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Old 04-19-2003, 09:48 PM   #1
Whitehat
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Opinion question about Career and Certifications...


Hey all,

I have a question for you. I would like you to be as non-biased as you can. I would also not like this to turn into a flame war.

Thanks...

OK. I am an MCSE in Windows NT 4.0, and I am also Linux+ Certified. I have about 5 years in the IT field. I started off in tech support about 5 years ago, and now I am a network engineer for a large hospital. We have about 1200 Computers, and 50 server. 10 of the servers are Novell, and the rest are NT, and Win2000.

I really like linux/unix. I also work on Cisco switches and routers. I guess what I'm saying is I have a "broad knowlege" of a lot, and I have a somewhat deep knowledge of MS Servers/desktops and networking.

I'm 29 years old, I have no college degree, and I make around $50,000 annually. I am looking for a career where I never have to deal with 'users'. I am stuck in deciding what to do. I really like Operating Systems. I also like hardware and Cisco stuff. I want to pick the "next best thing" in IT. I want to pick a direction that will not be obselete soon I want to make a bit more money too.

Right now I'm doing mixed server support/switch and router maintenence/desktop support.

I want to know what you think I should do. Should I go deep in Cisco? Should I get going in HP-UX/Sun Solaris/Linux? Should I go deeper with Microsoft?

Please really, try to be non-biased, and don't everyone say "linux linux linux".

If you've read all this, I really appreciate it. Thanks!

Peace out, and Happy Easter.
 
Old 04-19-2003, 10:05 PM   #2
trickykid
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Well, the only thing I can comment on is your comment of never wanting to deal with "users" again. If that's the case, you shouldn't be in IT then really, as there are always going to be "users". Unless you learn to program or the such, where you don't have to interact with the so-called users.

I myself have already planned or been thinking of if and when I actually ever go back to school, I'm getting out of the computer business, probably going to become the architect I wanted to be way before I ever got involved with computers..
 
Old 04-19-2003, 10:41 PM   #3
Whitehat
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trickykid,

Quote:
Well, the only thing I can comment on is your comment of never wanting to deal with "users" again. If that's the case, you shouldn't be in IT then really, as there are always going to be "users".
I disagree. The consultants that I know that are high end server guru's and also the Cisco dudes, don't deal with users. They work on ONLY servers, or on switches and routers, or plan/design networks. Now, Network Administrators/Help Desk Managers, always have to deal with users. I'm not talking about that, I'm talking about high end IT stuff.

Thanks for the reply though !

Peace
 
Old 04-20-2003, 01:25 PM   #4
Whitehat
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Well trickykid....thanks for your reply. I appreciate you actually reading it.

Thanks again!
 
Old 04-20-2003, 04:20 PM   #5
cli_man
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I don't know how you like to work but something I have noticed is if you go deeper into say cisco you will always be working on a "Network down" situation, not because cisco is bad, I love working with cisco but because you don't get called in till there is a problem. Where with servers you are working more in the day to day administing, keeping systems up to date, making sure they are not overloaded, doing proactive stuff to make sure the server will scale well in the future.

I say this to say if you like working under pressure the cisco stuff would probably be your field, but if you like coming in and going through your routine then the servers are where you would want.

Now of course both of these could be different, but in general that is what I see. Just my two cents worth.
 
Old 04-21-2003, 03:13 AM   #6
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Most people learn a brand name interface(s) in order to get a job. Than the way to advance is to work your way up slowly through seniority. If you want to learn about system implementation rather than interface(s), than you should pursue a higher degree, like a doctorate in computer science, or else become an entrepreneur freelance researcher through open source. Either of the two later choices will take about a decade or two of study (usually will little income).

Last edited by GtkUser; 04-21-2003 at 03:42 AM.
 
Old 04-21-2003, 03:52 PM   #7
finegan
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Honestly, if you're in a career where you can choose what you want, choose what you like. Career advancement is a headache with mechanic's knowledge, getting passed up for twiddle-thumbed retards with masters in Information Management and such that wouldn't know ksh from tsch from IT is going to be a constant headache, the best way to get ahead is to know more than any joker there, and the best way to do that is to stick with what you like. Linux, Solaris, MSCrap, The BSDs, Cisco; none of these are going away anytime soon, and as long as you have the responsibility of implementing solutions, and you enjoy what you're playing with, you'll never have a problem really. The only people I see getting obsoleted as time wears on are the money grubbing gimps that got into IT to make $100k a year and stick to what they had to gurge back to begin with.

If you treat each new OS, application or whatever as another fun toy to play with and not as medicine, what have you got to worry about really?

Of course, this is coming from a 26 year old library clerk that barely even has the responsibility of keeping the windows/Mac print queues clear at a library doze cluster, but I deal with the IT curmudgeons and the weenies, morons, gurus and mechanics every day, and the only ones going anywhere are the ones that are constantly trying to learn new things for the hell of it.

Cheers,

Finegan
 
Old 04-21-2003, 04:43 PM   #8
Whitehat
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Finegan,

That was an awesome reply. I appreciate it. My gut instinct always tells me to stay with what I like and what I have fun with, because that is how I got into IT (doing what I do for a hobby, but doing it for pay). I don't like to do stuff in IT that I don't like just to make good money.

So...for me that means I need to keep doing Linux/Unix stuff, and MS Stuff. I don't really like switching and routing or Cisco. I really like server stuff, and web stuff. I don't like programming, but I just like HTML and PHP and messing with Apache and IIS.

Thanks for the reply. It was very helpful.

Peace
 
Old 04-21-2003, 08:43 PM   #9
cuckoopint
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Quote:
I really like server stuff, and web stuff. I don't like programming, but I just like HTML and PHP
Maybe you should at least get a good dose of Perl, even if you intend on staying away from stuff like C coding.
 
Old 04-21-2003, 08:55 PM   #10
Whitehat
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I can actually code in C++ right now. I never tell anyone that, because I don't want to do it for my job

Just call me Mr. Sneaky Man...
 
Old 04-22-2003, 04:33 AM   #11
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In order to understand system implementation you need to have extensive knowledge of C. All of the major enterprise platforms and enterprise servers and middleware, are implemented in C or wrappers of the C interfaces.

On the other hand, if you stay on the interface side, than there is a lot of variety and it's what most businesses demand, unless you work for a software organization.

I don't think that many businesses want to hire people to implement a compiler or web server, or design a new programming language. They just want you to know how to use/operate a pre-existing web server, popular programming language, firewall, etc.

Software organizations invented something I will refer to as middleware solutions. This is a specialized information library that is designed to make available all kinds of research in an assessible form to reasonably skilled computer users. The software organizations didn't do the best job they could have done, possibly on purpose, but if you want to experience something exciting, than you should investigate middelware Java or .Net. In addition, basically any skilled computer user, needs to know all of the basics of computers just to get off the ground in IT (which will take some years).
 
Old 04-22-2003, 09:25 AM   #12
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I'm faced with a problem of deciding exactly what career I want to pursue in the Technology Field. Next year I'll be graduating with a B.S. in Computer Science with a Business Certificate and a minor in Philosophy. I'm still unsure of what exactly I want to do once I get out, as I have yet to have an internship yet (hopefully the one I applied for will hire me).

I like programming, but I dont exactly see myself designing excitingly new and invoative programs, nor do I really think I want to spend 8 hours sitting down. I think I should also have talking on the phone as part of the job eliminated as well, as I am hard of hearing and making me communicate on the phone alot is a recipe for disaster. I'm thinking of getting a few certs of the summer, and I've gained quite a bit of experience with Debian Linux. As somone just entering the field, does anyone have aby ideas what I should probably go for?

I'm still standing on my previous stance though, if I don't have a job lined up by the time I graduate, I'm going to waste another 2 years and go to Graduate school.
 
  


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