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  • #2288752

    Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

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    by rknrlkid ·

    In the “Software Pirates in the Workplace” thread I wrote:

    “Its a sad day when you cannot expect enforcement of laws that are there to protect you because businesses/employees are so morally bankrupt that the honest person is the social deviant, not the
    criminal.

    We should start another thread (on a different board, of course) about the lack of ethics in American business.”

    So I am starting that thread, but limiting it to IT workers because business overall would be too broad of a subject. This thread overlaps with some others, too, such as certifications and career.

    The hallmark of an occupation calling itself “professional” is a shared set of values, a shared set of standards, and shared expectations.

    Anyone can call themselves a mechanic; only those with ASE are professional. If you are a lawyer, licensed psychologist, licensed marriage and family therapist, physician, and a host of other
    occupations, you are required to abide by the regulations and ethics codes of the profession. Standards are high for professionals. Failure to abide by the ethics and professional codes of the profession can result in loss of license and removal from the profession. A true professional does what is ethical, and has high standards for his or her self.

    Based on the threads I’ve seen here, the IT field overall is not professional. Its members have low ethical standards, and low expectations. Proof?

    – in the thread on “Lost Windows 98 Key” roughly half suggested violating the license agreement and the copyright laws, by using a product key from another computer, from off the internet, or by providing theirs!

    – in almost every thread to novices trying to enter the field, about 1/3 of the counsel is to NOT get a college degree, and to NOT get certifications, even though advanced education and certifications are required as evidence for professional competence almost universally.

    – violation of copyright laws and licensing agreements are basically ignored provided that a) no one is caught, b) business is good, and c)
    it screws over Microsoft.

    – check this out: http://tinyplanet.ca/projects/professionalism.html

    If I was a CEO and knew absolutely nothing about IT workers, and one day read what was on these boards, I would have to conclude that IT workers are for the most part poorly trained (or completely incompetent), greedy, and criminal. I could expect: that they would not know what was happening on my server system because apparently no one keeps documentation; that my company was running illegal software,and that I would be liable for a lawsuit as soon as one of my spoiled IT workers copped an attitude; that my IT department expects high wages and continued employment even though they make no effort to
    improve themselves through education or by becoming certified in what they do; and that my IT department really believes that the purpose of
    my business is to support them, not for them to be an integral part of my team and help me to have a successful business.

    Granted, posters on these boards are not truly representative of the IT field as a whole. But we can do better folks. There are those that
    want an IT workers union. That probably would be a good idea, but there is one flaw in the concept. In order to be a true union, it is
    based on a profession, not just a gaggle of people who happen to hold a job. IT can be a professional occupation. But based on what appears to be coming form the field, it isn’t now.

    The TipsForSucces.org web site has this interesting analogy:

    “A professional learns every aspect of the job. An amateur skips the learning process whenever possible.

    A professional carefully discovers what is needed and wanted. An amateur assumes what others need and want.

    A professional looks, speaks and dresses like a professional. An amateur is sloppy in appearance and speech.

    A professional keeps his or her work area clean and orderly. An amateur has a messy, confused or dirty work area.

    A professional is focused and clear-headed. An amateur is confused and distracted.

    A professional does not let mistakes slide by. An amateur ignores or hides mistakes.

    A professional jumps into difficult assignments. An amateur tries to get out of difficult work.

    A professional completes projects as soon as possible. An amateur is surrounded by unfinished work piled on unfinished work.

    A professional remains level-headed and optimistic. An amateur gets upset and assumes the worst.

    A professional handles money and accounts very carefully. An amateur is sloppy with money or accounts.

    A professional faces up to other people?s upsets and problems. An amateur avoids others? problems.

    A professional uses higher emotional tones: Enthusiasm, cheerfulness, interest, contentment. An amateur uses lower emotional tones: anger,
    hostility, resentment, fear, victim.

    A professional persists until the objective is achieved. An amateur gives up at the first opportunity.

    A professional produces more than expected. An amateur produces just enough to get by.

    A professional produces a high-quality product or service. An amateur produces medium-to-low quality product or service.

    A professional earns high pay. An amateur earns low pay and feels it?s unfair.

    A professional has a promising future. An amateur has an uncertain future.

    The first step to making yourself a professional is to decide you ARE a professional.

    Are you a professional?”

    from http://www.tipsforsuccess.org/professionalism.htm
    Copyright ? 2004 TipsForSuccess.org. All rights reserved. Grateful acknowledgment is made to L. Ron Hubbard Library for permission to reproduce selections from the copyrighted works of L. Ron Hubbard.

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    • #2714492

      Interesting that the definition of “professional” has shifted

      by dc_guy ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      It used to mean simply, “engaging in an activity for pay.” That once was all that needed to be said, for becoming a member of the business world implied everything else in your posting. If you expected to stay in “business,” you had to have adequate ethics, training, competence, and people skills. The very least that would happen to a person who didn’t meet those standards would be to not have any customers, and choose between another line of work or relocating to a community with lower standards, such as the frontier. The worst would be the wrath of angry customers: having one’s shop and tools of the trade destroyed, being tarred and feathered, even lynched.

      It’s sad that this is now definition #2 in the dictionary. Defintion #1 is yours. We can no longer assume that anyone who engages in an activity for pay, and has been successful enough to survive until the day that we enter his shop, has the qualities that were once taken for granted.

      And this shift has taken a huge toll on our civilization. Rich, powerful “business” people are routinely found to be lacking in “professionalism.” We’ve had to establish gigantic, expensive, intrusive, clumsy branches of government to oversee the “business” world and the “professions.” In addition to the taxes that support these value-subtractors, malpractice insurance companies and attorneys siphon off a huge portion of our GDP. In addition, the quasi-governmental bureaucracies such as HMOs who second-guess and delay every decision made by the true “professionals” reduce the quality and effectiveness and increase the cost and risk of the very services they (perhaps sincerely if naively and ineptly) claim to oversee.

      And don’t get me started on the advertising “profession.” One of the fattest, most entrenched, and consumer-immune parasites, it takes a big cut off the top of our economy without providing a shred of the information we most desperately need about the providers of the goods and services it touts: their professionalism.

      Work has gotten so complex that it’s difficult for customers (whether internal or arm’s-length) to judge whether it’s any good. Communities have gotten so large and people have gotten so mobile that almost every time we need a service, we have to seek out a new provider whom we don’t know and can’t even find a reference for.

      Civilization, our most glorious creation, has outgrown us. Instead of shaping it, we’re being dragged along by it.

      • #2714470

        I agree

        by rknrlkid ·

        In reply to Interesting that the definition of “professional” has shifted

        I agree with what you are saying. But the problem as I see it is that we collectively created it by previous lack of professionalism by my original definition.

        Case in point: doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and many other “helping” professions have in their ethics codes that practictioners WILL NOT have sex with clients. To me, that is rather “common sense,” because that is not what you are in the job for. But the rule is required in the ethics codes (and laws) because some HAVE done it and exploited their power over patients. So the government or other regulatory body has to step in and stop the madness.

        Example #2: it is in the ethics code of accountants to not cook the books. But then we have the ENRON scandal. So the government “has” to create something to regulate an industry that supposedly was regulating itself.

        So we are in the mess we are in now. Other than everyone suddenly deciding to do the right thing, I don’t have a pat solution. But we do have to start talking about it, and being aware that the more we as a collective do what is wrong rather than what is right, we all suffer.

      • #2714440

        I just liked the bit about

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Interesting that the definition of “professional” has shifted

        Having a tidy work place. Under that definition alone I’m an amateur as the very idea of a flat surface not being covered by product info is unknown to me.

        Now just why an I paying all that insurance, money to MS for technical help and associated things as well as always attempting to offer the best possible service to my customers?

        Where I think there are problems is that we are now expected to enforce the copyright of the major software houses and instantly report any breaches.

        Now I’m personally unwilling to breach any License Agreement but I do not see it as my responsibility to report any that I run across particularly when I’ve seen things done by the big hardware makers that would land me in a world of hurt if I tried them.

        Personally I think it is the responsibility of the owners of the copyright to enforce their License Agreements as if I was to report every instance of pirated software that I ran across I would in a very short time have no customers. I should add here that even “Legal” Software from a different country is considered as Pirate here if it is used for anything else than on an LT by a temp visitor. If they are staying in this country they are supposed to buy new software.

        Col

        • #2714436

          I don’t like the messy desk thing either…

          by rknrlkid ·

          In reply to I just liked the bit about

          and I agree with you that software licenses are for the most part absurd. (As I agree with you other post on software piracy.) When you buy a book, its YOURS. You don’t have to worry about the author calling you for it back, or refusing your use of the book after a revision (or producing a mind-numbing amount of revisions, for that matter).

          My original point in the other thread was that reporting a BUSINESS using illegal software should not blacklist the reporter. A business that uses all pirated software isn’t like a casual user. That company in question is intentionally breaking the law. Which is different. To blacklist a whistle-blower because of getting CAUGHT in a crime means that the values of the organization favors unethical, not ethical, behavior.

          The list of stuff was so there was a comparison of concepts. In some cases, a clean desk really is a sign that no work is being done at all.

        • #2713564

          I agree as well on that point

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to I don’t like the messy desk thing either…

          Particularly when money is being made off the software as to me this is the worst form of Piracy. Or the other side where someone installs Pirate Software and OS on Upgrades repairs and doesn’t charge for them or maybe a nominal fee. It makes it that much harder for those of us who are doing the right thing and is often the difference between getting the job and not.

          But then again a few weeks ago I got in a computer loaded with Win 98 SE that needed reloading as a game had corrupted the HDD to such an extent it was unrecoverable. Well it was an old unit that was originally loaded with 95 then upgraded to 98 and then 98 SE. The owner brought in all the install Cd’s and I had 3 just for the OS now to do the right thing from MS prospective I should have loaded each OS individually about 3 hours work instead I just installed a copy of 98 SE and used the customers Product Code. While wrong the person in question did have the right to use the final copy and received no advantage from the install other than being less expensive in my labor and it saved me a lot of time that would otherwise have been a wasted effort.

          I haven’t really run across any business who is using all pirate software ever and since that is my primary work I probably see more small business than the average person but what does make it hard is when they buy from elsewhere and get pirate software or I get a job when they change their IT people I sometimes find illegal copies of some software installed but most often it is a case of the company being unwilling to properly track their software so it may end up getting installed twice or more and another copy/s remains unused provided that they have the correct licenses I do not worry about things like this as it would be a nightmare attempting to track down exactly where the software should be installed.

          I’ve occasionally run across pirate copies of Windows and Office installed on workstations and in every case they have been on machines that where brought second hand so I try to avoid working on these and simply refuse to work on any that have blatant “cracked copies” of Windows and the like.

          While not the perfect answer this is one area that has far too many “Shades of Grey” for my liking and I try to avoid them where possible.

          The ones that I get worked up about are Techs that install pirate copies of Windows XP and only charge a nominal fee. While I do refuse to work on these units as they have always been “Home” units in my experience I do recommend that the person contact MS and file a formal complaint I also have a leaflet printed up showing people how to spot the difference between real and pirate copies and furnish these to all my potential customers as well as having contact points and a copy of a MS EULA on my web page.

          Actually the last bit was a bit of a nightmare as well because MS got upset by me using their actual EULA on the Web even though it had direct e-mail links and phone numbers to MS to report any offending software. Eventually when I made direct contact with a person high enough up the food chain at MS it was OK’d but what was scary was that junior people where willing to take me to court rather than ask for me to remove the material and links. So from my limited experience with the Anti Piracy side of MS I will not go out of my way to help them as they have continually made complaints to me about making public their contact points and using the same material as they hand me as handouts to potential customers. Incidental before I constructed that part of the page I did get approval to use the material but six months latter someone at MS took offense to the fact that I was using the very same material in an attempt to help their Anti Piracy Side of the business.

          With mixed messages like that life becomes very difficult.

          Col

        • #3307829

          problem is relative

          by chief125 ·

          In reply to I agree as well on that point

          when you find major outbreaks of lack of ethics, you will usually find a major problem with the provider of the product or service. either the cost is unreasonable for the value received or most likely the provider enjoys a monopolistic advantage (eg microsoft) and there is a significant lessening in the likelyhood that unethical behavior will be deemed as unethical behavior. while ethics should be axiomatic, it is relative to the circumstances of the situation.
          in other words, if we have to steal to survive, we will. i like to think that i am an ethical person but where microsoft and walmart and their ilk reside, i say a pox on all of them and they deserve any comeuppance they receive.

        • #3307863

          often caught in the middle

          by heinsj ·

          In reply to I don’t like the messy desk thing either…

          All too often we are caught in the middle when it comes to software licensing. Most of us can report to our managers all day long about the lack of software licensing, it’s costs and it’s penalties, but when backed against the wall… jobs are pretty scarce, so if the COO of the company wants to “borrow” the Office CD for the weekend, he gets it.

          Unfortunately, companies like Microsoft don’t see this internal conflict. Should the BSA come goose-stepping to the door and find unlicensed software, we’re the ones facing loosing our certs and never making a living again; but the company facing large fines, declares bankrupcy, closes shop and from the ashes a new company will eventually appear.

          I believe that you are pointing the finger at the wrong people for lack of software compliance, it’s a business decision made at the top. And it keeps people like me, from joining professional institutions like ACM, because I would need to adhere to their code of ethics.

        • #2714403

          Not essential to the definition

          by dc_guy ·

          In reply to I just liked the bit about

          Surely we’ve all been to a professional repair shop that looked like Fibber McGee’s closet (oops, giving away my age). People have different ways of organizing, all that matters is that they can find something easily when they need to. A professional’s inner sanctum has traditionally been off limits to esthetic criticism by laymen.

          The point is that we don’t really need this type of rule. All that needs to be enforced is ethics. Everything else derives from that. If you’re in a profession whose elders have determined that a formal education or license is required, then practicing without one is a breach of ethics and that’s the only misdeed that has to be adjudicated. Ethics covers overcharging, cheating, lying, slacking off, disrespectful treatment of clients, slovenly dress and grooming.

          It all comes down to ethics.

        • #3309727

          Never trust a guy with a clean desk

          by robertmi ·

          In reply to Not essential to the definition

          Either he hasn’t enough to do or can only do one thing at a time, or he is an anal retentive. I have always been able to chop back and forth between projects, keeping tabs on subordinates, looking at new stuff and doing some forward planning without a qualm about the sae of files on my desk. Where I work is my space and I know it well. Over many years I have churned out high quality work and now in semi retirement I can say that having a tidy desk was never a worthwhile priority for me. Sure, at the end of a project the bumf all had to be cleared away, but there was always plenty more to take its place. Nowadays as a part time consultant I can easily relate to a messy desk, but am on my guard against a shiny spotless desktop. Clutter is often a sign of intelligence at work. Results count appearances don’t.

        • #3308468

          Can be bothered

          by chaz chance# ·

          In reply to Never trust a guy with a clean desk

          I see top engineers with multiple projects whose desks get messey. I also see them take the time to clear them, at least once a week.

          I also see non-achievers who tell me they are too busy to tidy their desk, ever.

          Funny how the people who manage to find the time to clear their desks occasionally are the ones who most often make it to the top. I recommend everyone take a look at their bosses desk, and use that to make a judgement about what it takes to get on in the company that they work for.

          For crying out load, how hard can it be to tidy up once a week? Call yourselves professional?

        • #3297476

          Are you kidding?

          by 69552901-69552901 ·

          In reply to Can be bothered

          Have you ever been truly busy? I usually work 11 hour days when my job states that I should only be working 8. It’s not because I’m slow, or because I waste time. It’s because I’m busy. When I’m done with something it gets removed from the desk, but there’s always a huge pile to replace it. Because of that, all I ever do is move the papers/manuals/parts/whatever long enough to dust the desk, then it all goes back again.

          When I see an empty desk, I see someone who doesn’t have enough of a workload, or someone that’s simply too lazy to take on any projects. By the same token, I’d love to be able to weasel out of some work, but that’s a good way for a tech to lose the job.

        • #3295664

          If you can’t do the job…

          by chaz chance# ·

          In reply to Are you kidding?

          tabby80 says “I usually work 11 hour days when my job states that I should only be working 8.”

          If you can’t do the job in the time allocated, then either the work is being inappropriately allocated, or you have not received proper training for the post. In either case it is your professional responsibility to alert your line managers to this fact.

          I work for a company where overheads are considered the enemy of the bottom line (overtime is stricty controlled) and completing the job on or ahead of schedule is mandatory. The company also has a strong ethic for work / life balance. Add to that the company’s desire to charge the customer what the job is worth.

          Professionalism is expected to come from the top. The people allocating work are expected to do it responsibly. The people doing the work are expected to do their best work. This means that work is to be allocated according to how long it takes, not according to wishful thinking of when the allocater would like it to be done by. If the boss can’t reach their targets without overloading their staff, either they have a good reason (which would be staff shortage) or they are seen as incompetent and risk being removed from their post.

          The company believes that there are good business reasons for restricting overtime. One is that after ten hours on the job, you aren’t doing your best work. Why should the company pay you extra for sub-standard work? Another reason is the desire to be able to plan ahead. The ability to plan ahead requires accurately forcasting the work involved in all its undertakings. To do this, there must be accurate records of the work required for tasks that have been done. Every minute worked on a job has to be recorded. Putting your free time into a job is not thanked – rather it is frowned upon. Working overtime also indicates an inaccurate forcast of the work involved, either by yourself, or by one of your line managers.

          If I can’t do my job in the hours allocated, as a professional person it is my responsibility to report that fact. Non-professionals may choose this point to whine “but that would make me look bad”. Fine. Stay over-worked and under-payed. A professional attitude gets you noticed. The courage to say “I can’t do this” means more to a company that wants to stay in business than ‘bravely soldering on’.

          Look at it this way. If you are the only person working regular 11 hour days, then the work is being allocated unequally, with no allowance for individual abilities. If 2 or more of you are working such hours, then the company would get better value from hiring more staff. As a professional, it is your responsibility to point this out.

          As for keeping the desk tidy? I have the paperwork for 8 separate jobs on my desk, total value probably in excess of $2M. If you put the paperwork in a single pile, there is more than 40 centimetres of it. My documentation is current, so that I can be replaced at a moments notice. I have 5 reference books, 23 CDs, 2 mice, keyboards, monitors and modems, one mouse mat, a soldering iron, 2 note pads, various trade publications, a diary and a telephone. Today I roll out an AI solution that I am proud of my involvement with. One of my suppliers has just informed me of a 2 week delay, and I haven’t figured out how I am still going to meet my target yet – but I will. My line manager acknowledges that my programming skills are equal to those of my colleagues, and my work output and dedication are all that could be asked for. And guess what? My desk is tidy.

          Am I a hero? No. Am I especially clever? No – I never went to High School or University, and all my meaningful qualifications were gained after I found employment in the IT industry. I just learned to aim to be a professional in everything that I do.

          Your untidy desk is a symptom of a much greater problem. Rather than blaming it on too much work (and critisising others who manage their time well enough to have some for cleaning their work space) you ought to be finding the cause of you having too much work, and dealing with that. It indicates a fault, most probably with one of your line managers. By allowing this to continue, you are not the asset to your company that you could be.

          Of course, there are those who find having too much work to do gives them the illusion of being important…

        • #3309211

          Responsibility

          by gsquared ·

          In reply to I just liked the bit about

          You don’t think you should report instances of copyright violation? Interesting …

          If you saw a rape in action, would you call the police?

          Of course you would.

          Let’s take it a step down from violent crime.

          If you saw someone breaking into your neighbor’s house while they were at work, would you call the police?

          Of course you would.

          See the connection?

          If not, how about this … if someone took money out of your wallet and just said “you won’t miss this small amount”, would you do something about it?

          Well, pirated software increases the cost of unpirated software in the same way that “uninsured motorist” insurance increases the cost of operating a car. You’re paying because the other guy isn’t.

          So, why would you allow pirated software? (And why call it something nearly romantic sounding, like “pirated”? Why not call it “stolen software” and make it really clear what’s actually being done? There’s a question for the IT community at large.)

        • #3297473

          Have you reported it?

          by 69552901-69552901 ·

          In reply to Responsibility

          Call it whatever you want! Yes, it’s still stolen. I won’t argue with that a bit. But lets be realistic. I live in eastern Canada, where jobs are scarce. VERY scarce. If someone here is lucky enough to get a real IT job, they can’t afford to be a whistle-blower. The last person I met who reported pirated software lost his job and had to switch fields because he wasn’t able to get another.

          It’s not that we wouldn’t like to be completely ethical. I mean, I don’t want to lose my certifications for not reporting something, just like everyone else. However, these ‘rules’ are passed down from management, and by p*****g on the boss’s cornflakes, you’ll probably be replaced. Here there are a ton of qualified techs and little to no jobs. You can be replaced in a heartbeat. Once that happens, you’ll be lucky to find another job.

          Try not to judge the low people on the totem pole. We’re just trying to keep working so we can pay our bills. If we can keep our noses clean in the process, then even better. But usually, keeping the job requires keeping our heads down and doing what we’re told.

          Maybe stiffer penalties for the management caught cutting corners or using the company software on their home pc would be the way to go. But at the same time, I think the software fees should be lowered. If they made it more affordable, more people would actually be willing to pay for it.

      • #3307921

        No need to worry about CEO’s

        by bulls2 ·

        In reply to Interesting that the definition of “professional” has shifted

        In a recent study India was found to be the world leader in corruption. No need to call me names because I don’t have anything against India, but my point is that most CEO’s manage by magazine and concern about professionalism and corruption never crosses their mind.

      • #3307734

        Are you sure about that…

        by the_biochemist ·

        In reply to Interesting that the definition of “professional” has shifted

        Professional bodies have been around for hundreds of years e.g. Royal College of Physicians (est. 1518)…

        Take one that has been mentioned , The medical profession…

        They have prety much ALWAYS had a specific regulatory body who vets all medics to ensure they have an exceptionally firm grasp on their subject.

        The way they assure that a medic has the knowledge needed is to force them to do one of teh most demanding degrees available and then have them sit a viva where they can be questioned on **ANYTHING** related to medicine.

        With your hand on your heart could any of you really sit for 3-5 hours and consistantly answer questions from ANY aspect of IT (even those you are not intending to ever work with) without referencing MSDN, Books, etc…?

        That is what sets true ‘PROFESSIONALS’ from those who are simply workers!

        • #3309605

          Physicians vs. IT????

          by wagnertd1 ·

          In reply to Are you sure about that…

          Can you really compare a “professional” that is trying to save data vs. a “professional” that is trying to save lives?

        • #3309410

          Missed the point…

          by the_biochemist ·

          In reply to Physicians vs. IT????

          The occupation is largely irrelevant, it is the fact that to be a true professional you have to have an extremely in depth knowledge of your subject and be able to utilise it as necesary.

          for example, anyone could man an IT helpdesk and solve users problems given a computer and the correct books and enough time – that however does not make them professional. It is the one who can respond to these querys based on true knowledge and experience without the aid of such resources who is truly professional.

        • #3310621

          No comparison…

          by austech ·

          In reply to Physicians vs. IT????

          The Human body and OS hasn’t changed significantly over the last 500 years, whereas, computers and OS’s changed significantly every 18 Months. Lets see a doctor do the same verbal question test with the odds evened out.
          We’re retraining with every new product we come across whether it’s formal or not.

      • #3307691

        new definition for professional

        by scsadmin ·

        In reply to Interesting that the definition of “professional” has shifted

        Some interesting thoughts in your post DC_GUY. My biggest problem with the definition of a professional is that it seems to lean towards business man in a suit type professional. If two plumbers turn up to my house one driving a nice shiny new car the other a ute, one is in a suit and the other in greasy overalls – I know which one id pick. However the man in the suit probably looks more ‘professional’ to most people.

        It’s a pity that people can be so influenced by how someone looks. I don’t believe that a suit is a guide to professionalism, I don’t think a clean work place is either. Nor should a certification make you a professional – though that can be a grey area. Certification without any experience, in my opinion would mean you were not a professional.

        I think the the IT industry is too young to have a proper definition for a professional within it.

        A clean desk makes you professional?? I am doomed, I have to much work to have a clean desk. Leading on from that, a professional has their work completed and an amateur is surrounded by unfinished work …… I always have unfinshed work, I always have more projects to complete. A professional earns high pay and an amateur low pay … I’m not even sure how to respond to that.

        Anyway I could go through the whole list. In my mind a professional should be ethical and have the mindset of a professional, thats all thats needed. The rest is just for impressing other people or gets in the way.

        james

      • #3309717

        Arse

        by gwyn.williams ·

        In reply to Interesting that the definition of “professional” has shifted

        This guy is an arse and has no idea what he is talking about

        • #3309409

          Ummmmm…

          by the_biochemist ·

          In reply to Arse

          I think you just proved his point in 14 words!

        • #3308381

          Agree totally…..

          by cyber_daddy ·

          In reply to Arse

          I think this dude is simply trying to get excited about some new pitch he picked up off some convention on E&P. I think the yardstick for professionalism is very relative and a lot of superficial measures (such as a clean desk :-(, STFU alrady) are used.

    • #2714443

      seem fishy?

      by husp1 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      perhaps the source of the problem you are having is what I like to refer to as the Old peoples symdrom. Unfortunatly I to suffer from this dredded complaint but since the flux of “eccentric” and “special” people entering the field then it seem we must loosen the Belt a bit. the only down side too this type of thinking is now I feel a little nauseus knowing that perhaps one day they might have to take charge of somthing.

      • #2714438

        Not sure I understand you…

        by rknrlkid ·

        In reply to seem fishy?

        I may have missed your point. Youth is an excuse for unethical behavior and criminal conduct? Youth is an excuse for low standards? (I’m being extreme here, of course.)

        Professional standards apply to any age, any time. So do ethical standards. As the old adage goes, there is no right way to do wrong.

        I work with eccentric people all the time. Heck, I am one! But that doesn’t allow me slack in any area but creativity. I am still bound by the laws of the society I am in. I am not concerned about the next generation taking over…sometimes I’d like to hand off early! But I am concerned if youth learns very bad habits that will have a negatively effect in the future.

        One of the functions of the older generation IS to train the younger to be our replacements. We have to ensure we train them right…and not just technically, but completely, as human beings. So, a discussion of ethical behavior still is very relevant.

        • #3310617

          No right way of doing wrong…

          by austech ·

          In reply to Not sure I understand you…

          This depends upon who’s “laws of society” you were brought up in. Palestinians believe their doing things the right way but you may believe their doing wrong. The same can be said for the Israelies. Professions are as the dictinary says. Ethics can only be forced on groups of people who want to use them. A whole profession cannot be classed as ethical because people are able to choose what they want to do.
          Eliminate the people and you will then have an ethical profession.

      • #3307964

        A few points

        by lmnogoldfish ·

        In reply to seem fishy?

        1. If IT people weren’t basically honest, there wouldn’t be any money or secrets left.
        2. Les’s Law: By the time you learn a product, it’s obsolete.
        3. You should still get certified – it makes you learn in-depth accurate ways to do things.
        4. True competence comes from documentation.
        5. The price of training is insane. You can go to college and stay on campus for 10K per year, but to take courses and pass MCSE cert could easily cost you 6K+ and you have to do it every 18months to 2 years to keep up, and the company (especailly if you own it) looses another 4-6K while you’re off doing it. So 10K can go to MS and the training people in a few weeks while you are learning to help them make billions.

      • #3307953

        Entropy Can Be Curtailed

        by underground_in_tn ·

        In reply to seem fishy?

        Are you saying that we need to loosen the rules because we have young “whipper-snappers” coming in with less discipline, looser morals and a “you’re not going to change me” attitude?

        If so, that’s a crock. Part of the mentoring process – which is the duty of all of us “old people” – is to not allow the young to dumb down our profession (any profession, for that matter), but to take such undisciplined, amoral, cocky and inexperienced kids and mold them into professionals. With success, we won’t have to worry when one day they do take charge of something.

      • #3297463

        I’m slightly offended…

        by 69552901-69552901 ·

        In reply to seem fishy?

        If you read my posts, I hope you think of me as a professional, with the ability to accurately verbalize my views. I know you may not agree with them, but that’s fine. This is a discussion group, after all.

        I have been a certified IT professional for several years now. I have a diploma, and I work hard to keep up with the changes, and to cover as many areas as possible. I started with computers when I was about 10 (I believe it was earlier, but at that age for sure), but I really got into them at 13. From that point on, I was hooked, and needed to learn everything I could.

        I will be 24 next month. I have a very young face, and get ID’d on a regular basis. Though I work hard at my job, I have suffered from discrimination because of my age and gender. I’ve been told I am too young to be a tech or a network admin, that “girls don’t work with computers”, and was literally laughed out of an office by a government employee after he took one look at me. In the last instance, I want to make the point that I was professionally dressed and was not even given the opportunity to speak further than “good afternoon, my name is _______ and I’m here about the IT position.”

        When I see someone speaking as you have, I am highly disturbed. It’s people like you that cause the problems I face in this industry on a regular basis. I know one other female technician, and she switched fields because of these issues. The last I heard of her, she was working in a call center, booking hotel rooms.

        Please have some respect for us. A young person is just as capable of a high work ethic as an older person. We can be just as good as our jobs as anyone else. Perhaps you should let a person’s work speak for itself, and treat everyone as individuals instead of a stereotype. I thought we were past that in 2004.

        • #3295658

          …And so you should be.

          by chaz chance# ·

          In reply to I’m slightly offended…

          I believe that professionalism is all about letting the work speak for the person. I believe in applying this both to myself and everyone that I have dealings with.

          That you have met such treatment is shocking. Any person recruiting for my employers would be at the very least severly repremanded for such behaviour.

          The UK has a long historical association with discrimination, and it is one that we are trying very hard to shake off. We have laws against discrimination on the basis of sex, race, colour and religion. It is hard enough to encourage women and minority groups into IT, without making it harder for them to find work.

          Treatment such as you describe would almost certainly lead to a lawsuit and, in the company where I work, most likely a summary dismissal.

          Companies such as the one that laughed at you will not stay in business. They are turning away a huge potential source of talent.

    • #2713540

      This topic is one…

      by mlayton ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      …which I have often thought needed to be addressed in soooo many different ways. I thought especially telling were the first two points: A professional learns every aspect of the job. An amateur skips the learning process whenever possible.

      A professional carefully discovers what is needed and wanted. An amateur assumes what others need and want.

      These in particular are qualities I look for when hiring – the ability to research (a customers needs) and the ability to educate (yourself on the end products and the customer pain points).

      Having run into people all over, I agree that this topic should be addressed: software piracy is the tip of the iceberg – and in IT one of my BIGGEST peeves is the “I am great and you are a stupid user” attitude that many IT professionals have. If you cannot empathize with users, you have no business being in IT.

      • #3309776

        I am great and you are a stupid user…

        by jell ·

        In reply to This topic is one…

        I agree this is a major shortcoming in the IT industry, and we need a change in culture to erradicate it. I seem to spend a lot of my time remining people that we (IT people) work for the customer and the user, NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND. They pay the bills, they have the problems to be solved, not us.

        I see far too many problems in systems caused by:
        – making assumptions about the users’ competence that are not justified
        – not asking users what they want
        – not understanding the users’ operating environment or tasks
        – assuming that technology is the answer
        – specialists taking the role of users in requirements generation systems design and test

        Just yesterday I was talking with colleagues about the failure of a system that replaced paper maps with on-screen and projected maps. The system is sitting unused in a corner while the users still spread the maps out on the wall and the table. The reaction from some of the technical staff was that the users were wrong in doing this, and they should be using the system. This is clearly rubbish. We had delivered a system that didn’t do what the users wanted. They wanted to be able to scrawl on maps with pencils, wave their hands over them to explain ideas to others and to have them up on a wall as an omnipresent reference for their task. The failure was in the development of the requirement and the development of a system taht didn’t meet users’ needs.

        A little humility is required amongst IT practitioners, a recognition that we may be experts in our field, but others are far more skilled in theirs than us.

        Now THAT would mark the start of a professional relationship with the people that matter – users.

      • #3308035

        More on ‘I am great’ …

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to This topic is one…

        I also agree with the observation that many computer technical support people don’t respect the end users. They often don’t recognize that the end users have their own field of expertise. The accounting people know double entry bookkeeping and other things that computer support people don’t know. Secretaries know a lot about organization and communication that computer support people don’t know. The list of skills of end users is very long. I’ve always said that end users have their area of expertise and I have mine. I don’t expect them to know the details of DNS or how to choose computer equipment. They don’t expect me to draft a sales proposal. We work as a team and we ( should ) respect each other’s skills.

        • #3307956

          Even More on “I am great”

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to More on ‘I am great’ …

          Sometimes it’s not that “I am great” as much as “you’re a stupid user”. Some users really play stupid. They don’t WANT to learn the technology and therefore pretend at all costs that they can’t understand it. While we are responsible for the end user being trained in the systems being implemented, the end user must also be accountable for being trainable.

        • #3307950

          On the money!

          by netman1958 ·

          In reply to Even More on “I am great”

          You hit the nail right on the head. I’m not a doctor, never been a doctor, and never plan to be one. But I still read and learn a lot about medicine. I don’t get paid for it but my doctor and I have some interesting conversations and I believe I end up receiving a better level of care from my doctor because I can describe my problem/symptoms in terms that aren’t ambiguous to the doctor and leave him guessing as to what’s really bothering me.

          I am not an accountant or a salesman either or for that matter am I any of the other factions that comprise the end users in my company, but I have learned a lot about all of their jobs just from exposure.

          The problem with most, but certainly not all end users is that they are afraid they are going to learn something they don’t have to and they won’t READ.

        • #3307935

          I have to agree….

          by jchefruns ·

          In reply to On the money!

          In my office (NOT private industry), there are a lot of people who want the title “Professional”, but are not willing to do what it takes to become one – they just want the bucks. A lot of them are my end-users and I’ve found that when I train them, they act like they already know what they’re doing and have a dismissive attitude. Then, when they hit a snag (which was covered and is in the User Manual I have painstakingly put together), I get called – constantly. I try not to have the attitude of “stupid users”, but as sclowers pointed out, they WON’T read – not even the error messages (which would solve the problems 95% of the time).

        • #3307800

          Case in point….

          by comptech3 ·

          In reply to I have to agree….

          I run a computer lab at a community college. The students are issued logons at the beginning of the sememster, and are provided “cookbook” instructions on how to log on and change their passwords. I have found that those who first read the sheet never need my help. There are those who come running to me immediately. I refer them to the printed help and they log in and change their passwords successfully. The rest who refuse to try to follow the instructions are always at my door. You can provide simple procedures and clear instructions, but you can’t design the factor of laziness out of human nature.

        • #3309722

          That’s your job, not theirs..

          by gaijinit ·

          In reply to Even More on “I am great”

          I’m sorry, but I have to disagree with this idea of the users bearing responsibility for being trainable, unless you are talking about educating technical users. If that is the context of your comment, then I agree wholeheartedly with you (I have 18 years’ experience training Telecom customers’ engineers and NOTHING bothered me more than trainees who obviously were enjoying the break from their duties instead of applying themselves to the topics at hand).

          But if you are talking about the average home computer user, then they don’t want to hear about it, they just want to pay you to fix it so they can surf the web and email.

          No matter how qualified we may be or how technically complicated things become, we are still working in what is essentially a service industry. Our job is to apply the expertise we have to provide the solutions to our customers’ or employers’ problems in the best way we can.

          Throughout this discussion and others I have followed, I agree that there are few standards to define our working habits, and I agree with those that say petty things such as neat desks and wearing a suit or not don’t matter. Getting the job does.

          But ethical behaviour in those areas you control directly, courteous relations with customers, keeping your certifications updated and/or staying abreast of current trends and technological advancements seem to me to be the things that define professionalism.

          If we are not willing to give of our time to provide this level of service, then we have no business calling ourselves professionals. It isn’t about the money, it’s about the knowledge, the effort and the respect this will bring you that separate the true pros from the rest.

        • #3309582

          Apples and Oranges

          by johnsmith ·

          In reply to That’s your job, not theirs..

          I agree that home users should not be expected to be trainable, but we’re talking about end-users in a business environment here. They need to make the effort to learn how to properly use the tools they have been provided to get their jobs done.

          For example, in a manufacturing plant, the guy making tie rod ends is not only expected, but required to know his machine. In fact, he has to go through training amd demonstrate proficiency on it before he is turned loose. Demonstrating proficiency includes knowing what to do when somthing goes wrong. He doesn’t call up his supervisor and go, “This thing is freaking out.” Yeah; real informative.

          Why should it be different for an accountant whose tool is the PC?

        • #3308531

          My point of reference….

          by gaijinit ·

          In reply to Apples and Oranges

          I’ve been working in Tokyo as either a network administrator or systems designer for large Telecom manufacturers for the last 20 years (NEC, Ocean Cable & Communications, NTT) so maybe I am out of touch with some of the problems people posting on this board are facing in the offices there in the USA (and the UK?).

          I know the Japanese have a reputation of being a ‘nation of nerds’, but think on this; I am now in a new start-up division and in the desks facing me a team of new admin people spend all day at their desks studying and discussing all the nuances of Excel and other software tools they are expected to use in their new jobs. Many of them will take their notebook computers with them and continue studying on the train commute to their home.

          As a result, they will become very proficient at their jobs, and will only ask for my support when something is definitely wrong with their PC, an upgrade is needed, or some new software needs installing.

          They know very well that their jobs (and their personal pride) demand that they give their utmost to support the company, and they spend their personal effort to do so.

          In today’s employment environment, they know they are lucky to have a job, and proud to be part of the company, returning the company’s trust in them by doing the best job they can for their pay instead of complaining. It is a matter of honor, gratitude, and personal pride. Perhaps these values are what have been lost or forgotten by some people in the American office.

          To me, these people are professionals – it doesn’t matter how esoteric or technical your duties may be, provided you do it to the best of your ability. Here in Japan, no one will ever be fired for being less talented than others, provided he gives his best effort (Japanese recognize that not everyone is born with the same set of tools). A talented, experienced, intelligent employee would be fired much faster for refusing to be a “team player” or treating others with arrogance around the office.

          So my perspective is a bit different, but over here, people take pride in their work, making it easier for their co-workers since no one has to ‘baby-sit’ them like it seems non-technical employees expect in the USA.

          Sorry if I ruffled anyone’s feathers, I just have little tolerance for people who prefer complaining over rolling up their sleeves and getting on with the job.

        • #3308383

          I expect

          by jamesrl ·

          In reply to Apples and Oranges

          The accountant to learn how to use the accounting software.

          I don’t expect the accountant to become an expert in the OS or the Network, or the nuances of what happens on email servers etc.

          I do expect that the end user will report things through the right channels. And have some patience with the answers they get. And work with the experts to resolve the problem.

          One cannot be a subject matter expert in everything. When people used to tease me about support salespeople or executives (in a high tech company) I used to say I’d rather these people concentrate on their job, and rely on me to help them with their PCs, than to distract them from their purpose. The salespeople earn the revenue that pays my salary. I’d rather I spend an hour helping him than him spend a couple of hours not selling.

          James

        • #3307899

          I agree, however…

          by cmullins ·

          In reply to More on ‘I am great’ …

          What are we to do when the end users and management expect you to know exactly what they do and fix it when t doesn’t work? I am presented with problems on a weeklt basis where the user says “this doesn’t work” and then expects me to fix the problem without knowing: A) What the problem actually is. B) How it is normally used. C) What it is used for. I am expected to know most aspects of their job and if I can’t “make it work” I have somehow failed.

          On a side note, my usual repsponse to end user apologies of “I’m sorry, I don’t know computers” is, If everyone knew everything I wouldn’t have a job.

        • #3297454

          I see your point

          by 69552901-69552901 ·

          In reply to I agree, however…

          Not everyone should know everything, but they do need to know the program they use. For example, the accountant needs to use the accounting software. They don’t need to know their OS, but they need to be able to tell the tech what the symptoms are and what any error message said.

          I received a call from a customer today that proves my point. He could not tell me if there was an error message, let alone what it said. When asked what the program was doing, he told me he didn’t know and that it was “just messing up”. He wound up calling two more times before he had any of the information I’d asked for. Because of his location, I was unable to travel to the site. If he knew anything about the program he was working with, or if he’d bothered to read the error message and/or the help file, he would have only needed to call once. That’s assuming he would have needed to call at all.

          Again, I’m not saying people need to be experts, but they should know enough to read an error message and have it ready for the tech. It’s common sense. Would you go to your mechanic and say your car was “just messing up”?

      • #3308017

        “I am great and you are a stupid user”

        by stevenberkholz ·

        In reply to This topic is one…

        This has bothered me even before I went into IT. (Systems/Network management)
        IT is one of the few service industires where this is such a big issue, because the purpose of IT is to keep some other industry/profesion productive.
        Neither a waiter, shoe shiner nor doctor cares whether thier customer is a lawyer, accountant or engineer.
        But IT needs to care and take that into account when providing thier service.
        We are not providing the same services to everyone.

        I think that IT can bring out the “I am God” attitude of people who are not service oriented.

        I came from Mechanical Engineering into IT. There, my goal was to provide the customer with a machine that did what they needed within the specified parameters. That goal did not change when I entered IT.

      • #3307991

        IT Education?

        by zanzibar1 ·

        In reply to This topic is one…

        hi all!
        Firstly with education…
        I am currently doing sem 3 CCNA and A+
        And already have 3 city & guild qualifications in related fields
        It saddens me that the lecturer is completely unable to explain many of the most basic tenants of the subject and on several occasions I have found myself in front of the students explaining the basics!
        I find it worrying that we will soon be dealing with ipv6 when the lecturer cannot explain the difference between VLSM & classfull ip subnetting!
        I think professionalism in teaching here in the UK is dead!
        I have mixed feelings on the morals of software.
        I am firstly not anti Microsoft!
        Honestly.. I don?t believe Linux is or ever will be ready for small office desktops
        Then again..
        I believe strongly in the open source movement
        And a lot of software produced that way has been superb (open office is quite outstanding!)
        But love it or hate it.
        The majority of homes will use a Microsoft os
        And if bill gates is to get his wish of every home having a computer
        And all running his os.
        Then maybe his sw should be sold at a price that reflects the returned revenue?
        IE a home user makes no money out of using his os so should get it very cheaply
        A company that relies on its computing power should pay considerably more!
        Just my thoughts!
        A tidy bench means I am on holls btw (very occasionally 😉
        And it is very true that a professional should know all they need to know to do there job properly… and how to find the bits they rarely use… you cant know everything it changes all the time 😉
        Lastly (back to education) how can it be right…
        You sit the final exam in college you can take in ALL your notes.. But not a calculator???
        Very reminiscent of the real word!! NOT!!

    • #2713499

      Disallusioned

      by dbucyk ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Yes, I never attended any technical school, but I did receive my A+ certification last year.

      After I became certified, will be writing my Network+ exam in about two weeks of this posting, I have changed my ethics.

      I used to copy programs for my friends, just a few and my family, however, after I was certified I have not once used a different product key on a computer. I was lucky that I got a few product keys from an auction and they were the ones that worked with those cds.

      I have made sure that I follow the strictist guideline of not to break any copyright infringements because I am afraid of losing my certifications.

      Not everyone out there has a bad conscience. Take a look around you. It’s the person and what they believe in. Don’t make judgement calls then ask questions later. It could get you into a lot of trouble.

    • #2713496

      Just my thoughts…

      by theta-max ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Just my thoughts…

      ?The hallmark of an occupation calling itself “professional” is a shared set of values, a shared set of standards, and shared expectations.?
      –That’s an entertaining notion since most of the computer industry leaders can’t even seem to stick to one set of standards.

      ?Anyone can call themselves a mechanic; only those with ASE are professional.?
      –And which one will fix your car?

      ?certifications are required as evidence for professional competence almost universally.?
      –On that note:
      One day I helped someone fix their home computer. This person had a degree in Information Systems. They had spent hours on Microsoft’s web site looking for drivers and changing settings. When I came to help the first thing I did was check where the speaker wires were going. The speakers were plugged into the microphone jack. The point here is that all that fancy book-learnin’ and still can’t see the forest for the trees. Just because you read a book and pass a test doesn’t mean that you have the skills or temperament/patience for the career.
      As for me, I’ve been working on computers since I was 8, back in the days when you could save a program onto audio cassette, and back when modem was something you set phone receiver on. I still spend my lunch hours reading various white papers and spend numerous hours doing research at home, off hours. In my opinion I don’t need a piece of paper telling me what I already know. I do my job, I do it well, and I enjoy it.

      Side notes:
      ?A professional carefully discovers what is needed and wanted. An amateur assumes what others need and want. ?
      –IT Guy: You need firewall and anti virus software
      –CEO: Really?

      ?A professional earns high pay. An amateur earns low pay and feels it?s unfair.?
      –Just because I don’t make that much doesn’t make me unprofessional, it just means I have a smaller collection of ties.

      • #2713465

        Good points…

        by rknrlkid ·

        In reply to Just my thoughts…

        but for the sake of discussion:

        Point 1: I agree…the computer industry seems incapable of setting standards. There can be multiple standards, but standards shouldn’t be changed for the sake of marketing!

        Point 2: The guy fixing your car is still not professional in the technical sense of the term, even though he/she knows how to do something. Doing a job and identifying as a professional are two different things.

        Point 3: The exception does not prove the rule. This type of story is repeated on these boards, but doesn’t prove the point. Someone who is professional will have education, certifications AND experience. Not just one of the above. Would you go to a physician who decided that he didn’t need to go to medical school or to get certified as an MD because he had been operating on house pets since he was 8? Equally, there are those with all the credentials and certifications, and are found to be incompetent. But exceptions do not prove the rule.

        I’ll pass on side note 1. But side note 2 is almost a truism. At a local internet provider and networking company here, the “technicians” were paid barely more than minimum wage. I know these people: all were over 21, none had certifications, and have no ambition to either go to school, or get certifications. The same company hired a high school graduate who went to technical training for networking while in high school, and passed the CCNA before he was 18. Guess who gets paid more, and ends up supervising. Oh yeah…and the older employees complained because of thier low wages.

        Granted, its not always about money. I know I could make more money than what I do, but I have decided to stay because a) where I work is a great working environment and b) I am doing what I enjoy doing. I do it by choice, not because of lack of qualification or motivation. I suspect that you have also made a choice about it. But again, we are the exceptions, and exceptions do not prove the rule.

        I appreciate the input. Hope we can keep the conversation going!

        • #2713447

          To continue a bit…

          by theta-max ·

          In reply to Good points…

          To continue a bit…

          ?Would you go to a physician who decided that he didn’t need to go to medical school or to get certified as an MD because he had been operating on house pets since he was 8? Equally, there are those with all the credentials and certifications, and are found to be incompetent. But exceptions do not prove the rule.?
          –Not all ?Caregivers? are medical doctors approved by a duly appointed regulatory agency. But I’ll refrain from my general opinion of most medical doctors.

          ?Granted, its not always about money. I know I could make more money than what I do, but I have decided to stay because a) where I work is a great working environment and b) I am doing what I enjoy doing. I do it by choice, not because of lack of qualification or motivation. I suspect that you have also made a choice about it. But again, we are the exceptions, and exceptions do not prove the rule.?
          –That’s exactly why I stay. My degrees are in the liberal arts, but I still enjoy the IT thang.

          What’s interesting to me is that over the last 30+ years the computer/IT industry has evolved. It’s not very often that we get to see a whole new career sprout up out of the ground. The more evolved the industry gets the more people get involved: Schools to teach, politicians to regulate, agencies to claim they set the standards, and numerous other people and places to say that they know what’s best, or ?this is the way to do it?.

          Returning to the concept of Ethics & Professionalism. (Oh that’s right, that’s what this thread was about.) 🙂 IT people are entrusted with important company information everyday. Ethics seems to be a more important qualification than Certifications, but there is no way to test and certify someone for their ethics, at least not on paper. Oh, but if there were a way to certify people on ethics, you can be that there would be an Ethical Certification Association, tests ($1000 per session), exam preparation books for $79.95, annual renewal subscriptions for membership $59/yr, etc. etc.

        • #2713437

          Another concept here…

          by rknrlkid ·

          In reply to To continue a bit…

          and it is equally bad, and is the dark side of “professionalism.”

          And that is the organizations that sprout up, charge fees, and get their agenda before law makers to force their certifications on everyone. I can give you four examples: American Bar Association, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, and American Counseling Association.

          I might be losing you at this point, but try to follow me. All four organizations have lobbied state law makers (quite successfully) to insist that only THEIR rules and certification is valid to practice in a profession. In order to be a lawyer in almost every state in the union, you MUST attend an ABA approved law school. Here in Oklahoma, there is only ONE ABA approved law school. But wait a minute….Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer, and he never went to HIGH SCHOOL, so forget about college or law school. What happened?

          The original requirement for most places was to pass the bar exam. Lawyers started out as law clerks, learned their craft in the firm, then took the bar exam to become praacticing lawyers. But the ABA, in an attempt to protect the profession, lobbied for the law school requirement.

          Becoming a counselor is the same way. In Nevada and Hawaii, becoming a professional counselor is a matter of saying you are one and starting a practice. In the other 48 states, however, the American Counseling Association has successfully lobbied to require a 66-hour Master’s degree program PLUS 3 years supervised practice PLUS passing an exam from a SOLE SOURCE company.

          How about becoming a teacher? We shouldn’t even go there ::laffs:: teaching credentials do not guarantee quality teaching…its all over the news.

          In my mind, these “cedentialing” organizations are unethical in themselves. They are monopolies seeking only one thing – the protection of their “profession” from outsiders.

          So, I agree with you on that point. People will exploit what they see as an opening (kinda sounds like a Windows virus, doesn’t it?).

          So, why do we need the certifications at all? I’ll start a new post on that one 🙂

        • #3307819

          The “dark side” of professional

          by curlergirl ·

          In reply to Another concept here…

          I want to take issue with, or at least open up for further discussion, your comments about professional organizations. It sort of parallels what many people think has happened to the large union organizations – they start out with very high goals and ideals and then eventually end up acting only to preserve their own existence.

          I will take the example you used of the American Counseling Association because I have experience with social workers and therapists and their professional ethics and organizations. My parents were both social workers and they were very much concerned about and involved with the development of standards of ethics and practice for their profession. When they started out in their profession, after WWII, there were no such organizations or professional standards. They felt very strongly that these standards needed to be established and enforced in order to protect clients from people who claimed to be therapists but didn’t have the clinical training and/or understanding of the ethics required to be a professional therapist. So, the situation is not that different – as the profession of social work/therapy/counseling matured, the professional organizations were created to help establish these endeavors as “professions” rather than simply a “job” that almost anyone could do. The end result has been that government got involved in many states to require counselors/therapists to be licensed, and the professional organizations were involved in many ways to establish the criteria for being licensed.

          The idea of licensing or accrediting certain colleges and universities to provide the necessary training is almost a natural offshoot of all of this. But it certainly becomes cumbersome and can be unnecessarily expensive and restrictive. Now, does this all necessarily guarantee that everyone who gets a license is a “good therapist”? I don’t think so, but I do think it’s better than leaving the field open to anyone who decides that they can be a counselor or therapist. Conversely, does it bar some people from the profession who could be and are good therapists? Perhaps, but hopefully there are programs or avenues available to help those people get the credentials and knowledge they need to pass the exams and be licensed.

          So, I guess one question we as a profession (because, regardless of certifications and standards or lack of them, we ARE a profession) have to answer is – Is this the road we want to go down? Or is there another road that we can find that leads to a recognition of us as a profession and establishment of standards of practice that we can all accept, but without the governmental and regulatory restrictions, and attendant costs, that almost always ensue?

          I sure don’t have any answers, but I like to ask the questions and see what other people think…

        • #3309070

          In agreement

          by rknrlkid ·

          In reply to The “dark side” of professional

          I agree with you observations, especially about what happened with ACA. The ultimate goal should be professional self-regulation, and keeping governmental controls out.

          Self-regulated ethics codes come about to protect the profession more than to protect the client. Governmental rules come about because someone in the profession broke the rules at the expense of a client.

          Does either make someone “good” at what they do? Not necessarily. But it may help prevent newcomers to the profession from falling into problems that have already been identified. And like a lock, should keep honest people honest.

        • #3307837

          Ethics certification? (warning – mildly religious, but not a ‘pitch’)

          by paymeister ·

          In reply to To continue a bit…

          Pleae no anti-Christian flames. This IS an ethics discussion, and I’m discussing hiring practices and giving examples.

          I agree that we can forget about Ethics Certification (the Pharisees tried it – passing the test was easy, but they didn’t measure up as they lived their lives).

          One of the problems is that in hiring you can’t ask a bloody thing about a fellow’s personal life. If he cheats on his wife, for instance, he’s betrayed a vow he made before God and witnesses… should we give him access to sensitive data? If he gives 10% of his paycheck to the church (charity, etc.), one might get the idea that he is trying to serve something bigger than merely “he who dies with the most toys wins”. How much debt does he have? How does he feel about that? Why is he in debt, and what is he doing about it? Is his family in order?

          Scripture includes hiring recommendations for holding church office, for example, which would be a bit tricky to use in today’s HR setting: see I Tim 3:1-13 if you’re interested (http://bible.gospelcom.net/cgi-bin/bible?language=english&version=NKJV&passage=I+Tim+3%3A1-13 ).

        • #3309736

          Old Problem

          by interested bystander ·

          In reply to Ethics certification? (warning – mildly religious, but not a ‘pitch’)

          As you point out, lack of ethics is as old as the bible. And religious institutions to this day have ethical problems. If those who are supposed to set the standard can’t live up to it, what chance does the average Joe stand in the face of all that temptation to just go along because everyone else does?

        • #3310606

          Set the standard before somebody else does…

          by austech ·

          In reply to Old Problem

          I agree with an exception.
          Early religion went to war without any reason other than to conquer. Current religion goes to war with the reason they could have done it to us if we didn’t do it first. Perhaps religion isn’t a good model to base a profession on.
          Any long establish religion’s standards without the base religion involved would be an acceptable basic start to ethics. Take out the people equation and follow the written standard and your off to a good start. We all know what the ethics are so lets create our own list of rules as a starting point to stop the Governments from stepping in and cutting out the 50% of people without the level of qualifications needed to regulate the industry.
          Sorry I’m on a slow link. Part of being in country Australia.

        • #3309066

          Good point tho…

          by rknrlkid ·

          In reply to Ethics certification? (warning – mildly religious, but not a ‘pitch’)

          I had this exact same problem when I was in the military.

          There were several subordinates who I rated directly that we in leadership KNEW were having affairs (their wives complained, and the girlfriends would call the unit). When it came down to evaluation time, I was informed I COULD NOT legally use this ethical violation as part of the evaluation unless legal action had been taken against them, and they were convicted. (There was a Yes/No block on the form to the effect of “highest standards of ethics on and off duty.”)

          Personal things are a two edged sword, and I can understand both sides. Apply this to politics, too: should a candidate be disqualified because he/she smoked marijuana in college at 18, and they are now 45? John Tower was in congress for decades, yet when he was nominated for Secretary of Defense suddenly it is revealed he has an alcohol problem and cannot have the job. But wait…its ok for a congressman to be an alcoholic, but not the Sec of Defense?? Its all a matter of perception, apparently, and a matter of who sits on the hiring side of the table.

          Which I disagree with, btw.

        • #2713442

          On side note 1:

          by mlayton ·

          In reply to Good points…

          Side notes:
          ?A professional carefully discovers what is needed and wanted. An amateur assumes what others need and want. ?
          –IT Guy: You need firewall and anti virus software
          –CEO: Really?

          The point I think of the original post is that if you extend this scenario and assume the IT Guy has been called to fix a problem, the IT Guy would have done his research and known whether firewall/av will solve the CEOs problem, known whether there was already av in place, and done the research to know what is needed. If perchance he is just recommending the obvious without knowing if this solves the problem, then he is not a professional.

          Keep in mind in this scenario, the CEO is NOT the IT Professional.

        • #2713378

          Exactly…do what the customer needs

          by rknrlkid ·

          In reply to On side note 1:

          The professional should research and find a solution to the customer’s problem, not recommend a canned answer simply to sell stuff.

          Two actual situations that have happened to me:

          1. “Tech support” individual at a local ISP tells me that I can’t get on the internet with their service unless I do serious hardware upgrading (even though I have for a fact been on the internet with other ISPs with LESS hardware).

          2. Friend wants a larger hard drive in his computer. He takes it to one of the major computer dealers in town. “Tech support/repair” removes his motherboard and cards, replaces them all, without his consent. They charge him for a major upgrade and labor. All he wanted was a hard drive! To make things worse, the computer didn’t work after the upgrades. He called me, and I had to rebuild the mess the computer dealer made.

          Customer service is at least attempting to give the customer what they want. I notice where I live that the standard response to computer problems is “You need a new computer.” There are times an entire system IS necessary, but that should not be the first suggestion. If I want memory, all I want is memory. If I want a hard drive, all I want is a hard drive. It is unethical, in my opinion, to suggest or make repairs not necessary or without customer consent.

          Oddly enough, this type of situation occurring was one of the initial reasons I got A+ certified. I got so tired of “computer technicians” trying to fill me with baloney. When I tell them that I am A+ and beyond, they usually change their tune.

        • #2714167

          There are rouges everywhere

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to Exactly…do what the customer needs

          To some people and companies repairing computers it is a license to print money. I’ve seen numerous examples where a simple repair was required that should only have taken minutes and cost a small amount and the returned item bears very little resemblance to the original unit costs almost as much as a new computer and worse still because of the massive upgrades it is now in breach of MS EULA.

          This is one of those “Grey” areas as the company/individual involved in the {Repair} should sell new software to the customer and at the same time should never have replaced any parts without first confirming the need to replace the items with the customer. The whole thing is very messy when it gets to that stage and the person I feel sorry for is the customer who has been “Ripped OFF.” I’ve actually seen examples of practices like this where the company not only replaces parts unnecessarily but then not only refuse to return the parts to their rightful owner but then proceed to sell them on E-Bay or the like so they are making money both ways.

          It is practices like this which make me sick and what’s worse is that on many occasions the people involved do not realize they are being ripped off as well.

          Now on the other side of the coin a few years ago I lived in a Rural Town and attempted to do any repair work from people in outlying areas on the same day if they arrived before a certain time and gave me notice that they where coming. Previously the repairs would take the units leave them sit on the floor for up to 6 weeks then do minimal repair work and charge top line prices. Well I charged what I thought was reasonable attempted to do any repair work as soon as possible and almost always for people that had to spend hours driving into town on the same day and I was told that I was not offering a good repair service as I didn’t take long enough to repair the machines the other repairers who took unrealistic times where considered as doing a better job because they had the machines longer and often required several trips to get the units fixed to at least a usable condition but never working correctly.

          Try figure that one out as it’s beyond me particularly as none of the repaired units that I did had to be brought back in for the same complaint and I only had something like a 3% return rate.

          I think it just goes to show some people like being stolen from and treat it as normal and when they see a better service resent it.

          Col

        • #3307821

          Corroboration

          by johnsmith ·

          In reply to There are rouges everywhere

          Like RknRlKid, I am from Oklahoma. North of OKC is an affluent community known as Edmond, in which I worked as a PC tech for a time (on-site and in-shop). I charged what I thought was a fair price, but below what most others in the area were charging although the quality of my service and my sense of ethics was much higher than my comrades. I didn’t get a lot of business.

          A friend with more business savvy than I recommended I raise my hourly rate to better match what others in the area were charging. So I called around and got rates, then took the average, added 20 bucks to it and made it my hourly rate. MY BUSINESS DOUBLED WITHIN TWO WEEKS!

          If you don’t charge a lot, it seems that poeple think that you’re not worth a lot. They take that whole “you get what you pay for” thing quite seriously.

        • #3309650

          Similar situation…

          by mlayton ·

          In reply to Exactly…do what the customer needs

          …a couple of years ago I sent my husband to the computer store to get a piece of hardware for our home computer. I had researched everything to know exactly what would work on the configuration we had. My husband asked the clerk for it, who gave it to him and then asked him what kind of computer he had. My husband told him, at which the clerk (get this) LAUGHED at him and told him he needed to get a new computer to even run the piece of hardware. My husband calmly handed the box back to the clerk, told him he not only lost this sale but we were considering buying 4 others as well (the total sale would have been well over $1000) and would take his business elsewhere. The store manager literally chased him down when he left the store and asked him to come back. My husband (god bless him) told the manager that he would not shop at a place with such poor service again, and since his wife was in th4e industry this could wind up costing their store 1000s of sales. We haven’t been back. Respond to poor customer service with the right response, and eventually, it will hit them where it counts…

        • #3310607

          And the point is…

          by austech ·

          In reply to Good points…

          And the point is there is no rule, otherwise, everybody would have to acheive a set qualification level before hanging up a shingle like in the majority of the “Professions”.
          Doctors have a set level of qualifications and rules that they must abide by.
          Mechanics have set qualifications and rules that they must abide by.
          Others have groups that they join who require standards of conduct and rules that they must abide by.
          Each group mentioned has it’s standard of ethics that once discarded bars you from the help and support network.
          Ther are several IT groups that I know of here in OZ but they all require a level of qualification to join.
          Although I have qualifications my qualifications are below the level of entry but that doesn’t mean I’m not a Professional. Perhaps there needs to be a new group started ie… TechRepublic that provides a set of rules for those that wish to jion but doesn’t require a set level of qualifications other than to be professional in your work(ethical).

      • #3307948

        I like that

        by keyguy13 ·

        In reply to Just my thoughts…

        The fact is, that person’s definition of Professional is still just their opinion. You actually made several good points in your attempt to play devil’s advocate. Things are not always one way or the other. The definition of professionalism changes like everything else. To claim that one person that uses pirated software is unprofessional just because they use pirated software could be completely inaccurate. They might wear a tie and keep their desk clean and provide stellar service, but by your definition are unprofessional. Well I have my own definition of professionalism: Getting the job done in a way that works for everyone involved. If that means having a messy workdesk because I am working on 7 projects at a time and I’m being efficient, then having a messy workdesk is quite professional. If it means playing with a license key so the customer actually BUYS the OS and therefore makes me and Microsoft more money, then that is professional. People have different ethics, and always have. I don’t believe they have much to do with being professional.

        I say we leave judgement calls out of these kinds of discussions.

        My two cents.

      • #3307938

        And the problem speaks

        by jmschattke9 ·

        In reply to Just my thoughts…

        OK, let’s take things one at a time.

        First: The fact that different design teams choose different “standards” says nothing about those design teams professionalism at all. Each team does what they do in order to meet the goals they have, not neblous goals or some one else’s goals.
        >RED HERRING< Second: your comment "which one will fix your car" is flippant, shortsighted and foolish. A reputable ASE mechanic will in general fix your car faster, more reliably and to a higher standard of safety, and pay attention to things the end-user will normally miss that might cause trouble in the future. For this service, one pays more. >MUDDYING THE WATERS< Third: Your freind who did not check the connections first is a single anecdote. It has no bearingon your freind's professionalism. >MUDDYING THE WATERS< Fourth: THe proper way to convince a CEO of the need for firewall and antivirus software is to log all instances of intrusion and virus propogation, tell them how much it cost to fix it, and then fix it ASAP. Your example is exactly the unprofessional behaviour the original post was trying to stop. Fifth: If you accept low wages, you hurt only yourself. The wage one earns depends on what one asks; when I asked for $25/hr to do development, they still billed me out at $75, but pocketed the difference. When I asked for $50, I was billed out at $65 - 5 years later! Yes, I wore business professional clothes, but that was my choice, not needed. And I wore the same sort of clothes when I made half as much.

        • #3307931

          Another View

          by myndkrime ·

          In reply to And the problem speaks

          You might as well take the ASE reference out as a comparison…..ASE certifications are just like the IT certs…Someone who goes for the ASE might not know the difference between a carburator a cam and still pass the test if they know what to study and how well you take a test. Just like everything else out there they are study sheets, books, and such for ASE..

      • #3307781

        Theta-Max has it going on!

        by bubbaonthenet ·

        In reply to Just my thoughts…

        Word up! From a man that dresses the part (Jeans at heart, Dockers from Wal-Mart), acts the part (considers the audience and omits Geek if it will sound Greek) and lives the part (a hobbyist and enthusiast.) I couldn’t afford the modem, but remember: writing basic to ask you your name and have it display back: Hello “Mike” Select from the following…; copying down machine code from a magazine to play a game (now THAT is devotion; trying mathematical formulas out to see their results in Logo –who knew a little color changing cursor running around the screen could captivate and inspire a million children in to doing this?

    • #2713411

      Why certifications in the first place?

      by rknrlkid ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      There is only one reason for certifications of any type: to demonstrate an acknowledged competency.

      A professional will get education and certifications so other people will know immediately that he/she is up to a certain competency. There are three groups who use this information: employers/supervisors, subordinates, and the community at large.

      Employers and supervisors use our education and certification levels for job placement and to determine promotion potential. By improving yourself with education and certification, you are demonstrating your own professionalism and that you have advancement potential. Granted, this is the ideal. Yes, it can be abused; all of us know people who ?punched their ticket? simply to get advanced on paper. There is a difference between a careerist (someone who manipulates the system to get themselves ahead) and a professional (someone who cares about the profession).

      Which brings us to our second group, our subordinates. Education and certification help us as supervisors to gain the willing respect and compliance from subordinates. When a subordinate knows that the supervisor is competent, he or she will be more willing to follow and help get the job done. This is where the careerist fails. A careerist may impress the superiors, but usually does not impress subordinates. This gets into the subject of leadership, which is another category by itself.

      The third group is the community at large. Our educational attainments and certifications display to those around us that we have taken the time to achieve a certain level of skill and professionalism, and identify us as ?experts? in the community.

      Notice that at no time did I say that education or certification PROVED you were competent. Only the individual can prove that. In the Army, I was a Drill Sergeant. When I wore the Drill Sergeant Identification Badge on my uniform, it displayed to the world that I was competent in training soldiers. My superiors and subordinates expected a high level of competency, and I had to kick myself in the backside to ensure that I did have that level of knowledge and expertise. Getting the badge was just the beginning. I had to work hard, on my own time, to keep my competency levels up. Why? Because I had to prove by my actions that I was competent.

      The education and certifications are just the starting point. Eventually they must be backed up with experience and performance. Which is exactly what a true professional does. The true professional has education PLUS certifications PLUS experience.

      • #2714289

        Certs are one thing I’ve never bothered with

        by hal 9000 ·

        In reply to Why certifications in the first place?

        As I have a PHD in Electronic Engining and while I acknowledge the need to know some software systems better from my experience the things that are considered as important are all tilted towards MS and it’s products which while useful isn’t necessary or maybe even a good thing as it tends to make you think this is the only way to go and closes your options to other platforms.

        But there was one very important lesson that I learnt at Uni and that was that “No Student should ever be allowed to graduate without realizing just how little they actually know!”

        To me and maybe I’m wrong here but any Certs only give you the right to go out and start learning your chosen trade/profession or whatever else you wish to cal it.

        Col

        • #2714232

          I think we are basically saying the same thing

          by rknrlkid ·

          In reply to Certs are one thing I’ve never bothered with

          All our certifications and education is the starting point of the process, not the end result. Simply having some form of credential doesnt mean you have “arrived,” but that you have started.

          My assmuption for the certification+education+experience equation is that on the average, most will not get advanced degrees. With a PhD, I would say you didn’t need certifications. But for the average person, an AS/BS degree with certifications and experience is a good maxim. As always, this is the ideal, not what can happen in life. There are always exceptions.

        • #2714176

          I can not agree more

          by hal 9000 ·

          In reply to I think we are basically saying the same thing

          I always tell any students that I come across that I’m learning something new every day which is sometimes a bit off putting to them as they seem to think that once they finish whatever course they are doing they will be instant “Experts.”

          To me every day is a learning experience now all I have to learn is exactly I own a business in the IT field as I’m not quite sure on some days. But then again we all have “Those Days!” Don’t we.

          Col

        • #3309731

          A PhD is the ultimate Cert

          by interested bystander ·

          In reply to Certs are one thing I’ve never bothered with

          Certs are a shortcut for amateurs who can’t be bothered to get even a BS degree. It used to be all IT professionals had to have some kind of college degree.
          You shouldn’t need to even worry about certs. I hope you have never been turned down for a job because your PhD wasn’t enough!
          Of course there is always the “Over Qualified” turn down. I never understood that one, “I’m sorry, we can’t hire you because you know too much”. But I digress…

        • #3309704

          College for programmers but not sysadmins

          by stress junkie ·

          In reply to A PhD is the ultimate Cert

          Given that all of the posts to this thread deal with system administrators I say that a college degree has no relevance to this discussion. My college education in computer science did not, and should not, have included system and network administration My college curriculum included subjects relevant to writing computer programs. I learned about various data structures and the algorithms to manipulate those data structures. I learned about building logic circuits. I did not learn BIND/DNS or Appletalk or NetBEUI or designing a network topology, or anything relevant to system administration. College is excellent for what it does but it does not apply to computer support. If I were hiring a computer programmer I would want to see that the candidate was proficient in the skills that one generally would learn in college. If I were hiring a system administrator I would want to see those skills that one generally learns in technical school. The two careers have very different skill sets. I would not necessarily require formal education in a hiring candidate but I would include a skills assessment in the interview process.

          In summary, college is excellent for what it does but it doesn’t apply to everything and most emphatically it does not apply to system support.

        • #3309558

          Here, here!

          by -loanman ·

          In reply to College for programmers but not sysadmins

          Talk about overkill; no one’s going to hire a freakin’ PhD as their sysadmin (although Louisiana State’s E. J. Ourso College of Business offers a PhD program in IS, as does the Stern School of Business at NYU). Yeah, just I wanted; a Doctor of Philosophy deciding whether to implement a SAN or a NAS.

          Besides, all a PhD stands for is Parents Have Dough.

        • #3309523

          I wouldnt say that

          by tpcosmo ·

          In reply to College for programmers but not sysadmins

          have been a Sys admin for about 5 years. I wouldn’t have gotten the job without a college degree. I think it prepared me pretty well for the position, but my degree isn’t a CompSci. degree, its a Business Degree with a focus on MIS. You are right, a CompSci. degree shouldn’t include system administration courses, but I did learn about DNS, NetBEUI, and network design in college. I’m am very glad it did too. The two careers have different skill sets just as you said, and both are worth pursuing at a college level.

        • #3309374

          HUH?

          by interested bystander ·

          In reply to College for programmers but not sysadmins

          All the posts to this thread DO NOT deal with just sysadmins!!!
          What thread are you reading?

        • #3309579

          Certs are one thing I’ve never bothered with

          by trien ·

          In reply to Certs are one thing I’ve never bothered with

          I agree with you completely, I know a friend of mine that simply has a electronics degree, and yes, he did get some certifications, but he does not need them. He has over 20 years of network experience, runs a ISP, Hosts servers for various hospitals and agencies and provides a computer repair operation. Sure certs are great but they do not have the ability to compete with experience. I myself am new to the field, and when I just recently graduated with my associates in computer network systems, the first thing I saw was that I knew nothing. My friend and I talked about various IT related things and I found out how inexperienced I was. I am grateful that he helped me re open my eyes, I thought I had a decent grasp when in reality all I had was a unstable foothold.

      • #3309781

        Certification as a stepping stone

        by jakeslouw ·

        In reply to Why certifications in the first place?

        I’ve been in IT for over 20 years. I’ve seen some good guys and some bad guys in the “profession”.

        Here’s some of the things I’ve noticed in the last 10 years:
        – certification is considered by many wannabes to be the proof that they can do the job, instead of just the proof that they are just starting to understand what they are getting into
        – there are too many “quick guides” and hacked question papers to make certification what it *COULD* be
        – a lot of people lately think that they can simply qualify as a certified something-or-other and walk into a great job. When this *DOES* happen, it cheapens our profession
        – after 20 years, I’m still learning. Some guys think they can be consultants or specialists after 5 years in a specific field/OS/discipline. Think again.

        Certification has it’s place: it’s like the old 5 or 6-week Structured COBOL courses in the old days: it weeds the corn from the chaff, so to speak.

        I fully endorse an Association of IT Professionals, using the accepted standards for admission: mentor and peer review. We have such associations in my country, and they have a huge amount of clout in the industry.

        • #3309618

          Spot On

          by kmhs_sa ·

          In reply to Certification as a stepping stone

          – after 20 years, I’m still learning. Some guys think they can be consultants or specialists after 5 years in a specific field/OS/discipline. Think again.

          Spot On. All it takes is one service pack or version changes and voila, it’s all gone to hell!

    • #3309782

      Opinion from behind of “Iron Wall”

      by josef_tisler ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I would real like to thank for such words and I must confess that you, “in the west” are definitely greatly ahead” of us. Here are thing much worse than you can imagine in this area. I work for iSeries and lot of that you wrote fully adhere to our position. Please go ahead and push it to the real profesionalism !!! Thank you

    • #3309775

      Only one solution

      by snow rabbit ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I can imagine your shock from finding out about the bad apples in IT. There is only one solution: replace them by competent and professional people. If you cannot find them in your country then look abroad. You do not have to go as far as India, there are also *plenty* of excellent people in Europe, especially if you can show a bit of flexibility in the short-term job demands.
      Last but not least: you have a responsibility too – when you hire (IT) professionals make clear from very beginning which behavior is not tolerated and stick to it.

      • #3308031

        Replace bad apples is easy to say

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to Only one solution

        My experience of IT departments is that the bad apples are also very good at becoming the favorite of the department manager. I’ve never understood this but I’ve seen it at almost every place that I’ve worked. I’ve held lots of jobs over the last couple of decades, mostly as a contract worker. In almost every case the biggest sociopath in the department is the IT manager’s favorite employee.

        So I say that the IT department managers share the blame of corporations having unethical employees.

        • #3309451

          Favouritism

          by snow rabbit ·

          In reply to Replace bad apples is easy to say

          You have a point here; weaknesses in management are also clearly exposed here. Especially tough if you need that specific client as a contract worker – it may well drive you mad…
          you have my sympathy.

    • #3309774

      They only have themselves to blame…

      by andrew.wright ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      “If I was a CEO and knew absolutely nothing about IT workers…”

      This is the root of the problem.

      In my experience, most CEO’s have no idea about IT. They think computers are things you just plug into the wall and they do what you need them to do. Anyone can operate/program/maintain a computer it’s a doddle!

      WRONG.

      But this is why they employ people with little or no experience or qualifications. Why should they pay high wages for a qualified ‘professional’ when anyone can do the job? Why waste money on training – it’s easy!

      In the company I currently work for we have a saying in the IT department – everyone’s an expert.

      We use this to describe users who tell you the solution to their IT problem when they ring for support, or try to repair their computer themselves (because they have opened the case on their PC at home) and cause more problems.

      These are the people who are bringing the profession down when they apply for, and are offered jobs in IT.

      In my opinion at the lowest level everyone who works with a PC should be the holder of a licence to do so. That is, they should be made to take a computer test much like you would a driving test to get a licence. If they do something bad then they should have their licence revoked and be made to re-take the test.

      Doing this may make more people realise that PC’s are not just toys, but complicated pieces of machinery to be taken seriously – especially when your business relies on them to function properly.

      Of course this is contrary to what the people at Microsoft/HP/Dell etc. would have you believe.

      Perhaps we should all buy Macs, as according to popular opinion you don’t have to know anything about computers to use one – oops I shouldn’t have said that 😉

      • #3308026

        Absolute Bull!

        by gothicgoblin ·

        In reply to They only have themselves to blame…

        I love the way the song is being sung here! Most of the complaints here are total bull! Firstly – MOST IT Staff are underpaid and abused! I know – I’m in constant contact with tons of my peers.

        CEO’s and HR Staff see and employ the best IT “BUY” and the lowest CTC bid… You want to pay low rate – expect the same proportion of service!

        Firstly – If CEO’s got off their high horse and made a little effort towards getting computer literate, it would help. When an IT person speaks to them – and they don’t understand – it’s suddenly – The IT person is trying to act too intelligent! Which is absolute crap ? the explanation cannot get any simpler than what he heard ? especially since he ?employed? an IT member that can communicate on ALL levels???? IT staff are expected to know accounts, creditors, debtors, estimating – all procedures to keep the organisation afloat including their field of hardware & software – wouldn’t it make sense for a CEO to also know some IT? ? If you cannot beat them ? Join them!

    • #3309773

      Some Of This Is Doubtful (At The Very Least)

      by crond ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Particularly …

      “A professional jumps into difficult assignments. An amateur tries to get out of difficult work.”

      The problem with IT amateurs usually is that they will just jump straight in to difficult assignments (mainly because they are sufficiently amateur that they are unaware that they are difficult). A true professional considers the assignment carefully before starting to apply their professional expertise to the problem. That careful consideration may even extend to refusing an assignment whose assigners are making unrealistic expectations about what is to be achieved and how, and what the cost is to be.

      Also

      “A professional uses higher emotional tones: Enthusiasm, cheerfulness, interest, contentment. An amateur uses lower emotional tones: anger,
      hostility, resentment, fear, victim.”

      Alas, a true professional should attempt to avoid emotional considerations having any impact on their professional activities. (It is one of the marks of a professional.) Enthusiasm in the IT field is usually an attribute of amateurs; one that can quite frequently degenerate into some of the lower emotional tones described.

      [One should, of course, always be wary of taking advice on how to be professional from organisations promoting the views of a (professional?) cultist.]

      • #3309068

        On the last line —

        by rknrlkid ·

        In reply to Some Of This Is Doubtful (At The Very Least)

        I was wary of using that as a quote, because I do fully know of the reputation of the organization. However, these are not original with them, but can be found in other sources too. (I used to hear these over and over when I was in the military.) That particular web page had the most reasonable compilation I could find on short notice.

        Like any generality, there are exceptions, but as science teaches us, exceptions do not make the rule.

    • #3309772

      Differing priorities

      by also frustrated! ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I.T people see themselves as having different priorities to the rest of the business. This is a delusion.
      They often think only as far as the next upgrade or project, some projects are dubious in their necessity because departments don’t cooperate at the planning stages. This means that a matching up of capabilities of systems and actual need for them at ground level is not clearly defined or understood.
      Professionalism is when an entire organisation integrates to achieve the best course for its way ahead and works cohesively to agreed priorities and timescales. To damn the I.T department alone for not doing much more than respond to the messes created by an adhoc approach to forward planning, constant changes in software, increasing threats fron worm/virus writers, budget restrictions on I.T training etc, is to ignore the truth that I.T needs to better understand the basic needs of business and vice versa.

      • #3308028

        Absolutely right

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to Differing priorities

        Working in enterprise IT I have over the years often wondered and even asked coworkers and managers how certain IT department operating details had been created. Example: how do you know that the Accounting Department has its end-of-month process closed by the evening of the last day of the month? Did anyone in IT ever ask the Accounting Department manager? No. What about if the end of the month is on a weekend day or if it is on a holiday? How do these factors affect the Accounting Department procedures? Nobody in the IT department EVER asks the managers of the other departments how these other departments work and what they need the IT department to do. The result is that you may have garbage on your end-of-month data backups that are being stored for many years. Nobody in IT cares about that. They only want to appear to be going through the motions of doing their job. They never ask if they are doing the things that the business actually needs to have done.

        • #3309536

          Sorry you’re in such a crappy environment

          by -loanman ·

          In reply to Absolutely right

          Because where I am, people in the IT department (of which I am a manager) ALWAYS asks the other departments how they work and how IT can best support them.

          For example, we know our Accounting department is done with their end-of-month processing because they tell us when they are done. No guess-work, no CYA needed. And no busy work (what you called “going through the motions of doing their job”); we are all too busy doing actual productive work.

    • #3309766

      Fish Rot from the Head

      by goluskab ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      In my experience, top management is more corrupt and venial than any IT staff. If IT staff tries to keep ethical, it is undermined by the CEO and other management.

      For instance, in Michigan, the governor started an IT consolidation, giving many multi-millions to EDS. Then, his term over, governor Engler went to work for EDS, his reward for his corruption.

      Years later, is the IT consolidation complete? No. Did the new governor, a Democrat, reverse or prosecute? No.

      And, now the former head of the Michigan DNR, Mr. Cool, has gone to work for a developer who won favorable concessions from the DNR when Cool was director.

      No IT can be ethical when the top of the system is corrupt.

      • #3308027

        I agree

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to Fish Rot from the Head

        At the corporate level I’ve seen IT department managers ignore obvious problems in favor of playing politics with the people under their management. A lot of people in management lack the ethics and skills to perform their job correctly. Unfortunately they are not fired because their own manager does the same thing, all the way up the management ladder to the CEO. I’ve said for many years that American corporations thrive in spite of their managers, not because of them.

      • #3307952

        The workers mimic the management

        by 1231 ·

        In reply to Fish Rot from the Head

        I think it’s a case of the workers mimic the management of the company. I worked for a service company that was started in the guy’s garage. They did data entry at home and rented mainframe space until they could buy their own. “Hans” built the company up to a staff of 400-500 in three US cities and an office in London. He considered each employee a member of his family and, while he didn’t pay top dollar in salaries, he treated everyone well with Summer picnics, Christmas parties for the kids of the employees, turkeys for the families and bonuses. People worked long, hard days to help him succeed.

        Year’s later, after his retirement, a self-proclaimed brilliant MBA, “Mark,” took the helm of the company and decided he was going to take us from a 3 million dollar a year company to a 30 million dollar a year company. He decided the obstacles to this was that the “professionals” weren’t working from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, had messy desks and that the dress code was too lax. He proceeded to cancel contracts with small clients because they “didn’t make enough money.” Then he started to nickel-and-dime the big customers, which they didn’t like and went elsewhere. He 10X change in the business occurred, but in the opposite direction.

        Myself and my co-workers in the technical side, we didn’t care either. Why take phone calls at 3:00am when you still have to be at work at 8:00? Why keep docuemntation when it seemed to add to a “cluttered desk?” Why meet try to meet deadlines when it didn’t matter to the management? THEY got THEIR bonuses, but not the people doing the work.

        I got out of there 8 years ago and work for a decent company that respects the staff and their effort. They don’t pay the highest wages but the expectations are clear, the dress code/hours are flexible, but the deadlines are mandatory. They’ve never missed putting an issue out in 52 years.

    • #3308033

      Replace IT Workers with CEOs

      by bob_carlton ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Recent history shows that CEO’s are leaving many IT workers to come up with creative answers while the CEO’s keep raising their pay. What is the latest CEO to IT worker salary ratio? 200 to 1?

      From personal experience most of these people are trying to save their jobs while IT management looks the other way because they do not supply adequate licenses to their employees to get the job done!

    • #3308030

      Amen!

      by dahc521 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      If you are working in IT because you are the guy who can get a new modem to work and wow your family and friends, why don’t you prove them right by getting a certification? For those of us who are running tech companies, we DO care about those things. Your resume gets “overlooked” far more than you know because of a lack of education. Wouldn’t it be great to have a job based on your merits and accomplishments rather than fluff? Wouldn’t it be great to sit in an interview with complete confidence rather than just hoping that they avoid the questions that show your shortcomings? It will help all of us to be more successful in the long run.

      • #3308023

        Test questions may not be fair

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to Amen!

        There are at least two problems with requiring certifications based on written tests. The first problem is that some people do not perform well on tests even though they are highly skilled. The second problem is that the people creating the tests may not ask fair questions or may word the questions poorly.

        The first point above has been a problem in cookie cutter education for a thousand years. Many people in education recognize the problem. I won’t waste space discussing this any further.

        The second point above has several important factors.

        First, some people who create tests get a kick out of wording questions in such a way as to trick test takers into answering the question incorrectly. I saw a lot of this in high school and in college. I believe that this was prevelent in the first series of tests that Microsoft created for their certifications. A lot of people at that time also thought the same thing.

        Second, some questions may not realistically assess your real world problem solving abilities. Example: what is the point of knowing the list of default privileges of the Power Users group in W2K? There is no practical reason to memorize this list. You can look it up and you can even redefine the list of privileges for this user group. There is no practical reason to ask this question and then providing four similar lists of privileges as possible answers.

        Third, the people who create and administer these tests have a conflict of interest. They make money every time someone takes a test. It is, therefore, in their best interest to have as many people as possible take each test several times. This conflict of interest can, and will, compromise the integrity of the test because the people creating and administering these tests have multiple goals. They want you to take each test several times regardless of your expertise.

        Fourth, written tests are unable to assess a person’s ability to analyze a problem and take decisive steps to diagnose and resolve a problem. Many people in the computer support field completely lack any system analysis skills. They cannot understand how the underlying problem is caused be a failure in some part of the larger system. Many computer support people approach problem solving by blindly trying one thing after another without trying to understand how the problem was caused. They just don’t get it and they never will. A written test really cannot asses this skill, which is the most important skill for any computer support person to develop.

        All of these problems undermine the usefullness of testing the skills of people who want some kind of formal assessment of their qualifications to perform the job.

        • #3307912

          What a load of crap

          by keyguy13 ·

          In reply to Test questions may not be fair

          First, they ask “trick questions” to see if you can THINK, not just vomit information.

          Second, a written test can and does assess problem solving skills for many professions. Your ability to read and analyze a scenario in a written question can easily identify critical thinking and probelm solving.

          Try again.

        • #3309646

          Not only that…

          by mlayton ·

          In reply to What a load of crap

          But how many of us have had to respond to a written request for help, and RFP, or other thing – ability to analyze and appropriately assess the written memo/request is critical in this field.

        • #3309529

          You both need to try again

          by -loanman ·

          In reply to Not only that…

          These were some excellent points about the shortcomings of relying solely on written exams to determine skills. I’ve always thought the exams should be accompanied by labwork; give someone some real problems to fix instead of a poorly-worded multiple-guess text. You naysayers evidently don’t know crap about the subject.

          Let us know where you work so we can avoid your respective companies like the plague.

        • #3309522

          Actually, maybe I missed the point…

          by mlayton ·

          In reply to You both need to try again

          …I agree that one should not rely SOLELY on written exams. However, there is a place for them. If you check other posts, you will see I am an advocate for SANS current format, which include both written exams and a practical which includes labwork prior to issuing certification. If all certifications followed this process (heck, if all graduates had to follow this process prior to graduating) the caliber of people entering ANY profession would increase.

        • #3309521

          What I meant was…

          by mlayton ·

          In reply to Actually, maybe I missed the point…

          …the original author said “based on written tests” – If he meant “based solely on written tests” my reply would have been different.

        • #3309493

          Well, unfortunately…

          by -loanman ·

          In reply to Actually, maybe I missed the point…

          …I don’t check all of a posters other posts before responding to a comment.

          Since the vast majority of certs ARE “solely” based on written exams, and the weaknesses of relying “solely” on written exams are what we are talking about, I’m curious as to how your answer would have been different if you had understood “solely.”

        • #3309459

          Since I was asked…

          by mlayton ·

          In reply to Test questions may not be fair

          Here’s a response had your opening line read “There are at least two problems with requiring certifications SOLELY based on written tests. ”

          Basing certifications SOLELY on written tests is always a mistake. I support the SANS model, which requires NOT ONLY a written test (in some cases two) but also a practical/lab assignment. There is definitely a place for written tests , however.

          Your first point is valid. Test-taking is a stressful event for many people, and the test-taking environment play large factors into things for many people.

          However, to be competent in an organization, the ability to read and analyze and interpret what a person may want is an important skill. Memos, helpdesk equests, RFQs, and many many many other examples IT people deal with in the business world often don’t have as much information as we need, or are filled with questions worded in a way to make it unclear what the deliverable is. Being able to think these through and NOT fly off at the most obvious (and probably not correct) answer is a valid skill. And while memorizing some lists, I agree, is not practical, there are some features where you don’t want to be sitting in front of a CEO and saying “I can just go look it up”. You want the answer. And the CEO/Board thinks you are more competent if you know the answer. Also, that brings the question in…where do you look it up? While Google is my friend as much as anyone’s, I am aware of misinformation and “armchair experts” that spout off on lots of different subjects…and are often wrong. Perhaps better questions are “where would you find this information?” and make sure the certification application can list reputable sources. This is one of the reasons I always stress to my team “I don’t expect you to know everything. I DO expect you to know what you don’t know, Honestly tell me you don’t know, and know a reputable source to find the answer.” I think your third point is valid but maybe doesn’t even go far enough, in that the tests often are NOT updated as often as the product, which means that some certs are based on technology that no longer applies. This sucks. And your fourth point is valid to a point, but also goes back to asking sometimes the wrong questions. If the questions are asking about theory and are appropriately asking about this then this should provide the user building blocks to understand and analyze problems on systems going forward – regardless of new technologies, many of the building blocks are the same.

    • #3308024

      Professional and Amateur

      by trevorbax ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I work in a civil engineering company having cross trained into IS from an electrical engineering past. I see this issue of professionalism quite frequently and it is related to the easy access to computing systems.

      An “amateur” can easily open Access and start building a database with no particular understanding of how the product works or the restrictions that will become apparent as the application scales etc. He quite often starts this project because the IS group was approached and quoted a percieved ridiculous amount of money for the work because they DO understand the implications. Somebody rejects this cost and says hey I know Tom can do this he knows a bit of access…….. Next thing you know one of your critical business systems is running on an inappropriate product; poorly supported; Tom is doing a year out visit to every nation on the planet and the documentation for the product is written on two postage stamps he has in his wallet!

      I try to explain this to civil engineers by pointing out that I am a practical guy, I can happily go to the DIY shop and buy bricks so if somebody came to me and asked me to build them their vision of a Hotel I could do it for them. I would poor some concrete down as a foundation ‘cos I know you need one, then I would buy some bricks and pile them up on one another. Finally I would cover it in render and paint it a pretty colour. This would look no different from the Architect designed building these engineers might come up with, it might even work in the same way…… but would you want to stay there in a high wind?

      In truth I would never build that building because I would TRUST the architect and engineers advising me and pay what they feel is necessary for a safe structure, and therein lies the Nub. We have spent so many years pulling the wool over peoples eyes that they no longer believe a word we say! Until we are trusted as professional people who are working for the interest of our business not our own pleasure we will never be able to change this situation.

      • #3308018

        Here is a practical example

        by stress junkie ·

        In reply to Professional and Amateur

        Several months ago ‘The Register’, an IT news site, reported that the Human Genome Project had run into a problem with their stored data. It seems that they had chosen to store their data in a Microsoft Access database. When the database had reached a certain size the data started to become corrupted.

        Here is an example of a project that cost the tax payers millions of dollars to discover certain information. The leaders of that project decided to entrust the storage of that data to someone who, apparently, did not have the expertise to do the job properly. The result was loss of data that had cost a lot of money to develop.

        I don’t know the inner workings of the Human Genome Research Project but it sounds to me like the database administrator was not chosen for their technical abilities.

        • #3308006

          We had a similar issue

          by stevenberkholz ·

          In reply to Here is a practical example

          We had a internal developer who was supporting the automation of a mechanical design package(UG).

          He needed a database to store a bunch of data that 200+ users would be connected to all day long.
          He was writing it in VB and had it accessing an MS Access MDB file.

          I heard what he was doing and volunteered the use of our SQL server. I had extra space, processing power and is licensed for every PC.

          He refused to use it even though I explained that he could still write it to Access and that we could just “Upsize” it to SQL and change the DSN after the fact. That he did not have to learn anything new, nor do anything differently.

          He worked on it for 2 months, put it in production and it was scrapped a week later because of issues with 200+ people accessing the MBD.

          My last sentence was going to bring that back on topic, but now I do not see how. I must just be venting. 😉

        • #3309613

          more about We had a similar issue

          by trevorbax ·

          In reply to We had a similar issue

          Just out of interest, what was the sponsoring party’s (manager/board/ceo) view of this failure to function?

          If it goes with my experience either no comment was made and the company happily vented 2 months of cash or you got blamed for it ‘cos the IS system could not support the demands of the application!

          We are always gonna have this all the time that people like your guy are belived to be knowledgeable and allowed to continue with no business case or stagegate reviews etc. Feel free to vent ‘cos I ain’t seeing it getting any better soon 🙁

    • #3308013

      speak for yourelf

      by wsl91 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I work as an IT professional because I am one. I have certifications and continue to pursue more for the knowledge that comes with them. I work with a number of folks that I would consider professionals by any measurement. Singling out the IT field as a bunch of untrained hooligans is pretty short sided. I don’t know where you do work but I submitt you can look in any dept, in any company, and and find untrained, non certified, non motivated people. Not so long ago, companies were screaming for IT help and hired anyone into IT that could help. Now that IT has become more of a maintenace of business activity it is probably time to thin the herd, but then most profitable companies do that anyway. Have you had any interactions any Sales “Profesionals”?
      Blaming the troops for failure of a group completely misses the role of management, to lay out clear attainable expectations, help people grow professionally, and make sure all activity contributes to the success of their company plan.

    • #3308010

      Many people in IT should not be

      by stevenberkholz ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I also have been amazed at some of the responses I see here.
      I recall having seen several that suggested releasing virus’ to prove a point. What????
      I admit that several years ago, I wrote and (fake sender) emailed to the users, a quick VB runtime that opened a flashing window that said “This could have been a virus” and continued on with our usual list of risks, precautions and reasonings.
      But, this is very different from releasing a virus.

      I agree that if my CEO or CFO were to start reading these posts, I would get ten questions a day about these issues and we would most likely hire a full time auditor.

    • #3308007

      The honest person is the social deviant

      by stress junkie ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I love the way that you phrased that sentiment. I have run across this problem in my own direct experience of working in the IT industry. I have already posted some of these exeriences as replies to posts in this thread so I won’t repeat them. There’s plenty more to talk about without repetition.

      I was recently talking about this subject with my sisters. As I expressed to them, I am sick to death of working with managers and coworkers who don’t have any interest in performing their job correctly. They have no interest in ethics or in their legal and fuduciary responsibilities.

      A few years ago I was working in a financial institution in a magor American city. The IT department was fragmented between people who ran Microsoft servers and the people who ran all of the other platforms used as servers. I worked in the second group. We kept all of our nightly backups off site. The people running the Microsoft servers kept all of their nightly backups in the same building and on the same floor as their servers. When the 9/11 attack happened I tried to convince the Microsoft administrators to put their nightly backups into the same box that I put my groups’ backups. It would have been very simple. We already had the off site storage vendor and I was doing all of the paperwork. The Microsoft server administrators weren’t interested because it would cause a delay when they were asked to restore a file from backup. I then asked the person to whom I was speaking how they thought that the business would recover the daily account information if an airplane came flying in the window. He said that if an airplane flew into our building during business hours that he wouldn’t be the one trying to recover customer account information so he didn’t care if it was possible. I tried to explain that it was our responsibility to ensure that SOMEONE could reconstruct the customer accounts, even if he was not going to be that person. He didn’t care. Amazing. Our business managed the personal savings of many people and he didn’t care if the records were lost as long as he wasn’t the one having to deal with the problem.

      That kind of thinking makes me sick. Unfortunately I have found this kind of thinking to be very common in our profession.

    • #3307995

      kinda makes you curious.

      by husp1 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      strange but almost all have forgotten the main axiom of america today “somthing for nothing”. for as long as I can remember we have been a do it yourself based socity. Example if I had a friend that will replace my water pump in my car for a 12 pack of beer and I know that he can acomplish this correctly then why pay a “Certified mech.” to do the work at a much higher cost? Just by having a peice of paper behind you dosn’t mean that you know what your doing. I have little or no knowladge of networking but I have had more “hands on” experiance with replaceing parts then the next guy. should I go for certs? Hell no! I found that most people don’t give a rats butt what certs you have as long as your solution works. And for me to waste money to be certified in a area that most “End users” don’t use is pointless. with a high glute in the field to waste the high price that most schools charge is not very sensable. A recent quote from a school for my training alone would be at least $25.000 a sum of money that would take an eternaty to pay for at a $10 per hour job. the only other possabilty would be for a company that needs these skills is that they should pay for the training and take the financial responabilty themselves. I spend more time working on “Johnies” home PC. removing spyware and virus (Viri?) is there a cert for that? granted my skills are above the average user but I don’t need to wear a tie or suit to work,I have no desk,Hell I don’t even have an office butI service as many as 20 PC’s a week. Proffessional? you be the judge. each of us has our own standerds that we try to force on others. perhaps if we spent more time evaluating ourselves and not others then we would be proffessional.

    • #3307990

      Certification is the answer that elevates the industry

      by mjost ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      In my humble opinion, Education and certification breeds professionalism. Case in point: I had a law class in college and the attorney teaching the course stated to us students: “I am going to teach you enough to know when to call me!” Sound words for understanding human nature. Business decision makers would benefit from drinking from this side of the well.

    • #3307989

      Has this topic struck a nerve?

      by hwebster ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Wow….

      First to make my position clear..

      I am equally offended by the disgusting actions of a signifcant segment of the business, legal, government and unions in North America.

      At the core is Greed and the expectation that I can take as much as I want as fast as I can if I can and not get caught. I am absoltuley feed up with this BS and cannot tolerate the lack of ethics and committment that I consider essential for any TEAM to survive.

      TEAMWORK – ANother corporate pile of BS. Most can’t and will never understand the true dynamics of a team. Organzations spout off about team work and fall right back into the old do as I say not as I do syndrome.

      Professionalism – Boils down to knowing what to say and doing what you say and meeting committments. Certifications don’t make a professional. IT’s a nice way to set expectations but I’ve met many people who say that the certified people fell short of those expectations.

      Greed… nuff said

      IT – Can’t do everything. The busienss HAS to be an equal partner. Biggest issues I’ve run into are businesses that expect IT to do it all, and consultants that charge much and deliver little. SOme of this could be considered criminal BUT no one stands up and deals with it.

      Which brings us to the lawyers and legal systems. IS O.J. guilty – didn’t seem to be the issue.. Money talks and the guilty walk and the lawyers buy new toys.

      All I have is my integrity and reputation. I will not compromise them. Unfortunatley we have seen that the organizations we trusted to oversee things we’re themselves untrustworthy. Seen Arthur Anderson lately?

    • #3307986

      Absolute absurdity

      by bill.beckett ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Ridiculous article and an irresponsible breach of professional journalism. You’re basing the entire IT industry on posts that you see on this board?

      Completely juvenile.

      First off, I’m sure some of the posts on this board don’t even come from IT professionals. Second, how far reaching do you think this board is? Do you think it truly respresents 100% of the IT professionals out there, or even the majority?

      Lastly, maybe some people come here to just vent. Maybe the frustation and stress of their job needs an outlet and they choose their postings as a release.

      I can say that your article does not represent me nor any of the IT people that I’ve worked with nor any of the hundreds of people that I communicate with on a daily basis via other lists.

      If anything, IT salaries are and have been coming down, training provided the company is becoming more scarce and the responsilbities are increasing. Frankly, I haven’t seen in any professional environment that I’ve been in contact with ANY of the points that you attempted to make.

      You should be taken out and flogged for writing then posting the article on a public forum.

      • #3308682

        In response

        by rknrlkid ·

        In reply to Absolute absurdity

        First off, there is no professional jounalism here. This is a board! My post was a commentary about a different thread that had become to big to answer.

        I am fully aware that what is on these boards does not represent 100% of IT workers. But it does represent those that post. It was to these posters that I was writing.

        The sole purpose of it was to generate some thought and comment, and I was successful. However, your venomous attack is more juvenile than my attempt to create conversation about an issue that IS a problem in these threads.

    • #3307980

      If I was a CEO and knew absolutely nothing about IT workers,

      by ruthie56 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Perhaps we should [before diving in] start with one of the first parts of the [email version] article:
      “If I was a CEO and knew absolutely nothing about IT workers, …”

      I think that says it ALL. Why do you have the job?

      • #3307820

        very good point

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to If I was a CEO and knew absolutely nothing about IT workers,

        The author of the main post sounds very much like a Pointy Haired Boss that knows absolutely nothing about IT workers, professional or otherwise.

      • #3294679

        Nail on the Head!!!

        by drew ·

        In reply to If I was a CEO and knew absolutely nothing about IT workers,

        “If I was a CEO and knew absolutely nothing about IT
        workers, …”

        This statement says it all. Most CEO’s no very little
        about the inerworkings of the of the tech-side of a
        business, and prefer it that way. It allows them to turn a
        blind eye to the $$$ problems that moral issues in IT
        bring up.

    • #3307978

      Unions are Great????

      by mikencove ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Yep- a union ia agreat idea. Look at how much good they have done for the quality of American-made automobiles, the efficiency of the government (almost all government employees are in a union), and the profitability of the airlines industry.
      Unions exist for two reasons. first, they protect incompetent, ineffective workers from being fired. Second, they pick the pockets of these same workers to pay for union management, union consultants and union perks. None of this addresses the core issues brought up in this post.
      There are professional societies (American Society for Quality is one) that encourage people to set and maintain high standards of professionalism on the job, as well as encouraging management to maintain high quality standards in their policies, procedures, and products. These are the societies that are going to make a difference in the way we work.
      Management is half the problem, at least, but each of us knows what is right and can do that if we choose to do so.
      Just my $0.02 worth.

      • #3309524

        Don’t forget unions’ other job

        by -loanman ·

        In reply to Unions are Great????

        Making sure all the workers get paid twice what the market would normally support so the goods produced by them cost more.

    • #3307975

      It’s not always IT’s fault

      by jdracy ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      A speaker told the story of a man who complained constantly about what a miserable person his wife was. When asked why he married such a hag in the first place, he replied, “Oh, she wasn’t that way when I married her.”

      “So, what you’re saying is you made her that way.”

      The same holds true with IT people. From my personal experience, I can say that bureaucracy, job security, inept management, and power hunger do quite a bit to build those attitudes into otherwise capable professionals.

      “…they make no effort to
      improve themselves through education or by becoming certified in what they do…” I went to school 2 nights/week for 18 months, with the company paying half the tuition. After graduating with a 99.5% grade average, I was told that I couldn’t get any projects using those skills because “you don’t have any experience.”

      “…they would not know what was happening on my server system because apparently no one keeps documentation…” In my last corporate position I brought in examples of how we could improve on (or, more accurately, create) our non-existant documentation. My efforts went nowhere because my boss already understood the system and had no interest in documenting any of it. More than once, I have run into people who refuse to document any part of their systems because they felt it would compromise their own job security.

      I could give plenty more examples, but I don’t have time. I’m out of the corporate world, working on my own, and have absolutely no desire to go back there. My creativity was stifled, my ideas ignored, my intelligence insulted by management who would tell us everything was just peachy, then fire a third of the staff 2 weeks later.

      Don’t be quite so quick to blame IT for problems that have other origens. Sometimes you made them that way.

    • #3307970

      What a load of crap.

      by spankyb ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      From a person who regularly “hires” people. Certifications and College Degrees don’t make a professional. I?m sick and tired of hearing this BS about certifications. Here?s the truth on certifications, they are revenue streams for the Manufactures. It?s a product they make money on just like the software or hardware they sell you. Okay, Get over it.

      I feel like I just read a temper tantrum from a person who didn?t get the raise they wanted because they just spent $6K on a useless Microsoft certification.

      I?ve been in this business for 22 years and yes it was previously a professional career. Then somewhere along the way payroll clerks and accountants decided they could make more money if they went out and ?bought? themselves some sort of IT certification and became ?computer professionals?. I don?t mean to insult anyone here, some people that have done that are pretty damn good IT people. But that isn?t my point. My point is, just because you have a piece of paper (or a sheep skin) that says you?re suppose to know something, doesn?t mean you do.

      That?s what has ruined this industry. In the 70?s and 80?s the entrance barrier to this profession was much higher. And you didn?t get in by passing a test down at the Pro-Metric franchise. You had to prove yourself or convince someone to take you under his or her wing and show you the ropes.

      • #3307939

        Really?

        by rschreiber ·

        In reply to What a load of crap.

        I suggest that YOU go to http://www.iccp.org and get a CBIP Mastery certificate. Total cost is $750 and most employers will cover it. Once you’ve done that then re-post here to show that you’re a professional. I’d also be interested in your opion of the ICCP?

        ps. These exams are tough.

      • #3307851

        Here, Here!

        by biginjin ·

        In reply to What a load of crap.

        Well said! I also am a twenty year experienced IT Professional.
        If I had spent the time and money required to stay certified in every product Microsoft has introduced I’d be the poorest, smartest, dumbass on Earth.
        I guess I’d also have to be certified in our telephone systems, Routers, copiers, and every printer and plotter we use in this company and I’ve probably left something out! Oh, I forgot to mention Netware and Linux, too.
        I’ve got a life outside this office and I already spend more of that time here working than I want to. I would have to have a clone to get all the certifications required to be a “Proffessional” according to the person who launched this insidious rant! You were exactly right when you said ” I feel like I just read a temper tantrum”! I felt exactly the same way!

      • #3307697

        A righteous heap of foul smelling excrement

        by glitcha1 ·

        In reply to What a load of crap.

        I AGREE!

        I got into the IT industry with no qualifications. I fronted up to a local company who were hiring “apprentices” and said “My Mum taught me to program in basic when I was eight, can I’ve a job?”

        And after three weeks of daily calls, I got a job there and got shown “the ropes” and with a bit of initiative and all those things I wish I could hire today, I made it quite a decent and rewarding job.

        The problem is I can’t find people who want to make themselves an interesting job. And with labour hiring and firing laws the way they are, I can’t sack a bludger.

    • #3307968

      The feeling is mutual, but there is a stigma

      by dbucyk ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I am an IT professional. I do not use illegal software at all on my computers. I uphold high standards when it comes to learning and training.

      Even though I self-schooled and wrote my certification exams for A+ and Network+ and passed them, people have a stigma about people who learn like that.

      I have had many comments that people in these fields do make alot of money. But I am caught between a rock and a hard place. Society wants me to attend a technicial school to get my training. I think that this is nonsense.

      Yes, I admit there are things a technicial school will teach you that you may not be able to learn on your own, however, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the capacity to learn.

      When an IT professional becomes certified, there shouldn’t be such a thing as a union, but yet there should be guidelines that the IT professional should follow very strictly.

      There are people out there who are willing to do the documentation and additional learning to make the computing/networking of the customers business run smoothly.

      I know myself when I encounter a person’s computer or a networking problem, if there is no documentation, I will start some. I’ll do the necessary research via internet, vendor websites, white papers, technet, etc. to find the answer and document the problem and solution so as if I am not the one later on doing the servicing (or even if I am), it is common courtesy and it speeds up for future upgrades/troubleshooting.

      There are flies in the ointment. True, but some people in the field excel and want to learn because they have a passion for it, other will like to do it because there is always a challenge.

      Either way you look at it, assumptions should not be made whether you self-schooled or are not certified (although it is a good idea so as you can show your clients/employer).

      Maybe some people out there are in it for just the money and they try to take shortcuts and those people, I agree, should find another profession because we as IT professionals have a standard to follow and those people whose hearts or interest are not in it should look elsewhere for different employment to satisfy their needs.

    • #3307967

      Ridiculous…

      by jzuber ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      If IT is supposedly lacking in Professionals who is determining the members of “IT”. Apparently it’s not any of the members in our IT dept. Companies have the choice to hire professionals or hooligans, you can only get quality if you look for quality. And I think it’s absurd to think that a CEO is going to look at IT and consider this to be the place for fraud in the work force. When was the last time you heard of an IT professional appearing before a grand jury for bankrupting a company. We’ll leave that to the “other professionals”.

    • #3307966

      You’ve all missed the point

      by golfloon ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      The root of the problem is quite a basic one it is the law of supply and demand when demand outstrips supply two things happen the value of a commodity or resource rises, hence salaries go up. Secondly people start seeking sources outside of traditional markets hence bringing people in who are neither capable or competent to do the job. This happened a lot in the late 1990’s with outsourcing companies who needed bums on seats and will happen again when the market picks up.

      Professionalism and ethics are down to the individual if you are expect to be rewarded for it if you ain’t wait until the next downturn in the market.

      • #3307955

        The REAL PROBLEM IS CEO’s & Management

        by mjohnson ·

        In reply to You’ve all missed the point

        The real problem is that CEO’s, CIO’s, CTO’s, E.I.E.I.O’s

        What it NOW & Cheap! I have clients that want the world, but when they hear the $’s to give them a functioning & stable platform, all hell breaks loose! “Why does it cost so much, what can we do to make it cheaper?” When you make it cheaper then it’s “Why is it so slow?? or some other complaint.
        This forces some workers to use invalid licenses, or perform other “non professional” acts just to keep management happy & off their backs.
        All professions have people that are more proficient, and less proficient, this does not make them less professional. The less proficient just needs more time to come up to a greater level of proficiency.

    • #3307965

      Broad generalizations are generally problematic…

      by jrkenyon ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I’ve observed both professional and unprofessional IT staff. I’ve worked along side and had IT staff work for me that were the most ethical, hard-working people I’ve encountered in any profession — people who don’t consider the personal consequences of raising the “we shouldn’t do this” flag (e.g. install unlicensed software) to senior management; people who work until the job is done, not until the dinner bell rings; people who pitch in to help because they have something to contribute instead of saying “it’s not in my job description.” I’ve also encountered the reverse. On the whole, it IT staff I’ve been associated with have been hard-working, ethical people who enjoy what they do.

      I’ve also had the opportunity to observe senior management in both the private and public sectors — the level of ethical bankruptcy and work ethic in this arena leaves something to be desired. This is not to say that I’ve only seen lazy executives with poor ethics — it is to say that there are both kinds of people in all areas of work, not just IT “staff.” Consider the impact (think Enron, Tyco, WorldComm and the like) of ethics (or the lack thereof) at the executive level. To those much is given, much is expected.

      Sounds like this thread was started by someone with an axe to grind.

      • #3307961

        Amen

        by bill.beckett ·

        In reply to Broad generalizations are generally problematic…

        Amen to that. The CEO’s and owners of companies that I’ve known (not just read about the Enron’s of this world) are the quintessential “ethically bankrupt” people that you speak about.

        Definitely sounds like an axe to grind.

      • #3308627

        Generalizations

        by rayg314 ·

        In reply to Broad generalizations are generally problematic…

        And there was a time when a generalization of CEO’s might have been adversely influenced by the Enron scandal.

        If a CEO reads these postings and has concerns, he should consider bringing in an independent reviewer. That would either assuage his concerns, or give him the ammunition to change his IT staff.

    • #3307963

      Certs don’t equal professional

      by fgarvin ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Having a certification does not make you a professional. Being a professional means providing a quality service in a reponsible manner. There are other ways to acquire the knowledge required to do this than pay some organization thousands of dollars. There is a time honored tradition of On the job training. Apprenticeship is more often a better way of learning.

      • #3307957

        Certs are something physical people can see and understand

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Certs don’t equal professional

        While many Certs aren’t worth the paper they are printed on, many people NEED to see some evidence of your abilites.

        If you are great at your job but can’t pass a Cert test then maybe you don’t know as much about the field as you thought?

        There are lots of techs out there that often are very bright people, but the people who do the hiring spent a lot of time in school generally.

        Because of this, they have a blotted value of degrees and Certs. If you want the job (and the pay), you have to give them what they want.

        Maintain the illusion of respectability by looking the part. Too many times it is the “pretty boys” that advance.

        Guess I need to pretty up some.

        • #3307945

          Yes, But………

          by fgarvin ·

          In reply to Certs are something physical people can see and understand

          Your point on Certifications is valid, however the lack of them does not make the tech any less of a professional.

        • #3307909

          Professional is half perception

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Yes, But………

          If people don’t have a way of determining your skills because they don’t know what you do or you are a new hire they need something to go on.

          Not saying the Cert makes the Tech, just helps you recieve some of the credit you deserve.

          Same as dressing nicely. Doesn’t make you work better, but gets you job so you can work.

          Many Techs don’t have Certs and are GREAT at what they do, just don’t plan on being taken seriously by people outside your group.

          Just like in all comunication, know who your talking to and talk in a way they understand.

          They understand degrees and certs.

          Also, most employers will pay for you to take the cert tests. So why wouldn’t you?

          Peace FGarvin. I am not trying to take anything away from you or anyone else in any way or form.
          Just trying to point out anything that can help people advance or even get that first job, ya know?

    • #3307962

      Sage Code of Ethics

      by korbyn ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I lived by this code long before I every found this site. Sums it all up.

      http://sageweb.sage.org/ethics.mm

      K.

      • #3307958

        Wow, my thinking exactly!

        by mjost ·

        In reply to Sage Code of Ethics

        Glad someone codified it.

      • #3307871

        Is There One of These for Management?

        by netman1958 ·

        In reply to Sage Code of Ethics

        That sounds good. I wonder if there is one of these codes around somewhere that applies to Executives/Management?

      • #3307808

        Exactly!

        by mavv ·

        In reply to Sage Code of Ethics

        Man, I really like this link! I printed it off immediately. I have the same outlook as this document but this solidifies it for all to see! You are right…sums it all up.

        • #3309528

          Topic of Ethics

          by korbyn ·

          In reply to Exactly!

          I believe Max Lucado is writting, or has written a book on business ethics, but essentially there is no such thing; Either you have ethics or you don’t. There isn’t a seperate set of ethics for business people and another set for housewifes… You have them or you don’t.

          I’ve printed it off and also submitted it to the helpdesk superiour, for adoption of it hopefully.

    • #3307960

      Kudos

      by toucan ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      There ethics codes in other professions that fail to prevent abuses and unethical behavior. There are standards of certification and/or education to meet that then fail to enfore or instill ethics. Self enforcement by the industry? Can you say Lord of the Flies?

      IT is suffering growing pains that other sectors have worked through already. Consider the hucksters that travelled the countryside at turn of the century selling snake oil remedies for every medical problem. Or the reckless excesses of the emerging oil industry through the early 1900’s.

      As a collective, we do ourselves great harm living up to the IT stereotype. Aloof and arrogant, our customers are reticent to come for assistance if we always seem put out by the request. A business analyst once commented on the demise of Hughes Aircraft, “elegant solutions – technically arrogant.” Are we condemed to that path?

      I suggest that IT folks should be less hasty with commentary, complaint and endless diatribes and concentrate on SOLUTIONS.

      BTW, if that workbench is yours and yours alone, who cares what it looks like. The community lab, data center and corporate assets should reflect the organization and efficiency that we are supposed to bring to the table. Your respect, influence in the company and salary will increase when the boss WANTS to show clients and friends HIS IT operations center.

    • #3307949

      Very disappointed in certified tech’s

      by data-ware ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      The people i hire don’t always have to be certified. As a matter of fact i would hire a person with experience over a person with a piece of paper that says blah, blah blah certification. I have seen to many so called certified techs that have gone through these sausage mill certification BOOT CAMPS who don’t have any idea what they are doing on the job when a real problem arises and needs to be diagnosed. But they can recite word for word out of manual in order to pass a certification exam.

      I want compentent experienced people who know how to do the job for my clients and not just some flunky who thinks that a certification certificate would look good on their wall.

      As for unprofessionalism, if you are getting this type of person your screening process needs to be reworked. There are these types in any profession, doctors, lawyers etc. So why should the IT industry be any different?

      • #3309757

        This is it EXACTLY

        by jcdshs ·

        In reply to Very disappointed in certified tech’s

        – couldn’t agree more.
        The ability to do the job is what keeps you in the industry. If you can’t do the job you will soon find yourself “out the door”.
        If there are “unprofessionals” in the industry then why does management keep hiring them? It is their responsibility as managers to ensure they have competent people in their workplace. If management did their job screening out the rubbish then we wouldn’t have incompetents/unprofessionals (the terms are interchangeable as far as I am concerned) in IT or any other profession, for that matter.
        Certification? Why? You can demonstrate competency or you get sacked. If you get sacked for incompetence or unprofessional behaviour then you are going to get one glowing reference, aren’t you. Your chances of being hired again? Not very good if the management at your next holiday home are doing their job.
        It’s quite simple, really. If EVERYONE in the chain does their job properly then these problems have a tendency to disappear.

    • #3307947

      opening the industry to amateurs

      by paulfisher44 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      For some of us, we don’t look at our ‘jobs’ as a paycheck, but a talent or calling. We have been in the industry for 10 – 20 years and bend over backwards to get the impossible done.
      The problem i see is that today we have every tom, dick and harry going through college thinking they have a degree which entitles them to call themselves programmers. They see it as the fast track to a big bank account and as such have little true heart for the software industry.

    • #3307946

      Based On you Comments…

      by todd ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I would say there is a union already, Microsoft.

      Some people have said that, professionalism is holding yourself to a higher standard.

      I agree with some of the above listed items as being professional, but others our just someones opinon and should have nothing to do with professionism.

      • #3307930

        Pointless

        by jmschattke9 ·

        In reply to Based On you Comments…

        First: MIcrosoft does not represent IT Workers in any way, shape or form. Nor do they bargain for working conditions or pay.
        >FUZZY THINKING< Second: Your statement that some things are opinions and others are hallmarks of professionalism, without explanation, is completely worthless. >poor writing skill< Did you just type this to see your email adress in the list of big people who comment?

    • #3307944

      Your level of ‘professionalism’ doesn’t always matter

      by sql guy ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Just because your level of professionalism and standards are high doesn’t mean you’ll succeed. The professionalism of your boss, and the company as a whole, impacts your ability to succeed as much as anything. I’m finding this out daily in my current position.

      I took this position with a mid-sized company about 8 months ago, after being released from Active Duty military service. I was hired to perform on-site product installations, provide escalated SQL support for our products and assist in platform certification and customer acceptance training. I now do all of this, with one of the fastest response times and highest customer satisfaction ratings of anyone in my department. I have also written various .NET applications that our customers (many of them in the Fortune 500) are completely thrilled over, as they simplify the process of using our software immensely.

      Recently our programming teams have *come to me* looking for solutions to problems within the company’s software products. Let me say that again: The professional programmers who developed and implemented this company’s products are coming to the SQL support guy for solutions to their .NET unmanaged code/Interop issues!

      So what, may you ask, do I get for all my trouble?

      1) I get a paycheck that is well below the industry average (this from every source I could locate) based on my experience, certification, etc.

      2) I get excuses instead of the bonuses I was promised prior to accepting the position; even though the company is doing well, and has surpassed their sales goals for this year.

      3) Even though the company’s doing well, I get told not to expect a substantial raise – maybe 1 – 3% (LOL).

      4) I get to pay for the software I use (VS.NET) to write applications for them. The one quarterly bonus I have received (remember I’ve been here about 2 and a half quarters now) *almost* covered *one* of the software packages I’ve had to purchase on my own. I look at it more as a *partial reimbursement* check than a “bonus”. And that “bonus” was less than was originally agreed to in our pre-hire agreements.

      5) I have to travel all over the place constantly, and put in for reimbursement later (effectively LOANING this company money out of my pocket for 4 – 6 weeks at a time!!!) And yes, I have to pay the credit card interest out of my own pocket.

      6) I get to pay for any books that I need while writing programs for this company out of my own pocket.

      7) And I also have the honor of paying for my own certification study materials and certification exams with no help from this company. That’s OK though, as it helps assuage any guilt I might have otherwise felt when I added these upgraded and new certifications to my resume and re-post.

      Bottom line is that:

      -I now own my own personal copies of several software packages.

      -I have a solid foundation for a very extensive personal technical reference library.

      -I have achieved/upgraded my certifications, including my MCDBA on SQL 2K, and am working toward further certification.

      -I feel personally that I owe this company absolutely *NOTHING*. No loyalty. No going above and beyond. Nothing except the very basic 3 things they hired me for. Period.

      -I have begun to pull back – I do not feel the need to give 110% when my employer won’t even reimburse me for books and software required to do the things they ask of me.

      -I am very, very actively seeking better, more equitable opportunities; even burning vacation days to go on job interviews.

      • #3307918

        Definitely another side…

        by toucan ·

        In reply to Your level of ‘professionalism’ doesn’t always matter

        …of a very convoluted puzzle. Employer ethics, boss ethics, and so on. The only one looking out for you is you. Your attitude regarding solving your own problems is excellent!

      • #3307890

        Get out of that job

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Your level of ‘professionalism’ doesn’t always matter

        I have seen people start to pull back because of jobs like that before.

        When they go to the next job they aren’t the same hard worker they started the last job out as.

        You sound like an excellent Tech. Don’t let some poor management change you, and don’t lower your personal standards for anyone.

        • #3307872

          I appreciate the confidence

          by sql guy ·

          In reply to Get out of that job

          And I definitely won’t lower my standards for these people. I work extremely hard and do high-quality work; I just pulled back from the little “extras” they have been getting from me for free (i.e., writing code, heading up interoffice training of users on various software packages, etc.). In fact, I just received a job offer, for almost 30% more than I’m making now; the only problem is that I would have to re-locate. Hopefully some good local opportunities will start presenting themselves.

          Thanks again!

    • #3307922

      What do Certs Have to Do With Professionalism?

      by rojackson ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      In general I agree with your observation that ethics are sorely lacking in the IT field. However I want to know what that has to do with certifications. As a matter of fact, some of the most unethical behavior that I have seen are by those who have managed to become “certified” and yet who are totally incompetent (that’s a different discussion though).

      Stick with one arguement or the other, if you would.

    • #3307920

      Here is the real reason WHY I.T. is having competency and ehtics problems !

      by techpro34yrs. ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I’ve been in the I.T. field for 27 years now and have seen first hand exactly what RknRIKid has posted and is talking about. Myself and some of my peers have had numerous heated debates over this topic and I have won over the most number of people everytime with my explaination. The problem lies not so much with educators as a majority. But, how that educators or trainer teaches the newbe how to work or do his job PROPERLY! As we all know, some teachers just don’t care or are just not worth a darn. But, as a whole the educators do a fine job. But, as I said, it all starts on who is the first person/teacher/trainer who has the first influence on that newbe. I was taught old school. My father and the I.T. trainer/teacher I had must have been casted from the same mold. They both had the same outlooks, No. 1 and always the most important-as they drilled it into my head was ” If you are going to do a job, do it right the first time” you won’t have to go back later to fix it. No. 2 “Think out your steps before you tackle any job”. No. 3 “Before you completely finish your work, go back and recheck what you did, just before you leave”. These have always served me well to this day. It all boils down to who reaches that newbe first. I work with a very young tech and sometimes it drives me insane to have to go behind him and correct what he missed just because he was in a hurry and didn’t want to go the extra mile. I now get all the requests for help/service from the CEO’s and Staff because they know that when I’m done they don’t have to worry that I left something out or screwed it up. The young tech has asked me several times why none of the Staff call him anymore-DAAAAA. Nobody is teaching morality, ethics or old school to our next generation! I hate to admit it, but I see my own son starting these bad habits he’s pickup from his buds and it’s a never ending struggle to convince him not to look for the easiest/quickest way around a task. I WILL WIN in the end though, I will just keep drilling it into his head until he gets it. Hey, all you young Tech out their, would you rather have a Doctor operate on you and is willing to go the extra mile for you? or would you rather have a Doctor operate on you that’s looking for a shortcut so he can get to the golf course on time? How did you just answer that last question??
      Come on people, give me some feed back!!! Am I right, or what????? Lets teach these new great young people HOW TO WORK PROPERLY. I’m done now!

      • #3307902

        The word your looking for is “PRIDE”

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Here is the real reason WHY I.T. is having competency and ehtics problems !

        People don’t take pride in their work anymore.

        Doing a good job because you have pride in your work, not because someone is watching you right then.

        I used to be accused by co-workers that I was “wasting time” on jobs. Now they see that my days aren’t taken up putting out the same fire day after day like they are because I FIXED the problem with that extra five minutes freeing me up to go on to other projects.

        When users would walk past my co-workers offices, down the hall and around the corner (newest hire, crap office) to see me because they knew I would do it right and they could forget the problem and do THEIR job.

        Things are changing here, for the better. Once they realized I wasn’t trying to take their jobs, they would start to accept what I would have to offer.

        Pride in your work. It works.

      • #3307898

        Agreed

        by myndkrime ·

        In reply to Here is the real reason WHY I.T. is having competency and ehtics problems !

        I agree that it starts with who reaches the new IT trainee first and how it starts. But some people are not looking at the job, they are looking at the $$$ they hear about in the IT field which is a load of BS. You will hear the advertisements still about ” Learn IT even if you don’t have any experience at all”. What kind of idea does that set in peoples minds, “Anyone can do that job”. It is not just the training, the trainer, or the management of a company. It comes down to the IT person and what they are really interested in. If you are just in IT for $$$$, good luck..Hope it helps pay the mental bills, but you really should be in a IT because of all out interest in it….Be it programming, development, administration, networking…..It you are just in it for the paycheck, then you can be certified and a “professional” but still not be able to figure out the routing issues with OSPF, bugs in a VB application that is faulting, or just DHCP issues with a server. IT COMES DOWN TO SELF RESPONSIBILITY….No matter what there will always be people who are not “professional” or matching the mold that some people think they should be….But remember that if some people were to go the “professional” route we might not have some of the things that we work with everyday in our field…..WOZ & JOBS, GATES & ALLEN….And I’m done…..

      • #3307823

        two words

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to Here is the real reason WHY I.T. is having competency and ehtics problems !

        paragraph breaks

      • #3309715

        And let me add…

        by gaijinit ·

        In reply to Here is the real reason WHY I.T. is having competency and ehtics problems !

        I have been steadily employed in either Telecoms or IT for the past 36 years (Gotcha – Ha! I am a charter member of the ‘Old Fart’s CLub’) in Europe, the USA, Middle East, and Asia (presently in Tokyo) and agree with all you have to say. Rules are not what is needed, attention to detail and giving the best you can is what the ‘young Turks’ in IT need to have pounded into their whiny ‘Me First’ heads.

        Whatever happened plain old work ethics?

        My father was a carpenter’s kid, and he never finished high school, but he told me from the time I even thought about having my first job that ‘If you’re going to take someone’s money for working for them, then they deserve to receive the best job you can give them. Anything else is dishonest and a waste of time.’

        Other than military telecom systems training and a Associate of Arts in Business Management (thought I would have my own business someday – didn’t happen), I am self-educated in computer systems, hold no CERTs, and am always the one they come to when they want it done right. No special talent, just paying attention to details.

        I see posting here all the time where so-called professionals can’t spell right, saying they don’t have time for that. (I may have a few spelling mistakes in here myself, your posting really made me want to sound off) If they don’t have time, what the hell are they doing goofing around on these discussion boards? And why do half of the discussion replies descend to character attacks? Is that professional?

        Let’s just get back on track and do an honest job for what we’re paid. Like the comedian George Carlin says, ‘Don’t sweat the petty things, and don’t pet the sweaty things’.

        Okay, Ladies and Gentlemen – fire away!

    • #3307908

      Profesionalism

      by dicklaw ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      In reading some of these postings, I am very satisfied to now be retired. In my day we were profesionals and we were careful of our actions because a security clearance (governmental and/or industrial) was almost universally required. Knowledge, dedication, attitude and morals were necessary for any measure of success. We proved our competence by taking charge of our environment and correcting any omisions or errors – not through iodiotic and destructive actions such as creating a virus. (We did sometimes play games on each other like inserting a self removing statement “The ‘Rim Loader’ is now being worked on” but never anything which would in any way delay completion of the projects. Badmouthing those we worked with was a no-no, there were other ways to eliminate or correct these few inept or troublesome individuals. Those who did not measure up were simply passed by to where they could not cry or complain, which we see so much of today.

      • #3307896

        Regarding the change of paradigm

        by sql guy ·

        In reply to Profesionalism

        All this reflects the corporate focus on the short-term bottom line. Back in the day, people and companies planned for the future. Stocks were bought and sold based on long-term performance, and companies invested heavily in the long-term health of the institution. These days stockholders have changed the corporate culture to demand instantaneous results. By not investing in employees today, the corporation can show a small gain at the end of the quarter; but they lose a lot more money in the long term since they will have a higher turnover rate and have to pay to re-train the new hires in an endless cycle. But the accountants don’t care – all the re-training translates into tax write-offs, right?

        But that’s just the way business seems to be done these days.

        • #3307893

          Too True….

          by myndkrime ·

          In reply to Regarding the change of paradigm

          Also they don’t want to invest in someone’s education or training because ” Then you will be able to get a better paying job somewhere else..” What kind of reasoning is that……..Doesn’t that make you want to take a job some place else.?????

        • #3307879

          What they don’t realize

          by sql guy ·

          In reply to Too True….

          is that when they invest in employee’s betterment (is that a real word?) it engenders loyalty to the company. One would think that if a company was willing to pay you a competitive salary, they would have no fear that you would leave for a “better paying job”. Personally, statements like that from employers throw out red flags for me… I just wish they would say some of these things *during the interview process* to give you advance warning of who to avoid.

    • #3307892

      IT has an ethics problem??

      by matsonl ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      That’s a very intersting accusation in light of some of the discussions I’ve read. Such as CEO’s who think it’s so much fun to download porn on company owned equipment. Or high ranking officials who expect the IT staff to work on their own personal or their wives personal computing equipment.

      yikes!!

      A messy desk is not an indicator of unethical behavior. Sometimes it’s just a person with a small desk and alot of work.

      • #3309595

        Solved The Desk Problem

        by kmhs_sa ·

        In reply to IT has an ethics problem??

        A messy desk is not an indicator of unethical behavior. Sometimes it’s just a person with a small desk and alot of work.

        I have solved the desk problem. I no longer own a desk. I have pushed it out, and it has been reallocated. If I repair a computer, I do it on the site of the failed equipment. I have some shelves. And if I have to do paperwork, I sit infront of a PC, type it then print it. It goes in to a folder, and is put on a shelf.

        My New Desk has a 15″ CRT Monitor, an old Celeron 466 in a desktop case, barely enough room for a keyboard and mouse, and a KVM switch. It is about the same size a folding desk that is used in University Examinations.

        No Desk = No Mess therefore Professional by most peoples standard.

    • #3307891

      We don’t live in a perfect world…

      by probinson ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I carefully read what RknRlKid had to say about professionalism, IT Professionals, and the TechRepublic community and I would like to offer an alternative interpretation for consideration. I’ve been in IT for 13 years now and by the checklist provided I am a “professional”.

      A problem I perceive is that these manifestos are written in abstract or for a perfect world, as it were. Our world is not perfect and all too often we don’t have the time or resources to do the quality of job that our professionalism would have us do. I am not denying that there are some very unprofessional people in IT. I do believe that the majority of people in IT, as in all professions, honestly aspire to be true professionals. On the other hand, there is no profession that doesn’t have its stories about the incompetent or unprofessional doctor, lawyer, accountant, etc. As well, the provided list of qualities that identify a professional suggest that a professional is well compensated for their qualities. This too is not always the case in the real world.

      Instead of taking the negative view that the TechRepublic community is a group of unprofessional, incompetent, whiners, consider that it is a group of professionals seeking the advice and support of other professionals in dealing with some unprofessional people they may encounter in their work. These unprofessional people may be IT workers, other co-workers or unprofessional managers. When you strive to reach a level of professionalism that may not be shared by your peers, superiors, or subordinates, it is difficult to maintain a positive attitude. Sharing such experiences can provide insights, solutions to try, or just lighten the burden.

      Maybe the stories related are biased toward the worst case scenario, but when was the last time you said, ?I really need some help here because things are going great!?

    • #3307870

      Strange kind of world…

      by tuttobene1 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      There are many questions to dispute about the IT world.First of all IT was a brave new world just few years ago,when only engineer and technicians
      used it.When this knowledge and technology was added to Industry things changed.Although you can say that only after Windows 95 this process run on!…
      Next deepening later,I had to get my daughter from skating…

    • #3307869

      mere thoughts.

      by david.planchon ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      wow, a lot of stuff. sure feels like this is a hot topic for many people.
      I’ve been in systems and network support for 10 years professionally and then an extra 4 years in school.

      About knowledge:
      One of the most interesting points I’ve read in the threads were that certs, degrees, education don’t make you a pro. I could not agree more.

      One goes from having a job to having a professional career by shifting their attitude and understanding of their field – think of it if you will as an apprentice learning from a master. 25+ years of exposure isn’t learned and most importantly assimilated in 4, 5 or even 6 years.

      Personally, I’ve only held one cert -which has now long since expired. My college degree is in Communications and Fine Arts.
      I’ve never had the luxury of time or money to cough up the insane amounts of cash required to train and certify. Every now and then I’d work for a company good enough to count Certifications as degrees and would make tuition plans available – most firms will send you to training but won’t certify you for fear of your leaving them. (won’t go into details here, read on further)

      About Ethics, moral codes of conduct:

      In a world where the distinction between right and wrong is blurred more often than not I have found it difficult to deal with this subject – with young and mature people alike.

      Ethics? Morality? Decency? don’t they all depend on one’s perspectives, geographic location, lives and what happens to be convenient in the moment?

      I believe that one has to treat other with respect. That includes the people who spent countless hours creating the software we use every day. Piracy and copyrights infrigement isn’t cool. Personally, I believe some prices are unreasonable but that’s my problem. There are many software solutions out there.

      side note: Until recently prices for software were fixed (still are unfortunately in many cases), so a person in Bangladesh paid the same than a guy in Ethopia who paid the same as the Irish who paid the same as the American…. I think that sorta makes my point.

      • #3307860

        On Certifications

        by sql guy ·

        In reply to mere thoughts.

        Certifications aren’t necessarily expensive. One thing people don’t realize about most IT cert tests is that they are designed to reflect core competencies in certain areas. How do you gain core competencies? Not through classes and books – you gain them through actual hands-on experience. And if you have the hands-on experience, all you should really need to pass a cert exam is a review guide and maybe some practice exams to back up your hands-on experience.

        I agree with the posters above who say that there are too many paper-hangin’ certified IT people out there who have no clue. To me, a certification without experience to back it up is pretty much worthless… A certification with adequate experience to back it up just gives you a little plus sign next to your name when competing – for the same job – with those who have comparable experience but no certification.

    • #3307867

      Too broad a subject?

      by mykmlr9 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      You said, quote “but limiting it to IT workers because business overall would be too broad of a subject. ”

      Convenient, no doubt.

      The corporation, devoid of ethics, as so well proved by the Michael Millkens, Enrons, Global Crossings, Goldman Sachs, Arthur Andersons et al, of the world all DEMAND pro-company ethics from employees, but hand out golden parachutes only to the CEO class, and I do mean class, of employees.

      People who actually do the work get, at best, permission to train their replacements from third world countries.

      Americans generally have known this since the Ludlow massacre, and give only as good as they get, since the corporate motto, indeed, the raison de’tre of the corporation is to give as little in wages as possible, while receiving the absolute maximum in executive perks.

      Want ethics?

      Start at the top by firing every outsourcer who replaces those who made the company prosper.

    • #3307865

      True Leadership and Betrayal of Trust

      by szentirmay ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      It is beyond belief to see this kind of stuff aimed at I.T. workers given the deplorable conditions that we have management to thank for. I am management in I.T., worked my way up from the very bottom. After 20 years I find the entire industry a mess due to Top and Middle management that knows nothing about I.T. Too bad for the CEO that isn’t interested in finding out some facts.

      The truth is a real leader is one who creates an environment where people want to be, that encourages creative thinking and learning, not one that constantly pays less, that gets rid of people, that goes after cheaper resources abroad, that brings in cheaper resource from outside, that forces competition (as if there isn’t enough pressure in this industry). Has anyone ever bothered to consider the magnitude of change in I.T. and how hard it is for anyone to keep up? Where is the management support? NOWHERE! Instead, its more like “we have to let you go” because its cheaper to outsource. Excuse me you bunch of louses — long term value is investing in your own resources and paying them well.

      Step up to the plate and build an environment where we want to stay — lets see how many of you strike out… Instead you’re more interested in kicking us around. You’re nothing but garbage with a total lack of understanding of the complexity of I.T., far more complex than anything else on the planet and far more difficult to keep up. Doctors and Lawyers have it easy compared to I.T. — nothing changes at the same pace, nothing.

      Go ahead and outsource to third world countries, hire cheap immigrants. The long term damage will be what you deserve.

      • #3307858

        I agree

        by sql guy ·

        In reply to True Leadership and Betrayal of Trust

        I agree with your sentiments completely. I also find it interesting how casually management uses the word “resources” when they really mean “people” or “employees”. I suppose it’s easier to deal with “employees” when we de-humanize them and group them in the same category as desktop workstations and crude oil — the “resources” category.

    • #3307854

      My Professional Reply

      by bfilmfan ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Jerry A. Taylor
      Taylor Consulting Services
      PO Box 63
      Powder Springs, Georgia 30127

      Jon Dewton
      PC Support
      Great Plains Technology Center
      4500 W Lee Blvd
      Lawton, Oklahoma 73505
      (580)355-6371

      Dear Sir:

      I will briefly answer your ponderous essay with a brief summation of my observations after 20 years in the industry consulting with Fortune 100, federal and state government clients.

      A true professional does not offer withering advice under the cover of nom de plume. A true professional put his name on the line when he makes statements.

      A true professional does not offer as words of truth the statements of a drug-addicted, pathological lying plagorist as words of inspiration. Perhaps you should do some research before you decide to quote anymore gems of Ron’s.

      Unions are formed by workers in a collective forming a barganing agreement with owners and management. This site http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Economics can prehaps explain the details of basic terms of economics, so that in the future, you will be able to form a factually correct argument.

      And lastly, I have known very few Chief Executive Officers that worshipped at any altar other than the Holy Dollar Bill.

      Rather than posting a personal diatribe on the lack of professionalism in others, perhaps you can draw inspiration from this quotation:

      “You don’t lead by hitting people over the head-that’s assault, not leadership”

      – President Dwight D. Eisenhower

      • #3307831

        a brief response

        by apotheon ·

        In reply to My Professional Reply

        Brilliant.

        • #3307726

          Thank ya, Thank ya very much!

          by bfilmfan ·

          In reply to a brief response

          I am glad you enjoyed my response. I have that quotation above my desk and it travels with me. I desire to learn something from everyone in life and that quote reminds me that the people I admire the most in life have always been the ones that led by example.

        • #3309606

          That was indeed Good – BFilmFan

          by techpro34yrs. ·

          In reply to a brief response

          I do have to admit that BFilmFan’s response was great! I love a different point of view to the same posted question/statement.

      • #3308536

        Interesting, but…

        by gaijinit ·

        In reply to My Professional Reply

        Intriguing how you scold someone for their “personal diatribe” and using quotations, then you do the same.

        Presenting yourself as a professional “Fortune 100” consultant guru while mispelling “plagiarist” (plagorist?) and “perhaps” (prehaps?) at the same time is rather self-defeating.

        Perhaps you should exercise a bit of professionalism yourself and proofread your work before submitting it to the world’s perusal.

        President Eisenhower’s wonderful statement tries to teach us that to effect change we should offer positive examples, not personal attacks – it seems to me that you missed its point entirely.

        Sorry, just my thoughts (from 37 years in the IT business field).

        • #3308516

          Ooops! My Bad!

          by gaijinit ·

          In reply to Interesting, but…

          I meant the previous posting to be a reply to ‘BFilmFan’, but submitted it to the wrong place.

          I suppose this mistakes invalidates all my inputs and labels me an idiot, right? Anyway, it provides fodder for some personal attacks..Heheheheh

    • #3307853

      professionalism, ethics, and intellectual property

      by apotheon ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      You’re right about at least one thing: Ethicality is the hallmark of true professionalism. What you seem to utterly fail to realize — and from this proceeds most of your mistakes in this post — is that ethicality isn’t derived from law. In an ethical society, law is derived from ethics.

      We don’t live in an ethical society. For instance: Microsoft manipulates legislators and intellectual property legislation unethically to suit its own short-term corporate goals. Despite this, to judge by your words, it seems you’d consider Microsoft to be the final arbiter of ethicality.

      Microsoft regularly flouts industry standards, as proven convincingly by its handling of XML authoring in various WYSIWYG applications and it’s code interpretation in Internet Explorer. Meanwhile, Microsoft uses your precious End User License Agreements to extort money, coerce submission to its attempts to secure and maintain monopoly, and make criminals of as many people as possible so that they are at the mercy of its management and legal department.

      The sad truth is that intellectual property law, even if you accept the basic premise of intellectual “property” as ethical (which I, as an ethical theorist, do not), is hopelessly broken — not just in the United States, but internationally as well. Patent racketeering and treatment of litigation as a revenue stream for businesses like Microsoft and SCO (to say nothing of the RIAA’s member corporations) runs rampant. The fact that you blindly buy into the FUD sown by such criminal actors in the marketplace is an indictment of your understanding of ethicality and, thus, true professionalism.

      Your words are absolutely correct, insofar as you say that a professional does not recommend violation of the law of the land in the course of doing business. That would be irresponsible, and generally not in the best interests of the client. You’re dead wrong to assume that means that the law of the land is the authoritative final word on what is ethical. I don’t use p2p filesharing networks to trade MP3s, I don’t use illegal copies of software on my computers, and I don’t (intentionally) violate copyright or patent restrictions in the course of doing business. At the same time, I don’t recognize strict application of intellectual property law to coerce revenue streams into existence as ethical. At every turn, I do what I can to help my clients avoid unethical businesses like Microsoft, moving them toward open source solutions that will better serve their needs and reduce their susceptibility to monopolistic, and otherwise coercive, influences.

      Your estimations of the world are naive and unrealistic. Bureaucratic licensing boards are often the source of corruption, rather than the cure for it. Your adherence to PHB slogans and bromides doesn’t help anyone become a better worker. Unionization destroys the professionalism of industries, more often than not.

      You list a lot of characteristics that seem superficially true of professionals, but you betray a distinct lack of true understanding of what makes a professional. Reading Microsoft press releases doesn’t make you an expert in the industry, holding a Microsoft certification doesn’t make you a professional, and buying into the Microsoft monopoly doesn’t make you the final authority on ethicality.

      Lest you think I’m some spoiled amateur, you should know that I’m a well-dressed, Microsoft- and CompTIA-certified, decently paid network administrator, web programmer, and information technology consultant.

    • #3307843

      Way too long to read whole post..but I agree..

      by tomsal ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      That post is huge….but I agree with the parts of it I skimmed through.

    • #3307834

      Current IT certifications are absurd.

      by lrund ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      The current IT certifications and education are absurd and mean nothing. The majority is brand or manufacturer specific. Would you certify a doctor by having that person study at the XYZ drug company to learn about that company’s drugs? Does that make this person a bonified doctor? Absolutely not. It is the same with IT. In order to correctly setup a certification process for IT, a independent organization needs to be created that would specify the requirements to become an IT professional. Just like the professions of mechanics, doctors, electrians, structural engineers, etc.
      This organization would also setup the ethics bylaws of the profession and the processes to deal with rogue people. The organization is financed via the professional dues by license holders. And the manufacturers must keep their paws out of it.

      My two cents worth.

    • #3307833

      An recurring issue

      by bogmeadow ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Nothing new. This was a hot topic in the late 1960s and early 1970s at the Boeing Company. This was largely due to the performance of the Computer departments. Now keep in mind that Boeing was an Engineering company and they knew how professional engineers were expected to behave. Keep in mind that they also had and still do have a Professional’s union. Boeing alsoonly hired college graduates in engineeing or science into their computing departments. (More on this later) ALthough, for a variety of reasons, the most qualified people wound up in the engineering department. The entire managment of the engineering department was old experienced engineers up to and including the head of engineering for the entire company. Data processing, on the other hand, was staffed with people under 25 and the managment was a hodge podge of the competent, incompentent almost all without any significant experience in the field. So, Data Processing tended to perform poorly. Nothing has changed, except perhaps the age of he people in Data Processing. The management of data processing in any company is a dead end job removed from the mainstream of the enterprise. Professionals? You’ve got to be kidding. The people in charge don’t have a clue as to what should be expected of their staff and the entire thrust is to build a cheap maintenance staff. And why not? You might not be able to run the company without it but you can be dammed sure it will never become a “profit center”. Think about it. Engineers use tools to design products which the company builds and sells. Sales people use tools to locate customers, etc. DP people use tools to build tools for these other people to use. Sure the tool maker is important and makes huge contributions to the efficiency of the others but he doesn’t directly contribute to the enterprise. What should is cannon be? “An honest days work for an honest days pay.”, Don’t break the law. Do what the boss says (literally). He’s got no obligation to the stock holders or the public.

      … Joe

    • #3307830

      Your Topic is Still Too Broad

      by mdpetrel ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Hi;

      Thank you very much for bringing up this subject. I know that it seems we can boil this all down to “professionalism”; but we can’t.

      Some particular points:

      In every one of the dozens of organizations I have worked during the past 2 decades, it has always been mgmt (emphatically NOT the staff) that has smirked and scoffed at licensing and pirating issues.

      It has always been employees who have pleaded for add’l training, education, or texts (or time to review texts); mgmt has always heaped on work hours so that there was NO time left to help oneself advance.

      Ironically, however, even though this topic is too broad, the issue(s) are broader than we are discussing… i.e., I/T is no different than any other profession when we want to discuss “professionalism”. The over-arching issue(s) of professionalism is/are broader than we think; e.g., the litany of Professional v. Amateur that you provide is entirely related to work environment, and not to personal effort. And that would be an entirely different discussion altogether. 🙁

      p.s. I am in mgmt and have always been chided for championing training and advancement. I feel it is more forward thinking for the organization as a whole to ensure their staff is prepared; rather than scoffing at the employees for not improving themselves. Remember, as soon as a company grows to the point where it has a significant affect on the lives of customers and employees alike, that company has become the family for those individuals, and is now responsible for the well being of those individuals. This is the concept that is lacking in the minds of all business owners throughout history. You are not merely providing a product or a service. You are affecting lives. Don’t waste our time, therefore, arguing about professionalism. If you re-focus on what you are doing, as a whole, in your business endeavor, you can improve the situation for your customers, your employees, and yourself.

    • #3307827

      Agreed and result of my frustration.

      by briandesu ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I agree with many of your comments regarding professionalism. It is a source of my frustration because I have met a significant number of people in IT that are lazy, expect big salaries, and lack professionalism.

      I have done some real world projects, and want to make my career change permanent. I am overlooked because I am competing with individuals whose resume shows more experience, but I guarantee that many of them do not have my professional attitutude, and many probably do not have my ability.

      However, as another member pointed out, not all CEOs and higher-ups are exactly ethical. I have ecountered CEOs that will do anything to turn a dollar. Enron should be a reminder of that fact.

    • #3307826

      Some cheap shots -TipsForSucces.org

      by bubbaonthenet ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I agree with most of the content from the TipsForSuccess.org website. The remarks are good traits to adopt and practice –they will not hurt you privately or professionally. It has such a “Do unto others” feeling about the writing.

      The statements they wrote in their analogy are so Yin and Yang that anyone could have written it. I even sensed someone’s Mother telling the writer to “Tell Johnny to clean his room.”

      I am thankful that the ideology writing did not become an orgy of simple true/false statements -moment, it did. There were 18 statements –just over the 15 statements definition of Writer’s Orgy. I hope this writing was not the pinnacle of the writer’s career.

      I disagree with the statement: “A professional earns high pay. An amateur earns low pay and feels it’s unfair.

      A professional has a promising future. An amateur has an uncertain future.”

      Point 1: I know many amateur businesses and people who make too much money or demand too much for their services or capabilities. Amateurs demand, professionals command.

      Point 2: I know many entry-level Professionals who feel that their pay is not enough or fair, not because they feel they are deserved something, but because they know what they are worth and know they are not fairly compensated for what they offer day to day. These Professionals are appreciative that they have work, but go long enough unrewarded any person will look for better environments.

      At the time of this writing (October 2004), the IT Boom has been at a plateau for the past 3 years and is eroding in some areas -that is not a forecast. Companies expect more for less. Companies outsource rather then “own.” It is cheaper to let the work pile up then Contract out a position for a short duration. These Contractors are Professionals who are disgusted with becoming a disposable asset –you would too after doing it for a prolonged period. Go long enough without someone investing in you and treating you as an important asset to their enterprise everyone will complain about their pay.

      Point 3: Everyone has a Promising Future. Everyone starts out with the same clean slate anytime they start at a job. However many variables makes even the Professional’s future uncertain. Company re-organizations find Professionals reapplying for their own jobs. Many Professionals find out that they are going back to school for their MBA, sometimes even for their Doctorate. Even the most steadfast and devout “company man” has no control over his Executives or how his Shareholders vote.

      Parting Thought: You have to keep in mind that even the most resourceful and crafty individual (Professional or Amateur) cannot “win” every situation or squeeze water from a turnip. I was left the impression that the writer or the transcriber from the Professional-Panel/Discussion-Group/Open-Forum was/were either: A Priest(s); Someone/People from inherited wealth; A Self-Made Person(s) that got lucky who subscribes to himself/their self as being Industrious (they often are found writing books now); A .Com turned Philanthropist; A Politician(s); A Disconnected Executive(s) who spends their day in Webcasts/Webinars; Those who work for Disconnected Executives; Or anyone else who has not been in the Field or has not checked in on their Network of Peers.

      Some of the statements are so pompous I can only think that TipsForSuccess.org is sponsored in part by the same Companies we work for. Anyone look in to that? Mike Dupris

    • #3307810

      Anarchy and the knights of the global table

      by anthem ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Well, I understand your perspective, even if it does lack a certain understanding of the english language, and of our profession and the world in which we live.

      First, amateur doesn’t mean you are less skilled, or even less qualified, it simply means that you do it because you love it. And, as many others have pointed out, professional merely means that you get paid for it. So, if you are doing it just for money, and not because you love and enjoy it, that doesn’t make you better than the rest of us, and entitled to be judgemental and sanctimonious, rather, it makes you a prostitute.

      In terms of our industry, well, and ethics, watch the movie “The Pirates of Silicone Valley” sometime, and think about it a bit. Just because the robber baron has become more powerful than the king doesn’t mean that all of the people in the land owe him any debt of moral or ethical servitude. Let me ask you a question? Was Robin Hood more or less ethical than the Sheriff of Nottingham?

      I’m not trying to introduce moral relativism into this discussion, I’m trying to introduce perspective. What we are dealing with in our world is total anarchy, with monopolistic lords, viruses, spam, and spyware, all attempting to subjugate and defraud our clients. Our ethical obligations are too our clients.

      Not that I am suggesting wholesale theft, or recommending that anyone visit serials.ws (watch out for viruses there!!!!!!) Just like farming, if you never fertilize, or put anything back, soon your fields will become barren.

      I always make sure that every client has some proportion of licensed copies of software that they are using, first to make sure that the developers are getting some revenue, second for convenience of documentation and support. But I will never have a hissy fit if there are only three licenses and 5 installed copies. I make a point of explaining the license agreement to the client, explaining the relative risks and benefits, and allowing them to make an informed decision.

      And I strongly support shareware and beggarware, and make it a point to donate generously to anyone who has put something great out there. Even at the most selfish level, this is a good thing to do, because it assures you that they, and others like them, will continue to put their efforts to good use.

      But I will not bleat like a sheep, and beg for a shearing, just because the robber barons have gotten control of the pasture!!!!!!

    • #3307807

      Thoughts

      by the savant ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      My first thought as a free-thinking IT professional is that while the original post about what being a professional means carries with it a lot of good points, L. Ron Hubbard doesn’t strike me (visionary of Dianetics) as a good example himself.

      It’s very, very easy to point a finger at someone and say “you’re not this” or “you’re not that”. What’s a lot harder is not being a hypocrite. None of us embodies all of these traits, yet by not qualifying in one of them you can by association have the rest mean nothing?

      I earn a reasonably high salary for what I do, I have a promising future and sometimes I produce more than expected, sometimes I don’t. I’m human, so is everyone else last time I checked. Sometimes I’m happy, sometimes not. it’s the nature of what we do, we hand-hold. The best of us are the former more than the latter. The ones of us that are employed are obviously more of the former points than the latter.

      Now on to education, certification and training; I agree that the majority of my co-workers are not certified, trained or appropriately motivated to achieve industry certifications. The big catch with IT related training and certs is that they expire often. In most other fields a professional degree or college degree retains merit over the course of an entire career. Unless you can see yourself truly benefiting from the IT certification or you plan on being someone that consults or moves from job to job, there isn’t a whole lot of reason to keep recertifying, especially if you’re a long-timer with a ton of career security.

      People have lives. Certifications take a lot of time and an education is a hard thing to come by when you’re trying to put food on the table.

      Now that being said, I have a BA, and I’m going back to school for Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. I’ve earned the MCSA and MCSE twice. I carry the A+ and Novell Admin cert and been gainfully employed in both full-time permanent and side IT contracting for the last decade. I’ve made more since the dot com bust. I’m obviously not the unmotivated, unprofessional type that the CEO would see when coming to these forums in the mind of the author, but I very well could be. Especially if some of these “professionalism” traits are brought into consideration.

      If I’m a CEO with no interest in technology aside from who supports me, I’m not coming to these forums. If I’m a CEO with some tech savvy I already know that there are many, many different types of people that fill the IT space and most people who spend a lot of time posting on forums aren’t working.

      If I’m a CIO I see this site as a valuable resource for my employees, both as a answer resource and an example to my employees of what kind of behavior and attitudes don’t get someone ahead. If people are dissatisfied with their careers and posting here, then there’s a reason why.. read, learn and grow.

      No one needs to be 110 percent all the time to be a professional. All that is needed are three or four basic traits.

      1. Know when to work hard.
      2. Know when to play hard.
      3. Have respect for the work you do and your self-image.
      4. Have respect for your clients and their image.

      Other than that just enjoy the technology. We often forget that we’re grown men and women playing with the most advanced erector sets ever created. There’s a certain fun in that.

      Thanks
      Al

    • #3307805

      Is Business ethical?

      by hare_haray ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Ethics is a very slippery slope. Is American business ethical? It is predatory and criminal. Lets see some examples..

      The overthrow of Allende’s leftist, but democratically elected government by CIA agents posing as executives of ITT (the telephone company). The sale of high-tar cigarettes by a tobacco company (the Marlboro man) overseas, while low-tar were sold in the US, makes one think at least some executives thought that third world lives were less precious than American ones.

      Who can forget Eli Lilly? That pharma giant shipped drugs overseas to areas hit by natural disaster. Until someone discovered that the drugs were useless since the people in the region had never suffered from the diseases that the drugs were meant for. As was later noted in the Scientific American, the drugs were shipped as they were close to their expiry dates…..and apparently the EPA has strict rules about their disposal. You guessed it…the proper disposal, within US, would have have been expensive.

      Ofcourse ENRON manages to make this list as well.

      Coming back to IT..Though IT work is sometimes shoddy, its because IT does what it has been told to do by the business. More often than not, it is the application of yet another band-aid.

      Business needs to look in the mirror more often. The author needs to open his/her eyes.

      • #3307792

        I agree with “Is Business Ethical?

        by annettemcmillan ·

        In reply to Is Business ethical?

        Let’s turn our attention to the news last night. How many seniors and children do you know that need the vaccine for the flu? They were told they would not be able to get the flu shots, but those politicans in Washington got the shots. And the nerve of them suggesting that they deserved the flu shots, while the children and the seniors did not. How professional and ethical is that? This is not the first time the politicans have show us just how unethical they can be. Remember the gas shortages? While we where in long lines, could only purchase small amounts of gas, where did the politicans get thier gas? How come they did not have long lines? And to think, we pay their salaries too!!!! I guess that makes them our employees.
        Sad to say, but the world of business has become unethical.

        • #3307774

          business ethics

          by roberts184 ·

          In reply to I agree with “Is Business Ethical?

          you paint a broad brush on politicians. i do know for a fact that, in connecticut, some senators and representatives have gotten shots (most before this became a problem) and some have refused them in response to the cdc guidelines (see the newspaper article in the hartford courant on 10/21, page b11, flu shot controversy).

          as for business ethics, business is all about control and profit. ethics, as a norm, will play second fiddle to these forces. if i have control and my shareholders are happy (eg. tobacco industry for many decades), the ethics of what i am doing (killing hundreds of thousands with my product) does not hold much sway unless outside forces (public opinion, class action lawsuits) intervene.

      • #3307783

        People need to look in mirror

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to Is Business ethical?

        Everyone has to make a decision in life. If you see a company that you feel is unethical and you chose to work for them, then you are unethical as well.

        If you feel that American businesses are all unethical you have three choices:

        1) Start your own company and run it as you chose.
        2) Work for an unethical company, making yourself unethical as well.
        3) Find some company in another country that you THINK is more ethical and live a happy life.

        Not all business is bad, not all people are bad. For every high profile case that involves a hand full of top execs, there are thousands of hard workers that are just doing what they can.

        If people break the law, throw them in jail.
        If you just don’t like them, don’t work for them or use their products.

        • #3307772

          Let me guess

          by netman1958 ·

          In reply to People need to look in mirror

          Let me guess, are you a business owner, executive, manager or an employee. Gee, this is a tough one

        • #3309681

          You are correct

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Let me guess

          I am one of those, yes. Is that a bad thing? Aren’t you one of those?

          And yes, I feel I work in an ethical manner as well as the company I am with or I wouldn’t be there.

          Now, did you have a question or observation?

        • #3309591

          Question or observation?

          by netman1958 ·

          In reply to You are correct

          Actually that was a question. I was asking if you were an employee or some type of management. The point I was trying to make was that based on your attitude, it’s easy to tell that you must be management.

        • #3309549

          No, just a humble Admin

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Question or observation?

          I just feel life is to short to spend it at a place that I don’t feel comfortable with.

          I have talked with management and have told them I would rather stay where I am because I LOVE doing what I do. Why would I give up all the cool toys for a paycheck?

          I would move to a big city for the big check if that was my end all in life.

          I just hold myself to a high standard is all.

          I don’t mean to offend you or anyone else, but after re-reading my last few posts I don’t see where I would HAVE to be a suit?

          Decide, does the job define you? I am a father who gets paid to play with computer. Hope someday you can be as lucky.

        • #3307730

          Does Ethics stops at our borders?

          by hare_haray ·

          In reply to People need to look in mirror

          jdclyde,
          You are right, in a limited sense. But what does one do when a corporation indulges in subversion and assassinates the Head of the State?

          As a citizen of that nation, who do you complain to? The new Head of State can ensure that you get no power or water. Since your bank acconts are frozen, you cannot buy even groceries. The issue of buying a ‘competing’ product simply does not arise.

          As Americans, what do we do? Or does Ethics stops at our borders?

        • #3309684

          I would like to think it starts there

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Does Ethics stops at our borders?

          I was answering to the idea that all of american companies are unethical.

          I tried HARD to point out that like elsewhere in the world there are SOME bad people.

          But everyone isn’t that way. There are a lot of good, hard working people here (I like to think of myself as one of those)

          I haven’t heard of american corporations assassinating head of states and freezing the assets of the citizens, so it would be hard for me to answer that. Please site your source and I would add that company to a list that I wouldn’t purchase from.

          Just saying that if you feel a company isn’t doing business in a manner you aprove of, don’t work there and don’t use there products.

          If a company isn’t breaking the law, the missed business of people going to the compition is the only way to get them to change.

        • #3309571

          Business cannot have it both ways

          by hare_haray ·

          In reply to I would like to think it starts there

          Jdclyde,
          The bad operations of some corporations, makes all actions of all coporations suspect. That is human nature. Unfortunately for us, it is also rational and logical.

          For many people around the world, its difficult to distinguish between the American foreign policy and the American business interests. There is the well documented example of President Allende in Chile. By no means, is this an exception.

          About a decade earlier, the CIA had done the same thing to Mossadegh (aka ‘Mad Dog Mossadegh’), the Head of State of Iran. The Shah of Iran was installed in his place, and American oil interests greatly benefited. (Is it a wonder that Iranians hate us?).

          It would seem we have doing this for a long time. I have attached below the visit of Commodore Perry to Japan in the 1850’s. From the general tone of the article, it would seem the objective was partly military, partly business.

          My point is this: Business cannot have it both ways. If it wants to be ethical (and thereby retaining the right to point at different professions), it has to separate itself from the government and political power. If it is unable to do that, then it has no right to complain about IT or any other profession for that matter.
          =================================================
          Commodore Perry and the Opening of Japan

          Background
          On March 31 1854 representatives of Japan and the United States signed a historic treaty. A United States naval officer, Commodore Matthew Calbraith Perry, negotiated tirelessly for several months with Japanese officials to achieve the goal of opening the doors of trade with Japan.

          For two centuries, Japanese ports were closed to all but a few Dutch and Chinese traders. The United States hoped Japan would agree to open certain ports so American vessels could begin to trade with the mysterious island kingdom. In addition to interest in the Japanese market, America needed Japanese ports to replenish coal and supplies for the commercial whaling fleet.

          On July 8,1853 four black ships led by USS Powhatan and commanded by Commodore Matthew Perry, anchored at Edo (Tokyo) Bay. Never before had the Japanese seen ships steaming with smoke. They thought the ships were “giant dragons puffing smoke.” They did not know that steamboats existed and were shocked by the number and size of the guns on board the ships.

          At age 60, Matthew Perry had a long and distinguished naval career. He knew that the mission to Japan would be his most significant accomplishment. He brought a letter from the President of the United States, Millard Fillmore, to the Emperor of Japan. He waited with his armed ships and refused to see any of the lesser dignitaries sent by the Japanese, insisting on dealing only with the highest emissaries of the Emperor.

          The Japanese government realized that their country was in no position to defend itself against a foreign power, and Japan could not retain its isolation policy without risking war. On March 31, 1854, after weeks of long and tiresome talks, Perry received what he had so dearly worked for–a treaty with Japan. The treaty provided for:

          – Peace and friendship between the United States and Japan.
          – Opening of two ports to American ships at Shimoda and Hakodate
          – Help for any American ships wrecked on the Japanese coast and protection for shipwrecked persons
          – Permission for American ships to buy supplies, coal, water, and other necessary provisions in Japanese ports.

          —-
          http://www.history.navy.mil/branches/teach/ends/opening.htm

        • #3309557

          I don’t follow your logic here

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Business cannot have it both ways

          Greetings Hare_Haray,

          I don’t follow ALL governments working for trade relations with other countries has to do with ethics in business today, or how companies in other countries are whole and pure but American companies are all evil and unethical?

          With the internet, you can now learn more than the limited, slanted view of America that is told by the BBC and other sources that have an anti-american agenda to begin with.

          We in America aren’t all evil, greedy people. Any more than in any other country in the world. It is a diverse culture that people from all over the world come to because of the opporunites that are here if you are willing to work for it.

          And being ethical does not give anyone the option to point at others, and proclaim how grand you are.
          It means you live and work by a set of standards.

          Sorry we don’t appear to be as perfect as what ever utopia you live in where all businesses are ethical, the government has a great record on human rights and there is peace and love everywhere?

          If I thought there was such a place, I would move there too.

          Hope you are happy with your life, but remember not to judge to quickly people you don’t know more than what is fed over mainstream media.

          NOTE: the first line of the provisions of “peace and friendship”. What a terrible thing?

        • #3309526

          Is that too much to ask?

          by hare_haray ·

          In reply to I don’t follow your logic here

          JDClyde,
          Thanks (and greetings!).

          My comments were about American business, because the author seemed to be commenting about American IT.

          Are businesses in other nations clean? Probably not. But before we go to them preaching reformation, it may help if we reformed ourselves. Part of that reformation is business having the courage to admit that much of the problem is its own creation.

          Here are some things that business could do.
          1. Stop the focus on the next quarter. Shareholders interests can be maintained even with a 1-year focus.

          2. Stop the confrontration with the employees. Outsource, if you have to, but only as a long term strategy – not to show profits next quarter.

          3. Stop being a silent spectator to the unethical behavior of fellow business or businessmen.

          Is that too much to ask?

          NOTE: Look at the lines preceding the one you quoted. “..and Japan could not retain its isolation policy without risking war.”. Funny thing, that almost sounded like the erstwhile USSR, which maintained that it was maintaining peace in Eastern Europe with tanks and guns.

        • #3309583

          I have worked for all 3 of those companies.

          by kmhs_sa ·

          In reply to People need to look in mirror

          1) Start your own company and run it as you chose.

          I have my own small business, and I run it to the same ethical standards as my own personal standards. I will not compromise them for additional money or convinience.

          2) Work for an unethical company, making yourself unethical as well.

          I pointed the errors in their way, and I was sacked. After the Tax Office was finished, I received a reward payment. This has been used to start my business.

          3) Find some company in another country that you THINK is more ethical and live a happy life.

          I now also work for my local government, and I couldn’t be happier. My team has very similar standards and respects my standards. I am the sole IT Professional on staff, and my opinion are respected even if they seem as though they came from outer space. I’m only wrong 1 in 10 opinions. I have my say, and when I am overruled, I will comply with the ruling, even if I am convinced it won’t work.

    • #3307802

      People get what they pay for ( and not just with money)

      by jjlov ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Another responder to this thread also commented on the lack of ethics, etc. with regard to not just this aspect of business, but also with management, advertising, operations and our customers and our products.

      We have become a greedy society, grabbing whatever we can for the least amount of effort and nowhere is this more harmful (and obvious) than in corporate management.

      The reason for this is the top-down effect management has on an organization. Once the rot is here, there is no way to stop it, thanks to the current rules of corporate governance which permit executive officers to sit on boards of public corporations, thereby eliminating the checks and balances that that system was intended to provide.

      Some corporate officers are firmly entrenched in the belief that the short term bottom line is all that matters – and it is – if they intend for the company to survive only long enough for them to collect a nice raise and severance package. In line with this they hire least-cost employees, with no training and little experience or dedication, and then fire them periodically to avoid having to give them raises or benefits. They also ‘can’ anyone else that shows the capability for independent and reasoned thought for this could be a threat to their (lack of) ‘leadership’.

      So their employees have little cause to show dedication, acquire training, get certified, show initiative, or behave professionally. As with any thing – you get what you pay for.

    • #3307790

      IT Professionals

      by the.erinyes ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I think the topic of what is professional and how that applies to IT is interesting. One of the major problems with the IT field, is that there really is very little to no standardization across the field. In accounting, there is the CPA exam and in Law the Bar. These exams are based on a relatively small subset of the profession each is testing basic skills like interpretation and memorization of material around this body of knowledge. In addition, they both have a code of ethics that guide the groups actions in their professional careers. In IT, there are certifications that can be had, similar to the CPA and Bar exams. Just like the CPA and Bar exams, students can attend classes and do test reviews, so they have a higher opportunity to pass the test. Once an accounting student or law student passed their certifications, would a professional firm take on a large complex high profile case on their own? Highly unlikely. So, what would normally happen. They would be assigned to more senior professionals and work under their guidance and mentoring untill they have proven they can take on added responsibility. IT is somewhat different and similar to these professions. What constitutes a professional in IT? Is it the ability to memorize basic answers to a test? Is it being expert in a particular technology? Must you know how to write a compiler to be a professional in IT? Must you know all the methodologies for analyzing and building software systems, or just oine of them? Should you know the technology required to implement all the methodologies or just one methodology? Are you a professional if you know how to architect a JAVA solution using SUN’s architecture, or a C# solution using Microsoft’s architecture? Is it proper and good architecture practice to base a software architecture on any manufacturers specific platform? Should the professional know SQL Server, Oracle, DB2, MySQL, Postgres or Ingres? Or should the professional just know relational data modeling? Is it professional to only go to 3rd normal form, or is 4th or 5th normal form required to be professional? In order to be a professional, no innovation is possible? Are professionals not able to be scientists? Thanks, Ken Salyards.

    • #3307785

      You said the U word

      by dsx inc. ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Unions bad. We don’t need no stinkin union. Maybe up North where it costs 3 times the $$ to do bizness. Oh wait, it costs so much because of unions.

    • #3307777

      Todays Professional

      by ron.riley ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      With 30 years in the engineering computer industry. I have a little bit of experience with the way it used to be, and the way it is today as a professional. Thirty years ago, an individual usually went to work for a large company one or both of their parents worked for. They received a relative decent wage and benefits for their dedication to the company. Employees took a lot of pride in their employer and the job they performed. This was the only company they would ever work for and retire usually at the age of 65. An engineer usually started at the bottom learning the companies business and gaining experience. Most engineers and technicans were hard working & respected. When the computer industry needs exceeded supply of technical people. Companies started paying more for NEW employees then those that had worked for the company for any length of time. So the trend was if you want to get ahead, you have to change jobs.
      In the early 1980’s the average turn over for computer technical people was every 2-1/2 years.
      During this same era, (70’s – 2000) companies started hiring excessive numbers of middle managers. Mostly with management degrees but no technical experience. Or real experience dealing with any people, let alone technical people. Technical people who are more concerned with finding or developing a solution to a problem then they are attending useless meetings and filling out progress charts & graphs to justify the managers existance. Techie’s became known as “hard to deal with”, uncooperative”, etc.. Since the managers really don’t understand the technical part of the problems, they want the project completed in half the time with half the resources to make THEM look good to higher management. Then put the blame on the techie’s when the project doesn’t meet the schedule or crashs the first time its used. At the first site of company money problems the first people laid off are the engineers and developers. In the early 1970’s electronic HARDWARE development and production went offshore. Today the trend is to offshore the SOFTWARE engineering development, documentation and support of anything to do with computers. The company that expects dedicated, loyal, knowledgable, experienced IT people. Wants to hire support employees with at least a MCSE certification. The MCSE takes 7 courses, about a year to complete and a cost of $ 20,000, if formal training is used. For this they want to pay UPTO $ 15.00 and hour or $ 30,000 a year. This is a pretty poor return on investment for the new employee. For programmers and engineers the same companies want experience of upto (by actual count) 34 different programming languages on 3 or more operating systems. With 3 to 5 years experience in THEIR industry. Many require experience in what ever programs the company uses for their development, backup, documentation, etc.
      For anyone meeting this requirement (I really don’t think GOD has come down to apply) the company is willing to pay about 25 to 30% of what was paid five years ago. Five years ago 6 to 10 engineers would have been used to meet the same requirement for a single engineer today.
      While the people doing the work are being offered 1985 wages (that’s a fact) the average CEO of a fortune 500 company receives more then $ 4 MILLION in salary and bennies.
      Most companies in the computer industry no longer pay relocation expenses for new employees. Are cutting back on the amount of people needed to do the job, meaning more unpaid overtime, and stress for those doing the job. Cutting back on health care, life insurance and training expenses. Expect employees to increase their knowledge yearly on their own time at mostly if not all of their own expense.
      Maybe now, you understand why employees will copy software programs for their own use. Use company time to increase their knowledge. And take the attitude that since the company will probably outsource my job as soon as they can, really don’t give a damn about a company that will probably shut down in the next couple of years anyway. Data General, DEC, Sperry Univac, Borroughs, RCA, Compaq (now owned by HP) were industry giants, now they don’t exist. Or have been obsorbed by other companies. IBM had about 85% of the industry in the mid 80’s. Not so anymore. The computer industry in the USA is shuting down and going offshore. Anyone that doubts this, call for support from any of the large PC companies. You’ll find yourself talking to someone in India or China or Russia that doesn’t understand you or your problem.
      If you apply for wellfare in the sate of PA you will be talking to someone in India. If your IRS 1040 tax form is auditied, it is done in INDIA.
      When the US AND STATE governments are selling our industry to offshore interests. There isn’t a lot of hope for non goverment companies.
      Don’t expect a professional to be “Professional” when you treat them like an idiot and only expect them to be with the company until the project can be sent off shore. The only thing that counts with American industry today is: How much profit can we make for the CEO and share holders. At both the companies future and employee expense.
      We have lost our farming, manufacturing and technical industries to offshoring.
      The writing has been on the wall for 15 years, but we as a country are too stupid to see it!
      People in this country no longer care about anyone but themselves. “Let someone else do the work”, “That’s not my problem”, “Couldn’t care less”. And that’s the same attitude that companies have taken with their employees and the companies future.
      Today, 2004 if you take your car to the dealers for work you will pay 3 times ($90.00) the hourly rate for the services of an auto mechanic then what the average software engineer ($30.00) makes. Think about it !

    • #3307773

      Entitlement Rules

      by louindc ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I am in government service and work with many IT contractors. I have to agree that there is a sense of entitlement with many contractors. I am often reminded not to hurt the contractor’s feelings by doing things like asking them to do their job.

      Louindc

    • #3307759

      I am proud of the term Amateur.

      by admin ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      It’s easy to be all high and mighty and set high standards in the educational and business arena. It protects the incumbants.

      All of us professionals need to remember that what we leave as lasting contributions- even in this field- is really who we train and what they go on to do.

      Professionals teach their replacements how to succeed and become professional.

      Professionals work with and encourage and train amateurs whenever they can.

      Can you imagine the sports world if Amateur sports were looked down on? My kids soccer coach is the coolest guy in the world. IT should be civic minded and thinking long term as well.

      I too, understand the strength courage and power of being an amateur, being hungry to learn and happy to create things like networks in your spare time and even pay for them with your own money working a job to get where you want to be.

      Too often we see “professionals” who will have nothing to do with “amateurs”. They got a degree and their certs and they still have no wisdom and little useable knowledge. They despise the amateur and hate their power users too. Well, BAH! on them.

      Amateurs and Professionals unite and build a better world! F**k L Ron FeelgoodHubbard and be the best person you can be.

      And BTW- stop being unethical if you are. I know Professionals who get paid a lot of money specifically because they are unethical in this field. Stop it. You’ll sleep better and have more time to make a positive impact in your community and actually be able to be a good role model for the kids who are watching and learning from what you do. Its not too late- stop being unethical for your own good.

    • #3307752

      Wrong conclusion

      by dc_guy ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I’m a little underwhelmed by the rock and roll kid’s observation. If I were the Martian CEO he postulated, getting my first impression of the American IT profession by reading the TR bulletin board, my impression would be that it is the EXECUTIVES, and to a slightly lesser extent the MANAGERS in this business who are “poorly trained (or completely incompetent), greedy, and criminal.”

      That is certainly the underlying and excruciatingly well documented complaint in the majority of the postings here. Managers who don’t follow their own rules, who don’t reward good performance and criticize bad, who just don’t care. Executives who treat their corporations like videogames, to be turned off and discarded when they get bored with them and have sucked enough money out of them. No one but the line workers give a darn about the customers, and no one at all gives a darn about the line workers.

      I confess that I haven’t read all 900 replies to the original post. Like many people I was attracted by the headline in this week’s TR. Surely others have already said what I have to say. But it’s worth saying again, because I don’t want that Martian to have the slightest doubt as to where the problem lies. American workers have not changed much in the three generations I have observed, except insofar as they had to adapt to new working conditions, which include a steady loss of respect from their superiors, most of whom themselves no longer deserve the title “superior” except as a measure of the size of their paychecks.

      L. Ron Hubbard is a pretty controversial source to be quoting in the trade press. And he’s not exactly a contemporary of today’s business leaders. Times really have changed. The Computer Revolution will turn civilization upside down and shake it like the Industrial Revolution did, only much faster and harder.

      Accept without criticism the wisdom of your elders at your own peril. Very few truths are truly eternal. Even the Ten Commandments accepted slavery as unremarkable.

      • #3307728

        Well Met Sir!

        by bfilmfan ·

        In reply to Wrong conclusion

        I’ve seen your well thought posts in here and in the technical forums.

        If I am ever in DC, the bourbon (or drink of your choice) is on me sir!

        Well met indeed!

    • #3307741

      Ethics, professionalism, and IT

      by jjpaul01 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      RknRIKid,

      Unfortunate as this may sound, I believe you are 100% correct. A lot of the issues concerning security, fraud, and poor network design have not only come from a lack of skills, but a lack of initiative, laziness. To prove my point, in the past few years the attacks on companies such as Yahoo, Amazon, etc. have come from a lack of security. Basic analogy would be leaving for the night and not locking the doors to the building because you either don’t know or don’t care enough to know. Who would think of doing that? No one would, but again the lack of knowledge, fear of a layoff, etc. on both officers and engineers alike are creating scenarios like this all the time.
      How will this cycle cease?
      When businesses start employing leadership that truly understand the entire infrastructure of the corporation. Not just the physical realm (e.g. the office, the people, the money, etc) but also the virtual realm (e.g. the network architecture, connections, software, etc.).
      Can we find them? Absolutely! Just need to search a little harder.
      Great thread RknRIKid!!
      JJ

      Motto: Do the job correct the first time, or don’t do it all.

    • #3307729

      100% Agreement

      by chris.mcgill ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Hi,

      I agree 100% with all you have said. I am only 22, but have worked for ICL, Fujitsu, BT Syntegra, I am currently working for Phoenix IT, consulting for the Government with partners EDS and IBM. In other words, I have meet alot of so called professionals. Many of which are twice my age, the old saying “with age comes wisdom” is not always true. I find people who dismiss certifications as a waste of time, other have entry level certifications such as Microsoft MCP, MCSE and CCNA, yet will tell you how bad the industry is, EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE UNDER QUALIFIED AND EXPERIENCED to make such bold statements. Then, you have the GNU/Linux GURUs….. The one who hate everything apart from linux, showing a total lack of understanding of the industry.

      The British Computer Society exists to offer some professional standards to its members, but again, the requirements are high to become a member, and therefore alot of the unskilled IT people will not even care about it.

      I think you need the entire package, Experience, Certification, Professional Membership, Professional Training courses in non-certified specific areas (also soft skills), a degree would not go a miss (perhaps even in later life, if you wish to move into management).

      And perhaps you need even more…..

      Quote: “Technicial knowledge is not enough, one must trensend techniques, so the art becomes an artless form flowing form subconscious thought”

      What does this all mean? It means we work in one of the most exciting industries where the opportunites are great and where you will find equals who will test your abilities and influence your thinking.

      Ask yourself this:

      “Is working in IT the only thing you have every wanted to do? Is IT the only thing you can every see yourself doing? Is your will set and only death can break it?

      This is how strong I feel about where I need to be in this industry, and therefore, have doubt it can be achieved.

      • #3307721

        Can someone translate?

        by netman1958 ·

        In reply to 100% Agreement

        Could someone translate what chris.mcgill@phoenix.co.uk just said? I think he’s saying he’s 22 years old and has it all figured out already?

        • #3307703

          Well Done You Can Read

          by chris.mcgill ·

          In reply to Can someone translate?

          🙂

        • #3309598

          Yes I can Read

          by netman1958 ·

          In reply to Well Done You Can Read

          Yes I CAN read. I’m even potty trained. How about you?

        • #3309462

          You sound like a real unhappy person

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Yes I can Read

          I went and looked at your posts on this and other discussions and you seem to be a bitter, unhappy person.

          You have had very little to add to ANY of the discussions except your hate of execs and loathing of end users.

          Losing the Pilot job seemed to be a very big part of it?

          IT has to deal with, AND ANSWER TO upper management. Many of them do make 10 times what we do and it is not seen as a good investment of their time to learn our job, any more than you as a Net Admin should have to do data entry or secritarial work. Yes there time is more valuable than ours to the company because they are being paid so much more. (Kmart exec getting 105Mil in stock options for getting them out of trouble).

          It isn’t a personal thing where they are better than others, and petty crying for redistrobution of wealth and jelousy that you don’t have the cars and homes they do will not help get you anywhere.

          Re-evaluate if you REALLY like this field. It is service oriented and the users are the customers. How many people go to buy a service from someone who expects them to know what they are paying money to you for? Why would they need you? Or want you?

          I try to keep my posts relevant, on-topic, and positive to the discussion (even if I don’t agree with the person I am conversing with).

          Hopefully you can resolve this victom syndrome (probably from once being union?) and decide what profession will make you happy.

          Good luck

        • #3308372

          Not unhappy

          by netman1958 ·

          In reply to You sound like a real unhappy person

          No I’m not unhappy. I really like my current job and employer. Bitter? Yes there are some events in my past that I am bitter about. If you had been through what I went through and wasn’t still a bit bitter, then I’d have to say you are a better man than me.

          I didn’t lose the pilot job per say, I quit one airline to go to another. During the period between leaving the old one and starting the new one, the new one (ValuJet) had a crash that resulted in them going out of business. Within a few weeks of that, I was hired by a third airline. Before my start date with this third airline, I did a lot of thinking and just decided that there wasn’t much of a future in the airlines (a fact that has proved to be true in the years since). I had been pursuing education in IT (as a backup career in case I lost my medical certification). So I made a decision to pursue that as a career.

          Also, I am not suggesting that Execs learn our jobs. I’m suggesting that they learn the basics that any user of IT resources should know. Most execs and end users that I have dealt with have been USING computers longer than I have. I was first exposed to computers in 1989 when I went to work for the first airline. It was a mainframe system that the whole airline ran on. I didn’t complain that I was a pilot and my job was to fly an airplane and not to know about mainframe computers. It was obvious that I would have to interact with this computer in order to function as a pilot with this airline, so I gladly learned it. I was first exposed to PC’s in 1993 and have been learning ever since. How can someone who has been using a computer everyday as part of their job, for much longer than I have been using computers, have learned so little about it? I would have learned just by osmosis.

          Yes, I was a member of an union when I worked for the airlines (you really have no choice unless you want to be a SCAB). The worst screwing I ever took in my life was from that union to which I paid a portion of every paycheck I received. The union sold us (the pilots) out. You see, it’s all about money and unions don’t give a damn about the workers. They (the unions) have become a business entity of their own and operate much like the companies’ management that they oppose.

          I AM happy in this profession but I am left wondering about it’s future in this country. Can you answer this? If the companies keep outsourcing and down sizing and getting rid of jobs what are the workers to do? Learn management and become management? If you follow this scenario out to the end, at some point and time, everyone in this country will fall into one of two groups: (1)management (2)unemployed. For those that fall into group 1, who will they manage? Each other? The outsourced workers in India?

          If you’d like you can respond via email sclowers@nexcheck.com.

          Scott

        • #3309460

          Here is your answer from other post

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Yes I can Read

          “Finally, here is a question that I’ve never gotten a satisfactory answer to:
          You say “Having been one to play all of those roles during my career (employee, owner, executive) I can tell you – without any doubt – the employee role is easier. At least in terms of risk, stress, and difficulty.”
          I’ve heard this from just about every manager or owner I have ever talked to, including my own brother. So my question is, why do these people never go back to being just an employee ever again, once they’ve been a manager or owner? I’ve never met one yet that did.
          Cheers,
          Scott”

          In America, you are seen as successful if you climb the ladder.
          The reward for doing a job well is to take you out of that job and move you into a new job that you now have to learn.
          You make more money, thus start to live at a higher level of debt.
          Many can’t go back because they can’t give up that bigger check.
          Others see it as a demotion if they go back down the ladder, and what everyone think about them. The ego factor.
          Would you go back willingly to help desk?
          Didn’t think so.

        • #3308363

          Thank you!

          by netman1958 ·

          In reply to Here is your answer from other post

          Thank you! Everything you say seems to prove my point!

          You know, just because you start to make more money doesn’t mean you have to go into more debt. “Make more – spend more” isn’t in the Bible or the Constitution.

          Sure they can give up that bigger check and go back, they just don’t WANT to. My brother is a home builder and during a recent discussion about all the problems he faces in his business, I asked him why he didn’t quit and just get a job. He said he had recently been offered a job by another builder. His wife ask him how much the pay would be and he said $75,000.00 per year. They both dropped that subject like a hot rock! He averages $80,000.00 profit on each house he builds. He could take that job and still live better than I do, but he would have to sell his $500,000.00 house and buy a much cheaper one. He would have to sell both of his Harleys. He would have to sell his condo in Orange Beach, etc. You get the point. But he COULD do it.

          Also, I have always heard and said that the only thing bigger than CEO’s paychecks are their egos.

          As for the help desk. I am the network admin for a small company and I AM the help desk also. So not only do I do the higher level stuff that goes with being the Network Admin, Systems Admin, Email Admin, Webmaster, etc. I still do the help desk also.

    • #3307705

      My opinion?

      by glitcha1 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      You said
      “”A professional produces more than expected. An amateur produces just enough to get by.

      “”A professional produces a high-quality product or service. An amateur produces medium-to-low quality product or service.

      “”A professional earns high pay. An amateur earns low pay and feels it?s unfair.

      In my opinion if you focus on just those points, you are a professional. To get a high quality service or product takes all of those other points you stated.

      A professional needs to be able to communicate in non technical terms to the worlds biggest dumb-arse, and not get impatient, or communicate that they are stupid.

    • #3309764

      lack of resources and planning, survival

      by kyuso ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Professionals are made from an environment that fosters professionalism.

      In an environment where lack of resources and planning from higher place cause greed, politics, and unethical activities to persist and be tolerated, in the name of survival of the fittest where the survival technique does not rely on professionalism, then anything goes.

      Sadly, the people engaged in these unprofessional activities apply the same technique when they move to other places with similar deficiencies, and propagate the technique to other unsuspecting novices, who easily learn the techniques.

      Unless the head of the company fosters professionalism, ‘dirty pond is the result of dirty water from above.’

      • #3309761

        my definition of professionalism

        by kyuso ·

        In reply to lack of resources and planning, survival

        Oops, I forgot to define my ‘professionalism’.

        I don’t concur with many of the definitions in the original post. The only professionalism I know:

        1. knows and are confident of the trade in and out with both experience and self-learning
        2. Does the work as specified given a reasonable requirement
        3. Reasoning, articulate, and solution-oriented when dealing with clients on issues related to the trade
        4. Be proud of the profession with integrity and ethics
        5. Proper attire and manner related to the trade (doesn’t always have to wear suit, just proper for the trade)

        Concerning the office environment, how organized the desks are, how much pay they receive, etc., doesn’t have any relation to the professionalism. These only show what external factors come into play regardless of the professionalism.

    • #3309752

      hey why don’t you blame the IT person blame human resources directors

      by jolve001 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I been tring to get in the IT Field for years. With a college degree A+ , CCNA and MSCA certification no company wants to hire me. I blame it all on the human resources directors. When you hire a IT persons the first thing they go to is HR. I will tell you a sterotical hr person. They are a recent college graduate that looks pretty. They remind you of a freaternity boy are sorcity chic. Anybody can BS HR and the HR person will be a complete idot on the IT world.
      By the time they find out that this person does not know anything it is too late. The person has control of your network and it is almost impossible to fire them. On the issue of ethic I will not blame them on doing anything to keep there job and get hire salary. The reason the workforce got hardest not harder. Now aday anyone can get fire for saying a stupid statement that has no bearing or attack on someone personally. If manager can fire someone for seeming to have a negative attitude. So if they are attacking on there best intersect more power to them. But the only thing that I do not forgive IT personal is having the integrity that they don’t know what is happening. The reason why new technology requires bus to be workout and sometimes they cannot predict the possible that will happen. Maybe it is unrealizitic expecation put by management. Better yet management does understand or comphrend what it is like to be in there shoes. My best advice to you is to control these persons who are acting like this is to remind them they can be replace anytime if they don’t pull any of these studs. Also you should provide a security persoanl to make sure they don’t

      Angryworker

    • #3309742

      Sounds to me like management

      by deuscarpepraedam ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Sounds to me like the management from Dilbert. It is impossible really to fully implement all the little analogy tidbits. Really, honestly, how many IT professionals do you know that have a clean work environment? How many professionals period do you know that have one, that arent obssesive compulsive? The notion that a IT professional, who is basically specialized into his or her field, must know EVERYTHING is just dumb. IT personnel who deal with ISS dont have time to be meddling with lower IT related tasks. Theyre busy defending against hackers and viruses. You cant expect a data base manager to be pouring over the countless Internet security manuals because it will affect his productivity in his specialized job. The Windows 98 example is just stupid, if you buy a product, why must you buy it AGAIN if you loose a simple key? Why doesnt microsoft give you a way to gain your key? Hell they dont even release updates for Windows 98 anyways, its OLD. Piracy is a big issue, and it will continue to be so, BUT as long as Managers and CEOs etc demand results without shelling out the $$$ for the necessary equiptment, you will have piracy. In the here and now, what is preferable? That you complete the task and the company lives for another 2-3 months, or that you dont, and the company goes under? Get back to your desk manager dood and go back to sleep. Let the “professionals” deal with the issues while you sit back and reap the rewards.

    • #3309741

      Way out of touch

      by gman1973 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      A professional does not let mistakes slide by. An amateur ignores or hides mistakes.
      I work for a four star hotel. Where I am a professinal. I witness my amateur minimum wage employees doing their jobs in the most professinal way. When they make mistakes they fess up for the most part. Where as several of my co-managers make changes to policy and it does not work they do not look for how to fix it. They instead blame they employees responsible for trying to implement bad policy.

    • #3309740

      SOUND LIKE A FERRY TAIL

      by rigo1 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      NOT HAPPENING WITH YOU I SEE

    • #3309739

      An IT Professional cannot be Perfect

      by marthamocs ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      By your definition any “professional” can be called an amateur. Its impossible to be the way you would like an IT person to be without them being a robot. Piracy only exists because of a market shortfall in regards to customer service. Managers have the inate ability to ask for more then they are willing to provide for. The windows 98 CD key shouldnt even be a issue if they had great customer service. The individual would be able to go to Microsoft and ask for the CD key while showing his proof of purchase. Well, in the real world, he would be DENIED.

    • #3309725

      You are sooooooo by the book! An amateur!!!

      by yanipen ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Do not get me wrong. All of your statements are correct. But one thing you did not notice in all of your statements. You forced yourself thinking inside the box. That is why I called you and amateur.

      Have you really read what you wrote? The analogy? Or did you just copied and pasted it? There are those who have certs, docs to back them up. But do you think most of them are professionals. Can they really be called proffesionals?

      If you are the CEO, you should not have that job. You dont trust those who are under you.

      Think outside the box, man! The book is good, but you need also a good brain and heart to do so.

      It hurts? It should be. Hmmm. Ethics.

      I did not mean to hurt you man. But you see, there is something a miss in what you have posted.

      To make this short, see the big picture, or the bigger picture even.

      • #3309629

        Yeah, corporate shill

        by synthetic ·

        In reply to You are sooooooo by the book! An amateur!!!

        I agree, this guy must be a newbie. ONE mark of professionalism is seeing the job is done and done right. This sometimes means certain laws are violated and gray areas entered into. From the way this guy talks, he must never speed, jay-walk, litter, or else that would be unprofessional in life. Many of these precious laws are very absurd, and written in a way to push great levels of monopolized to the very richest. Life is not black and white, and if I was CEO, I wouldn’t hire this cad.

      • #3309061

        To answer

        by rknrlkid ·

        In reply to You are sooooooo by the book! An amateur!!!

        Other than the “tipsforsuccess” piece, everything is original writing.

        I think you missed the big picture more than I did. This post was an offshoot of another one.

        CEOs are not required to know everything in a technical sense. But, if they are worth their salt, they do know about personnel, ethics, and leadership. Now, I fully realize that the Peter Principle is in effect in America (and elsewhere). CEO competency would be a completely different posting!

        Thinking outside the box DOES NOT mean tossing the book. This is a common misconception. You cannot think outside the box until you mastered the box (or book) first. What I wrote is a generality to spur discussion. Nothing is amiss with it.

    • #3309616

      GaijinIT,myndkrime,& jdclyde-Thanks you Guys & Gals for agreeing with me!!

      by techpro34yrs. ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      myndkrime, jdclyde & GaijinIT, It was a breath of fresh air for me to see their is still some pride out there. I appreciated that you agreed with me!
      Yes GaijinIT, you got me in the years of service-HA. I really liked your response and especially the last sentence had me crackin up! Thanks to the others that agreed with me too.
      Did you catch some of the comments further down the list after our responses? Some missed the point all together – one mentioned paragraph breaks. Come on, We are all trying to make a point here and we are not getting ready to take an English Test here. In all respect, one mentioned that there desk might be too small and had too much work to hold it. Never heard of a card table I take it. It will do until you catch up or was that an excuse. Not being somewhat organized reflects in all aspects of your job. At least once a week clear the crap. You’ll have less stress trying to find an item. Boss will be pleased and you’ll remind yourself of a job you forgot to do when you find it under the pile. To be continued!

      • #3309539

        Just don’t look at my office!

        by jdclyde ·

        In reply to GaijinIT,myndkrime,& jdclyde-Thanks you Guys & Gals for agreeing with me!!

        The part of having a neat desk, is the sign of someone who doesn’t have much to do?

        I have a 8×10 “office” where I am right now working on repairing three PC’s, and working off my desktop and laptop PC at the same time.

        I am always in the middle of at least 2 to 4 projects that have to be worked on (at the same time) so it is litterally “this pile is project A, and that pile is project B.

        I have a desk, a table and just rolled in a cart yesterday for one of the systems so I had to laugh about your card table line…..

        How can torn apart PC’s ever look “neat”? Cool maybe, but never neat.

        But the job is done and done right everytime.

        Then I clean up so I can make a new mess (lol).

        But let me tell you, I even take polish to the systems before they leave so they look like new when I set it back on that users desk.

        Am I over worked or stressed? Give me time to catch up to GaijinIt and maybe (but I still got you by some TechPro). Right now I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way.

        And like GaijinIT pointed out, many non-productive posts here. Make a point on why or why not about something, but why personally attack someone here?

        Keep positive, keep the standards high, and rock on.

        Hey TechRepublic, how about adding a spell checker before the submit button?

    • #3309590

      I think the point here…

      by mlayton ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      a lot of people missed. The question is NOT whether business, your own CEO or legal counsel, or anyone else is a professional. The question is a personal one, and applies across industries. Do you live your life with pride in what you do AND how you accomplish it? Could you say to your children/grandchildren “this is what I do, how I do it” with pride and want them to follow your example? The problem today is that society glorifies the people who don’t – just look at any “reality” show – how many of the “honest” people are lasting? Or look at the front page headlines – which seldom feature a Mother Theresa these days. Living your life ethically and honestly (and yes, that means you don’t litter or run red lights – I often wonder what THESE people say to their children in the car) doesn’t get you the headlines. But it does leave a legacy to be remembered, if only on a small scale. It’s easy to point fingers and say the CEO doesn’t do this, “I’m in a gray area” or “I’m just breaking one little law which doesn’t make sense anyway.” I often think of the saying “When presented with two paths, take that which is harder. Most often, it is the right thing to do.”

    • #3309538

      To who it may concern

      by tdavis ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      A very good article indeed; however the IT field is very unique and therefore cannot be regualted like any other business sector. This is a field where if you do not know your stuff millions of dollars is lost and there is no way to plan to get around it(until after a resolution is done). When a server goes down; there are no clinical studies that resolves the issue; because in this field it is case by case. If there is any mistakes in a programmers source code, there is no study that shows where the problem is and what the resolution is. Ethics; the idea of IT was founded by those those so called unethical poeple you talk about (can you say hackers, hell the whole damn windows platform was hacked by the richest man in America). So instead of bashing the field embrace it. There are many of us out here who are underpaid why? Because we are victims to the time. IT professionals are by far the most abused and overlooked people since firemen and police.
      As far as the education is concerned, in many cases the so called educated IT pro’s have a decent grasp of theory in and this profession you need to sometimes think outside the box, and in most case theory does not. How many Harvard grads in the IT field you know that has done anything innovative in the IT field fresh out of college? So where would you start; regulalte the IT industry? Start over? What about people who are here now? And as the licensing issue goes; I am willing to bet that 80% of all businesses in the US are not in compliance 100% of the time all the time. Does that make them unethical? In many cases the software in which we use today a spin off’ s … I could go on forever about this but face the IT industry is all business sectors rolled into one; it cannot be successfully regulated. As far as being profeesionals; those who are getting paid to do a job ina specific field is a “professional” . Furthermore, the IT field cannot and should not be compared to any occupation that deals with lives. IT revolves around making people’s lives easier; it is a field in which people invest in to make things easy; and alot of that deals with unethical behavior, so go figure… I do have an education (Master, Computer Science) But there was NOTHING that helped me more the REAL WORLD EXPIRIENCE) something the book cannot ever teach you….

    • #3309442

      we are not a collective

      by lioninoil ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      RknRlKid wrote:

      > The hallmark of an occupation calling itself
      > “professional” is a shared set of values,
      > a shared set of standards, and shared
      > expectations.

      That’s not the hallmark of an occupation; that’s the hallmark of a collective. We are not a collective. You will not be assimilated. Resistance is not futile.

      > Anyone can call themselves a mechanic; only
      > those with ASE are professional.

      Wrong. The fact is that there was a host of professional mechanics before 1972, when ASE was established; and there is an even greater number of them now who have no need of ASE for their work.

      > If I was a CEO and knew absolutely nothing about
      > IT workers…

      … then you’d be just like every other clueless suit in the industry.

      > TipsForSucces.org web site has this interesting
      > analogy:
      > “A professional [does this and that]”

      You’re passing along an opinion about the behaviour of “a professional” from a bunch of *Scientologists*?? Snap out of it, Kid!

      • #3309402

        That Hits It…..Where It Hurts Them

        by olprof67 ·

        In reply to we are not a collective

        While the pattern has admittedly been overblown and stereotyped by our opposite numbers who dominate journalism and the media, the fact remains that technical fields, and IT in particular, are attractive to the introverted, the self-reliant and the self-centered.

        Conversely, the majority of disposable-income dollars are in the hands of the the short-sighted, the superficial, the shallow; to lure them, technology has to be paired with entertainment.

        So the relationship between information technology and technical support may be likened to that between medicine and nursing; the former are the few who call the shots; the latter face a large pile of dirty work.

        One of the principal rewards for advancement in nursing is to get away from the tedium and frustration of front-line patient care; a similar standard applies in tech support.

        Advancement through certification?….not very likely. The typical IT shop is up to its ears in people who know the latest tips and tweaks; what it needs are more people with the patience to deal with the public, particularly if thay can lead others similarly frustrated by the mismatch of personalities.

    • #3309396

      I have been in the computer area

      by zlitocook ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      For a few years and yes it has changed. It was like any professional job, you did what you were told to do. At first it was try to do this and if it works, great and tell me how. Then it was make it work and document it, so we can do it again. Now it’s do it and I do not care how! I have had many certs. and have not renewed them because of the price and the companys that I worked for will not pay for them. I do not help hackers or support them. I have a great resume and rep. with the companys that I have worked for. It seems that you are looking at the wrong area or threads to see whats being posted.

    • #3309344

      I disagree with your analogy

      by bullmoose ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I think a few things got mixed up here. You’ve hit on it, but didn’t identify it. This is it…

      Professionalism is a mindset, not a piece of paper as you suggest when you say “Anyone can call themselves a mechanic, only those with ASE are professional.” Being a professional is a decision one has to make. It is the mindset that separates the men from the boys. Unfortunately the IT industry is no different than anyplace else. From roofing a house to building the Space Shuttle, there are few “professionals” left, and it shows in their work.

      Keep in mind that professionalism and qualifications are two separate things. You can be a professional and not be qualified. You can be qualified but not professional. You can totally hate your job and still be a professional and qualified.

      Show me someone who approaches me with their credentials, with their “paper,” and I’ll show you a paper tiger. Usually someone who keeps touting their certifications is the guy who is not qualified enough to let their skill speak for itself. On the flipside there are many fully qualified and professional individuals who are not making what they’re worth becuase they didn’t put enough credence into the paper and it’s the paper that helps keep the resume out of the trash.

      I say this only to note that anyone can get “certified.” Anyone can get a degree. That still doesn’t make you qualified or a professional by any stretch of the imagination.

      Signing an agreement that you will abide by a code of ethics is nothing without the person having the character required to control themselves. A professional has the integrity, character, honor and ethics built in that would make them feel guilty if they didn’t abide by something they agreed to. Do we not as IT professionals agree to abide by at least a dozen plus EULAs every day that we previoulsy accepted? Does it really make a difference if I signed something or didn’t? When I hit the “I Accept” button at the end of a EULA, it is no different than signing a document that stated the same thing.

      I fully agree with you about the status of our industry. Too many people came into this industry for the “big payout.” If you came here for the quick money, then you probably don’t have the character needed to become a professional. There has to be something more. The relatively large knowledge gap between an IT person and the customers they support exaserbates the issue as it allows a person made of lesser stuff to hide their incompetence by baffling the user with BS, and somehow allowing that same IT person to think they are better than the people they support. Don’t forget that CEOs are our customers too. If I were a CEO reading these boards, I probably wouldn’t recognize that a lot of what is said here is unethical and wrong in the industry as I would have no knowledge to identify it. This hurts all of us unfortunately.

      The saddest thing is that what I think you’re seeing is not isolated to just our industry. Everywhere I look, I see more and more imcompetent people, who don’t care enough to make themselves better as a person or at their job, and none see themselves as a part of the bigger picture. A member of the team. Half-ass seems to be about as good as I can get from people these days, at any job, and any industry.

    • #3309288

      Too right mate

      by harposdad ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Having been through the training mill from complete beginner to now (I think) a professional. I mostly agree.

      I am a tradesman technician (having completed a four year apprenticeship which included both practical and theoretical competence) with no particular speciality rather a good grounding in most aspects of computer and associated eqipment repairs and maintenance and a number of years practical experience.

      The discussion threads in general show a lack of understanding of basic knowledge by the writers. On many occasions while reading these threads I think ” HOW DO THESE PEOPLE JUSTIFY THEIR EXISTENCE WITHIN THE INDUSTRY, they cannot in all conscience call themselves technicials, they have no knowledge or pride. I am ashamed to be be in the same industry.”

      What this industry needs is a governing body where, to be a member, you must have completed and passed an entrance exam which is designed to show, at least, a satisfactory level of knowledge and competence.

      • #3309210

        And I Assure You…..

        by olprof67 ·

        In reply to Too right mate

        that Corporate America will fight it every step of the way.

        The vast majority of entry-level jobs in the IT world today are in help-desk environments where individual skills are often not differentiated and form is considered much more important than substance.

        Major players in this environment recognize that the real productivity gains in this scenario are realized by teaching the end user to help himself, and an occasional encounter with shoddy advice simply serves to reinforce that lesson.

      • #3310541

        Response to Harposdad

        by techpro34yrs. ·

        In reply to Too right mate

        I have to disagree with your comment that we the writer do not have the basic IT knowledge. It’s obvious your still young and starting out in our field. What you are learning now-right now, we’ve done learned that 20 years ago or so. Yes, you are correct on the point that pride in the workforce is a dying breed, but to generalize the whole of lack of understanding basic knowledge is to a degree unjustified. You also mentioned an entrance exam. Well, in industry already has that – Certifications!. But, certifications don’t mean squat without experience!. I don’t care what anyone says – you can be the smartest bookworm in the world and know your manuals front to back, but book learning and doing it-(hands-on) are to entirely different worlds. I would hire an experienced Tech with no Certs any day of the week that has experience, than a fresh Tech who has certs up the rear but has no hands-on and has never done our type of work before. Don’t be ashamed of our industry- help and try to make it better. 15 to 20 years from now when you have that young pup under your wings, teach them the right way to work, with pride and how to go the extra mile. Then, no one can say they are ashamed!. Anybody else out there agree ??????? chime in…

    • #3309199

      Comments on a few points

      by fcometa ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      One time somebody told me “There are two types of people you shouldn’t trust: lawyers and [IT personnel]… they always try to cheat you”. That was in 1994. It was downright bitter to hear a customer say that. But it seems things have changed little since then…

      You have brought forth a subject that has spread out into several subtopics. I’d like to comment on a few I have seen so far.

      1. Being “professional”, “ethical”. I understand what you are looking at. It may be a need to agree on what is meant by “professional”, or a need for another word to express it. But the thing is that IT shouldn’t conform to being seen as a group of cheapskates, as in the introductory quote of this post. As a group that believes the end justifies the means: “who cares if I’m violating the license, I just want this computer up and running…”. We should really live up to the respect we think is due to us for our role in the company. Not just because we’re high-tech up-to-date junkies, but because we represent key, active agents of progress.

      Now, when speaking of ethics, that will also depend on the business culture and society in general. I say that because here in the Dominican Republic (and in other countries, like somebody else posted), unethical behaviour is standard. Businesses cheat on the government, and the government cheats on everybody. Here you will most likely find a corrupt systems with tax-evasion features, among other things. 99% of the time. Not that it’s right or an excuse, but it is reality. On what you can control, do it right. On what you can’t, bear it till you actually find a fair company, or change profession.

      2. Knowlegde vs Certifications. I agree that one without the other leaves you incomplete. You certainly can’t gain if you have no knowledge. But you can’t show what you’ve got before you’re in. Without some kind of documentation, hirers can’t really be sure if you have what they are looking for. Fair? Maybe not. But it’s the way it works.

      A related topic is that of continuing education. One thing is to have or not have a certification for what I know, and another is the drive I have for learning more. It’s not just the raking in of certifications, it’s the learning opportunity involved. The IT field is constantly moving, and those who don’t move with it will be left behind. Better yet, we ARE the ones that are supposed to make the IT field move.

      In the context of the topic at hand, we will be better players in the role we’re getting paid for when we try to improve ourselves in every aspect possible, instead of being just lazy salary-collectors. And yes, IT personnel should at least know how to write correctly, as also any educated person should.

      3. IT vs the user. I love this one. The eternal war between IT and the end-user. I agree with those which posted about mutual respect of each one’s field. If IT at a moment comes to be an internal customer of our end users, which in reality is not uncommon, we will become conscious of our relation to them. I know it’s not easy. But if our users seem to be stupid or bothersome, maybe we are not empowering them enough for their normal chores. Maybe we could suggest training. Or the solutions we offered didn’t adapt to their needs. Only they can give us guidelines on what they need… and probably not in exact, precise, “IT” terms.

      4. Doing the job right the first time. To mind comes the fact that what we could call a “professional” has much to do with what you feel and believe in. It’s about respecting and appreciating yourself and what you do. If you don’t have it in you head and in your bloodstream, if you don’t breathe it, then you still have a way to go.

      I hope this topic, apart from the question if IT overall is “professional” or not, gives us a chance for introspection.

    • #3308670

      Agreed

      by rwcarlse ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I totally agree with the lack of ethics in the IT arena. However, one thing we must understand is that normal techie’s look at business different then most folks. I believe it’s always been that way. Typically an IT pro comes in, fixes the problem (or sets one up…), and moves on to the next job. They don’t normally look at the part they actually play in an organization, which is of course to provide service, and not to have someone service them. It’s our job to make technology work for us and the person whom we work for. An IT pro must realize to truly make it in the industry it will require a different mind-set. They need to focus just as much on their soft-skills as much as their technical skills. In fact often times soft-skills are something that can’t be learned as easily as technical(ex: true customer service skills). IT, like any profession requires a person to develop themselves, hence an education. Another thing to keep in mind is IT is just a profession like any other, it just requires different skills. The tax guy could just as easily have a lack of ethics and think the world revolves around him instead of remembering that he provides service. Without the client we’re just sitting around building networks in our house. People are just as interested in you caring about the job you do, as much as you having the skills to do it.

    • #3308553

      why there is a lack of ethics and professionalism in the IT field?

      by b1zarr0 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Why does there seem to be a lack of ethics and professionalism in the IT field. While I have had very limited experience (just under a year) actually working in the IT field I do know some people that have worked in the IT field for a few years and based on what I heard from them and from what I experienced I have my own theory as to why there is a lack of professionalism and ethics in the IT field.

      My theory is that alot of the workers in the IT field are usually working by themselves or with a small group of people and make up just a small minority of the company. this probaly gets them to think that they are above the others in the company and think that they cannot be replaced very easily. I mean who else knows how everything in the network is setup. They probaly feel that it would cost the company more to find and train a replacement and feel they can get away with murder so to speak.

      I think that as more and more people get into the IT field (and I think more and more will, since the IT field is often billed as “the fastest growing career field”) the bar for ethics and professionalism with be raised significantly and in due time (I’m talking within the next few years if that) the IT field will be regarded just as much a profession as any other career and the days of unethical unprofessional elitist mentallity of some current IT’s will go the way of the dodo.

      • #3308486

        Bad apples spoils the bunch

        by oldbones ·

        In reply to why there is a lack of ethics and professionalism in the IT field?

        I’m happy that some people are optimistic. Frankly, I’m not. What most of everyone seems to be missing is the human factor. People will be people. What I mean is that you can not change the way human beings react in the work place. To be specific people are arrogant, lazy, jealous, stupid, evil, greedy, selfish and dishonest. I think you get my point. Some IT workers are really bad human beings. As long as there is one or two really bad apples in an IT group or department the whole bunch looks bad. I’ve seen this first hand at many companies that I worked at. I have worked in IT for 25 years and the bad apples are easy to spot. People in other departments are the ones who have always pointed out the bad apples, especially after they start getting what they need from me. Some of the blame should be placed on management for allowing the bad apples to stay employed. When management steps up to the plate and toss the bad apples out, IT will improve tremendously. I sure I will not see it happen in my life time. Mangers are not going to can the bad apple relative or friend. I think you can understand my point

    • #3308470

      How to find a Professional

      by chaz chance# ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      There is an easy way to spot a professional.

      Since I have become involved in the recruitment process, I have realised that you find IT Professionals in the same that you find, say, professional civil engineers, accountants, or even plummers.

      When it comes to programmers and techies, I am more likely to hire someone who belongs to a professional organisation. Here in the UK, the Institute of Analyists and Programmers, and the British Computer Society are the two best known, but I am sure that all over the world there are similar organisations that require similar high professional standards of their members.

      A professional organisation requires that its members continually develop their knowledge and skills. Those that do better at this gain higher levels of membership within the organisation. Basic membership level indicates a willingness to be professional, higher level membership indicates that you have what it takes to BE professional.

      When I hire a plummer, I get one who belongs to a professional organisation. When I hire an accountant, I look for one who is a Chartered Accountant. When I hire a civil engineer, I hire a Chartered Engineer.

      Professionals are easy to spot, but it takes effort to be one. A professional does not whine about unreasonable expectation of his bosses, or about colleagues who don’t pull their weight, or about tidying his desk once a week. A professional doesn’t devalue the point of view of another by character assasination. A professional does not look for excuses why the highest standards should not apply to them. A professional is respected, non-professionals cry about how unfairly they get treated, about how the odds are stacked against them.

      In this industry, like in any other, there are professionals, who live professionalism, and there are wannabe’s. I know which type I will be inviting to an interview. I know which type I will listen to the recommendations of. I know which type I will recommend for promotion. I also know which type I will give all the donkey work to.

      Could it get any simpler?

    • #3310713

      I guess I’m not professional

      by xina45 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      With the exception of the desk thing… I would be considered professional. Above my desk is a sign: “If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind. Of what, then is an emptly desk a sign?
      –Albert Einstein.

      Obviously, there’s more to professionalism than your work surface. My customers know my desk is a “mess” but they also know, I will help them when needed, and the desk doesn’t mattter. sometimes you really can’t judge a book by it’s tattered cover.

      • #3308870

        Not a professional here either

        by barabhas ·

        In reply to I guess I’m not professional

        Does a clean desk symbolize a clean attitude and a clean view of work ethics? not on my opinion. I have seen the desks of quite a few people who called themselves professional because they have a diploma hanging on the wall. This doesn’t mean that they follow work ethic, in my opinion the higher some people are in the work place, the more they look toward their own benefit and tend to lean toward other practices that go above and beyond work ethic.
        On the other hand, whenever I see someone’s desk that is messy I immediately think this is somebody I can trust. A messy desk doesn’t necessarily mean that the person is not thorough, in my opinion this is a hard working person who is busy making sure work gets done therefore little time is left to organize their desks.
        It’s all about opinions, and like Clint Eastwood said “Opinions are like #$%&*@!, everybody has one.

    • #3308983

      union bad idea for IT

      by live free or die ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      The idea of a union for IT workers is the antithesis of professionalism. A union would reduce those in IT to automatons, with a prescribed set of rules to follow. In effect, the programmers would become programmed. That metamorphosis would make it even more desirable for management to offshore our services.

      • #3308968

        Gotta disagree here

        by midwestdeveloper ·

        In reply to union bad idea for IT

        As a member of a union (and an self-considered IT professional), I have to disagree with this notion.

        The whole purpose of a union is to have collective bargaining rights and ensure that the worker’s voices are heard to management. They ensure that the employer adheres to their agreement and provides an employee with a means to resolve a dispute instead of feeling powerless againt a company.

        I’ll use an example of our office, where a new IT manager came into the office. He proceeded to give me my yearly evaluation after only having been at the office 2 months. Needless to say, it was far worse than any other evaluation I had received previously. This person has his home office in another part of our state, but only occasionally comes to our office.

        The evaluation I received could have resulted in my termination. He justified it by saying that, even though he wasn’t here the whole year, he BELIEVED that the same ‘problems’ existed before he arrived.

        If I had not been a member of a union, I would have had no redress. As it was, my union was able to dispute the evaluation and get it adjusted to a (slightly) more favorable rating.

        Unions are not there to reduce anyone to automatons or ‘lowest common denominator’. They are there so that the average worker has some recourse against management unfairness.

        That said, my membership in a union is totally separate from the professional work ethic I apply to my work. The union is there to make sure management doesn’t screw me. My professional work ethic ensures that I deliver the best product I possibly can.

    • #3294689

      Reply To: Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      by onepaddle918 ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      The definition of professionalism today seems to depend on one’s profession. What may be deemed acceptable in one feild may not be so in another. I am new to the IT field but the way I see it this is a field in its infancy. It takes time for standards to take root. A few years ago one could probably get started in the field without any certifications. Today, as I hear, one will probably not get a foot in the door without any. I think that over time the IT field will become more organized and regulated. Employers will come to realize what the various certifications represent. IT people will be recognized as professional if they possess the necessary qualifications. Most likely a union will develop and begin to set the bar for what an IT professional is all about.

    • #3294652

      Opinions are like assholes

      by anthony.stephenson ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      I think you are right and wrong on some of these opinions about being a professional. Some professionals aren’t earning high pay, don’t keep thier area clean, faces other peoples problems, or use higher emotional tones. For the most part I agree with the other statements

    • #3294524

      Reply To: Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      by waithek ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      Ithink you are absolutely right, Some IT Professional just perform a job and not a service. Service is where it’s at, provide what your customers need and not look for what you need. Have an excellent work Ethic, and not a slackers profile

    • #3294911

      British Computer Society comment

      by brunciman ·

      In reply to Ethics, Professionalism, and IT

      The BCS has recently commented on these issues through its Thought Leadership debates.

      Check out http://www.bcs.org/BCS/News/ThoughtLeadership/pastdebates/ethical/

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