one category, but most folks do not. Oh and yes Google is a great friend Excellent post

JackOfAllTech
JackOfAllTech

As you can tell from my sig, I also know a little about almost all things tech but I'm an expert in only a few. I also agree that Google is our friend. Those times I don't know something (or can't remember), I've always been able to find it on the 'net.

gyromild
gyromild

Couple of years back, I was in a job that needed me to know everything, and I'm just a SysAdmin. Need someone to video some event? Get the tech guy. Need some brochure? Get the tech guy to design them. And the best part, someone got trapped in the building because automated doors gone haywire. Who they called? The tech guy of course, he must know something.

basshunter
basshunter

It is always amazing to me how much money people will pay me to save their behinds. I like the challenge on the bizarre, new, and different "projects" people bring me. I am learning to say NO more and more. But one rule stands...I always get paid. $$$

By-Tor
By-Tor

I'm often expected to know every application and gadget inside out. I say that I'm flattered that users think I must be so knowledgeable, but if I did actually know all this stuff, I could earn an awful lot more money elsewhere. It really bugs me when a user buys a gadget and then brings it to us for us to explain how to use it. How about reading the manual.

patience_limited
patience_limited

I try to think of myself as the IT equivalent of an emergency medicine specialist, as opposed to a "neurosurgeon" (developer) or "cardiologist" (data center admin). I do need to know something about everything (e-mail and database admin, desktops, applications, servers, networks, HTML, etc.). I do need to know how to research quickly (thank you, Google!). But it's also useful to know when to refer to a more appropriate specialist, and how to coordinate with those specialists to fix the problem quickly, rather than just beating my head while the business is languishing! I've found it essential to set reasonable expectations in an uncontrolled environment, like a college or university, where there may be hundreds of applications on different platforms and operating systems. I try to make it clear to the customers that they may know more about a specific application than I do at first glance. I'd rather look ignorant than waste time and lose credibility pretending I know more than the ultimate user. I will say that I'm happy to research a specific problem if they're willing to wait while I acquaint myself with the application. In such an environment, "How do I...?" is a training issue, not something support can answer immediately. I'm not shy about referring users to help files. Thanks, all, for the great thread!

wurzil
wurzil

I would agree with a lot of what I've read. I have compared myself in the past to a doctor because I have to diagnose the general area of fault and work out a fix. I've also compared myself to a nursery nurse (kindergarton teacher for the US!) as it doesn't matter if you buy 50 PC's of identical spec, they could all develop completely different faults in the same piece of hardware and I have to babysit them through their problems. I am an IT Manager now and when I compare myself to other tech people I know they blow me away. But they are the same people to have nicknamed me the Search Queen. If there is a solution I will find it, if there is a little known patch to a problem I will find it, and absoultely nothing is a problem to me. And I think it is being a Jack of all Trades and my tenacity that has got me where I am now. Oh and I work with Novell and MS operating systems....that has to say something!!

onlinejimk
onlinejimk

... the "Humble" (notice the proud caps!), and those who are about to be. Thanks for a great article, and support from my fellow "Swiss Army Knives".

cdieter
cdieter

And I'm grateful that I get to have co-op's to show me how it is before I get into that world.

lmayeda
lmayeda

As a wearer of many hats I'm often called when someone's phone system goes out. My line is: "I do windows, I don't do phones". And, ditto to the wonders of Google (or in my case Ask.com), it has made a genius out of me.

mgordon
mgordon

Do you perhaps know J.M. Hilliard also at Pawley's Island, another guy that was I.T. at Kodak in Rochester, big on Unix installations now pursuing a second life as a photographer? I hope he's not that super model you mentioned ;-)

scav8tor
scav8tor

LOL It's good to know there is at least one genius among the group. Hope the super model thing works out. I like to think I'm like a technical "Swiss Army Knife". You can get a great deal of satisfaction in knowing you can deal with most of the challenges thrown at you, especially if you know how to draw on the right resource (techrepublic, google, user group, etc...) Just read a good article on being a generalist and how it can be a great asset rather than being the ubergeek (course we need them too).

SethanonMK
SethanonMK

I completely agree with Derek above. There's things I know and plenty of things I don't, but I'm willing to learn about it, and it can be frustrating at times, but that's part of the game. Personally, I would prefer learning new things than being stuck in a job where there's nothing new to learn and everyday is the same.

davidsont
davidsont

I work for a samll business, too, and along with my IT responsibilities I am also the facilities person. Most of the staff is female so any lifting or moving is assigned to the few men and I am the most accessible. In my past jobs I ahev always incorporated construction work with computer installation but here I have stepped it up to Network Admin, Web Admin and modular office installation/repair. I participate in several methods to continue my education but as time goes by ... the days of having knowledge/experience that is broad and shallow versus narrow and deep are memories and today mean you are probably better for management than implementation. I like the post. I like where I have been. I look forward to where I am going. I like having the experience AND knowledge as opposed to a degree and ambition. I like working with the young ambitous "newbies" and providing them with laptops so they can work day and night. I like going home at night and not working. I sound old - like I thought my dad sounded when I was a young "newbie".

thisisfutile
thisisfutile

I have this same experience plus an added "bonus", buggy software. I was hired with a distribution company as their one and only IT guy during the time they were getting ready to step into the 21st century. They got rid of their old AS400 network and purchased all new computers in order to take advantage of new software. Unfortunatley, the software (although good software) wasn't 100% ready to be used because it was buggy. Furthermore, it was being bought out by a bigger company and all the programmers left the project during this time. SO, what that means is, all the "old dogs" at the office promptly lost ALL faith in the software and it's ability to process and show "the numbers" correctly. That means, when they have a problem with ANYTHING (bookkeeping, inventory, reports, pricing) they call me first. If a report isn't showing correctly because they forgot to click save or they didn't post the batch, then their attitude is that it must be the fault of the software. If a price is wrong because they're using an old quote and just weren't paying attention, then it must be the software's fault...call the IT guy. It's been nearly 3 years, we have a good working process for all areas of our distribution and we rarely see any software issues but I still get, "Why isn't this working?" To which I may say, "Did you click 'SAVE'?" I almost always here, "Oh, um...no." The habit of blaming the software is too engrained. If your software works well, count your blessings!

nwoodson
nwoodson

I'm a state employee also, but a different state. :) If it looks like electronic office equipment it's my headache. The local website, db, and all of the direct support falls on us. My discovery is that it borders on uneasonable to expect non-technical execs to even deign to listen to tech folk......we bore them to sleep. Just give them what they want and they go away. Great point about knowing when to search...I'd be lost without web resources. Sound like most of us CAN handle the truth.

gpfear
gpfear

Luckily 99% of the time someone has had the exact same hardware or software issue. I get roped into to many situations that have nothing to do with IT. He is technical, he must know, but I have to admit I enjoy learning something new.

mcarpenter25
mcarpenter25

Believe it or not, I walked into work one day, only to run into one of our end-users, who was coming out of the men's restroom. He was kind enough to advise me that one of the toilets were clogged. Instead of getting upset and letting him know this was an operations dept issue, I asked him one simple question. "Did you reboot it?" He said, "What do you mean?" I said, "Well, if you can't reboot it, I don't support it. Call Operations!" I am constantly asked about phones, PDA's, Blackberry's, iPhones, and the latest and greatest of computer tech. I have to infrom people that I don't have access to, nor do I purchase any of these devices each time a new one comes out, so I can't possibly know everything about it. "Well, don't you research them in your spare time?". I have a home life just like anyone else: hobbies, errands, and a new baby... I HAVE NO SPARE TIME!

sonexman
sonexman

I think most of my issues and anger have to do with the person that is asking and their attitude about it. Fortunately, I do work with a few people who know that they are asking something that is really not my problem, but they are polite and just plain frustrated at something they can't figure out. So I'll tell them I don't know how to work it either, but I'll be glad to work together with them to figure it out. Sometimes we figure it out, other times not. But with these kind folks, any and all help is genuinely appreciated. Unfortunately, those folks are few and faw between. Most people I work with think that their Word fomatting problems are much more important issue than the firewall problem I'm working on. We tell folks there all the time, if they were just polite and patient, we would really try to help them.

Dr.Tech
Dr.Tech

One thing about being a tech, there is no such thing as knowing a lot of one thing. We have to MASTERS of our craft. At least, we must have some knowledge of a little of everything. We can gain the experience in a sinch!

tech10171968
tech10171968

I think most IT professionals have run into this at one time or another. In many organizations the general rule of thumb seems to be that if it plugs into a wall and runs on electricity then it must be the IT departments' responsibility. Most people don't realize that knowing a little Java or .NET does not make one an expert in coffeemaker repair, or that being a DBA does not equate to certified copier repairman. It's strange that these expectations are coming from the same folks who wouldn't expect a carpenter to know how to wire their ceiling fans, yet this is the very same logic they use when dealing with the IT department.

tsmith71553
tsmith71553

.. come to Tennessee where lots of IT jobs expect you to be a "jack of all trades" - - and you still don't get paid "jack squat" ..

Oz_Media
Oz_Media

If it is something I haven't done, I want to do it, regardless of compensation (within reason of course). If it is something I do all the time, you better cough up enough dough to interest me enough to do it again (I bore easily).

rickydoo
rickydoo

RTFM: Read The Fgosh-darned Manual

Mischief
Mischief

I work in a small community college and have found that most of our staff (and some faculty) really don't want to know anything about their computer or the software they use. Try as we might to "educate" them, our efforts are mostly in vain. I personally support over 500 student computers (not the network side), and I can guarantee you that being a jack of all trades is essential. Tenacity is a must! Yes, I wish I knew some of what my systems people know, but there aren't enough hours in the day. Thank God for Google!

seth
seth

I hear ya about teachers! We get so many work orders about a piece of equipment not working properly and I'd bet that 70% it's due to a network cable or power cable becoming unplugged. Then to top it off that some of them get snobby at you when you say "the cable was just unplugged". It's like an insult to them that it was something as simple as that. There's not reason to say anything though because they get to put up with kids all day and I'm sure they get overwhelmed easily. I couldn't teach a classroom full of kids all day long myself.

jasondlnd
jasondlnd

Teachers in the public school system are simply too overwhelmed with their jobs to think logically. They tend to see the "computer as appliance", and expect it to "just work", like their refrigerator or TV. The thing is, we as techs know how a computer works, and why it sometimes doesn't. Teachers have no clue as to why a printer will stop responding. To them, it must be "broken". What would be a logical fix to us (i.e. power cycling) is beyond them. Of course, I don't claim to know how to correctly teach a classroom full of kids, either.

Ed Woychowsky
Ed Woychowsky

co-ops = red shirts Isn't it nice to have someone to show you how the monster works?

coogrrr
coogrrr

David, I am with you. I have been doing the mITgyver thing for nearly 20 years now and yes I have some deep knowledge about most things computer and most things phone. I do handle all the "its electric therefore IT" problems in my small 90 person network. The real funny thing is I left my own company and consulting behind to come to a small company where I could get a degree to go with the 20 years and not have to work 26hrs a day to get the job done. The reality is yes I get to handle everything including telling them how to use the cell phone their kid bought them over the holidays. To all of you young and wise(old) stick to it. Remember everything you can and in time it will make you worth more than anyone else who has a degree or not. I have always hired from the exp pool not the college degree pool. The fun thing is you will always be challenged and never grow bored of the career! ~one old cat. Coogrrr

Jessie
Jessie

cuz a lot of them are just pretty faces and muscles... no real sense in them... but *I* know how to wire a ceiling fan. I've personally installed new ceiling fans and light fixtures in my home. It ain't rocket science. A lot of the time, as "it" in IT, I AM the one to figure out why the coffee maker is running slow, why the copier toner keeps running out, and why your chair only rolls one direction... most of it is just common sense stuff that people who are not in IT can't be bothered with. If they'd pay attention and do a little research, they'd know all the answers too... and then I'd be out of a job.

dankasnitzel
dankasnitzel

First, nice to see I am not the only person in a "solo" IT position that feels like the world of tech is blasting by them far quicker than a human being could ever keep up with. In this position I often feel that I am not learning anything new that I can use because of the isolation. Having other people in the trade makes sharing new technology and ideas so much easier. I am also a master of nothing and a tradesman of everything. My weakest point? ALL of the friends, family, and friends of friends that have home systems that need fixing. In some cases the fix is very time-consuming and I wish I hadn't have volunteered. (I have kids to ya know). Other times, the problems is so small and easy that I can't allow them to go to "Insert local electronics chain store here" and get ripped-off paying a full hours service work on a five minute fix. And then the worst thing is that when I do fix their rigs, I feel guilty taking the amount of money I should be charging and either give them a freebie or close to it. Those with money are so ignorant that I feel for them and the half without money don't have any other means of getting it fixed!!

JimTeach
JimTeach

I am a teacher and a tech. I worked 35 years in IT, retired, and started teaching IT in high school, 5.5 years now. Teachers view their computers, printers, network as tools, just like their car to get to school. Most are not technically literate. They may be smart in their subject matter but computers - most don't care about them. I use my students as part of the help desk to help teachers with their "computer" problems. The teachers think the students know everything about computers, just as they think I know everything about computers - right! My students and administrators think I know everything about everything in the computer world. Somewhere in the two year curriculum I give my students some words of wisdom I heard many years ago. I tell them to be careful about saying you don't know anything about something in the computer world. As we all know we are perceived as the experts in everything, and telling someone we don't know sends scary thoughts throughout the entire company - the expert doesn't know - The sky is falling, the sky is falling. I teach programming, hardware and networking. My administrators expect me to be able to teach any subject concerning computers. I guess over the 40 years in IT I have learned a lot. Experience really does help - but know everything - absolutely, just ask my kids.

mgordon
mgordon

After networking for ten years, I finally bit the bullet and tested for CCNA (got it first shot, 98.7 percent). But everything network is still only a small portion of the wide variety of things I do. When I was in Alaska and Iceland, nobody fixed my car; I did, and pretty substantial repairs, too (replace throwout bearing in clutch, remove and replace the head on a Toyota Landcruiser flathead 6 engine). I'm also a graphic artist, photographer, website maker, technical writer. I have a full kit of category 3 analog telephone equipment (punchdown tools, wire tester, crimper, tone probe and generator). Someone mentioned plumbing. I have a flaring tool, tubing bender and several pipe wrenches and some interesting spanner looking things. I do some carpentry using my own table saw, biscuit cutter, skillsaw, two routers, many clamps, chisels and so forth. General Class Amateur radio, General Radiotelephone commercial FCC license. Tools for all of *that* including DVM's, oscilloscope (dual trace delayed sweep Philips scope, very nice, very obsolete). Toss in church, SCUBA certification and a rich library of science fiction books. I tell my daughter she is part "Norwiggian" and be proud of it. Computers have *really* changed the landscape; computers are now the primary source of entertainment for a rising generation; almost everything once analog is now digital and with the demise of analog broadcast television, the day may come that *nothing* is analog. And yet, digital signals must ultimately obey the laws of physics, a person with some signals knowledge has a distinct advantage in some settings.

Wick Tech
Wick Tech

I have to respond to the part about people don't take the time. That is sometimes the case, no doubt. But people do NOT all process information the same way, either. And people who cannot follow a simple logic track sure cannot hope to ever figure out why the wheel won't spin, or the wiring isn't working, or why their data is suddenly GONE. And just as we are good at figuring out all these little things (problem solving), the other person is the wiz with the accounting, or much better than I ever will be at standing in front of 20-30 people trying to tell them what they need to learn to do. Thankfully, we each have unique skills. And we are not all necessarily capable of learning each others' skills. So, I say, lets just be glad it is easier for us to figure some of this stuff out. And let someone else be the expert at all the other stuff. I don't want to know it ALL.