Career in IT? Part 1

Boss, IT Business, IT Culture
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No, not talking about Microsoft killing the TechNet subscription service – and ultimately signaling the end of life for IT Professionals who aren’t Developers – but the career in technology that involves managing servers, services, switches, hardware, software and so on.. you can usually gauge the direction and demand by looking at who is hiring.

One of my friends from South California asked me if I knew someone that was hiring. South California, isn’t that the heaven for IT employees?

Doesn’t seem like it.. I have been searching for companies but all I can find is small time want to be businesses with 5 or less employees.. (kinda done with them)

Not to mention it seems like more and more companies want you to be a slave to them working 60 Hours a week…


The following (and the next post) is my attempt at social commentary. If you don’t hate me yet, you probably will by the time you read this.

So about that life balance thing..

Yet, this is reality even at our humble little IT business – we aren’t looking for people who are focused on quality of life. We are looking for people that are looking for a career.

Career, our definition, isn’t about being a workaholic but it is about dedication to your craft well beyond the hours you punch in/out on. This is the reality of our business.. of a technology business.. that the technology is moving faster than education, labs and quality control can. With a more rapid release cycle and multiple layers of redundancy failure is just another number and the focus is on delivering a solution – not building one and leaving it alone for X number of years.

And as I tell my employees all the time: I’d rather pay fewer of you more than have more of you making less.

And it’s moving faster and faster.

If even as late as 2010 you would have told me that I’d have to build Blackberry or Windows Phone versions of our software I wouldn’t have believed you.

Moreover, I probably would have punched you.

Yet, here I am, in the future, dictated by the open web and HTML5 and.. yeah, building native apps for one @#% platform after another.

The reality of IT is that it’s both going extinct at the lower level and becoming an engineering role at the top. Where does that leave a skilled IT professional who is not constantly immersed in virtual, cloud, legacy and migration projects and platforms on a daily basis? A dinosaur after a year.

So about that job..

AS400_Modell_150Knowledge of a single platform used to be enough. Heck, great living used to be made being familiar with a single product – in the early 2000’s you could collect decent 6 figures just by being a DBA.

Today? Good luck finding that job. Yes, there is still that one job out there managing some cryptic legacy stuff running on the AS/400 and the next opening will be up as soon as the dude who has that job dies or wins the lottery.

What used to scream as the lack of expertise is now an ideal candidate. If you had a ton of stuff on your resume a few years ago it meant that you were never trusted with anything significant for long enough to establish a specialty. Today your specialty is pretty much obsolete by the time you’re hired at the next job – and companies look for people with skills in variety of areas and clear ability to solve problems and pick up new platforms fast.

IT as a career.. more like IT as a lifestyle.