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Has the Glory Gone Out of Working In IT?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the good-old-days dept.

IT 623

An anonymous reader writes to wonder if the glory has gone out of IT. One blogger remembered his first impression upon entering a profession in IT that made it seem like the place to be, with a new shiny around every corner. What experiences have others had? Has a more pervasive technical culture forced our IT gurus into obsolescence?

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huh? (4, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569343)

Glory in IT? If that was the case I'd get more women I think. I think any glory you thought there use to be is simply delusions on your part. People don't work in IT for the glory. People rarely do anything for glory.

Re:huh? (5, Insightful)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569487)

I can never remember a time when shit hits the fan and I'm able to keep down time to a minimum and getting glory, just gripes about down time. IT never has glory because nobody cares about IT until something goes wrong then it's the IT guys fault, and every second of down time is because of their incompetence.

Re:huh? (5, Insightful)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569533)

Was coming here to say pretty much the same thing. If we wanted glory, we'd have become firefighters or something. We like fixing problems, for the most part.

Re:huh? (4, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569559)

According to this article [newscientist.com] the only problem an IT guy should have getting laid is the fact that an 80 hour work week doesn't leave much time for anything but work.

And, women don't go for "glorious" guys, they go for tall, rich, funny men. Usually they'll settle for one of the three.

Re:huh? (4, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569761)

Sweet, I KNEW spending all of my money on rubber chickens and platform shoes would be a wise investment!

Re:huh? (4, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#29570005)

So you're not rich anymore. FAIL!

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569959)

And, women don't go for "glorious" guys, they go for tall, rich, funny men. Usually they'll settle for one of the three.

Yeah, it's that simple. Or not. It's a sextillion times more complicated than that. Perhaps you came to that conclusion in an attempt to justify not gettin' any.

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569991)

YOU LIE!!

Re:huh? (1)

Stargoat (658863) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569993)

I don't know. I'm pretty sure Audie Murphy never had a problem getting chicks.

Re:huh? (2, Insightful)

Hojima (1228978) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569581)

Well, I think by glory he means prestige. And quite frankly, it has gone out, and greed/incompetence has taken care of that. There was once a time where being a police man was a title of privilege and respect. Now the government has pushed laws that turn them into fat, power greedy (at the expense of civil liberties), money hungry (ticket/fine scams and other dirty practices) pigs. With IT, the brass has made them into dispensable scapegoats that slave away for meager salaries with the fear of being replaced in a heartbeat. Probably the only job that has retained any dignity are professors (to some extent), firefighters, and paramedics (and I'd say researchers, but they get misused too). But who knows, some anon might just come up and make a post with a reference to a firefighter scandal.

Re:huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569723)

Your wish is our command: http://www.kcra.com/news/4274472/detail.html [kcra.com]

Re:huh? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569897)

Most professors aren't tenured anymore. You mostly have adjunct professors that get crammed 2 or 3 to a tiny office, and get paid garbage. The prestige involved in that profession is rapidly disappearing as well. Firefighters and paramedics still have some measure of prestige, but at least in the case of firefighters I think a lot of it is residual from 9/11, when they were practically worshiped. I would expect that to fade over time as well, although the fact that fire engines are the coolest things ever to young boys will keep their cool factor higher than average for the foreseeable future.

As for IT, I don't think there was ever a time when the profession was "prestigious", just well-paid. Everyone wanted to go into IT during the tech boom because of the inflated salaries, not so they could tell all their friends they worked in IT. Since the boom is over, and salaries have fallen, fewer people want to get into IT.

Re:huh? (3, Insightful)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 4 years ago | (#29570011)

>There was once a time where being a police man was a title of privilege and respect. Now the government has pushed laws that turn them into fat, power greedy (at the expense of civil liberties),

You are suffering from the fallacy of idealizing the past. Ironically, a modern police officer is more professional, better educated, and better paid than his past peers. Something tells me youve never read about law enforcement in NYC in the 1800's.

Re:huh? (5, Interesting)

thisnamestoolong (1584383) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569659)

Seriously -- I work in IT because it is stable work, it's something I can stand doing, and I make enough scratch to get all my bills paid and live fairly comfortably. I was never aware of there being anything even resembling 'glory' associated with IT.

Re:huh? (5, Funny)

sleigher (961421) | more than 4 years ago | (#29570015)

No Way! When i pulled that bad drive from the 3140c, and replaced it with the replacement that had arrived this morning, the clouds overhead parted as the Valkyries sang and I rose to my rightful place, occupying the throne of Odin. As the gods before me gasped and awed at my most masterful replacement and saving of the data, 72 virgins were laid before me and I now rule in GLORY!!!!

Not for glory... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569845)

FOR GREAT JUSTICE!

Glory in IT? (1, Redundant)

Mr. Firewall (578517) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569877)

Oh, hell yes. I remember the wiring closet that was adjacent to the women's room...

Oh, wait a minute. I thought you said Glory HOLES....

Geekdom has sold out! (1)

Krelnor (1189683) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569355)

Yes, Geekdom has sold out.

The Glory went out of IT (4, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569377)

The day we traded the guru individualist programmer doing arcane tweaks inspired by the architecture of the machine, for the team in India writing on spec using no memory or speed optimization whatsoever.

Re:The Glory went out of IT (4, Insightful)

epiphani (254981) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569449)

Simpler than that: when we allowed project managers to think they actually were qualified to manage projects.

Re:The Glory went out of IT (3, Insightful)

BlueBoxSW.com (745855) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569621)

A good IT project manager is worth his or her weight in gold.

Because they are about as a rare.

But when you work with them, it makes all the difference.

those days are not gone (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569557)

Those arcane tweaks inspired by machine architecture are still here, as long as you're going OS kernel coding or low-level performance-oriented stuff.

Re:The Glory went out of IT (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569579)

The day we traded the guru individualist programmer doing arcane tweak

Why should we want a individualist programmer doing arcane tweaks? That sort of thing often seems to end up being an unmanageable mess somewhere down the road. I'd much rather that things be done in a standard and easy-to-manage way, especially given how overpowered modern machines are for what most of us use them for.

Re:The Glory went out of IT (1)

Matthew Weigel (888) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569701)

Perhaps that's why it's not glorious work anymore. :-P

...not that I ever looked at it as glorious stuff to begin with...

Huh? (3, Interesting)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569391)

To be honest, I don't even understand what question is being asked.

What does he/she mean by "glory"?

And a "new shiny" what? "around every corner"?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569403)

I concur... WTF?

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569431)

Some people use "shiny" as a noun, not as an adjective, although personally I consider this a symptom of stupidity.

Re:Huh? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569435)

I accidentally the whole new shiny.

Re:Huh? (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569873)

It sounds to me like someone has outgrown his infatuation with something that was once new and shiny to him, but has since gotten old and dull. It happens. Depending on how far along you are in life, it's called "growing" up or "getting old". Maybe it's time to change careers or go back to school or something.

Wait, what? (5, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569397)

Since when was IT prestigious? It once used to be the hot new industry where people made lots of money, but it was never 'sexy'. Lucrative, not glorious. And now it's not even that, so much.

Carpenter vs. pre-fab (5, Interesting)

lbalbalba (526209) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569413)

Just like the proud, self-made carpenter, who used to do everything himself by hand, has to install pre-fab kitchen's in a day these days (and never mind how it's done, just make sure that it's installed in a single day), yes, the 'glory' has gone out of IT for *most* (if not *all*) people in IT these days. It might still be a *fun* job, because you get to 'play' with computers all day, but most of the glory has been lost to 'professionalism'.

Glory? (5, Insightful)

Sir_Dill (218371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569417)

Has there ever been glory in IT?

R&D and MIT media lab aside ( I wouldn't call that sort of thing IT even though there is some overlap)

When I hear IT I think of my corporate support staff.

As far as I am concerned there has never been any glory in that thankless job.

I mean how glorious can a job be where the only recognition you'll get is when you screw something up?

When you are good at your job in IT nobody notices you since the goal of most IT shops is to be transparent to the user....

Re:Glory? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569539)

If you are doing your job you should be doing more than not getting in the businesses way, you should be leading the company to higher efficiencies. Trust me my IT group gets recognition from the CEO on down, but we are doing industry leading decision support solutions with a very small staff. I wouldn't call it glory, more like rightly deserved recognition for the contribution we make to the company.

Re:Glory? (1)

bigman2003 (671309) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569675)

For a while, when people found out I am a 'computer programmer' their reaction would be, "Ooooohhhhhh." (Like it meant *something*)

Today when people ask what I do, I say, "computer programmer" quietly, almost apologetically...because I know that nobody really cares.

Re:Glory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569817)

Has there ever been glory in IT?

R&D and MIT media lab aside ( I wouldn't call that sort of thing IT even though there is some overlap)

When I hear IT I think of my corporate support staff.

As far as I am concerned there has never been any glory in that thankless job.

I mean how glorious can a job be where the only recognition you'll get is when you screw something up?

When you are good at your job in IT nobody notices you since the goal of most IT shops is to be transparent to the user....

I second. an IT person allows ignorant people to remain ignorant. They all just think this stuff happens by magic.

Re:Glory? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#29570013)

One blogger remembered his first impression upon entering a profession in IT that made it seem like the place to be with a new shiny around every corner.

Often, whenever you're embarking on something new, it seems exciting and new. Your first impression on entering a profession is bound to contain much more hope and potential than after you've been in that profession for a couple decades.

On the other hand, I do wonder if there isn't something stagnant about the current situation. It seems to me like there have been periods of substantial improvement and new technologies in IT, and it feels to me like we're not really in one right now. Machines keep getting faster and screens are getting nicer, but a lot of the fundamental problems continue to go unaddressed. No IPv6, no better method of managing SSL certs, the next-gen filesystems still aren't here yet, my backup is about the same as it was 10 years ago, and everyone is still using Windows XP and Office 2003.

Re:Glory? (2, Insightful)

magus_melchior (262681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29570021)

Our parent company president put it this way: IT is one of those professions where it's "normal" to have everything working perfectly. You might get a little recognition if you rescue an imperiled client, but don't hold your breath.

Glory? (4, Funny)

kenh (9056) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569451)

The Glory of working in IT peaked with the release of the movie "Office Space."

Re:Glory? (1)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569657)

The Glory of working in IT peaked with the release of the movie "Office Space."

That's too vague. I submit that the very peak was the "photocopier smash" scene.

Pretty sure the point.. (2, Informative)

KalvinB (205500) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569673)

was that working in IT sucks. The lead character found happiness by quitting the field entirely. The other characters stayed in the field because "it's a job." Office Space brought sympathy to the career field. Not glory.

The cult classic that actually glorified being a geek was "Hackers."

Re:Pretty sure the point.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569829)

Cult classic? Is that the current colloquialism for 'heaping pile of shit?'

Geekdom fini (1)

iso-cop (555637) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569455)

The more you mix business and government with IT the less fun it will be. Perhaps technology being more widespread gives a similar effect. IT Geeks once were like modern day wizards wielding their craft across the land. We were unique, somewhat scary, and to most, unnecessary. Now IT is everywhere and IT Geeks are probably more like pharmacists. Everybody needs them but they are far from impressive and it is easy enough to find one who will do an adequate job.

Re:Geekdom fini (4, Insightful)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569639)

This is somewhat true, though it seems to me that much of the "problem" with IT these days stems from the continued inability for non-technical colleagues and management to understand exactly what the purpose of IT is.

It used to be that IT was much less micromanaged. "They do that computer stuff, and it seems to work most of the time, and when it isn't working we lose money, so it's good they keep it working." Now-a-days with folks being so metric-obsessed, it's harder to "just do your job". You gotta make sure to keep up with all your tickets, make extra tickets for everything from someone stopping by your desk, to peeing, so that the metric-OCDs can account for everything you do.

There's still some places where tech people can be tech people, but with a lot of companies going through the (seemingly) perpetual cycle of: "Our IT doesn't work, get us a dedicated IT staff" to "Man, those IT folks look overworked, they must be hard workers!" to (after the systems have been fixed and streamlined) "Those IT people never seem to be doing anything, let's lay them off and save some money" and back to "our IT doesn't work..." it can be hard to find a position where you *can* be a technology person without having to watch your back all the time.

Though (to continue the rant), I will agree that, in general, technology is in a bit of a boring slump, where "advances" are often simply marketing re-definitions of existing technology that's been "suped up". It's not like the late-80's through the 90's where interesting things were happening all around and there was always something neat coming out. These days tech is about evolution not revolution.

Also keep in mind, though, that the longer you're in IT, the more things will seem "old hat" to you. I think this is what the OP (and I) seem to be experiencing these days.

Re:Geekdom fini (1)

dontclapthrowmoney (1534613) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569971)

I'm not so sure about the whole "wizards" thing, or at least I can imagine a non-IT person rolling their eyes at me if I said that to them - but I like the pharmacist analogy - I'm out of mod points so the only compliment I can pay you is that I might plagarise from you at some stage.

There was glory in IT? (1)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569473)

When? I've been in IT, as a programmer, since 93. Never saw any Glory. Except down to the truck stop south of town, where she was working.

a long time ago (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569475)

Maybe if you were a UNIVAC technician, that was pretty cool. But in my lifetime I can't recall IT ever being a "glorious" occupation. Sure, there are jobs in the broader tech industry that might have that mythologized element. In the 70s and 80s, you've got Woz in a garage as sort of the canonical example. But IT still wasn't glorious in that era. The IT people weren't Woz; they were mainly at places like IBM, servicing thousands of mainframes and minicomputers. There was not an aura of glory around that job, even if it paid well and may have been interesting.

Re:a long time ago (2, Interesting)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569713)

Maybe if you were a UNIVAC technician, that was pretty cool

UNIVAC is a year older than I am, and nerds were NEVER considered "cool" until normal people started using PCs.

Glory? Whats that? (2, Informative)

ice666 (601599) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569477)

I work as a net/server admin and we are kinda like the red-headed step child of the company. No one notices us when everything is working, but as soon as something goes down... Anyone else feel this way? And sorry if i offend any red-heads out there who also may or may not be a step child.

Re:Glory? Whats that? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569685)

Bingo.

The best part is when you work IT in a REALLY fucked up company. If you do your job and keep downtime to a minimum, some asshat director decides your not busy enough and you end up with piles of HIS department's work on your desk.

So glad to get out of there...

Re:Glory? Whats that? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569793)

Anyone else feel this way? And sorry if i offend any red-heads out there who also may or may not be a step child.

I'm offended by your political correctness, you insensitive clod!

The glory is still there (1)

supe (163410) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569481)

At least for me. But then, I spend most of my time under the desks of beautiful women that prefer to go commando and where short skirts, connecting peripherals they don't need. Oh, wait a minute, that's the job I had.

False and misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569489)

There was NEVER any glory working in IT. Ever.

It would be like saying Windows 7 took all the elegance out of the Windows franchise.

Ask Slashdot (0)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569497)

Dear Slashdot.

Has the glory gone out of being a Slave? When did the lashes go from pleasure to pain?

Re:Ask Slashdot (1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569825)

When did the lashes go from pleasure to pain?

When we met Mistress Sarah. ;)

maybe not glory, but still lots of fun to be had (1)

Chirs (87576) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569501)

Depending on what the submitter means by "IT", there is still fun to be had.

I've been doing linux kernel customization and support for the past ten years. There's still lots of shiny stuff going on, to the point where it's basically impossible to keep up with everything.

On the other hand, if by IT you mean basic infrastructure support for corporate operations, that may be a different story.

Has the Glory Gone Out of Editing? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569503)

If the act of editing was a Jew then Slashdot "editors" would be Nazis.

Intern Sanjay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569505)

Hahahahaha yoUs funny amerkans dun like i.T. N E more cuz Carly iT goddess ship all yous job to Bangalore new Silcon valley! We do ALL hi tec job now an you monky plug wire into wall when IT expert from Bangalore call to make yous lazy do what yous told. Hahahahah rember I tole you long ago tis wood happen! Go scrub toilet at long wol-mort wit yous amerkin diplomo cuz it wortless! hahahahaha! Me an Ravi make mess in aisle six ten laff when stupit lazy amerkan ex i.T work go clean up! hahahahaha!

Re:Intern Sanjay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569925)

Sir, have you accidentally your keyboard?

new vs old (4, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569509)

When I was new, everything seemed new and shiny.

Now that I'm old, everything seems old and dull.

Re:new vs old (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569647)

Don't worry, if my grandfather's bouts with dementia are any indication, if you wait long enough everything will be new again.

This is bad? (1)

cnvandev (1538055) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569513)

Hang on...they're thinking it's bad that people no longer look at you funny when you ask them what browser they use? They're lamenting the good old days when people put the entire e-mail in the subject line? They miss the lucrative position of explaining to someone that no, they can't just have root access? Explaining that the backup isn't supposed to be the only copy?

This is a problem?

Re:This is bad? (1)

adriccom (44869) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569893)

When did any of these things stop happening?

What planet are you posting from?

It's all due to the massive glut in H1B IT workers (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569519)

Too many laid off people. Most of which are replaced with H1-B workers at a lower rate. Who wants to bust ass through 4 years of engineering school to get paid what a bartender earns.

Re:It's all due to the massive glut in H1B IT work (1)

hemp (36945) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569887)

Don't forget not being able to pay you student loans off.

Re:It's all due to the massive glut in H1B IT work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569953)

mmm, may be bartenders?

Re:It's all due to the massive glut in H1B IT work (2)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#29570039)

H1B workers are a minor factor at best. By most counts, there are somewhere between 5 and 6 million U.S. high-tech jobs. The H1B visa quota ranges from 65,000 to 195,000 or so, or about 3% of that at most.

A Big Gut But No Glory? (1)

RevSpaminator (1419557) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569523)

There is still glory in IT, you just have to be a lot better than before. Used to be if you could get the CEO's internet and email working you were considered super human by Sr. management. Now you have to develop and/or implement something that will improve the bottom line of the organization.

Much less glorious (1)

dr_strang (32799) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569529)

IT is more akin to a boring ubiquitous commodity than a gee-whiz technological marvel.

These days we're more like car mechanics and plumbers than 'gurus'.

short answer: yes (1)

loafula (1080631) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569535)

IT is a miserable hell-hole that makes the very task of getting out of bed in the AM a chore.

Re:short answer: yes (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569689)

Jeez, that's depressing. I don't know if I could handle reading your long answer, I might be driven to slit my wrists.

The cool factor has lessend (3, Insightful)

Anonymusing (1450747) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569547)

I started programming and repairing computers in the 70s. There was a certain coolness to knowing things that other people didn't know, almost as if you possessed magical powers. Modems? BBSs? Networking? A printer? You can recover a file off my floppy disk? YOU ARE A GOD, SIR, and you just saved my ass.

No longer. Everybody knows this stuff, or at least they pretend to know it, enough to be dangerous. Or else it's been supplanted. E.g. nobody cares that I wired my house for gigabit Ethernet; they just want to know how to jump on my WiFi access point. 802.11b/g/n/w/t/f is really not important. Need to recover a file? Oh yeah, Norton came with my computer.

It's like the photography industry, which barely resembles the industry of 20 years ago because everyone has a fancy digital camera now and can take better pics than they could back then. Or you can hop on iStockPhoto.com or sxc.hu and get cheap/free stock photos that used to be really expensive. Or the graphic design industry: now every "hack with a Mac" (or a PC) can "do" graphic design, no special skills required.

The trick is to be so good at problem solving (or camera angles/lighting/composing, or graphic style) that people still recognize you as a wizard. I mean in the I.T. repair sense, not the 6d+3 sense. This requires creativity, and not everybody has that. If you don't, but you need that feeling of recognition, then you need to either play a lot more WoW or find a new field/niche.

Of course it has (2, Insightful)

blunte (183182) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569553)

Now that users can do almost anything (simple) on a computer or even their phone, they now expect that anything they can imagine (vaguely, inarticulately, even impossibly) should be easy to do.

Unless you're at one of the rare shops that's well funded and not directly dealing with users, you will likely be in a no-win position.

Deliver a flawless system and you go unnoticed. Instead, you get asked "can it do this ?"

Or worse and most likely, you step into a position with an existing product that you have to continue development of. It will be behind schedule, over budget, and a complete architectural disaster. What's more, it won't match what the users need because nobody bothered to dig deeply to find out what the users really needed (as opposed to what they initially said they wanted - there's a huge difference).

Am I bitter, yes. I'd rather be a lawyer. At least then I'd still be getting rich doing crap work.

What glory? (1)

Sepiraph (1162995) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569561)

People associate glory with things like winning a battle (in the old days) or winning a champion (nowadays).
People DON'T associate glory with things like having 2 routers able to ping each other or displaying some graphics on a computer screen.

Really? (1)

Berkyjay (1225604) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569571)

Glory in IT? There was glory in IT? ????

Glory (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569589)

The only way to bring glory into your daily job is to do it yourself. No work environment does bring the glory. If it should, it would attract such people, that any glory would be estinguished.... OOooops, that's what happend to the IT.

CU, Martin

It was fun until... (5, Insightful)

Mr. Firewall (578517) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569591)

It was fun until...

  • HR started getting involved in hiring decisions.
  • they stopped promoting from within for lower-level management, and started hiring clueless outsiders who didn't know a bit from a byte.
  • Micro$oft started becoming dominant in the networking space.
  • you didn't need a damn rinkydink-electrician's license just to string network cable.
  • my idiot boss outlawed all use of Firefox for "security" reasons.
  • IT decisions, affecting those of us who have to make that crap actually WORK, are made on the golf course without ever asking the worker bees what they think.
  • Your additional pithy comments here....

Glory? (2, Insightful)

rnturn (11092) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569593)

I'm not sure about the glory but the fun of working in IT is getting pretty rare. There are too darned many pointy hair bosses who think they've got high-powered technical chops because they read (and partially understood) a few articles in an in-flight magazine who then get back into the office and turn things upside down for no apparent reason.

More prevalent != more geeky (1)

StoopidMonkey (588264) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569599)

Is someone feeling burned out? There is no glory in most jobs. It's just a job. As far as more pervasive technical culture - while more people can now troubleshoot the basics (drink holder not working, computer plugged in, etc.) there is still a need for your basic help desk type work. Joe Blow Sixpack won't be doing any advanced network administration, data recovery, web development, business process integration..... the list is long. Just because more people can now check email and browse the web and use basic software doesn't mean that out culture has advanced to the point where everyone is a geek. With the prevalence of Rockband, Guitar Hero...has the glory faded out of being a musician? I mean, I recall those early days when there seemed to be a groupie around every corner....

who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569601)

I don't really think any geek worth his salt got into IT for "glory". They got into it because they liked building things, working with computers, etc. - thats sure what got me into it. As a systems admin, I acknowledge and accept my role as what basically amounts to a computer mechanic, but my career choice satisfaction, and I'd even say pride, isn't derived from Jobsian sense of cutting edge oober eleetness. It comes from doing something I enjoy, using my brain to solve problems and challenges, and from being a productive person.

  Being a mechanic, a carpenter, electrician isn't particularly sexy, but I'm sure the guys in those fields probably don't care either.

Maybe some good will come of this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569613)

And that good will be that in companies where IT isn't the end product, the IT shops will finally realize they're there as SUPPORT staff. For example, in my company (primarily physics, chemistry, math PhDs) you could fire all the IT people and the company would still work. Oh, it wouldn't work as well. Some fuzzy-headed scientist would download a virus or something, and lose some time getting his PC working again, but it would bumble along. But it doesn't work in the reverse. You can't fire all the technical folks and have IT take over--not unless they're all hiding PhDs I don't know about.

IT supports me. I appreciate it, and I understand it's a hard job. But they need to remember they SUPPORT, and act like it. I'm sick of snooty IT folks who think the world revolves around them and whose first inclination to a request is to say "no."

It really has. (4, Funny)

snarfies (115214) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569617)

I've been hard-working member of an IT staff for a while now, and I do sometime feel as though all the glory has been sucked out of a "glory hole" of some sort.

We really should have a staff meeting about it. Firm action is clearly needed.

Easy Answer: Yes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569625)

Must be a slow day on Slashdot. The only thing glorious is when the check clears.

money (3, Insightful)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569665)

We make two to four times as much money as the average American. That's enough to ensure that IT remains a respected and desirable career.

The brief bubble period where we made millions in fake stock options was an anomaly. It was not "normal." Our careers were never really glorious, but they will remain prestigious, like those of scientists, engineers, and other skilled, well-paid professionals.

Glory in IT? (2, Interesting)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569667)

Give us some context regarding this "glory" that you perceive as having "gone out of IT". While I know that, prior to the dot-com bubble burst, everyone and his brother was going into IT, it's not as if (those silly Intel commercials notwithstanding) people were looking on IT folks with awe, or that most women were fighting to be with us or anything like that.

Or, given your mention of "new shiny[s]" - perhaps what you're missing are the days when a sysadmin had unquestioned control of his domain, ran it as he pleased and didn't have to answer to any higher-ups? Those days are long gone, and are not coming back (and, frankly, let me be the first to say "good riddance").

If you are in a profession for the glory... (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569683)

... then you are in the wrong profession.

If you want glory, find something you like and be the best you can be at it, and hope that's better than almost all of your peers.

Was there ever glory? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569717)

Sounds like something someone would say that only entered the IT field for the money or whatever dot-com-esque crap.

I do it for the love of it, not for anything or anyone else.

No. (4, Insightful)

wandazulu (265281) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569753)

The glory is making something that people *want* to use, or it really honestly makes their life better, and they know it. I've done mostly back-end stuff throughout my career but I have seen email comments from users who have praised the system for making such-and-such job easier, or figuring out this big thing, or saving a lot of time, etc., and I can feel good that I had a hand in that, or I implemented that, etc.

My kids like playing with the apps on the iPhone, especially music making and drawing pictures. I can't say how many times I've been handed the phone with a picture and my daughter beaming and going "I made that!!", with obvious joy on her face. That made me happy, and I'd think the author of the program would be happy to know how much joy s/he brought.

That's glory right there. If you can make someone happy with what you do, honestly and truly, then it makes the TPS reports, status meetings, weekends and late night worth it.

Glory leaves all professions (1)

TooTechy (191509) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569755)

Medicine - Doctors are slaves to the insurance industry.
Aviation - Pilots are slaves to the commercial pressures of cheap air flight.
Law - Was there ever a time when a Lawyer was respected? ;-)

IT - The run is over, we have reached the pinnacle of mediocrity. That is the way of the free market.

No glory, but no obsolescence, either (1)

spamfiltre (656000) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569763)

I never noticed the glory on a large scale - it usually comes as hurried "thank you"s after I have recovered someone's Word document they edited straight from an email attachment, then lost, or when I look up Excel help in front of the end user to answer their question. It never comes from building an enterprise level CMS that works perfectly for the end user for years at a time. Luckily(?), we still hire people who don't know how to log in when presented with a username/password box. My job isn't nearly the same as it used to be, but I definitely have job security while our education system is as poor as it is.

You never work a day in your life.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29569775)

...if you love what you do. Depends like always on where you work and what you do. I work for a media/educational start-up and despite the fact that we are using somewhat older tech, there is something new and shiny around every corner maybe not with "new" technology but with solving real issues with the technology available.

New and shiny problem solving is always much more fun.

What a generic and stupid fucking question! (1)

SlappyBastard (961143) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569841)

Let's see . . . First, you have to define glory. Then you have to define IT.

A well-formed question should include well-defined ideas of what you're asking about. Holy shit is it hard for me to believe that a grown person asked this question, and then another grown person actually put it on the frontpage of Slashdot.

Glory? Kind a makes me wish... (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569843)

..the Soviet Union was still with us.

I think I have a mental image:

Soviet Tanks hauling large mainframes on parade down Red Square Moscow while a loud speaker bellows out "Our glorious IT staff have developed our first portable computers capable of 80 kilo meters per hour! Rivaling enough the mighty American library of congress! The capitalist will tremble at their might! For the glory of the motherland! Those who do not applause will be arrested!" A big "URRAAAAH!" from those watching as a soldier holding a AK-47 glares at them.

It's been a while since the dotcom bubble burst... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569847)

Ok, so I know slashdot isn't the snappiest of news sites but the dotcom bubble burst in 2001. There was a few years there that IT would revolutionize mankind, change everything there was to know about economics, society, nations and borders and we'd all go live in some new-age cyberspace era. That's the last time I heard anyone use the word glorious about the IT industry, which makes this article about 8 years late. New record?

Is IT the new blue-collar? (3, Insightful)

Mr.Fork (633378) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569849)

I've been involved with and working in IT for over almost 30 years (since my first Vic-20). This raises a lot of points on companies and the shiny - the answer is not as black-and-white. The answer is: it depends. My experience has shown there are three typical views of IT and how 'shiny' it is to the company. To find out, ask the question - Does your company treat IT in how much value they add to their organization?

1. They view IT as a cost-centre. Run, don't walk away from companies that view their IT centres as something to be outsourced.

2. They view IT as a necessary evil and spend only as much as necessary to keep their employees from throwing their monitors out the window. These kinds of companies understand IT is a necessary, but they don't like spending money on it. They tend to upgrade software that are SEVERAL versions behind, and your typical office PC is 4-7 years old. No shiny here - IT is dull and so is working here in that role.

3. They view IT as a way to save money. Innovative and highly adaptable companies that change with their operating environment usually view IT as a way to improve on efficiencies, and use it to reduce costs and improve services internally and externally. These are good companies that view IT as shiny and always something to invest in. These companies also tend to be around a long time, or they always seem to make money even when times are bad. It takes money to invest in IT - badly managed companies don't have money to spend on it. These companies, from an IT and a learning perspective, are preferred. More often than nought, they also tend to dabble in Open Source - never a bad thing.

So, when doing an interview at a company, ask the following questions:
1. How old 'typically' are the computers in your office?
2. What version of Microsoft and Office are you using?
3. Does your organization view IT as a cost center or as value-added infrastructure?
Measure these against points 1-3 for their shiny score. :)

See previous story (1)

c0d3g33k (102699) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569865)

"Bad PC sales staff exposed"

Dishonest and clueless (I avoid the more inflammatory "lying" and "terminally stupid" terms) individuals are as likely a reason as any. Just like snake-oil salesmen and pseudo-scientific charlatans give medicine and science a bad name, respectively, so do the "armchair techies" give a bad name to genuinely competent IT professionals. IT personnel at both retail stores and businesses should be held to a higher standard than "I know more techno-jargon than you do, so I must be smarter". One bad apple spoils the whole bunch, and one charlatan can do damage to the field as a whole. Be willing to hold people to a higher standard rather than giving them a pass and the profession will get as much respect as any other. I respect a competent bricklayer, plumber, electrician etc. much more than someone with unproven "tech savvy", since the latter can currently bluff their way to a high position in IT with little or no specific tech knowledge.

IT stinks.. (1)

cowdung (702933) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569867)

IT was never good. What you really want to do is work for a software company. That way you work for the central product of the company rather than being the company's expense!

Bouncing ticket back for lack of information (1)

lokiz (796853) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569875)

Seriously since this is ask slashdot lets treat it is a request from a customer. Bounce it back to the helpdesk for not asking them to clarify and having no idea what is even being asked for. IT never has been glorious. In most places we are at best tolerated because no business/organization/whatever can survive without us. Upper management who think their monitor is their computer expect you to wave your magic wand and make whatever absurd idea they have work. And you have to bust your ass to make it happen. People get into this field for one of 2 reasons. 1. They think they'll make a lot of money - Typically they have no drive to learn the latest and greatest and get annoyed that you expect them to actually know something. These people are almost always destined for failure or management. 2. You actually like the work - Typically would be programming or playing with the latest OS or or hardware whether they had a job in the field or not. These people will either get lucky and be allowed to do the work they love or more likely have to wade through the muck created by management and deal with or work around those in the field for reason 1. Usually wise asses with twisted senses of humor. It helps keep us out of the psych wards!

It was the year 2001, that's when. (2, Interesting)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#29569909)

Th story starts when I was out on a date with this really hot OB/GYN of Asian decent from California. She was either at work or at the gym, which, being a doctor and a gym rat made any relationship pretty much impossible - then again that's what she told me. Anyway, I asked her if she actually liked being a doctor and she replied, "Most of the time. Although, dealing with the managed care and insurance was a downer." She then added that if she was really out for money, she would have went into law or computers. A doctor thought computers was a more lucrative profession than medicine. This was in 2000.

Before 2001, firms would roll their own internal systems so there was plenty of software development around. They didn't trust the "solution" providers, like SAP, yet because they firmly believed that those firms charged too much and they didn't want to do business like the solutions providers told them to operate. And back then, a development team was basically, a few designers/coders, an architect, a business analyst, a DBA or two, and the network guys who were off on their own. So, we had about 8+ folks working on a project - not including the network guys. Also, there was plenty of work because of the impending doom of 1/1/2000, when planes were going to fall out of the air, dogs and cats sleeping together, and Western Civilization going back to the stone age. Life was good, Making six figures as a contractor wasn't unheard of and even the norm.

Then came the recession of 2001 - 2002, maybe even into 2003.

Companies found out that it was cheaper in the long run to buy software off the shelf. They realized that SAP, IBM, Oracle, Perot, Siebels, EDS, etc... maybe was better and cheaper than rolling their own from scratch. So, out with the development teams, and in with the programmer/DBA & programmer/network admin - this is for most business environments. There wasn't a need for so many programmers anymore and if they did need a programmer, well, you could offshore for a hell of a lot less. Sure, there is still a demand for programmers, but no where near as many that were needed as back in the 90s. The market has shrank dramatically. Many companies no longer have their in house development staff. They outsourced it off to specialists or even off-shored it. (There is still a demand for blacksmiths, but instead of a demand for a couple per town, there is maybe a demand for a couple per state - if that. The same goes for buggy whip makers. And even then, many of those do it as a hobby and have day jobs because there isn't enough business to make a living.)

So, basically, IT has become another white collar corporate cog type of job.

This is just my take.

Have to stop correcting because Slashdot's entry script is falking out on me...

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