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IT is a great industry to work in

In 2002 I got sick of working in IT, of building applications that got thrown away 6 months after completion because the client's IT management decided all internal apps had to be built in Foobar technology instead of Acme technology.

My work seemed meaningless, stressful, and thankless. I thought I should go work in a bar or become a tour guide.

I quit and went travelling for most of 2003. I travelled with a tour guide in Cuba for 2 weeks. I saw how dissatisfied he was with his job. Always on the move, no established friends, no chance for a stable relationship.

I worked in a bar for a few weeks. Low paid, hard work, very tiring, and boring. I realised why students often do this work. It's work you do when you are not qualified to do anything else.

At the end of this all I realised that IT is actually pretty damn good compared to other industries. High pay compared to other industries, even if pay levels are not what they were in 1999. Challenging work with some interesting things to do. Other a few years experience you have the option to work as a contractor and earn even more AND take long skiing holidays.

Herr Herr
Friday, June 04, 2004

thank you, I tried being an insurance agent for a year, same conclusion.

The Artist Formerly Known as Prince
Friday, June 04, 2004

The only thing that scares me about IT is that it hasn't stabilized yet.

We saw the bubble during the 90's when it was cool to have on your cv versions of unix unto which Emacs hadn't been ported (inflicted?).

Then we saw the crunch. During 2002 and 2003 nobody hired anybody and we saw the end of the world as we know it. Nick Carr and his article made me open my eyes and what I saw wasn't good.

And now we're stabilizing. We're waiting to see what comes next. What the jobs of the future will be. We're waiting, that's all.

RP
Friday, June 04, 2004

When everyone else is waiting is the time to attack.

anon
Friday, June 04, 2004

The basic human condition is suffering, and people are often disatistifed whatever their situation - poor, rich, young, old, bartender, IT, flight attendant, winter, summer, day, night.

Of course then there are things that people should be disatisfied with - during summers in school I'd work in a boiling hot and humid local factory. My job entailed putting a couple of pieces of fiberglass in some random car part (actually an air filter/dessicant for air conditioning systems), putting it on an unbelievably loud press and pressing two buttons to squeeze the parts together. Hour upon hour, day after day I would do this. Eventually I realized that life is too short to do something like that (and it is no surprize that there is high levels of substance abuse among workers in that `field') and quit (and then worked at a restaurant as a dish pig/pizza jockey which remains one of the most enjoyable jobs I've ever had, humorously enough).

Dennis Forbes
Friday, June 04, 2004

Just for kicks, how old are you and what other jobs do you have?

RP
Friday, June 04, 2004

...did you have...

RP
Friday, June 04, 2004

I've worked in various positions in the IT field since, and I love this field, but the carefree (because I was a teen. I'm not saying it'd be a good job for a 30 year old), constantly changing, socially rewarding family restaurant job I'll always look back upon fondly.

Dennis Forbes
Friday, June 04, 2004

I sympathize with Cheese Eating Surrender Monkey and his "I hate this industry" post. I wonder if other lines of professional work have the same degree of frivolously "playing" with the candidate that IT does.  It seems to be an ordination from God that requires companies in our industry to flagrantly disregard basic ethics. It's as though they "absolutely must" screw candidates around for some unstated higher purpose. "Hey, we said you could start next Monday. Did you turn down ALL your other offers? Well.. you're NOT getting our job, for VERY good reasons and you should be glad that we don't need you. Good luck! We really hope you have to declare bankruptcy!"

The problem is that all companies and recruiters in this field seem to be on a permanent ego trip. If you match their internal needs you're wonderful, you walk on water, you're great like they are, you're on the inside, and everyone who is on the outside is an asshole.

Unless they don't need you, in which case you're human shit, you're disregardable, you're untalented, you didn't work hard in your past jobs, etc.

And I won't even begin to describe what it's like to deal with the asshole recruiters and HR departments in this industry if you're over 40.

Bored Bystander
Friday, June 04, 2004

"At the end of this all I realised that IT is actually pretty damn good compared to other industries. "

You're damn straight it is.  I think you learned a valuable lesson in learning to keep things in their proper perspective and learn to appreciate when you have a good thing.  Many people here seem to complain about everything: my coworker's music is too loud, my boss didn't say 'Hi' to me this morning, my coworkers won't recognize my genius talent, my latte is too cold, my coffee is too hot, my ergonomic chair is not comfy enough and so on and so on.  I think the biggest complainers are people who have grown up in a nice cushy enviroment there whole lives (anglo, american, suburban types).  Until you have worked in a manually grueling job, you just don't know how good you have it in IT.  Try working in a factory.  It's an oven in the summer time and an ice box in the winter.  And you want to talk about the boss or co-workers not appreciating you enough.  Working in a factory, you are going to be cussed out be some one at the end of each day.  Or try working in the fields picking vegatables.  That's some back breaking labor.

Glad to see you finally realized how good you have it.

Steve-O
Friday, June 04, 2004

Suck is relative, but indeed, there are attitudes from certain persons in this industry that if they simply disappeared, it would make everybody's life much more easy.

RP
Friday, June 04, 2004

Steve-O, you seem to be advocating a 'race to the bottom' mentality - "someone else has it worse, so suck it". If your environment can relatively easily be changed (a nicer chair, a coworker using headphones) then I'm damn glad people strive for it instead of "knowing their place".

Hey that reminds me - I worked priming tobacco during the summers in grade 9 and 10 (I lived in an agricultural area). Unbelievably sucky job that was backbreaking labour from 6 in the morning until the sun went down at night, for $50 a day. That isn't a job I look back upon fondly.

Dennis Forbes
Friday, June 04, 2004

---"I wonder if other lines of professional work have the same degree of frivolously "playing" with the candidate that IT does."-----

The answer is yes, or worse.

Stephen Jones
Friday, June 04, 2004

Other fields definitely have it worse. A large national insurer that I worked for briefly would fire military reservists whose training schedule was inconvenient for the boss man.  It's not only unpatriotic, it's blatantly illegal.  A friend of the family whose job it is to arrange training and deployments told me that it's very common for reservists to be fired on manufactured excuses.

In any field where the worker is an easily replaced comodity, expect the HR department to be populated by weasles and snakes.  It's the way of the world.  The only hope is to make yourself indispensible.

Clay Dowling
Friday, June 04, 2004

Herr Herr,

thanks for the uplifting post. Made the day a bit more tolerable.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, June 04, 2004

"A large national insurer that I worked for briefly would fire military reservists whose training schedule was inconvenient for the boss man.  It's not only unpatriotic, it's blatantly illegal."

I wonder if there is a group of ex-military types with legal training to fight this sort of thing, and make life miserable for employers who try it.  I know that military types exemplify "gets things done" more than pretty much any other group I can think of.

Example:  At my university the student government wanted to put some restrictions on the ROTC on campus (can't remember what exactly).  The ROTC students pro ceeded to organize, win most of the following student body elections, and overturn the resolutions.

Philo, if you're lurking, any thoughts?

Jim Rankin
Friday, June 04, 2004

Philo was fired.

Godsmack
Friday, June 04, 2004

Steve-O, complaints here are not about coffee being hot or cold or chairs not comfortable.

They're about arrogant and stupid interruption to work. The reason for these complaints is that developers, in particular, are expected to apply pretty advanced expertise to generally important jobs, but without the same level of respect that equivalent jobs hold.

Accountants don't whinge about people talking next to them because accountants get their own offices.

Also, to the folks who make comparisons with manual jobs, I did lots of manual jobs at uni, including fruit picking. They were very pleasant. People are respected for hard work.

Complaints about the conditions in IT land are entirely justified.

tree
Friday, June 04, 2004

I love technology, but dislike the industry at times.  Putting code into production is still pretty rewarding.  Even if it almost kills you in the process. 

christopher baus (www.baus.net)
Friday, June 04, 2004

>At the end of this all I realised that IT is actually pretty  >damn good compared to other industries.

Duh

GreenMeanie
Friday, June 04, 2004

So perhaps the solution is for software companies to be run by programmers, since they'd understand the needs of other programmers.

Except that as you transition from being a programmer to being a businessperson running a company, you start getting out of touch with coding...

Which earns you the disrespect of your programmers...

Which leads us to...the status quo.

Perhaps this is the software industry's Peter Principle.

Kyralessa
Friday, June 04, 2004

No. Microsoft is successful because it's run by developers.


Saturday, June 05, 2004

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