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Rob060

Super IT

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any other professional geeks out there? anyone else in the industry? what do you do? where are you from? how do you like it? how did you progress?

i tried for a few years to make it as a freelance photographer, but i wasn't getting the type of work i wanted or inspired me, wasn't making enough money and there are no in-house jobs around here or assisting jobs for learning the finer details of the business etc. so, since i've always been a tech nerd, i've decided to make the jump into the IT industry.

i have a little bit of tech job experience from supervising the digital photo lab in college and being the IT guy for a very small company for a couple years, handling very basic issues in a mac environment. i grew up primarily with macs and used them throughout school because i was a graphic design and photo major, but i've used my mac to run windows xp, vista and 7 ever since bootcamp came out and since then i've spent most of my time in windows instead of OS X, so i'm pretty strong in that environment as well.

right now i'm working on studying for my compTIA A+ certification to get my foot in the door, but i'm still looking at job openings. i'm in the silicon valley, so there are a lot of them around here. after the A+ and i actually get a job, i'll start working toward the network+. never really been into programming, so from there i'll probably branch off into something more hardware/administration related.

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IT is ALL about networking and database services or management. you have to learn programming if you want a job in computers.

certs are okay if you have none i suppose, but if i was in IT id probably look for a Cisco cert or msdn if youre into that.

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yikes. anyone else want to chime in? ...im not technically in IT, but i guess i work in the "industry" as failure analysis and tech support for a small-board computer manufacturer. it's mostly hardware, BIOS(firmware), or OS(software) issues so i don't really play with networks specifically unless a client asks.

i think certifications may help get something entry-level, but you'd have to renew them to keep the issuance. tbh, im just not sure how effective they are aside from actual knowledge gained. and you still need the basic programming 101 spiel. like the logic behind programming methods or general practice. sure, the specifics and syntax of the language you can learn on the go.

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I worked IT for ~5 years and went back to school for another degree, but I don't think A+ cert is even needed in 99% of the jobs I applied for. My BS is in CS, so maybe that kind of crosses over, but I had no problem with 5 years experience, doing laptop images and getting $40 an hour + overtime in Socal as contract work. Did very little actual real work as it's rate limited by the deployment areas. Usually if you're contract, word of mouth is key, my recruiter got rave reviews about me, and that shops around. The money in Socal for the amount of work (little) you do is pretty insane. I could have worked a 2nd freelance job if I wanted to, did about 2 hours of work a day.

Edited by poly800rock

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^What kind of jobs were you applying for?

I majored in an unrelated field (psyc/socy) so I think my only chance to get into the industry is certifications. i think entry level jobs like geek squad require a+ as well as other tech support jobs, but as you move up to something like networking/sys admins, you need cisco certs like ccna.

ive been told a+ and networking+ certs are like english degrees. ccna is like a maters in literature. they are miles apart in difficulty.

Edited by snahfu

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nah, just taking a 2 year 'computer systems technology' diploma. it was really cheap (~7.5k for the whole thing) and people i know that hire IT people in town(mom's husband is CIO for a gov't ministry) say its good on a resume.

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I left IT 6 years ago, worked in it for 7 years.

Anything with a + in it will just get you past the idiots at HR. Most hiring managers dont care for the A+ or Networking+. MCSEs, CCNAs are a dime a dozen, now theres a huge saturation of CISSPs now with no security experience. Windows guys are a dime a dozen, linux guys are still in good demand, SAP folks get paid really well, ruby on rails guys are in really high demand.

My advice is to learn as much as possible, build a lab at home, take a few classes at code academy/coursera, play around with the free public cisco routers, dl as many books as you can off usenet, play around with opensource projects, contribute a few bugs.

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^ truth

I'm still in school. Just got my ccna this past January.

I work as the labtech here at the college.

Working on getting my bachelors now.

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I've been working in IT for like 13 years. Database development, web programming, java/php, oracle/mysql etc

Experience >>>>>>>>>>>>>> diplomas. Some HR departments will insist upon certain certifications, but generally speaking if you've done what they want already then you're a viable candidate.

There is a _tremendous_ variety of jobs in it, it's not just one field. You have no know what you're interested in. Mac experience is going to get you nowhere except possible creative positions (think web designers), or mac-based helpdesk positions. One of the other posters mentioned that you need to know how to program. I agree with that. Unless you want to do network/infrastructure or DBA-ish jobs you will need to know at least some kind of scripting language. Even your basic sys admin types have to know tons of perl.

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I've recently graduated with a Bachelor's in Computer Science and am working in IT at an intellectual property firm. Most of the time I'm telling people that they need to plug their headphones into the jack in order for them to work, but occasionally I'll get a project like designing a new homepage for our web browsers or writing a script to upgrade certain software firm wide.

 

Shit's pretty boring most days and I'm pretty sure my manager hasn't closed a support ticket in like 20 years so most people here think I'm some kind of tech god.

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"IT" can cover a very wide range of trades within the industry.

 

Right now, I'm a Systems Administrator for a private internet service provider (ISP). We specialize in long-range wireless internet access.

 

In this position, I've learned a lot about networking (Cisco routers), FreeBSD (pf, ipf & coreutils). Most of the time I'm just resetting email passwords for customers or opening up ports and websites on firewalls. But, I make a decent salary and I've learned more than I have at other positions.

 

Before that I worked for a major snow-shoe operation where we legally sent out massive amounts of spam email as targeted internet marketing campaigns. I learned a lot about CIDR notation, DNS and rDNS, SMTP, Excel and Data Analytics.

 

I have no degrees and no certs, but I really want to get my RHCSA and/or RHCE. Thinking I should start with the LPIC-1.

 

As said above, degrees essentially mean nothing if you have experience and in many cases experience is preferred over credentials.

 

The CompTIA A+ is basically going to establish that you know the difference between a USB and Ethernet port. Security+, Network+ and Linux+ CompTIA certs would better suit you if you're looking for a decent paycheck.

 

With that said, Linux, linux, unix. Get into Linux and use the command line as soon as you can. I have friends that are SysAdmins / DevOps for big companies that make $150k+.

 

Programming is very cool, wish I would have gotten into it sooner. Programmers get paid big bucks too. Python, JavaScript, Ruby, C++.

 

I'm teaching myself Perl right now. A lot of people will tell you not to, but Perl is:

 

Easy to learn, easy to use, easy to read and very flexible in what it can do.

 

I mainly chose perl as my first language because I like the way it looks, I like the history behind it and I like the fact that you can easily bang out a small script, use it as a one-liner on the command line or write huge programs consisting of thousands of lines of code. Perl does it all.

 

Mostly, you've got to find what you're interested in when it comes to computers and focus on that. Teach yourself everything you can about it, always be messing around with it.

 

Windows / HelpDesk / Support will only get you so far and only pay you so much.

 

Linux / DevOps / Programming will get you on the cutting edge, doing real stuff and raise the bar when it comes to salary.

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