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  • #2258515

    How do you build a secure career in IT?


    by samson06 ·

    I’m 28, been in the field for 8 1/2 years. I have a Bachelor’s degree in CIS. Although I have certifications, I’ve managed to do alright in this field. The pay isn’t extraordinary (far from what they said in the late 90s) but I make enough to pay my bills and then some. Anyway, how does one build a secure career in IT? Are certifications necessary? A masters degree in computers? MBA? A dual degree with another field? Or is it better to be a jack of all trades? I’m mainly talking about making a decent living in this field for decades.

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    • #3199150

      Survival Rules

      by nicknielsen ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      It really depends on where you want to go. If you want to move up the corporate ladder to CIO, then the MBA is probably a necessity. If you want to move into system design or engineering, then an advanced IS or engineering degree may be more appropriate. If you want to stay on the front lines as a supervisor, then certifications may be what you need. Determine where you want to go, then check with your employer to see what their requirements are. Ask friends and acquaintances what their employers’ requirements are for these positions. Determine your educational course from there.

      Some other comments:

      1. Never stop learning. In IT, if you stop learning, you die.

      2. Never be afraid to learn from anybody. One trainer at my first military assignment was an “old” civilian tech (I was 22 then) with the personality of a sharp rock. He was impossible to get along with, but he knew the system as well as if he had designed it himself. If you could put up with his crap, you learned a heckuva lot about the equipment.

      3. Be flexible. If it counts ones & zeroes, learn a little bit about it, even if all you know is the name and basic function.

      4. Remember, most advice is worth what you paid for it. I’m an electronics service tech with no aspirations above the senior tech level. Actual managers may have better advice. 🙂

      Edit: clarity

      • #2496080

        Keep learning

        by koerper ·

        In reply to Survival Rules

        “Never stop learning. In IT, if you stop learning, you die.”

        Amen to that. Keep your certs updated. Get some new ones. Read books. Join some discussion groups.

    • #3199145

      Constant work, a willingness to learn

      by tig2 ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      As Nick has pointed out, the willingness to keep learning is essential.

      I am a bridge between IT and Business. My desire id to determine what business needs and provide IT solutions that fall within both the tactical and strategic views of IT. As such, I am an IT generalist with background in OS, network, and development with some heavy emphasis on security and business.

      If I were to go back to school, with the caveat that I want to continue to do what I do, I would be looking at an MBA programme with a focus on information business systems.

      At the end of the day, what you know about the inter-relationship between business in general and IT specifically will keep you fresh.

      Decide what your goals are. The path to them will be clearer.

    • #3199100

      Don’t tie your career

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      to a particular employer or vendor’s fortunes. If If you get a chance to do do something new or even something old that you haven’t done before ,do it. Do not become an expert, if the thing you are expert in goes, so do you.

      The big one though is learn to communicate with the business types, if you use the right langauge and concepts you can always sell what you are.
      I’ve no certifications and no degree, just a twenty years long list of accomplishments that I can ‘show’ benefitted the places where I was working. Concentrate on that, all else is gravy.

      • #3198963

        I concur

        by bdmore ·

        In reply to Don’t tie your career

        A secure career nowadays it?s all about how many people like you, how well you fit and the ?quality of your rolodex?. All this comes with good soft skills, something that most techies typically overlook. Hard skills are still important but don?t overemphasize it in exchange of soft skills.

        • #3284163

          I design software, contrary to popular

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to I concur

          belief, well over 50% of the skills to do that successfully are soft.

          If you can find out what people want their software to do, as a designer you are finding out what they want you to do. They don’t give a toss what your ‘hard skills’ are, in fact they are immaterial until you can apply them.

          Dealing with a potential employer is no different to dealing with a client, You don’t talk to them in Fortran or C either.

        • #3284114

          Soft skills are key

          by justin james ·

          In reply to I design software, contrary to popular

          Ever wonder why the “grinning idiots” seem to make as much or more than you (not “you” meaning “Tony”, but in general), while having no ability to actually do the work? That’s soft skills at work. My soft skills have saved my butt on countless occassions, and a lack of them (or temporary forgetfulness) has sunk my ship a few times.


        • #3138710

          Job Security

          by mashford2 ·

          In reply to I concur

          After being laid-off twice (once dotcom & once telecom), I feel the only job security is your ability to get another job…
          -Look to monster, dice… often
          –What are they looking for?
          —Certify if need be…
          —Educate if need be…
          —Move to hot spots…
          -Keep your interview skills up
          –Go on practice interviews at least once a year
          –Interview a wide range of businesses from consulting firms to big firms to city/state…
          -Always be trying new ideas and technology… even if it just on your PC
          IT is about solving problems … demonstrate this ability above all else

      • #3284279

        Spot On Advice

        by justin james ·

        In reply to Don’t tie your career

        Tony is right on the money here. Specialists make the big bucks, but have problems if their specialty falls out of favor. Likewise, commiting yourself 100% to a particular employer may significantly help your career within that company, you are in trouble if that company is not doing well or if there is someone above you who just does not like you for whatever reason.


        • #3284157

          Hah, I worked at one

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Spot On Advice

          place for 19 years, I was very successful. They got bought out and we were about a century ahead of the new owner technology wise. Standardisation meant I was surplus to requirememts.

          They switched me to Fortran 78 in 1998! Picking that up didn’t hurt, staying with it would have crippled me ,so I left, to have a career as opposed to simply a job.

          I actually got a job with the Fortran a few years later, coupled with VMS and VB of all things, which I’d also picked up en passant somewhere else. While I was doing that I added linux, mysql and php to my skillset.

          Specialisation is for insects.

        • #3201015

          Rather than specializing in a particular technology,

          by stan20 ·

          In reply to Spot On Advice

          which will eventually become obsolete, I specialized in solving problems. Thats one specialty that will never become obsolete. It does require always learning new technologies, but learning and solving problems that no one else has been able to solve are things that I enjoy doing.

        • #3200993

          Funny you mention that…

          by justin james ·

          In reply to Rather than specializing in a particular technology,

          … when people ask me to describe what I do, that is how I describe it. “Professional problem solver.” For one thing, it minimizes the “I can’t get on the Internet, fix it!” phone calls from people I barely know, and it is easier to understand. And since my job is so diversified across tech, I can’t even call myself a “programmer” or a “sys admin,” I am a technological hatchet man. I am presented with a problem, often of a technology I have never encountered before, and told to find a solution for it. My boss relies on my technical *aptitude* more than my technical *knowledge* to have me accomplish our goals.


        • #3200974

          Yep, sell yourself as a Developer

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Rather than specializing in a particular technology,

          or a software engineer, even a solutions provider, though people get confused by that one.

          You say I’m a Windows Client Server Database Delphi Developer with MSSQL.

          You’ve just restricted your available opportunities and if you are any good, done yourself down big time.

          After all that’s the tool you used to solve a problem not the solution.

      • #3282869

        All well and good, but…

        by colonel panijk ·

        In reply to Don’t tie your career

        …I’m trying to reconcile your “[i]Don’t tie your career to a particular employer or vendor’s fortunes[/i]” with reality. When I look at any postings for job openings, they never say, “we’re looking for an experienced problem solving generalist.” They always say, “minimum experience: X years in product A, Y years in product B, and Z years in product C. Or don’t bother asking.” Yeah, I [i]know[/i] their HR department is just ignorantly spouting a bunch of buzzwords (e.g., “minimum 10 years C-sharp”), but every potential employer has a completely different stack of very specific requirements! Frankly, the only people who can fill them are the people they just fired.

        There’s no way to qualify in a wide enough combination of skills to have a shot at a large number of positions, and by the time I get the skills for a certain position, it will be gone. Short of lying on my resume, what should I do? Many H1-B visa applicants supposedly [i]do[/i] lie about their skill set so they can get in, and employers complain that they can’t find home-grown talent so they must go overseas (where the people are smarter). In my cover letters, I’ve tried admitting that, “I don’t have experience in product B, but I have a track record as a quick study,” but that doesn’t seem to work. What will? Or are all employers so determined to get starving Indians in that they’ll stack the deck against me?

        • #3282803

          Probably due to the fact I’ve been in twenty years

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to All well and good, but…

          But I’ve got worthwhile experience in VB, Fortran Delphi, Pascal, and C. I’ve coded on HP, Unix, Linux, VMS, DOS and all flavours of windows. I’ve done stints as webmaster, system administrator and DBA. Lets see five different scripting languages retail, manufacturing, insurance, tax, telecomms …

          It will be a bit different in the US I should imagine, but the hard skill set as long as it includes some of my skills is sort of a ‘right oh’ .
          I pay more attention to what they want me to do with them. Does n’t always work, I got turned down once with a perfect skills match because I didn’t have lotus notes experience, wasn’t on the advert but there you go. Another time an ADO expert pipped me to a job.

          What the hell is an ADO expert ? I mean that’s like choosing an author because he’s really good with a pencil sharpener. Only a HR knobhead could come out with something like that.

          Branch out at every opportunity. It won’t always work out, but it will never not be useful learning situation.

          I wasn’t really saying how you do it, but how it looks like I did it.

          I could be wrong maybe it’s the winning smile, film star good looks, perfect singing voice and telling them I’m Bill Gate’s dad.

          If they are employing starving indians instead of you, skills is not in their list of criteria, your’s or theirs, just cheap. It’s a compliment when they don’t reply.

        • #3282787

          Wide variety on the resume helps a lot

          by justin james ·

          In reply to All well and good, but…

          I completely understand where you are coming from. What potential employees see for me is someone who went to Web master to Java developer to this to that… so my resume backs up the idea that I am a quick learner.

          One underhanded trick I use is to beat those buzzword crazy folks at their own game. I almost feel like I should not admit this in public, but I have been known to put phrases like “familiar with [insert name of buzzword or product that I have never actually used]” It isn’t a lie, and it is not dishonest. I am very familiar with AJAX, for example. Have I ever programmed in it? No, but I’ve taken a look at a lot of AJAX code. Sticking the buzzword on the resume gets you in their face. They see, “OK, he’s familiar with AJAX, but has actually done everything else we want.” this way, the HR person who just searches for “AJAX” find you, when what they really want is a good all around Web developer.

          Underhanded? Sure. But if that’s how the HR folks are going to do their jobs, that’s what I need to do to get a job. I have not done it in some time, but when my resume was a bit lighter, it helped significantly.


        • #3282749

          Works some times.

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Wide variety on the resume helps a lot

          I once amended a perl script all forty lines of it and put familiar with perl. Got a hit for ?70 hour two days later. Unfortunately they definitely needed a guy who’d done more than change the url in an anchor, so I had to say I was busy.

          AJAX , shudder

        • #3200348

          NEVER DO THAT!!!

          by serena.c7 ·

          In reply to All well and good, but…

          If you put “I’m not very experienced at ….. [insert product name here]”, they stop reading the sentence. even if you put that you’re willing to learn!
          Instead put stuff like :
          “I’ve had 10 years experience with Product A and have found many new ways to use product C”, don’t even mention Product B. For what you would have put in product b’s slot, put this:
          “I’m a life-long learner who’s not afraid to take criticism” or something like that.
          I actually lost out on a job opportunity cause i knew oracle forms REALLY well, but reports i wasn’t so uptodate on. RIM didn’t even listen to whatever else i had to say. they just said “we’ll be in contact”, i still haven’t heard from them (although, now i’ve actually learned reports, so it’s ok, i odn’t care)
          but never ever on a resume or cover letter say that you’re not so experienced at something.
          keep in mind how many job applications the first gateway who receives your resume/cover letter gets. they’re LOOKing for a reason to not look at yours. don’t give them taht. you want the interview.

          As someone once told me: “toot your own horn, no one else will”.

    • #3198937

      One small question

      by onbliss ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      One question that you should ask yourself would be is if you would be interested and comfortable working in all areas of IT. And from the answer you get you could develop an approach to gain relevant experience and expertise.

    • #3284170

      I don’t Know, but….

      by leedcomputadores ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      Dear Friend,
      I don’t know to answer your questions! But, I went in BIT 2006 ( and there, all responsable for event were MVP (most valuble professional) with many certifications. One that people work in Terra ( Probably he has a good salary.

      • #3284154

        Most expensive professional would be nearer

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to I don’t Know, but….

        How many certifications do you need after all?

        The more letters after your name, the less you know about everything else has always been my experience.

        A career isn’t about salary, it’s about continued employment in something you enjoy, anything else is a mere job, like washing the dishes or ironing or some such.

        • #3230611

          Certs are only as good as how you use them…

          by icubub ·

          In reply to Most expensive professional would be nearer

          I use certifications as a way to gain further insight into a subject, or strengthen my knowledge. When I wanted to know more about disaster recovery, business continuity, for example, I took a DRII course and got my CBCP (certified business continuity professional) cert. Certs are a way for my to keep up with my education, and have helped me advance both career-wise and financially as well.

          But as others have said here, determine your passion. Figure out what you enjoy, or where your interests may lie, and follow that. I started out as a structural engineer, doing composites design, then moved into IT doing desktop/network support, managed the infrastructure worldwide for a company’s call center chain, been an IT director, security consultant, and am now an IT auditor (which allows me to use all the skills I’ve developed over the years).

          Whatever you choose to work towards will change in the next few years. No one can give you the definite picture, because no one here honestly could have foreseen all the changes that occurred in the industry just in the last 5 years. Determine you passion, work out a 2-3 year plan at best, and be flexible. And most importantly, keep up with your studies, read lots of trade magazines to follow and determine where the industry is going, and enjoy.

          Andy Kuykendall, CISSP, CISA, CBCP, CEH, MCSE, CCSE, and more than I can list here!

        • #3230514

          Look at all those letters

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Certs are only as good as how you use them…

          A few more vowels and you could win a game of scrabble easy.

          Tony Hopkinson “”

        • #3200741

          Most expensive pro

          by africanbreeze ·

          In reply to Most expensive professional would be nearer

          I know out there IT pays higher according to the certs you got. In Africa its depends who and where you work for! I know guys who only have Bsc in Computer Science and are Heads of IT departments and some with Masters who do not get paid as much.
          Sometimes I think its a matter of soft skills.

        • #3200723

          Only a Bsc.

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Most expensive pro

          I know guys doing it without any qualifications in IT. Some of them are damn good at it as well.

          Soft skills are what allow you to apply your hard skills efectively, without them, you have to be told what, when and why to do it.

          Rarely that extreme , but if your soft skills are weak, someone with better ones will be directing you.

          IT has a massive human component, and most of us aren’t easy to program or configure.

        • #3200695

          I have zero paper qualifications

          by justin james ·

          In reply to Only a Bsc.

          I have a BA in liberal arts. I am not certified in anything. The closest I came to being certified was doing a lot of studying for the CCNA a few years ago, and 6 years ago I had some MCSE books that I did not touch.

          Yet somehow, I get jobs. Why?

          Because my resume demonstrates a provable history of technical competancy, acheivement, and diversity. My current job is “One man IT department” + programmer. Before that, it was simultaneously doing Help Desk for three wildly different items (NOC work, NAS devices, tape drive) while also acting as manageent and trainer. Before that it was nearly pure Java programmer. I could go on and on. But I always stayed flexible and always knew “a lot about a lot of things.”

          Employers love that. They really like being able to hire someone who won’t complain and enjoys doing something outside of their field of experience. They also like having a programmer who understands enough about systems to take those kinds of things into consideration when writing code. And they like a network engineer who knows *why* a computer might be flooding the network. And they like a sys admin who really understands what the DBAs really need. etc. etc. etc.

          Stay flexible, try to avoid a job where you just do one thing, and if you do get that job, do more than one thing anyways.

          My best advice for “getting ahead and staying ahead”: always try to do or offer to help with the work of the person above you or in the position you want to be in. If you work one pay grade or job band above your official position, eventually you get moved to that pay grade or job band. And if you don’t, and they take advantage of that for too long, find an employer who will reward that level of work appropriately.


        • #3200659

          None here either

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to I have zero paper qualifications

          Just a long list of accomplishments in the real world.

        • #3200611

          None Here as Well

          by rkuhn040172 ·

          In reply to None here either

          I have all the books and occasionally pick them up and swear up and down this time I’m going to get the cert.

          Never happens.

          I believe jack of all trades is good as well. Grant it, I’ve always worked for smaller employers like <150 employees and/or revenue still in the millions.

          I have some SQL skills, VB/VBA, Crystal, NetAdmin, Visio Studio, fix/repair, security, HTML, etc.

          We're just a 2 man IT shop here.

        • #3201086

          I’ve worked for more of the big boys

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to None here either

          than others.
          All depends on how much say those HR tossers have in who to recruit.

    • #3284085

      grab opportunities

      by bob_steel ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      Making a place for yourself is all about making and taking opportunities. Crawling up the corporate ladder is a hopeless persuit – you’ll be overtaken by everyone who is prepared to step on your head, and everyone who takes more chances than you.

      I bet you already have more qualifications than your bosses boss.

      • #3201396


        by samson06 ·

        In reply to grab opportunities

        “Making a place for yourself is all about making and taking opportunities. Crawling up the corporate ladder is a hopeless persuit – you’ll be overtaken by everyone who is prepared to step on your head, and everyone who takes more chances than you.”

        I have to agree with you there. Seems like people who are good at playing politics excel at that game. What are you suggesting if one does not choose to climb the corporate ladder?

        “I bet you already have more qualifications than your bosses boss.”

        You’re right.

        • #3201313

          In my case

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to questions

          I found small improvements with big pay offs.

          For instance I added a table to track who did what and when to products as they went through a manufacturing system.

          One of the things that happens regularly in manfacturing is you lose parts of orders. Roll 20 tonnes, despatch 18, the 2 is lying about somewhere because something went wrong.

          Given the sales price between the original order and a seconds / scrap one was something like ?200 a tonne…

          Took me about two days work to put the mechanism in place , saved them ?1000s, never mind the increase in customer satisfaction.

          No one asked for it, they gave me a lot of resource to make it even more effective though.

          Eventually we were using it to correct and track intermittent faults in the operation, both software and procedural.

          You’ve got to find ways to apply what you know in ways the business types find useful. The only time they show interest in technical gubbins is when it’s reducing cost or increasing revenue.

          There aren’t any specifics, but a few chats with people in the know, and you can come up with an issue, where you can have quick win for little cost/risk.

          The above came out a plaintive cry from a manager. “I wish I knew what happened to those products” and me pressing F1 in SQL server while Triggers was highlighted.

          I ended up building an intranet out of this wee improvement. Didn’t do my career any harm at all that.

        • #3201300

          My two cents…

          by sg_raj ·

          In reply to questions

          Its better to leave a company after 2-3 years, that too when you are doing well. Never tag on with a company for too long, just becoz things are fine, at least in the first 10 years of professional life!

          One must learn some amount of politics, if not to play it, at least be aware of what others are upto so that you can neutralize.

          Be wary of companies, where adhoc management is the norm rather than transparent processes. I have, unfortunately, had experienced a bit too much of such companies. 🙂

        • #3230512

          I spent 19 years

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to My two cents…

          with my first employer. Three different jobs though, probably seven if you count promotions where I kept the same title but got a bit more money and responsibility.

          That is a tip, if your job is to small for you, make it bigger.

        • #3230540


          by bob_steel ·

          In reply to questions

          Office politics is a tough game, you’re inevitably trumped by the bosses nephew, or his secretary’s brother; or some other unimaginable situation will come along.

          I say this to my staff. Think like the boss – find opportunities to make a difference, save money or make more money. Make it happen – quantify it, document it – and demand half the proceeds for yourself.

          If there are no opportunities to do this where you are – bail out, and pull the rip-cord.

          Good luck whatever happens.


    • #3201448

      By starting your own IT business

      by webmaster ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      The only way to secure your future in the IT field is by starting your own business using your own knowledge and experience.

      Just find out exactly what your present company is doing and go one further. Start off part time, working after normal business hours and by building your own website to create an online presence.

      You may start off as a one man show then in time you can hire some of your old co-workers. There have been many certified it specialist who simply got tired of working for someone else and started their own business doing what they know best to do.

      There’s no reason why you can’t do the same.

      Kind regards,
      Jorge Fernandez
      Start Your Own Computer Business

      • #3201429

        I nearly started a serious dialog with you

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to By starting your own IT business

        then I checked the link.

        Close but no f’kin cigar.

        If I wanted to be salesman, I’d have had my ethics surgically removed and been one.

        Earn 100s of dollars a week, all you need is a car and a phone.

        Not very orginal is it, didn’t the pyramid scheme work out then ?

        • #3201406

          re: I nearly started a serious dialog with you

          by webmaster ·

          In reply to I nearly started a serious dialog with you

          you wrote:
          >I nearly started a serious dialog with you
          >then I checked the link.
          >Close but no f’kin cigar.
          >If I wanted to be salesman, I’d have had my >ethics surgically removed and been one.

          It seems you have no ethics to be posting profanity on a professional board.

          you wrote:
          >Earn 100s of dollars a week, all you
          >need is a car and a phone.

          Where are you pulling this junk out of? What in the world are you talking about?

          you wrote:
          >Not very original is it, didn’t the pyramid >scheme work out then ?

          I don’t know what you’re talking about. You must not read very well. Because you surely do not know a thing about what you are speaking of..

          your name sounds familiar.. I think I wasted allot of time a few years ago trying to help you start a business….but obviously you are not an entrepreneur in any way shap or form.

          good luck…

        • #3201357

          Link in original post is quite shady

          by justin james ·

          In reply to re: I nearly started a serious dialog with you

          The link in your original post ( does indeed look like a scam, that is what he is talking about. Yes, starting your own business is a good idea… but not through a “just give your savings account and watch the dollar stack up like magic!” scheme, which is what that Web site looks like to me as well.


        • #3201324

          My name sounds familiar ?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to re: I nearly started a serious dialog with you

          I don’t recognise you at all, your type that I recognise, spammer !

          What is my name
          That****whowouldntbuy my spiel.

          Set up your own basement, resell computers make lots of money, any one can do it !

          No they can’t, not everybody is a saleman.

          Why should they, not everybody wants to be a salesman.

          Guy asked for a career in IT, not a career in sales, and not a lifetime making money for you !

          Try again !

        • #3230735

          Your just another scam Jorge Fernandez

          by timbroeker ·

          In reply to My name sounds familiar ?

          You should produce a infomercial and that way your name will be just as famous with the other great scam artist such as Carlton Sheets,
          John Beck and the best scam artist of all..Kevin Trudeu.

        • #3230629

          Jorge Fernandez is NOT another scam

          by webmaster ·

          In reply to Your just another scam Jorge Fernandez

          I’ve heard of Carlton Sheets but not the others.

          Don’t know too much about him but I do know that the principles he teaches,- buy foreclosed / distressed properties and sell high are true and genuine principles that do work for many re companies.

          It goes on every day in the USA. But just because it may not work for one person does not mean that it wont work for another.

          If you actually knew how to read then you would see that everything we teach on our website are sound principles for starting a computer business. There are no scams here. Just hard work and a genuine opportunity.

          the problem with analytical people like yourself is that you don’t know how to analyze correctly and pronounce judgment before understanding the matter completely.

          Just because you do not understand something does not mean that it is a scam. Good luck to you.

        • #3230699

          You don’t

          by onbliss ·

          In reply to My name sounds familiar ?

          …recognize him, because he just joined in September 2006 🙂

        • #3230686

          I understand why you are hammering the guy but….

          by stumitchvt ·

          In reply to You don’t

          If you read his original response it is relavent to the original post. He recommends starting your own business using your own experience. Yes he does have a link to that stupid website in the response but he does not have the whole message saying “click here to make your IT career a sucess”. Lots of other people have links to various sites in the closing of messages for the same reason, they want people to visit them.

        • #3230616

          His post didn’t put me off

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to I understand why you are hammering the guy but….

          Though I disagreed with ‘only’.

          The URL definitely did.

          I’d be quite happy to advertise on this site, but I’d be paying TR their cut in return in for a lucrative potential market.

          If you can’t be honest in the way you do business , how can your business be considered honest ?

        • #3230640

          He recognised my name though

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to You don’t

          May be he used to be someone else.
          Me, I’ve always been me.
          The thought of another me is enough to make people’s hair stand on end

      • #3230692

        Keep Your Infomercial Off Here

        by rkuhn040172 ·

        In reply to By starting your own IT business

        TechRepublic is a professional website.

        We all have one thing in common and that is to learn, help each other, and grow in the realm of IT.

        While we all have many different opinions on matters, one thing 99.9% of us all share, KEEP YOUR FREAKIN’ ADS AND GARBAGE OFF OUR WEBSITE.

        Take a hike loser.

        • #3230624

          un rick?

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Keep Your Infomercial Off Here

          you listed three things for your one thing we are here for…… :0

          1) learn,
          2) help each other,
          3) grow in the realm of IT.

          Besides that, I agree with everything you said! 😀

        • #3230549


          by rkuhn040172 ·

          In reply to un rick?

          Long morning…working too much in SQL Reporting Services. I think my first language isn’t English anymore. My brain is stalled on JOINS:

          SELECT hbs_jobs.active_status_, hbs_pohd.activity_no_, hbs_jobs.project_id_, hbs_jobs.unit_id_, hbs_jobs.sch_complete_, hbs_prs1.date_promised_,
          DATEDIFF(dd, hbs_jobs.sch_complete_, hbs_prs1.date_promised_) AS Delay, hbs_jobs.next_activity_, hbs_actv.name_
          FROM hbs_jobs INNER JOIN
          hbs_pohd ON hbs_jobs.unit_id_ = hbs_pohd.unit_id_ AND hbs_jobs.project_id_ = hbs_pohd.project_id_ INNER JOIN
          hbs_prs1 ON hbs_jobs.customer_ = hbs_prs1.customer_ AND hbs_jobs.sch_complete_ > hbs_prs1.date_promised_ INNER JOIN
          hbs_actv ON hbs_jobs.next_activity_ = hbs_actv.activity_no_
          WHERE (hbs_jobs.active_status_ = ‘2’) AND (hbs_pohd.activity_no_ = ‘80450’) AND (NOT (hbs_jobs.sch_complete_ = CONVERT(DATETIME,
          ‘1900-01-01 00:00:00’, 102))) AND (NOT (hbs_prs1.date_promised_ = CONVERT(DATETIME, ‘1900-01-01 00:00:00’, 102)))
          ORDER BY DATEDIFF(dd, hbs_jobs.sch_complete_, hbs_prs1.date_promised_)

        • #3230500

          No wonder you are frazzled

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Oops!

          Didn’t do the design with reports in mind did they, sheesh.

          You thought about populating a reports database with more co-operative data and then reporting from that ?

          Works very well for out of hours or built from scheduled snapshot.

          If not I’d be tempted to take the performance hit and use temporary tables for intermediate results. At least you’d be able to understand it next time.

          Ithink that’s the first time I’ve ever agreed with you by the way.

          We’ll turn you into commie linux loon in a few more posts.

        • #3230396

          You thought that was bad?

          by justin james ·

          In reply to No wonder you are frazzled

          I have had to write SQL statements qith 106 JOINs, the statement itself was 28K of plain text, without indentation or non-required whitespace.

          This is the wonderful career I have. I feel like Marvin the Paranoid Android… here I am, brain the size of a small country, using Excel macros to help me write my SQL statements, because it is the best way to accurately write that man JOINs where the only difference is a WHERE clause in a subquery…

          People wonder why I seem “down” on IT. There ya go.


        • #3200849

          You must be a lot more stubborn than me.

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to You thought that was bad?

          I’d just say bollocks, I’m not doing it like that.
          I don’t like subqueries either, nasty expensive things.

        • #3200767

          Stubbon as a mule

          by justin james ·

          In reply to You thought that was bad?

          Tony, you should see some of the tricks I’ve had to pull over the years. I’m a code hacthet man, more than anything else. It is very rare that I get to work on a project that lasts longer than a week, and the typical length of a project is 1 – 2 days. We are not allowed to even think about doing anything with a client’s system except for reads (let alone write a stored procedure, database view, etc.), as such, I have the pleasure of writing some truly bizarre code. You should have seen the monster hack I pulled a year ago to get data from Oracle to Excel without actually using an ODBC connection…


        • #3230394

          Commie Linux Loon

          by rkuhn040172 ·

          In reply to No wonder you are frazzled

          It’ll take more than a few more posts 🙂

          I’d rather sell Amway than use Linux. Kidding somewhat.

          I did get in the mail the other day a 6 CD set for Ubuntu. Installed it and everything went fairly well except for the video card which I did figure out later (was limited to 640X480).

          It’s all about time my man. I’d actually love to explore more about Linux but time isn’t on my side.

        • #3230507

          Poor rick

          by webmaster ·

          In reply to Keep Your Infomercial Off Here

          I did not place an infomercial on this board. Infomercials are for TV.

          you wrote:
          >TechRepublic is a professional website.

          I have never seen so many Unprofessional and unappreciative people all in one place. It’s very sad.

          you wrote:
          >We all have one thing in common
          >and that is to learn, help each
          >other, and grow in the realm of IT.

          Obviously that is not one of your characteristics. Your traits are to tear down and destroy.

          I show people how to grow and move ahead in the complete computer product industry which includes IT.

          I gave that man the best advice that he will ever receive in his life. Which was to start his own business using his own knowledge and experience. That was life changing advice!!

          I change lives. I help people. What do you do?

          By the words you speak, you simply show everyone how miserable and discontent you are in your current position in life. Your parents never taught you any manners.

          Typical ugly american. I feel sorry for you. Good luck sir.

        • #3230469

          I know this is…

          by drsparks9 ·

          In reply to Poor rick

          seriously off topic, but I take issue with people who use the phrase “typcial ugly american”, and saying American like it was a slur. It’s obvious, sire, that you are a foreigner. I would submit that maybe you’ll have better luck in your own country of origin? If not, then the least you can do is to not use terms like the one you did above. It usually gets the ire of anyone born in this country. And don’t feel sorry for him…feel sorry that you got wrapped up in this entire conversation in the first place rather than just being the better person and walking away from the issue…as you should now.

        • #3230448

          re: I know this is…

          by webmaster ·

          In reply to I know this is…

          Actually, I am an American. I was born and raised in the USA and made a very fine living selling computer products online within the U.S.

          I have just have never seen so many negative and judgmental attitudes all in one place, this forum.

          But you’re right, I shouldn’t have used the term American with the word ugly. For this I apologize.

          Walking away is much more easier… Take care.

        • #3200848

          Reply is the only

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to I know this is…

          ethical thing he’s done as far as I’m concerned.

        • #3230392


          by rkuhn040172 ·

          In reply to Poor rick

          TR is a very professional website.

          I for one am glad the debates are so open AND there is such a wide range of opinions. We are professional…we just don’t sugar coat things.

          I don’t tear anyone down. And I do change lives. I help people all the time and the comment I get the most in my line of work is something like “wow, you explained that so that now I understand it and can use it”.

          My current position in life is quite good. Decent pay, great family (twins on the way), good company, etc.

          Oh, by the way, my parents are quite wealthy. Retired at 47…earning things the old fashion way…they earned it, worked their asses off, and saved like crazy.

          Nice try.

        • #3200753

          As a father of twins, Rickk

          by jdclyde ·

          In reply to Re:

          First let me say Congrats! 😀 Twins truly are a double blessing. My boys are now 14 and they are the best thing that has ever happened to me.

          There are easy points and there are hard points.

          The easy points, they amuse each other, so they don’t require you to amuse them every second.

          You don’t have to deal with the mother being pregnant and then unpregnant twice! (this is key!) boy do the hormones get out of wack afterwards. Give her room and understanding and know when to just shut up. She will not be herself for a while, but it gets better.

          Bad point? No hand-me-downs. You need double of everything, right now. I recommend hitting the rummage sales. Name brands are stupid as they will out grow everything long before it can be worn out. Get a few nice things for going out or special times, but the rest, hit the sales!

          Thing to watch out for with twins. When I found out I was going to have twins, I went to some friends of mine that are twins and asked them what they HATED about being twins and the answer is “Being treated like one person.” Watch for that one. Give them their own cake, even if they have the same birthday.

          Take lots of pics, as you just will never believe how these tiny little things grew into the beast that are now double teaming you! (never should have taught them about leverage and pressure points!) Mine were 2.5 and 3.2 lbs each when they were born. Month and a half early. Amazing what they can do these days.

          They say twins take a long time to catch up size wise to their peers. I knew a set of twins in high school, and they were our lightest weights on the wrestling team at 98 and 105. They are now like 6′ and probably 180 to 200 lbs.

          There are also organizations for twins that you can register with. clubs and such. Some do meetings, many just give you coupons and discounts on formula and diapers and such. you go through a lot of both.

          oh yeah, lunch buffets are great! Kids under five eat FREE. You can’t feed three people at home for what you can at a lunch buffet when they are free. The first two years the wife stayed home. After that she went back to work and I got myself switched to second shift to save on day care. The three of us went out for lunch every day.

          Strap yourself in and enjoy the ride. oh, forget about free time for linux for a bit….. ;\

        • #3200410

          Multi-Level Mucketing

          by panzrwagn1 ·

          In reply to Poor rick

          You wrote

          “I show people how to grow and move ahead in the complete computer product industry which includes IT.

          I gave that man the best advice that he will ever receive in his life. Which was to start his own business using his own knowledge and experience. That was life changing advice!!

          I change lives. I help people. What do you do?”

          The depth of your self-deception is frightening. The presumption that is the best advice he’ll ever hear borders on messianic.

          I have a neighbor who uses the exact same words to get people sell broccoli-flavored Gummi Bears for $50 a pound. He believes in his product. He will be leaving for a federal prison soon as he also believed the guy that sold him on how not to pay any (supposedly illegal and unconstitutional) federal income tax.

          For clarity here, an IT Career in most peoples minds involves using technology to solve business problems, whether as an architect who takes the customer requirements and creates the plan for the technology solution, an engineer who builds the solution, or as a tactical operations staff, who runs the solution daily.

          Being a peddler is not part of that.

      • #3230475

        Uhm, you may wanna get a security guy to check your server….

        by ·

        In reply to By starting your own IT business

        ‘cus this doesn’t look very good to me… Maybe you should hire one of the guys you helped set up a business….

        Interesting ports on (
        (The 65510 ports scanned but not shown below are in state: closed)
        21/tcp open ftp
        24/tcp open priv-mail
        25/tcp open smtp
        80/tcp open http
        110/tcp open pop3
        111/tcp filtered rpcbind
        143/tcp open imap
        179/tcp filtered bgp
        443/tcp open https
        444/tcp filtered snpp
        587/tcp open submission
        796/tcp open unknown
        998/tcp filtered busboy
        999/tcp open garcon
        1007/tcp open unknown
        1022/tcp filtered unknown
        1023/tcp filtered netvenuechat
        1720/tcp filtered H.323/Q.931
        2000/tcp filtered callbook
        2049/tcp filtered nfs
        2525/tcp filtered unknown
        3306/tcp open mysql
        5060/tcp filtered sip
        5666/tcp filtered unknown
        8622/tcp open unknown

    • #3201315

      This is how

      by tkagin ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      I posted this elsewhere for an entry level person asking about degreesin IT, but most of this applies to what you’re asking……

      I don’t have a degree and I’ve been in IT for 10 years. I did go to college, but left early. Granted, I started in the glory days of IT. It seems harder now to get a good opportunity for people new to IT.

      I’ve worked for a 4 different companies throughout my career, and served the most senior level positions in every job I worked. I routinely interview people, and I’ll be honest, once you reach senior level positions (technical positions), a degree is rarely, if ever, noticed on a resume…once you get past an HR person. Management on the other hand is a different story.

      The best advice I can give is to just take a job where you can get your hands dirty with a lot of technology. Most of the successful college kids that are now in IT, were formerly summer interns. That’s the easiest way to get a real position out of college. Small tech companies are usually the best for more exposure, as big companies relegate more inexperienced workers to specific job functions, and let the more experienced people “play” with the interesting technology. Small companies are usually understaffed, and need cheap help. They won’t be scrutinizing your resume too much. They’d rather you have a sincere desire to learn and be self motivated. I was had my boss tell me before I interviewed someone, “If he doesn’t drool on himself, hire him”.

      Get certifications! From a technical interview perspective, these are more important than a degree.

      Network, Network, Network. IT is a small world, so keep in touch with the smarter, more successful people you meet. Eventually, you won’t have to go through a staffing company to get a new job. You’ll be able to bypass all of the other resumes, with a good recommendation.

      Always keep your resume updated and out there. Tailor it to the job your applying for. A resume is not a chronological list of what you’ve done. It’s a piece of paper used to market yourself.

      Don’t get too comfortable in a job that you put the blinders on. Solid skill sets are hard to find. If you keep up with the industry, read more than your co-workers (literally learn something new every day), you’ll be in demand. Always keep your head out there for other opportunities. You’ll make your biggest gains when switching jobs, not from annual reviews. At one point, you won’t even be worrying about money, but will be more focused on other aspects of a job to make you happy.

      After your first “get your feet wet” type of job, choose every other job by thinking about how it will affect your career. Will the position be leading a team through some large upgrade/migration process? Will you be meeting with senior management routinely for some high profile project? These are launching pads for other positions.

      Finally, don’t become specialized in a vendor or product. Become specialized in a technology and learn multiple vendors/products. Learn the other facets that interact with the technology you’ve specialized in. IT folks get religious over their technologies, however they usually can barely speak about the competing products. These people are not respected by management. An unbiased view, weighing the pros and cons and how it applies to the specific environment will always get you more respect.

      Before you know it, what college you went to, what degree you had, etc, will become irrelevant.

    • #3201279

      Soft Skills

      by lesd ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      google “Jim Rohn”. Then read and understand what he means by “Work harder on yourself than you do on your job”

    • #3230708

      You’re not going to like this…

      by mollenhourb9 ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      Move to India.

      Seriously though, I’ve been through three distinct careers in twenty years in the workforce. No career path is “secure”. You will ALWAYS have the possibility of layoffs, company closings, etc. in your life. Build a successful career in ANY field by taking opportunities as they come along, even if they are outside your degree or current area of expertise. You will also have more fun this way.

      Oh yeah, and don’t be a “career weenie”; one of those people who worries exclusively about their career. Work on your soft skills. Have some integrity. Own up to your mistakes. In the long run, if you are somebody that people want to work with (and competent, of course) you will have a much better career, and enjoy it more.

      Good luck! Have fun! Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses along the way.

      • #3230608

        Constant smart learning

        by siddharth ·

        In reply to You’re not going to like this…


        I started with VC++/VB and pHp! background 7-8 yrs back. I’ve been in diverse companies both services and product development. I feel that learning more than one technology is always good. Most companies use more than one technology and having more skill sets makes you more valuable to the organization. Also, doing the same thing project after project can be boring so learning new stuff is really fun.

        Certifications in new technologies is really good for changing your job because your resume goes in before other ‘uncertified’ people. Of course, I am assuming that all you’ve done in your life is NOT JUST certifications.

        Being ‘loyal’ to a particular technology is really stupid. I have friends (C# developer) who feel pretty proud making fun of C++. Cmon…don’t be like that.

        Smart learning:
        As the years go by, learning new stuff becomes more and more difficult. So, you need to do some smart learning. Learn only the essentials.

        Like, suppose you’ve been in C++ for 10-12 yrs and now your company is getting C#/.NET project and not C++ projects. This is an ideal situation to get kicked out! So, learn the new technology, now with 10+ yrs exp, your more like a mentor to the junior/new programmers, so, don’t spend something like a month learning for loops, variables etc in .NET. Stuff like this hardly changes. Rather learn the architectural aspects of the new framework. A little bit of coding to understand this in details really good which perhaps can be done late nights at home.

        Making small freeeware apps and utilities is a great way to keep in touch with all the new technologies.

        Hope this helps,

        you can visit if you care

      • #3230417

        well put

        by sr10 ·

        In reply to You’re not going to like this…

        Even if your employer wants to offer you security, in the current business environment they may not have it to give.

    • #3230480

      hope this helps

      by pmoleski ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      There are several things that I look for that define a star IT performer to me. Star performers always find work. If you have these characterisitcs then you will have a secure career (note that a single job with one company is not the same as a career. Most of us move around at least occasionally.)

      1) Desire to grow – I am looking for someone who wants to gorow and or try something different. If you are trying to get away from a job it sends the wrong message. Looking to grow shows drive and adaptability both great traits for any job, in particular in the IT field.

      2) Passion for Learning – there are many valid learning styles so I am not wishing to offend anyone with this next statement. The very best in IT that I have seen, the super stars, teach themselves. All they need is access to technical notes/the Internet, maybe a book and a little bit of time. Almost never do they take formal training. In many cases if they can’t get what they need they just create it.

      3) Successful track record – No matter what is thrown their way they complete it successfully. No excuses, these people produce useful results that help tne companies they work for.

      4) Edcuation – can help you get your foot in the door. It is one a many factors to consider. However my own opinion is that once on the job for a few eyars there is only one thing that matters – Track record. Documented experience of actual ability to do real and useful things is more important than anything else in a tehcnical field. I don’t want someone who looks good on paper but can’t do the work. While I won’t hold edcucation and certifications against you , to me they are not nearly as important as track record.

      Personal qualities – some call these soft skills. Showing up each day as expected and reliably doing your job. Always maintining good manners no matter what the situation. Attention to detail that ensures things work as planned and system uptime is very high. Summing it up, someone who is dependable, polite, and cares.

      Technical aptitude – all the right attitude in the world won’t help if you do not have the core technical aptitude to do the work. This quickly shows up in the building, or not, of an actual “Track Record”

      Focus – do a few things really well. At the tehcnical level it is immpossible to know everything as IT is too broad a field. Ensure that you add new things to your list over time.

      Business Knowledge – get to know the business you are supporting better than the people who run it. This allows you to ensure that the systems supported do what the business needs them to do and may help you to keep the business from doing something real dumb at some point. What people ask for is not always what they really want or need and they will quite often not know this. Working in several different areas or businesses can help you understand processes that are common to all.

      If you have all of the above then you should be well on the road to a “Secure Career in IT”.

      After 8.5 years you are already established and likely have much of what I have mentioned above. If your real question is “What is next for me?” then that will require a differnet answer.


      • #3230398

        Very good Post

        by mandre ·

        In reply to hope this helps

        Also have faith as well…you cant control everything…but you can control how you react to things and educate yourself…the prior post is exactly what I did. I was in the educational feild of IT first and after 5 years of trying to get into industry I landed a job as an IT manager with GD in orlando. I taught myself so much stuff because no one else would or should…I am getting my TS clearance as well…boredom is a catalyst for addtional resposibilities or moving to the next level…I did not need a PHD to get my job but I was in school at the time….which was a glaring example of what pmoleski was talking about…technical savvy plus soft skills + good Attitude will get you FAR!

        once you have the education you need experience…people value that more than anything the education is the icing on the cake…just ask my GM who make a ton with no Degree but is smart enough to run MIT professors in circles.

        Andre…stay with it and dotn give up…be able to change and adapt with good bed side manner with your fellow employees…you WILL go far.

    • #3230399

      Depends on the career path.

      by newby7718 ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      IT Management generally requires accredited college degrees. Technical positions usually require certifications and experience, in lieu of advanced degrees.

    • #3200889

      RE:How do you build a secure career in IT?

      by kyawsoehan ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      Hi Samson, for my case, Industrial certifications are absolute necessity. e.g. MCSE:Security/Messaging, CCNA, CCNP, etc. Stuff the degrees.
      Be a specialist in what you are doing. Show your colour at work. Take a path towards Solutions Architect. That’s where industry is heading I think. I’ve been in IT field for about 2 decades. We have to update latest knowledge constantly.
      Good Luck.

    • #3200829


      by oz_media ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      Secure career in IT? THink again. Even those who FEEL they are secre in their jobs are not really.

      It these days is a field where you can be replaced by new talent at anytime.

      Some people prefer an experienced tech, some want a new gun. Either way, ANY job(don’t get IT confused with a career) in ANY line of work is insecure. You may have strengths that woul dkeep you hanging around, but nothng is solid unless you work for one person…yourself.

      All the people who feel they fill a niche and cant be replaced have SOME job security but are also just as easily found to be obsolete.

      It can be a good job, it is a great learning experience and if you are careful you may get some future out of it. But just because you last 10 years at one place, this doesn’t mean you will have no problem finding work somewhere else, in fact it is usually harder than having only 2 years experience.

      It’s a lot like sales in that respect, you can be at the top of the ladder but when you go elsewhere, you start at the bottom again, no matter how good you once were.

      • #3200721

        Secure job vs secure career.

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to Oxymoron

        Secure job is totally dependant on the choices of others. Secure career you can have much more control over.

        Exceptions would be those jobs that rely on soley physical attibutes, sports for instance.

        Other than that, if you want to be a software developer or an admin until you retire, you can.

        Just don’t make choices that will restrict future opportunities.

        If you want a secure job, employ yourself, and don’t let the boss make choices that restrict his future opportunities.

        • #3201081

          Who really considers IT a career though?

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Secure job vs secure career.

          Other than those actually IN IT.

          The boss never sees the IT department as anything more than a frustratingly neccessary expense. IT is not seen as a revenue stream unless in an e-c
          com shop or something.

          But mroe importantly, who would want to RETIRE in IT? That means this same old crap day in and day out until you are in your 60’s ?!?!?
          You must be kidding!

          If i didn’t have a line of sight that saw me retire from my employment of choice before I was 50 I think I’d trhrow in the towel. I am not waiting another 14 years after that, especially in some dead end job, nicknamed a career.

          I don’t care if you work for yourself or not, who the hell wants to work in their 60’s?

          Edit: I apologize for the segue/rant. It wasn’t directed at you in any way/

        • #3200969

          Who considers a career in

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Who really considers IT a career though?

          Oz apart from Oz

          A career in ????? shouldn’t be a goal, it’s a means to an end.

          The goal in life is to earn enough money to not have to spend your life having to earn money. Enjoying the means is ‘sheer luckshury.’

          If at sixty we can both meet up somewhere exotic and go home when we feel like it beholden to nobody, then only a fool would say we got it wrong.

          Maybe we could have done better, it’s an absolute certainty we could have done worse though.

        • #3226896


          by oz_media ·

          In reply to Who considers a career in

          Ai, lookshry, sheeer lookshry.

          “If at sixty we can both meet up somewhere exotic and go home when we feel like it beholden to nobody, then only a fool would say we got it wrong.”

          That’s exactly what the sketch is about, four Yorkshire men sitting around talking about how hard it used to be.

          “Tea? We never had tea…” Maybe we’ll get together and suck on a damp cloth while remembering the old days on TR.

    • #3200740

      Keep on moving

      by africanbreeze ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      IT is a very dynamic field. We should always try to stay on top of our game as required – opportunities come up and being prepared is always a good option

    • #3200484


      by ibelal ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      Sorry there may be none.

    • #3200436

      Best wishes

      by Anonymous ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      There is no sure formula for security in this ever-changing industry, but some personality traits bring success to those who accept employment as income rather than personal fulfillment. The ability to accept change is critical. I have 25 years in the business with steady employment through residence in 3 states (USA), and exposure to decision-making by corporations and small businesses. You guessed it: I’m one more person forced to be a consultant. If your interest in technology is sincere enough to accept and adapt to the constant changes, you will survive. As a documentation specialist, I learn and convey information and methods to others. Although I enjoy the challenges and have done well, I’m now recovering from a nervous breakdown or stroke (doctors don’t know which)! My advice is, don’t let career challenges become the definition of “decent living.”

    • #3200393

      OK, Summing Up

      by panzrwagn1 ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      This has been by an d large a great discussion, with a few tangents and personal axes ground for spice. But there’s a ton of good advice here, si I’ll add my own two cents:
      – Degrees are more strategic and what they provide should last a lifetime.
      – Certifications are tactical and last a product lifecycle.
      – Some of both come in handy.
      – The purpose of a resume is to get an interview,
      – The purpose of the interview is to get to the decision maker.
      – If you make yourself relevant to the business, you will have a job
      – If you make your job relevant to yourself, you will have a career.

      • #3228488


        by ihateid10t5 ·

        In reply to OK, Summing Up

        brilliant post…sums up all the thoughts practically…my first post ever here and everyone’s thoughts are very helpful…I am a one man IT shop that constantly gets overwhelmed (getting help soon though)
        I do get a lot of exposure to many different technologies, but without the appropriate time, there is no way to learn them at all (more like putting out fires all the time instead)
        Since you think certs last a product lifecycle…what do you think about general certs like Comptia’s A+ and N+ etc that certify knowledge of important technologies…

        • #3228455

          A+/N+ not worth the paper its printed on

          by justin james ·

          In reply to absolutely…

          “Since you think certs last a product lifecycle…what do you think about general certs like Comptia’s A+ and N+ etc that certify knowledge of important technologies…”

          I would not use an A+ or N+ to line my cat’s carrier when I take her to the vet. In early 2005 I was looking at some A+ practice exams (up-to-date ones, too), not only was it mostly asking about completely out of date technologies, but it was asking irrelevant questions. A+ is only useful to someone doing general Geek Squad type work, in terms of the technology and problems that it tests you on. I have not examined the N+, but I would imagine that it is the same. The only people I know who had their careers helped at all by A+/N+ were working Geek Squad or similar jobs. If that is the line of work you are in, it cannot hurt. But if you are actually a programmer, sys admin, DBA, network engineer, etc., you need to get the right certifications in the applicable products and technologies if you are going to bother at all.


        • #3228410


          by ihateid10t5 ·

          In reply to A+/N+ not worth the paper its printed on

          for the info…I appreciate the time….so going for something a bit more specialized like CCNA/CCNP/CCIE would be way better? what is your take on Oracle certs? MCSE? A helluva lot better than the Comptia ones, yes?

        • #3228400

          If you want to be an Oracle DBA

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to thanks…

          Oracle certs are almost a must. In the UK most shops won’t even look at you if you haven’t got most of them.
          Never bothered myself I don’t like Oracle, buggered if I’m paying that much money to get a cert in being irritated.

          If you don’t want to be an Oracle DBA, personally I wouldn’t go near them, they are extremely vendor centric, which is why they are valuable if that is your chosen path.

        • #3228339

          Depends on the cert & vendor

          by justin james ·

          In reply to thanks…

          Some certs are useful a bit above and beyond a particular vendor or product. For example, a CCNA does not simply mean, “I know the basics of using a Cisco router or switch in a relatively standard TCP/IP data network,” it also means “I understand TCP, UDP, IP, and ICMP extremely well.” If someone had a CCNA, I would have no problem hiring them for working on Juniper or whatever equipment. It is really just a matter of the CLI syntax, IMHO at that point. The more advanced the cert, the more vendor specific it is. As Tony said, an Oracle certification is a different story. It is extrmely Oracle specific. Things learned for an Oracle cert are not going to translate well to SQL Server or MySQL or whatever. To me, an Oracle cert just shows the ability to understand database-type concepts very well, but nothing that is not simply theory outside of Oracle. An MCSE circa Windows 2000 is still quite (not entirely) applicable to Windows 2003, but will not help someone with *Nix at all. And so on and so on.

          Really, if I was looking for certs to boost my resume, I would find a general technology that I want to work with (such as “DBA”, “sys admin”, “network engineer”, etc.), figure out what the top 2 or 3 vendors/products are in that space, and get a cert for the one you find yourself most attracted to. If you are into DBs, get an Oracle, SQL Server, or MySQL cert. If network engineer is your thing, you cannot go wrong with Cisco. If you like sys admin work, go for an MCSE, Solaris, or RedHat certification.

          Anyone notice that there are no real certs for programmers out there? I think Microsoft may offer a few, but I have never heard of a “Larry Wall Certified Perl Programmer” or a “Sun Certified Java Programmer” or whatever…


        • #3228157

          Hmm….I disagree…

          by ·

          In reply to A+/N+ not worth the paper its printed on

          You make a good point about getting the right certifications for applicable products, but saying that A+ and N+ isn’t worth anything is wrong, IMO.

          It’s a good backup for entry level IT, be it a hell desk staffer to a Network Analyst to a junior systems guy. Combine the A+/N+ with some experience and you’ll do okay. The ROI on the A+/N+ is pretty high, especially if you’re trying to get into IT. Granted, once you’ve been doing it for a while they do become meaningless, but for guys just starting out, it may be a good entry point.

        • #3228099

          I can agree with that

          by justin james ·

          In reply to Hmm….I disagree…

          I was very lucky to have covered the entry level stuff before I graduated college in an environment where certifications were not very important (the New York City MSA [aka Silicon Alley] during the dot-com days), so I was able to bypass much of the jobs that A+/N+ might be applicable. I did some help desk work up front (my first paid IT work) where most of the management were people who started at help desk as undergrads and just eventually moved to management; many of them never even got their degrees. So yes, I suppose for entry level work, A+/N+ demonstrate aptitude for technical subjects and a basic, general knowledge which can help separate you from the pack of unexperience but otherwise smart condidates. But one you get beyond the “junior” level, I really do not see much point to them.

          And what does a “junior” sys admin do, anyways? Only do password resets or physically put servers into racks?


    • #3200259

      How many 50 year olds do you see? 40 year olds?

      by mylord ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      You don’t build a career in this industry because there are none to be had. Seize what opportunity comes your way and capitalize on it to the best of your ability. Just don’t expect to be working in it in your 40s or 50s.

      • #3200244

        That is patently false

        by justin james ·

        In reply to How many 50 year olds do you see? 40 year olds?

        My father is in his 50s. I’m sure that quite a number of people who regularly post to TR are in their 40’s or 50’s (Tony, for example). I have worked in environments where the bulk of the Level 2 and Level 3 organizations were into the middle age brackets.

        Maybe small dot coms, or companies that are relatively new and hire tons of recent college grads (Google comes to mind) do not have many older people in it, but to say that people do not spend 20+ years in IT is a rediculous statement and quite false.


        • #3200238

          Not at all

          by mylord ·

          In reply to That is patently false

          It is not the career of an individual you are seeing; it is the duration of the organization. Organizations that are fairly stable usually have a stable workforce as well. This shouldn’t be confused with a career. Should their organization stumble, they will be out on their bums and can forget about finding another position. That is simply the way it is.

        • #3226962

          This is why you keep learning

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Not at all

          So that when your organization stumbles and you are out on your bum, you can bounce back. let’s face it, no matter how similar the job descriptions were, I have never in over 30 years of military and civilian electronics/computer experience had the same job twice.

          As I said at the top of the thread, if you stop learning in IT, you’re dead.

        • #3226937

          You are both right up to a point.

          by bdmore ·

          In reply to Not at all

          I?m in my 40s and I have been in IT for 23 years, the longest I?ve been in one company have been 5 years so I?ve been around quite a while and I know lots of people like me.

          For all the people who are either starting today or started recently, very few will be in IT 20 years from now. From those of us who started 20+ years ago, it have been career. That?s because times have changed and today is more difficult to hold a career for the long term than before. Even for those of us with 20+ years in the field, it is very unlikely that we will be in the field 10 years from now. This apply to most professions with few exceptions like doctors and layers.

        • #3226737

          I will be , I’ve made a note in my diary

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to You are both right up to a point.

          and I’ll post to prove it.

          No one gave me a hope in hell when I started, except me. Going back to that doesn’t worry me at all.

        • #3226738

          I got this job last year,

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Not at all

          turned my 44th birthday after 13 months in. I got it because of the twenty years in. In fact they took two of us on. Then they had a redundancy round , we are both still here!

          I don’t know why you are projecting your situation on others , but stop it, it’s juvenile.

      • #3226970

        Hate when that happens

        by nicknielsen ·

        In reply to How many 50 year olds do you see? 40 year olds?

        I turned 52 just over two weeks ago, so I guess I’m living a lie.

        But that paycheck spends like it’s real.

        I don’t mean to sound hateful, but are we hearing sour grapes?

        • #3226964

          Reading my mind

          by tig2 ·

          In reply to Hate when that happens

          I’m almost 44, partner is 51. When I look at our careers, I find that we have grown with IT and it is BECAUSE of our age, we are quite able to pick up new technology easily- we know the foundataions.

          Didn’t realise I was living a lie…

        • #3226925

          On the flip side

          by justin james ·

          In reply to Reading my mind

          I am 27, but I have been working in/around IT since I was 13 or so, helping out at my father’s office, volunteering for local charities while in high school, etc.

          That is one of the awesomethings about the IT industry. It is incredibly possible for people with little paper qualifications to break into it, it offers a ton of variety if you want it to.

          Yes, if you want to keep the word “programmer” or “administration” in your title, it is unlikely that you will ever be more than “lead programmer” or “senior DBA.” There is nothing wrong with that.

          I know plenty of people who went the cross-disclipline route, and it is reaping rich rewards. For example, a lawyer who “gets” tech is in great shape. A person who spent time as an electrical engineer (related to IT, depending on what you are doing) has a unique advantage if he becomes a car tuner or mechanic. And so on and so on. Heck, just the standard fault finding techniques I learned while programming have allowed me to be better at troubleshooting car problems than most of the ASE certified mechanics I have dealt with.

          It all depends on what you call a “career”. If you call “holding the same job from college graduation to retirement” a career, IT probably is not for you, although I *have* met people who spent 5, 10 years in the same position out of choice. If a “career” means a steady advancement of promotions and raises, personal learning, knowledge attainment, and so on, IT can work for you. Just remember though, unless you do something cross discipinary and/or pick up an MBA, PMP, MIS, or something similar, you will probably never get above the director level in most companies.

          “Programmers” rarely become more than “lead programmers,” but “programmers with an MBA” become “CIO.”


        • #3226735

          Projecting I think

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Hate when that happens

          Obviously going through a hard time.

          Either we must have failed because he has.
          Or he’s failing because we haven’t done the decent thing and expired to make room.

          Anyone who want’s my job can have it, all you have to do is be better at it. I aren’t that clever, so try harder. Or marry into the MDs family or something, don’t whine though it’s annoying.

      • #3226739

        Well I can see why you are unemployed

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to How many 50 year olds do you see? 40 year olds?

        I’m 44, I’ll be doing it when I’m 64, maybe even 74, though only for personal satisfaction hopefully.

        You see I know what I’m talking about.

        nuff said eh?

      • #3138701

        This is not true…

        by mashford2 ·

        In reply to How many 50 year olds do you see? 40 year olds?

        Most of the top IT workers I know are 40+
        -I think that large companies may being leaning towards older IT workers
        –More dependable, less likely to jump ship at the next oportunity => save time & $$$ not having to recruit new staff… turn-over costs $$$
        –IT work, in my opinion, is all about experience both technical and business
        —You can train the technical to a point, but the business knowledge takes years in the trenches to master…
        —My experience has been the main frame guy that has been with the business 15 years and re-trained 4 times with new technology is invaluable to the IT function …
        —-They know the history, what worked, what did not work & why… they can save the business time and $$$ not running down the same rabbit hole over and over again
        ==> I think IT work is more like engineering/scientific work, not like sales/marketing/management … where turn-over is less desirable and sound best practice rule the day, not the next new idea to boost sales

      • #3280594

        I am 40 Years Old

        by ehord2000 ·

        In reply to How many 50 year olds do you see? 40 year olds?

        I am 40 Years old and have been working in the IT field for over 20 years. Has it been hard not really. I do what I enjoy. Dont expect to stay at one company forever, I have migrated from company to company learning and developing my skills along the way. I started out doing simple helpdesk functions like building notebooks and desktops. Then I moved on to project manangment developed my skills and moved on. The jorney of an IT worker is not in doing the job but living the job, its an effort to keep up with all that is going on in the market place. Meaning you are not going to be able to do everything at any one perticular job, you are going to be part of a team in many companys where you are just a single part of a larger project. Learn and take in everything you can—become a leech and suck the knowledge out of everyone and everything you can get your hands on. Take that experience and move on. I typically stay at a single compnay about four years then move on. I am currently writting HL7 Interfaces that tranfer information from Vendor systems to Hospital systems. When I started I had zero(0) experience and no idea what the heck I was doing. I have been blessed as a quick study and withing weeks I was writting code that would transfer information from one system to another. You sound like a bright kid, you are still young and this field is just beginning to do many GREAT things. The best was to continue your education and strenghts are by Consulting with a good Firm where they find the work and you simply sign the contract from 6mos to xx numbers of years. Collect the experience and enjoy working in the field. I see myself working in this field well towards my retiremtent age, sure I will be the gray fella that used to play on his Tandy Color Computer, and will be made fun of by the younger groups just as I did the old main framers, but deviserity, experince, and the knowledge of self worth is whats going to carry you in this field. OH-YEAH BE HUNGRY!! Dont let opportunities pass you by because a friend wants to try out for the position. BE HUNGRY and go after the opportunity. Nike said it best, “JUST DO IT!” something I live by everyday.

      • #2496068

        half over 40

        by koerper ·

        In reply to How many 50 year olds do you see? 40 year olds?

        In my department of 8, 4 are over 40.

    • #3226856

      With a …

      by absolutely ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      vivid imagination.

      When you can predict the future, you can build job security. Until then, you can prepare for the most likely developments to the best of your ability. In some industries, that might be more challenging than in others.

    • #3226804

      A New Secure IT

      by karlreidelbach ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      Memo Pads given to all listed on memo by the person who wrote it with Pen in hand on actual paper! 🙂

    • #3226798

      Be specific……..

      by gaurav_ks ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      dear samson,
      By going through ur problem I couldn’t have a guess about ur field, post of the nature of work u r performing ni ur job. It would have been better if u could be more specific and written ur role, nature of job and certifications u r having. My advise 2 u is that it will be better 4 u 2 get higher degree because it will sure help u in making ur work profile better n make u stay in this field 4 a long time.

    • #3280357

      no job security

      by its just me ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      Be a jack of all trade. I just lost my job today in IT. Be versatile.

    • #2495895

      To build a secure career in IT……..

      by bg6638 ·

      In reply to How do you build a secure career in IT?

      1) Plan on getting at least a Master’s, plus a dual major in Accounting won’t hurt either!
      2) When a new cert comes out, get it, as it always seems an employer requires the one or two certs that you don’t have.
      3) Don’t stay with any employer too long, and be sure you make upward moves. Be wary about working for small employers, unless they are a consulting firm dealing with mid-large clients.
      4) There is no such thing as a Programmer, a DBA, or a Network Specialist. i.e. you better be prepared to specialize in multiple areas of IT. And do NOT overlook business and people skills either!
      5) Figure that you will be working in Bangalore within the next 5-10 years.

      • #2495482

        Don’t Move Up Too Far

        by koerper ·

        In reply to To build a secure career in IT……..

        Don’t go too far up the ladder unless you don’t really want an IT career. Upper level IT management jobs can be very unstable, and there is very little “IT” about them.

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