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The lighter side of IT

By Zulj ·
Ever had one of those problems where you have absolutely no idea how you solved it? Seems to happen to me too many times to be coincedence.

My boss was working at a client for 2 weeks solid trying to setup a server there. There was some email/fax software that was involved and even the software developers where there trying to solve the problem. One day my boss asked me to go round the client's place and configure the system before he and the developers could continue that day. So I went round configured the server and reinstalled the software. I wasn't given any real info on the product or what the actual problem was, so I wasn't completely sure of what I was configuring when I installed this fax/email software. Somehow it was also linked to an AS/400 system. (I am clueless when it comes to AS/400's) Anyway I sent some test faxes through just to check I'd set it up alright, when suddenly the CEO came charging through demanding to know what happened. Confused, I told him I just sent some test faxes through. This is when I discovered that I had, by accident, solved the problem my boss and the developers where trying to fix for 2 weeks.

Even though I admitted that I actually didn't know what I did to fix it, I became the "guru" of AS/400's and this software, both of which I knew and still know nothing about.

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Congrats

by Oz_Media In reply to The lighter side of IT

Sometimes it is easier to just reinstal software and it will work the second time around. It is always possible that some files may be in use or inaccessible during install, perhapse someone logs in or has access to something the software needs during install, files aren't updated correctly and a whole host of other little bugyy problems may occur.

I see many techs at customer sites that have been bashing their heads against a wall for weeks. By the time I get there, the files are usually patched, copied over, modified etc, and it's very hard to diagnose the root of the problem. I often find that cleaning the system and reinstalling the new software has resolved more problems than not.

CERTS as I've always said, don't prove or do anything and i see them as misguiding and useless, I can't understand why many companies hire based on certs and not ability. The person doing the work may not see the forest through the trees, it doesn't matter how much experience someone has and what 'title' they hold.

Good for you in 'inadvertently' solving the problem!

Now go see the boss and tell him that if he wants you to fix ALL THE REST of their problems, you need more money. ;-)

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The sad part

by Zulj In reply to Congrats

The sad part is that I did speak to him about getting a raise....multiple times. For 2.5 years I got excellent "performance reviews" and not a single raise. Eventually I had to resign for my own survival.

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certs and braindumps

by Zulj In reply to Congrats

I'm right there with you on the cert stuff. They don't prove anything anymore. How badly do you think braindumps are affecting these certs. I mean I know of people who didn't study a friggin thing but downloaded braindumps on MCSE and memorized the questions and completed the exams.

This guy gets a job and the boss realises that he know nothing. He's going to really distrust the qualification from then on.

Is this hurting the industry or is it going to someday force the issue of proving oneself to a company?

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Sale courses

by Oz_Media In reply to certs and braindumps

I remember a time when slaes courses dtermined how good a sales job you could get. I had VanSec 1,2 &3, Dale carnegie (all three) and others sales/management certs. they got me ahead in the industryu at THAT time, but these days, performance rules out sales certs.

I see the same for IT. At one tmie, there were only the chosen few who could actuall administer a network. Nowdays, everyone can. I run two Novell servers at home, for testing patches, learning new tricks etc. My nephew can resolve Netware issues (at age 11)! I think by the time he is in high school, Novell, MS and CISCO certs will be common knowledge learned in schools.

As for BrainDunce, you may be able to cheat a test but can you cheat life? I'd like to learn how, longevity is my goal.

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The Value of Certification

by Montypdj In reply to certs and braindumps

There are reasons Pro and Against certification and the main on still seems to be 'OK your qualified but can you do the job?'

For me, I have had 10 years in Catering and switched to IT 5 years ago. I want employers to know that I was serious about IT. I invested several thousand on acquiring knowledge and earning NT4 & 2000 qualifications which should prove that I'm not about to retrain or give it all up.

My Win 2k MCSE says that I know about Microsoft Server Products but not that I am an AD Expert. The Microsoft Certs serve a purpose but do not prepare you to work with all the kit you are faced with in any 'normal' network.

I have used my qualifications to make my CV look good for a Job. A CV gets you an interview and it is then dumped.

Before I sit any exams, I have probably read two or three hundred exam questions as part of my revision process. It is important that you understand the format of the test and are not completely wasting you money but simply learning questions and answers isnt enough to pass the exams. The Microsoft wording is particulary sneaky and requires careful reading to even begin to tackle the understanding the what the questions means, never mind the answer.

Final word: I was recently passed over on a new job because another candidate had MCSE and CCNA, my MCSE was not quite enough for that one.

Regards
Monty

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Yes but have you ever noticed

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to The Value of Certificatio ...

That no matter how much experience you have you still fall into the good old trap of tuinnel vission?

I can remember countless times when I've spent hours/days on a problem only to have someone else come along and fix the problem in 30 seconde or so it seems. You start off with one problem and when that is fixed and stillthings don't go right you get a mind set that it just has to be something to do with what you have done to the unit in question. More so with servere and I've noticed mail servers particuarly to be a cause of this type of problem you go in and fix the original problem and then you insist that you must have altered something necessary to the continued fuction of the unit.

It is always a very good idea to walk away from a problem and come back latter after you've had a break that way at least you can have half a chance in breaking the mindset that you have adopted but with mailservers there is always someone hanging over your shoulder asking when is it going to be working again?

I understand just how important e-mail is but sometimes I think that we are becoming far too reliant on it for our own good. Mind you this is always when there is a problem and other times I just forget about it all.

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by dude846 In reply to certs and braindumps

hey, I defend certifications! But i do agree - that unfortantly i have heard of people that dont study at all for the tests and make it watered down... i know CCNP and higher are-still-good.

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Magic

by timwalsh In reply to The lighter side of IT

I think I have several people in my office convinced that I have some sort of magic aura. Whenever I appear around a problem, the problem magically disappears.

The exchange usually goes like this:
User: "Hey, I'm trying to... (let your imagination run wild and name a process), and it's not working right."

Me: "Well, have you tried... (steps right out of the manual or help file)?"

User: "Yeah, I've done it that way about 5 times now and it's just not working. I've really got to get this report out. Can you PLEASE help me??"

Me: "Okay, I'll be down in a few minutes." (Stop and drink some MORE coffee while wishing I really had something to put in it. Then, I head down the hall.)

Me: "Okay, let's try it one more time. I want to see what errors are popping up, or what else is going on."

User: (After following the correct procedure) "Wow, how did you do that? I did the exact same thing before and it never worked. You must be magic!" (Yeah, right!)

Me: "Just my magnetic personality!"

Of course, I'm sure there are no other Techs out there that have EVER had the same experience.

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It's no magic,

by voldar In reply to Magic

it's just happening - and basta!
This situation is something very usual for me - my users ask me to "sit next their computers" so that they will never have computer problems :))).
But I am only one - and they are 160 - how can I be in all places in the same time? I thought about "clonning" (hehehehehehehe), but it's not an option - I prefer to be ONE - and besides, who needs two or more fellows like me?!?! Not even my girlfriend :)) Off the record - I would be bored soon if I'd have two or three clones of my girlfriend (I like diversity) - why then she'd not be bored too?!? Hahahahahaha!

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6th sense

by Zulj In reply to It's no magic,

Maybe it some kinda 6th sense IT guys get. Though I'm sure that you're either born with the ability or you'll never have it. You also get the people who have the anti-pc aura. Somehow they sit infront of a computer for 5 minutes and things just start going wrong.

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