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Career question. I need your advice, IT pros

Discussion in 'Windows Server 2003 / 2008 / 2012 Exams' started by searchformeaning, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. searchformeaning

    searchformeaning Bit Poster

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    Hi, guys
    I'm new to this forum. I took a look around the forums and I found it informative. so I registered and put my questioin here to know your opinion according to your experiences in the field. I'm 27 and I have experience troubleshooting hardware and basic networking issues. I'm really confused weather to go on in the IT field or not. Some say that working with AD is really dull and boring. Everybody can install AD, create users, computers, printers objects, configure GP, and troubleshoot issues by following the instructions in a MS guide or just googling what you want to do. Other says that it involves thinking and good understanding of a lot of concepts. Also, what about money? do IT pros get a good income or not. I'm MCP certified and I want to know your opinion (considering my age) if it's good for me to continue in the IT field or make a career change.
     
    Certifications: A+, Security+, MCP
  2. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    There is a lot more to IT than active directory and money...

    Can anyone write the linux kernel or invent the web ?

    If your gurus in IT are people who move AD objects about with a mouse I think you've got the wrong perspective.

    Go learn assembler, OS design, compiler design, how buffer overflows work, how TCP/IP works, or basically how to code or build anything in IT from scratch, there are literally millions of in depth subjects. IT starts at secretarial duties and ends in engineering, so there are many topics from mundane to downright puzzling.

    I agree its not like science in being engineering generally you are treading a path others have been down before. Therefore there usually are resources on-line for whatever subject you are interested in. The internet has made IT a lot easier but also created many new challenges. Things like how to build large scale green data centres, or Map Reduce web backends to handle millions users, etc. Look at InfoQ or Facebook engineering to see what I mean.

    I don't think we can answer the question for you, its related to your personal desires and goals, therefore only you can, at 27 you should be in a good position to make an informed choice.

    One thing I do agree on is that a lot of the 'easy money' in IT is probably over and that as IT matures there are other fields that will experience the 'wild west' type revolution we have seen in IT, things like bio-engineering etc.

    Ultimately I think of myself as an Engineer, who just happens to work in IT.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  3. searchformeaning

    searchformeaning Bit Poster

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    Thanks for your reply. when I said 'IT' basically I meant working with Microsoft Windows administration. You know, getting a job these days is not as easy as before. So, of course, I did not have great chances to have a variety of job opportunities and make a complete picture about a career path. But you did not answer the main question :biggrin AD is it really about moving/creating objects and googling error messages??? if it's so then it's pain in the ***
     
    Certifications: A+, Security+, MCP
  4. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    Microsoft Windows administration comes down to more than just AD though...here is a list of what you could be involved with as a windows administrator - and thats not including any of the desktop support, projects, management roles that may also be involved.

    AD, DHCP, DNS, Exchange, Firewalls, Anti-Virus, Hyper-V/Virtualisation, Print Server, File Server, GP, WSUS, SCCM, Disaster Recovery


    Configuring the infrastructure (forest/domain)
    Configuring additional sites, replication, trusts, schema master etc.
    Creating accounts, maintaining them
    Creating GPOs, configuring them
    Deploying software, updates, patches, managing them.
    Account Policies
    Then backups, general monitoring.

    It does depend how much was already there before you got started, the amount of users/machines you have and what other responsabilities you have in your role.
     
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  5. searchformeaning

    searchformeaning Bit Poster

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    Good. I have 2 questions related to your reply. First off, what kind of skills are required for an IT guy to do such tasks? and Second and most important, these things are 'almost' done once and then you just troubleshoot them from time to time when there are problems. Most of the time the system is stable and you just get hardware and basic troubleshooting issues (good for an IT beginner but after a while it's dull because you keep doing the same tasks over and over)
     
    Certifications: A+, Security+, MCP
  6. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    There are people who know how to do things.
    There is a subset of those people that know why they're doing it.

    Sounds like you've been talking to people from both camps.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  7. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    Understanding what AD does, how the company runs its organisation as well as trying to implement better structures/policies. It's a skill you learn and improve - consider reading some of the MS Press books.

    Is your role simply AD only? Or are you a Server Administrator? What is your job title and where in the IT support chart do you come (1st line?)

    It's like working in a kitchen but only flipping the burgers - there's a lot more involved before you're a chef.

    I'd hardly call you a Windows Server Administrator from just handling AD. I'm a helpdesk administrator (mainly first line), but I handle most of the AD work and maintenance.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010
  8. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    IT doesn't exist in isolation, it's driven by the needs of the business, which will change.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  9. Cunningfox

    Cunningfox Byte Poster

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    There are an awful lot of roles and jobs within IT. I've done and still do a bit of Windows Admin with AD, GPOs, Users, Groups and all that stuff and frankly I find it boring and repetitive and fortunately the company I work for is small enough to need very little work on it. However, in terms of administrating servers that is very small area as others have said. There are aspects that are interesting with weird and wonderful problems that have no guides or steps to resolve for example IIS, I've had two bizzare issues within our web farm in the last year. Without in depth knowledge of the problem and products I wouldn't have known where to start, googling error didn't help.

    The issues turned out to be to do with desktop heap size, and secondly max tcp sockets limits.

    The major and long term issues are the interesting ones in the Windows world imo. However, you can always turn your hand to other IT areas. I've focused more on networking recently and love it alot more than windows stuff :). It's about what you want to do, what you enjoy doing and where you see yourself in the future tbh.
     
    Certifications: CCNP, CCNA, MCP
    WIP: ??
  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Agreed, new equipment will be bought, old equipment decommissioned. New software systems will be installed. Upgrades and patches will be required.

    Working processes will change based on many factors, cost, regulations, efficiency, trends, management priorities, etc.

    If you are sufficiently skilled and knowledgeable when such work comes up you will get asked to be involved.

    If you have a call centre mentality and can only follow a script on a limited number of scenarios you most likely will not get these opportunities.

    You can create opportunities yourself by being proactive and suggesting improvements.

    Ultimately it is up to you to manage your career and training, nobody else will do it for you.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  11. searchformeaning

    searchformeaning Bit Poster

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    Soundian, I worked as a help desktop in a company that has 2 domains and about 200 client computers, 4 DCs, 2 exchange servers, 2 file servers, 1 print server. 95% of my tasks were related to client computers not servers or domain controllers. The problems were things such as a client made something wrong, his/her computer has a hardware issue, his/her outlook has a problem, Internet connectivity problems, he/she cannot log into the domain, a virus has infected a client computer. That's why I said it's boring. So, it's not the kind of jobs where you use your mind abilities and accumulate your knowledge and use clear and specific logical steps to get to what you want. On the other hand, sometimes I feel that working with IT stuff (things that I mentioned earlier) is not a big deal. Anybody can do it. Even if he/she does not know what to do exactly, they just post their question online and usually they find people to tell them what to do to solve the problem or at least probable reasons.
     
    Certifications: A+, Security+, MCP
  12. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    The point is :-

    A. Do you want to be the type of person that discovers the solution and posts it on the web

    or

    B. The type of person that requires someone else to have already done the hard work...

    Normally Person type A has interesting job and earns good money, Person B has boring job and doesn't earn good money.

    Yes it is faster to use Google and smart to use other peoples knowledge.

    However every now and then you should think :-

    1. Could I solve this from first principals if I had to ?
    2. How did the original person discover and resolve this problem ?
    3. What techniques or tools did they use ?
    4. What knowledge did they require ?
    5. If I had no access to Google how could I have attempted to solve ?
    6. Should I go practice it in a lab ?

    This is the sort of basic problem solving you should get taught at school/college/university in maths/science/engineering classes.

    Of course you only really learn it by solving your own homework problems, it you borrowed your mates or used Google then there you go...

    If you use your time productively in the entry level jobs and study around subjects both at work and in your spare time, you should in time get to progress to more interesting work, either naturally within an organisation or by outgrowing your position and getting a new position.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  13. Boffy

    Boffy Megabyte Poster

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    Perhaps you're just bored of the environment? You need to be going forward or you're going to be heading backwards...consider taking a new career challenge in life via a new job.
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2012
    Certifications: BSc Computer Game Technology, A+
    WIP: MOS 2010

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