Never really got you anywhere, I know. But having tried all other options to get into the Business Analysis field, its all I can do. The “Catch 22” situation in IT has always been experience versus the lack of opportunity. I’m smart, I always tell people that, and I thrive on challenges. I’m aching to get into a role that will allow me to utilise my varied skill set.
Currently working as a Test Engineer (pauses while the oohs and ahhs from the crowd die down) in an Engineering company (where if they could find a way to append the word Engineer to the receptionist’s role, they would) and doubt that this will be the role that lands me my next golden opportunity in the field of analysis. I didn’t enter the field of IT to become a techincal expert. I hate programming, not only because its linear and requires endless hours pouring over code but also because its very very hard! Depending on the technology you choose to get involved with your career options are always tenuous. Where choice is determined by your brilliance in that field and the opportunities available around you.
I live in Perth. Choices are limited.
My impatient nature notwithstanding, I’m becoming increasingly disillusioned with an industry that offers little to please the heart, or the mind. My faith in the enabling nature of technology is yet to ease my transition into a more hands on role. I want to become part of the decision making process and use more than just my ability to test systems. If you’ve ever done a role similar to mine, in a company as disorganised as mine, you’ll know how I feel. If you have ever experienced the adrenalin rush that comes from having high ambition and then had that rush choked at the source, you’ll know how I feel.
Unlike many university going students, I didn’t choose my field of study due to a lack of direction. Nor did I study I.T. as my second or third preference. It was a decision based solely on the fact that at that time I hadn’t developed a passion or interest in anything that would see me through three to four years of academic study. And I really didn’t want to be stuck reading reams of literature. I’m not saying that the study of I.T. didn’t require reading (I just got away with skimming and summarising) but I did have a sort of penchant for computers. Also at 17 there’s only so much you know of the world you’re preparing to enter post academia.
As my degree neared completion I was sure I’d get a job as a Systems Analyst within six to eight months of graduating. Fellow practitioners read and chuckle at my naivety. But really, they give you no idea of what the industry is like at university. I’ve spent many hours toting the benefits of incorporating compulsory work based training for I.T. students and spent some time trying to organise this during my tenure as the Student Body Representative. Didn’t work out because no one was interested. Even at uni, I stuck out like a sore friggin thumb. I had a personality (shock horror), wasn’t interested in programming and most of my friends were doing Law.
Did another piece of the puzzle just click into place? Perhaps.
My current role doesn’t engross or challenge me though I get a nice financial reward at the end of each month, which I spend freely to counter the boredom. Having said that, it would be unfair for me to pin this ambivalence to my current role. Let’s not undermine the luxuries of a job that allows me to paint my nails at my desk, take extended lunch breaks, blog, msn, unlimited and unsupervised internet access, blog, wear jeans any day of the week, take as many breaks as I like, come in late, go home early, blog and basically what ever else takes my fancy. All this because they’re always struggling to get the build completed according to schedule and as the tester I have the happy job of waiting around till it gets done. After which point I spend tireless hours repeating the same exercise, such that by the end of the day all exuberance is well and truly quenched.
I enrolled in what’s called a Graduate Certificate course for Professional writing and put some serious effort in convincing them why I should get in, even though enrolments had closed in Novermber. Some of my persuasion went as follows:
I consider writing to be a newly resuscitated art in need of serial donors. In an age of electronic communication comprising instant messaging, web chats, and conference calls, writing has become a rare and sacred art. I would also like to use my experience with this course to branch into the Professional Writing field and eventually become anewspaper/print columnist.
I got in, got excited and opted out because as much as I would love to complete the course, the on campus requirement for some units made it impossible to continue without seriously compromising the quality of my experience. And I really don’t like doing things half heartedly.
To curb the rant that could become a painful read, I’ve compiled a list detailing my reasons for opting out of the industry. I’m unsure what my future direction would be but I’m hoping, praying and working constructively to find it.
So here goes.
Reasons I want to opt out of the I.T industry:
- Its soulless.
- Loyalty and job security do not and can not exist due to the nature of the industry and the wonderful element of outsourcing.
- Getting any kind of job satisfaction will entail selling my soul to the company (not this particular company).
- There’s no such thing as a work life balance, no matter what they say in the glossy advertised positions.
- You’re supposed to just know things. Its assumed that you know the environment, the infrastructure, the technology. You just must have it covered. Asking questions is a pesky little problem you need to get over.
- The male to female ratio is disgusting and isn’t about to change very soon, irrespective of the efforts being made globally to get more women into IT. Even if they do get more women in, they’ll still be very IT minded and thus, of no use to me.
- Making it to the “almost genius” level for the daily word jumble awards me the “almost genius” status at work.
- Guys in IT still use exclamations such as “Yo!” and “exactomondo dudette” to sound cool.
- Having a conversation with a male (due mostly to the lack of women around) means you’re absolutely and completely hot for him. His geekiness is the geeky you’ve been waiting for thus far.
- Being friendly means you’re absolutely and completely hot for the receiver of your kind and friendly nature. Believe me it leads to some irksome situations.
- Having a grasp on basic english principles gives you a standing as an intellectual.
- You have to suffer not only geeky but seedy jokes. All the time.
- You have to laugh at idiotic and unfunny I.T. jokes. Its worse when you make a funny joke and no one gets it cause its too “intellectual” (read, not about IT or First Person Shooter games)
- You feel stupid because your thinking style isn’t linear and you spend more time making a document look readable by correcting its grammar and expression than in actually testing the program fucntionality.
- When you write test cases for new iterations (versions) of software, you start to write a narrative rather than instructional chunks of text.example:Having skillfully manouvered the three car pile up on Kajang, you arrive late and wiping off the after effects of a muggy Malaysian morning, you start your pc. While the motherboard chugs and churns, you get out your notepad and pencil to note down details of the accident while they’re still fresh in your mind.
As the operating system loads, you log in and launch TA*.
After taking a longer than normal time, the server returns this error:
Server process details could not be retrieved. Please contact your network administrator [OK]
You click OK and radio your Supervisor to inform him of the three car pile up on the Kajang Expressway.
He advises you to radio the trafficon agent on site to alert the emergency services, if they haven’t already been alerted.
Having delayed it long enough, you pick up the phone to dial the extension etched in unwillingly in your memory.
Step 1.Stop the System Controller.Launch TA.
Control Station does not launch.
Error message appares:- Server process details could not be retrieved. Please contact your network administrator [OK]
- Despite the fact that 7 out of every ten employees at your office have headphones on while working, you’re the only person jiving and humming in her seat.
- People walk past you and are amused for no apparent reason.
- Though you appreciate that the grass isn’t necessarily greener on the other side and all the glimmers isn’t gold and a rolling stone gathers no moss, you can’t help but be inspired and enthused by the people you meet through your recent connections with the Department of Permier and Cabinet and ache to know how you can morph into the clog that churns the wheel of change.
- Your inability to abbreviate means sees you spending more than the average required time per correspondence.
- Wearing a leather cuff on a the occassional black outfit, lends itself to comparisons between you and Trinity (the female lead in The Matrix trilogies). The seriously humorous point to note is, I wear a hijab.
- You get more joy out of coordinating the colours of your daily outfit rather than meeting any deadlines.
- The consistent awe your title inspires serves only as a reminder of your hollow career.
- You get invited to detailed and lengthy software configuration meetings in a bid to make you feel included rather than due to its impact on your work.
- The brilliance of your peers fails to inspire you (I have in the past and am currently working with some seriously technically gifted people).
- You suddenly find yourself pining for an active lifestyle.
- You find yourself coordinating your extra curricular activities at work.
- You’re the only one whose happy and excited about your life.
- You spend most of your day blogging, be it reading others or writing yours.
Related links: Geekbot
*proprietary software. not allowed to name names.