Hate programming, but interested in IT

By jasonbauer ·
Hello, I recently enrolled in an introductory computer science course to see how I would like it. I finished the course and have found that I do not enjoy programming. I am still looking to go into IT--is this wise? Must one be into programming to be in IT? Is this a necessary skill to get into this field? I ask this because my school offers and IT program in the business school that I am interested in enrolling in. Thank you.

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Depends on what it is you want to do here

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Hate programming, but int ...

There are many parts of the IT Industry where you are not required to write one word of code but equally there are many sides of the IT Industry where Code Writing is very important.

What i can say without a second thought though is that everything involved in IT requires you to think like a programmer if this happens I then do this and so on and so on. Here it all depends on what it is exactly what you want to do.

And that's the best answer I can offer.


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Reponse To Answer

by GSG In reply to Depends on what it is you ...

Col's right. You may not have to code, but you do need to think like a programmer. You need to understand how everything is supposed to work to be able to troubleshoot issues. Analytical thinking is absolutely essential!

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nothing is forever

by JPElectron In reply to Hate programming, but int ...

I agree, you don't need to code to work in IT. It helps, and you may be seen as more desirable that way, but it's not a deal-breaker. Having a working knowledge/understanding of HTML or ASP or VB.NET and being upfront that you're not about to re-wire an application, but can assist, would be seen as having a good attitude and being a "team player"

Who knows, maybe you'll be thrown into a project and realize you like some aspect of it later in life. It's not all sitting in-front of a screen for hours on end.

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No Programming required

by SKDTech In reply to Hate programming, but int ...

But it will be difficult to get far if you are unable to do basic scripting. I too have and aversion to programming although I can do basic stuff if there is need. Rarely do I see actual code but having a basic understanding allows me to see what the program is supposed to be doing which is very useful when it comes to tracing problems.

Having a little programming knowledge can be the difference between a tech that runs diagnostics and performs repairs and a tach that knows why they are doing these things and can go beyond them.

So no, programming isn't necessary but helps to have a passing familiarity with it.

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There are plenty of non-programming opportunities in IT

by mollurak In reply to Hate programming, but int ...

I've been working int he IT industry for 30 years and have never programmed a line of code. There is always a need for good analysts & project managers.

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IT is a big Industry

by dm7d3 In reply to Hate programming, but int ...

Jason, the IT Industry is really big and there are a lot of different Jobs and tasks. I am software development team lead and i can tell you that coding apps, its just a small part of this business.

For example, there are System Analysts that desing applications at a functional level. They translate what the final user wants/needs into Detailed Functional Designs, so the Development Team can build (code) it.

There are Networking techs, whose job is to build and maintain the networking infrastructure (generally they dont code).

Project managers, testers, QA, security analysts, etc, etc...

Computer Science degree, aims for people who want to create and investigate from the point of view of the programming "per se", applying complex maths and algorithms... So, if you dont like coding you should consider something else, like Systems Engineering.

Good luck, i hope you can find smth that suits you.

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Jason, I was you, 35 years ago.

by ITSecurityGuy In reply to Hate programming, but int ...

I took Programming in Basic, in 1977 at the local community college, when I was 27 and looking to get out of sales. Found out I didn't like programming, but I still wanted to work with computers. After buying a TRS-80 Model III, then working in sales for an Apple dealer and two MicroAge locations, while owning a 386sx with Windows 3.0, I was laid off when the latter MicroAge closed.

I learned of a company offering state-funded training in Desktop Publishing for the unemployed. I went for an admissions interview, although they taught primarily on the Mac. After they realized how much I had taught myself about the PC, they offered me a job as their first full time instructor to teach PageMaker etc. on the PC. I audited one class and taught the next. I went on to become an independent consultant, prior to being hired by a major pharmaceutical company into a job which usually required a college degree. (I had left college during the Vietnam War.)

I spent 7 years there, first on the HelpDesk, then in the Network Group which managed the data center, all routers and other network devices, and finally in the Desktop Engineering Group, which created the corporate desktop software image and validated every piece of software installed on any company system in the world. I was primarily responsible for desktop security. I never even had to create macros in MS Office, although I can write a pretty mean batch file, having learned DOS before windows.

BTW, I don't recommend skipping the college degree to anyone. I was just lucky to be hired by meeting the hiring manager at a job fair, face to face. Today they just collect resumes and scan them. If there is no college degree, it gets discarded. That's probably the case for just about any white collar job. It cuts the number of resumes to be actually considered from the thousands, down to several hundred, even if some of the non-college graduates might have been exceptionally qualified.

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by ToFue In reply to Hate programming, but int ...

Allow me to suggest a few thoughts for you to consider between IT and programming. Allow, also, my apologies for a lengthy post.

IT is essentially programming using different "language" and syntax. Where the more low-level you get to the hardware (resistors, capacitors, IC's, etc. that make up the computers that are complex base2 calculators.), the more specific a problem and it's solution will be. The higher level you get the more that the details are hidden from the solution-space. From OOP to klugier methodologies like scripting multiple programs together with heavy parameters, all the way up to device connectivity like router-to-computer to so-on, you're building relationships with components.

Whether you code or not, a device's (or even programming language library's) specification is all you have to rely on for it's function. You need to know why you're using something if you're going to use it - not just use a device because "that's the way it's done." .. at least not if you want to go far.

In IT you may make a decision to use a 100mb switch instead of 1000mb, and not really tell the difference. Consider (given the choice) if you have something like 20 machines on a network leg that only needs basic networking to tell a program on the server that a user logged on, etc, you can manage to get away with deploying 100mb switches. However, if you have a separate media room that will be throwing around streaming video and other large file transfers, you'll want the 1gb switcher to avoid choking bandwidth and collisions. Now also consider, you may have put all of your 1000mb switches on the floor already for the less needy machines, and you only have the 100mb switches left when its decided to setup the media room. This may be where knowing about data types and packet sizes can be handy when planning or deploying your network. - (that and don't buy 100mb-only switches!! Why do they even sell them now-a-days?!?)

In IT you don't necessarily need to know things like variable primitives and other data types, or how to structure if/then statements and loops in order to splice and crimp rj45 or configure IP and machine names. You don't even need to know how programming objects work or how a compiler assigns memory allocation - but things like that can provide insight for IT situations ranging from designing the infrastructure, to load balancing and other traffic issues, and especially security and transport protocols. - knowing what is needed to be supported on your network.

Object-oriented design is a recurring theme in all aspects of modern computers, however if your school offers a class in logic, take it to learn it. That could single-handed-ly boost your approach to not just computer related decisions, but problem solving in general. I found that most of my fellow students in my programming class that were struggling (and that I've actually spoken to) did so because of logical errors in their approach to grasp key concepts. Computers are unforgivingly obedient. Step 1 must be done. Then step 2. Then step 3, so-on.

There was a student that was constantly stumped. After I explained what the professor already explained, he kept asking the same questions that would be answered if he did 'step 1,' which was to read the documentation that came with the assignment. It got very annoying, but fortunately he dropped and I could focus again. (i did patiently explain to the best i could.)

My point is that after one learns to ask the right questions, one must learn to be an effective troubleshooter and pursue to get even better at it - which requires attention to logic and emptying one's mind of what they think they know so one can accept and take in what they don't know.

For example, we use idiomatic expressions all the time in western culture - even expressions to mean yet more expressions - but when these expressions are broken down, they make no sense. I.e.: "You see what I'm saying?" ... it is impossible to visually sense, or "see" acoustic energy. One can see the effects of acoustic energy, such as water vibrations and so on. Even so, a computer couldn't comprehend the connotations of "do you understand?" it will simply carry out a "true" state, errors and all.

In IT (as well as programming) one must concisely use logic to follow the causality of potential solution paths when solving a problem. The approach cannot afford assumptions in the actual implementation, or the world will end. .. .... yeah... To make this long post less long, I will attempt a summary: IT is still programming. Only the tools used are bigger and bulkier.

Essentially, IT involves moving, setting up, and configuring computers, routers, firewalls, servers, clients, cabling, printers, taping, etc. Making them all communicate to each other and work according to a system admin's drooling daydream; the tools are (mostly) pre-defined. At many IT jobs, a monkey can be trained to do a bulk of the work.. unless you get into management (even then I'm not so sure you can get rid of the monkey). With programming, you *make* the necessary, abstract tools needed to solve a dynamic problem. They are, IMHO, two POV's to the same thing, and the two fields complement each other as the other posters have suggested.

Since you're in business school, either may help you - programming can help by getting you used to abstracting complex problems, and IT would help you to get your office in order without hiring out for simple things - it just depends on your interests and the role you want to take on.. If IT lures you more, go for it - you can always buy a "Head First" book for different programming languages (which may actually be more fun than courses).

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