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What was everyone's first job that started your IT career?

By mLindvall ·
I'm a soon to be graduate, year and half left, with a MIS degree and I'm trying to think of jobs that would be avaiable when I graduate. I was also thinking about what is a good place to start in a company to be able to move up within the company.

So after looking at most of the people's job description on TechRepublic I was wondering where everyone started off your career and if you moved up from your starting position or if you started where you wanted to be.


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In 1993.....

by Roger99a In reply to What was everyone's first ...

I was working construction and just learning about computers. A local computer shop had installed the new 486DX2-80 in my computer but it wouldn't function properly. Their star technician mis-diagnosed the problem but I later figured out it was a bad HDD controller. I was given a bench tech job making $6 an hour.

Six years ago a couple of Microsoft exams got me an MCP and landed me a job as Network Administrator for a medium sized company that was just starting to build itself an IT department.

Thinking back on it, I wasn't really qualified for either job.

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just starting myself

by no look pass In reply to What was everyone's first ...

having only finished my CS degree a year now. For me I am not concerned too much with upward mobility within this particular company as I am focused on trying to absorb as much knowledge as possible.

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by lelliott@naplesshelter. In reply to just starting myself

i started as a help desk call center tech & now a net admin in a non profit company

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Good move.

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to just starting myself

Whether you go or you change your mind and stay.

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by x10nd In reply to What was everyone's first ...

i was doing my studies back in 1997 as a web designer, i was offered a job before the completion as a web designer, then moved on to become a web developer after a year, learnt scripting languages by myself. then got to learn pki, digital certificates and the likes by 1999, then on to system admin of w2k, linux.

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Cable puller

by JRod86 In reply to began....

I started as a cable puller because that was the only job I was qualified for after dropping out of a Network Admin program.

I got interested in computers from the Army. A friend of mine could do anything with them, still can. It amazed me what was available, so a year or two after I got out of the Army I trained for a year and started working. I went from a cable puller to a Help Desk position. From there to Level II support. From there to more of a systems admin position for a small but demanding department. All that in 4 I'm still pretty new at it myself.

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No one starts where they want to be

by jdclyde In reply to What was everyone's first ...

unless they have very low expectations or work for daddy.

You will have to find ANY job in the IT field to build up your resume first. Once your in a company it is easier to do a lateral transfer to the job you want than to get hired in off the streets.

I started by teaching. What could possibly look better on a resume in IT than to say you TEACH computers? "Wow, you must know a lot"! ;\

I then got hired in as a programmer for the Y2K rewrite. After that MASIVE task was done (2 years of programming) I started to take on the Administration tasks that the administrator either didn't like to do or didn't know how to do. After a while the system became mine as that admin had too much on their plate to do ANY of them well so she "let" me have systems/network. After a while, I added in security.

I love these three areas, but it is hard as each one is a full time job to stay up on.

Just remember, the way to advance is to find what no one else wants to do (the "crap" jobs) and take them on yourself. Do them very well. You will get ahead faster that way. If you try to do the jobs that others are already doing, they will feel threatened and geeks are very territorieal.

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contract position

by Cweb In reply to What was everyone's first ...

Installing new PC's. The company I worked at had 3-4 vans and 2-3 people per van and we installed anywhere from 1-4 PC's per person per day.
They were configured by one team and delievered and installed by us.

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Ah... 1967

by DC Guy In reply to What was everyone's first ...

The IBM 360 was on the market; third-generation computing was here! There was an insatiable need for computer programmers. If you had a college degree in ANYTHING, absolutely ANYTHING, and could pass one of those aptitude tests where they ask you what's the next number or word in this series and what would this pile of bricks look like from the back side, you were in.

I just got my degree in accounting and was looking at a starting salary of $400 a month. The university guidance counselor told me, "I just got this flyer from the municipal government for a job called 'EDP Trainee.' I have no idea what that means but you're qualified and it pays $625."

I ran down there, took the test, got the highest score they'd ever seen. The HR lady (they called it "personnel" in those days, we were still "persons" and not "resources" like toilet paper) wouldn't let me leave her office, she dragged me down to the computing center, waited for the boss to show up, and he hired me on the spot.

I spent two weeks in Cobol school, then started coding. My first program was never implemented. My second assignment was to make enhancements to a bread-and-butter application that was 3,000 lines long; that's a lot of punched cards. It took half a day to get the cards back from the keypunchers, an hour to compile, then another round of keypunching to correct your own errors, and overnight for a turnaround from operations to test the changes. We had a lot of time to goof off in those days.

I'm not sure that program ever went into production either. By then two years had passed and I'd received two pro-forma promotions and was making about $800. An absolute fortune when you could rent a really nice apartment for $200, buy a new Volvo for about $3000, fly from LA to San Francisco and back for $25, and go to a Creedence Clearwater concert for $7.50. My buddies who stayed in accounting were making $475.

I was one of the few people who could understand assembler language, so I was transferred into the systems programming staff. I wrote a special-purpose operating system for a mainframe with 32K memory, yelled a lot at the vendor's staff, and mostly helped programmers with their debugging.

Eventually I became a supervisor of systems programmers--back before the PC revolution did away with the supervisor position and there were actually people around to help you get better at your job. Then a project manager, finally an organizational manager (much better job if you ask me, I'd rather deal with two programmers who hate their boss than with a project that's six months late and a million dollars over budget), still in what was now called IT.

Then I bailed out of civil service, something to do with being smothered by a quasi-socialistic system and surrounded by people who were there because it was the employer of last resort. Stepped out into the wonderful, empowering, fulfilling world of the private sector and got knocked down, kicked around, run over, and spit on about eight times. Did a lot of training, always my favorite part of the job.

Still here, counting the years until retirement. I've done a lot of different stuff but it's all IT.

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How it all started....

by M_a_r_k In reply to What was everyone's first ...

My first job out of college was as a hardware developer for a defense contractor. Those were the good old days building missiles and radars and secret stuff I still can't talk about. If I told you about some of the secret stuff I used to work on, I'd have to kill you.

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