Has the IT sector gone crazy?

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#1 IJET  Icon User is offline

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Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:16 PM

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Alright, so I was reading through an online newspaper when I seen off to the side they had a job section. One of the top jobs shown was for a software developer and I clicked it. Under requirements, here is what they asked:

Proficient knowledge of the following:
C
C++
C/#
VB.net
Java
ASP.net
HTML
CSS
T-SQL
Javascript
jQuery(with possible knowledge of other libraries such as YUI and DOJO)
Ajax
WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla
Visual Studio
SQL Server
Application development for iOS and Android

Obviously that's just nuts, but I always click job listings that say developer/engineer/etc to see how the industry is changing and it is what I am noticing. Even for web development positions companies are asking for BS/MS in CS with a laundry list of things that you need to know. Is it possible to get a job without a degree right now? Yes, but what about in 5-10 years as we follow the trend that more and more is required?

Is this really what the IT field is striving for? Will we eventually get to a point where specialized positions are gone and you are expected to be a web designer/software engineer/database administrator/whatever? I know companies try to roll multiple positions into one to cut down on employees, but when does it become too much considering the growth rate of technology? I also realize large companies such as Google can afford to pay for specialization right now, but I am more concerned with the smaller companies scattered around that the majority end up working for.

Just wondering what the thoughts of others in the field are on things like this.

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Replies To: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

#2 raghav.naganathan  Icon User is offline

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Re: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:37 PM

Basically, what I think these companies want to do is utilize the principle of 'Path of least resistance'.

Let me explain this to you with this example.

Suppose a company hires a C, C++ or Java developer. Now, several days down the line, they need help with creating a new website for their company. Now, for this, they will have to separately hire another person who will take care of website designing.

Consider this. If at all they had hired a person who was not only adept with his programming skills, but also was a website designer, then of course he could be used for the purpose of designing the website and the company need not have to go through any sort of training or extra expense on a new recruit.

I noticed this trend catching up...soon, the software industry will have a lot of competition as there won't be much of specialization as every Tom, Dick and Harry would be programmers, who are web developers.

regards,
Raghav
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#3 khedron  Icon User is offline

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Re: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 11 December 2012 - 10:58 PM

the way its going it will be the equivalent of being a labor worker. i am personally not in IT but my cousin is, he is an administrator for a small printing co, and they basically have his life always on hold, he was pulled out of his own brothers wending reception at 8pm on a Sunday , and worst of all i am able to make more money doing almost nothing 0-o . on top of it al he has a degree and over 6 years experience .. can anyone say NEARD slaves
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#4 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:30 PM

One reason to ask for all of those is to cast a wide net. If you have all of those languages in use in your shop, you want people with as many of them as possible. And frankly, while nobody's going to be a guru on all of them, many people will have a working knowledge of a large subset.
A more nuanced notion would be, if you find someone who's solved problem P, they can often solve problems P', P'', P''', etc. If someone masters one language, maybe they can master another - and they might be a safer gamble than someone who specializes in your target language, but hasn't mastered it.

Finally, this might be a more psychological test. Do you come in telling me that you actually know all of these languages at a high level? Well, then either you're a genius or you're a liar. Both of those are easy to test, and one says "hire!" and the other says "no way!". On the other hand if you come in saying "I know X, Y, and Z, and a little of these others" then they know something else about you.

But to answer your headline question: yes, the tech sector has gone crazy, and it happened a long time ago. And that's a good thing, mostly, it's a fun place to work.
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#5 darek9576  Icon User is offline

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Re: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:36 AM

If you think you know everything, you really know nothing. Specialize.
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#6 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 12 December 2012 - 05:21 AM

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To answer the OP, yes, the IT sector has lost its mind... but so has every other sector. Particularly in a bad economy, companies are trying desperately to accomplish more with less.

My workplace alone has lost 10 people in the last year - only 3 of them have been replaced. The duties of the other 7 have been passed squarely onto the shoulders of other, already-overloaded employees. All the company has to say is "we know you're all tired and overworked, but look at all this money we're saving!" It's a cruel fact of life that the many companies couldn't care less about the well being of the employees. It's all about the bottom line. It's all about the money.

In response to jon.kiparsky, I both agree and disagree.

In some instances, asking for 27 programming languages and in-depth knowledge of 13 obscure operating systems is like a fishing net cast out to cover the largest possible swath of the applicant pool and see what they can pull in.

In other instances, it's an HR department with no idea what the position entails and they're snagging related terms from the internet or snippets of conversation with no real understanding of what they are asking.

Other times, it's a small, fledgeling company who wants one person who can do everything and is willing to work for a fraction of their worth.

It depends on the company, the location, and the general tech knowledge of the staff in charge of the hiring.
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#7 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 12 December 2012 - 06:21 AM

Usually the HR department puts up the wanted adds and generally they have no idea what the actual job requires so they google search see alot of fancy words and use those.

This post has been edited by DarenR: 12 December 2012 - 07:47 AM

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#8 Cheribasa  Icon User is offline

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Re: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:14 AM

Well, I guess this is what people mean by being 'well rounded'. Companies want all they can get out of everyone. Therefore, if they really want someone whom is really good at many, many programming favors, and they think people will go and fill them, why not?

If I was them, and If I could get someone to know all this, heck yeah I would offer them the job.

Think about it.
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#9 no2pencil  Icon User is online

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Re: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:21 AM

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View PostDarenR, on 12 December 2012 - 08:21 AM, said:

Usually the HR department puts upt he wanted adds and generally they have no idea what the actual job requires so they google search see alot of fancy words and use those.

This. HR lists the add with what they are told to list. That's why it's such a game to get a job sometimes. You have to match what HR was told the job entails, then once you are passed the HR gate you interview with someone that know what the job requires.

It's lame, but thus is life.

My favorit listings are ones that require more years of usage than a technology has been in existence.

10+ years experience in server 2008. Ah, so you require the candidate to have been a developer of the os.
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#10 BenignDesign  Icon User is offline

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Re: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 12 December 2012 - 07:49 AM

View Postno2pencil, on 12 December 2012 - 09:21 AM, said:

then once you are passed the HR gate you interview with someone that know what the job requires.


Not necessarily. I interviewed before a panel of 10 people:

1. The marketing director
2. The admissions lady
3. A librarian
4. Adult Basic Education coordinator
5. Network Administrator
6. Summer camps coordinator
7. Accounts receivable clerk
8. Enrollment department secretary
9. Financial aid counselor
10. Vet's Affairs coordinator

The only one with any coding knowledge at all what so ever was the Network Admin. He knew a smidgen of Javascript and knew he wanted someone who could write PHP because he's a big fan of open source.

Of course, I didn't know who any of these people were at my interview and I made an assumption that they all had some knowledge of coding as they were asking really good questions. Turns out the questions were a list they had pulled off the internet and no one had any clue what I was saying, but I used big, technical-sounding words and I was able to decipher the Network Admin's tiny snippets of Javascript.... so I got the job.

Spoiler

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#11 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:29 AM

curent job interview:

took a 6 page test with hr cover things like mod and shit.

(failed test miserably because I wrote it in C# which was my native language and job was for vb.net. Also I had used mod 1 time in my life years prior to this job and havent used it at this job yet other then the test.)

had to have a cd with working examples

met with IT director , senior dev, and manager

had 2 hour interview with them and had to take a computer test on sql. (failed this miserably because I have always written my sql by hand and they used intellisense so they got confused when I aliased everything.)


still got the job though for some reason 2 years ago.
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#12 jon.kiparsky  Icon User is offline

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Re: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 12 December 2012 - 08:39 AM

BenignDesign said:

The script I was asked to explain was shown to me in three parts:

Part 1: A function called "DisplayPhoto" which literally did nothing more than display a .jpg.
Part 2: A call to a function called "DisplayPhoto" which literally did nothing more than call the function in Part 1.
Part 3: Both parts together.

When I was shown Part 2 and asked what it did, I immediately pointed out that it was calling the function from Part 1. I was shown Part 3 and pointed out that it was the exact same code as the previous parts... just shown together. I was then told that all further questions related to the code were now irrelevant because I caught the connection before they asked about it.

After I was hired, I was informed that I was the ONLY candidate who made the connection between the two pieces of code.



You'd cry if you saw the codebase I'm working with. There's one function that appears, slightly modified, twenty times throughout the site. It actually appears twice on several pages. What does this function do?

It blocks the UI while it grabs data from the page and passes it to somewhere to do something.

And you know how we always say, don't repeat yourself because if there's a bug, you don't want to have to fix it twice? Well, there's a bug. And now I have to fix it twenty times.

This post has been edited by jon.kiparsky: 12 December 2012 - 08:40 AM

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#13 IJET  Icon User is offline

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Re: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:04 AM

Great responses. For those mentioning HR having no idea and just putting up IT buzz words, yes, that drives me nuts as well.

@BenignDesign nice post. When you mentioned 10 got axed and 7 picked up the slack, I think that's where companies are thinking "they know this language, they can learn that one". I have a friend who can do some web dev, but his primary skill set and duties are in graphic design. When the company decided to downsize, they told him they had a deadline coming up and he needed to finish a database that was being worked on(P.S. He had never even worked with databases before). Is that crazy? Absolutely! But as you mentioned with small companies, they are looking for the wonderboy who can do everything they need and not pay for any specialists. Which is why I mentioned concern for the small companies vs giants since most newbies try to break into the small companies first bringing little knowledge.

IT is definitely the best field for the future in terms of growth, but it seems it is roaring down the path of turning everyone into a generalist vs a specialist. That's really the aim of my post, and maybe it's just a rant. Taking into account how rapidly technology changes & grows, I guess I was pondering how this current trend of generalization could develop over the next 5-10 years(get out your crystal ball, please.). I'm all up for wearing multiple hats and learning multiple languages, but in the future being the graphics guy, database guy, network guy, web designer guy, and the software guy seems more like a job for a looney tune character vs company employee.

Like I said, possibly just a rant due to how the business model works in all sectors these days. Cut corners, stack job responsibilities, and swim in money.
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#14 AnalyticLunatic  Icon User is offline

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Re: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 12 December 2012 - 11:55 AM

View PostIJET, on 12 December 2012 - 11:04 AM, said:

Cut corners, stack job responsibilities, and swim in money.


All about the Benjamin's!

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#15 magius96  Icon User is offline

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Re: Has the IT sector gone crazy?

Posted 12 December 2012 - 02:10 PM

Hey, you found my Christmas present, now mail that to me so I can unwrap it, eh?

Yes, IT industry has gone wonky. But there are reasons for that. I just finished an interview for a job where I'll be working in Flash to build game based training software. I'm a C# guy, but they're looking to hire me because I've made a few video games.

Don't get me wrong, I'm excited about the opportunity and look forward to learning more about Flash in the process of fulfilling my employment requirements. But this isn't a one-off situation either. I've seen a multitude of situations where people were looking to hire someone who admits they don't know the language just because they have proven they have the skills to solve a problem and finish a project.

I'm currently working in my fourth job in computer programming and only two of those jobs used the same programming language. As a programmer, I've come to realize that it's better to learn the theory behind all programming languages first, then learn the required language as needed.
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