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Search - "social skills are important"
Xpost from /r/sysadmin:
I occasionally see posts from people who seem like they want to spend every waking hour of every waking minute working on home lab stuff and studying for certs.
If you do this, you're missing out on life which you will regret later, but even if you don't care about missing out on life, it actually is hurting your career.
Being well rounded helps you interact with others at work in a number of ways. It makes you less one dimensional as "the computers guy" and it also gives you topics to discuss with people. If you know how to cook, or brew beer, or bake bread you end up using a lot of your technical and troubleshooting skills. Biking long distancing and learning how to fix your bike helps with your troubleshooting skills too. You learn to look at things from other angles.
Reading novels or writing poetry or making art work also helps because it exercises your brain. Woodworking or metal working involve a lot of skills that'd help your IT career including project planning and measuring and budgeting for each project. Working on cars or motorcycles would be similar. You just have to do SOMETHING.
I have a member of my team who literally has nothing going on in his life other than studying for certs. No friends, no hobbies, and he basically eats nothing but McDonalds and frozen dinners because even making a meal takes time away from his studying. He thinks means he's dedicated and will experience great career success.
But instead he has nothing to talk to anyone about, and when I say nothing, I mean literally nothing. It's borderline terrifying. Even if he was into comic books and video games it might help, which might help him relate to SOME of the IT staff even if the rest of the people at the company know nothing about it. But he doesn't even have that.
This isn't a solitary field anymore. Even if you truly are "the best" you still have to interact with other people and stay mentally stable enough to not burn out. Even if you know more than everyone else (or think you do) you have to try to broaden your horizons.10
i'm graduating uni and I have to say, my school sucks. they dont teach us how to be developers, they're teaching us how to be tools.
half the subjects could easily have descriptions like how to be employee of the month. I know social and management skills are important in the workplace but by god if I knew that that's the only thing they'll be teaching then I shouldnt have enrolled. for fuck's sake this is IT not HRM.
it doesnt help that most of the professors cant even code beyond printing statements and loops. they didnt even teach object-oriented programming. I had to study that shit myself, so mind you i'm probably not good at it.
though I've had my share of wonderful professors who have taught me so much, a handful of them isnt enough to salvage the incompetence of the whole faculty.
Serverless and death of Programming?!
I hate serverless at work, love it at home, what's your advice?
- Is this the way things be from now on, suck it up.
- This will mature soon and Code will be king again.
- Look for legacy code work on big Java monolith or something.
- Do front-end which is not yet ruined.
- Start my own stuff.
Once one mechanic told me "I become mechanic to escape electrical engineering, but with modern cars...". I'm having similar feelings about programming now.
All of the sudden everyone is doing Serverless, so I looked into it too, accidentally joined the company that does enterprise scale Serverless mostly.
First of all, I like serverless (AWS Lambda in specific) and what it enables - it makes 100% sense and 100% business sense for 80% of time.
So all is great? Not so much... I love it as independent developer, as it enables me to quickly launch products I would have been hesitant due to effort required before. However I hate it in my work - to be continued bellow...
_I'm fake engineer_
I love programming! I love writing code. I'm not really an engineer in the sense that I don't like hustle with tools and spending days fixing obscure environment issues, I rather strive for clean environment where there's nothing between me and code. Of course world is not perfect and I had to tolerate some amounts of hustle like Java and it's application servers, JVM issues, tools, environments... JS tools (although pain is not even close to Java), then it was Docker-ization abuse everywhere, but along the way it was more or less programming at the center. Code was the king, devOps and business skills become very important to developers but still second to code. Distinction here is not that I can't or don't do engineering, its that it requires effort, while coding is just natural thing that I can do with zero motivation.
_Programming is Dead?!_
Why I hate Serverless at work? Because it's a mess - I had a glimpse of this mess with microservices, but this is way worse...
On business/social level:
- First of all developers will be operations now and it's uphill battle to push for separation on business level and also infrastructure specifics are harder to isolate. I liked previous dev-devops collaboration before - everyone doing the thing that are better at.
- Devs now have to be good at code, devOps and business in many organisations.
- Shift of power balance - Code is no longer the king among developers and I'm seeing it now. Code quality drops, junior devs have too hard of the time to learn proper coding practices while AWS/Terraform/... is the main productivity factors. E.g. same code guru on code reviews in old days - respectable performer and source of Truth, now - rambling looser who couldn't get his lambda configured properly.
On not enjoying work:
- Lets start with fact - Code, Terraform, AWS, Business mess - you have to deal with all of it and with close to equal % amount of time now, I want to code mostly, at least 50% of time.
- Everything is in the air ("cloud computing" after all) - gone are the days of starting application and seeing results. Everything holds on assumptions that will only be tested in actual environment. Zero feedback loop - I assume I get this request/SQS message/..., I assume I have configured all the things correctly in sea of Terraform configs and modules from other repos - SQS queues, environment variables... I assume I taken in consideration tens of different terraform configurations of other lambdas/things that might be affected...
It's a such a pleasure now, after the work to open my code editor and work on my personal React.js app...2
The following piece of advice will be for those aspiring for an IT service desk position:
When companies are looking to hire service desk agents, they're primarily looking for socially skilled people with strong communicative skills, rather than primarily technically skilled people. When I first joined the IT world, I went on different interviews for that position and across all of them there was one truth: all the interviewers were eyeballs-focused on my social and communication skills and a mere thin layer of technical skills was required (depending on how technical the service desk). In fact, I immediately got aggressively dismissed twice for two of those when I filled in a Myers-Briggs personality test according to my Sheldon-type personality (selfish, condescending etc). Conversely, when I applied for a new position and I faked that test into answering everything focused positively on the social aspect, I was an immediate top candidate.
Here's a definition from the ITIL Foundation course, chapter Service Management: Because of how lateral the function of the service desk has become today (not only used to solve technical issues, but also company-wide issues), the most important and valued skills when hiring a service desk agent are fully focused on empathy and soft skills and none of those are technical skills. This is because the service desk has people that are the front window of your company and thus you can't make social mistakes as to protect your company's reputation. That risk has to be minimized and you need the ideal people. The people who in fact solve the technical problems are behind a back-office and they are contacted by the service desk agents.
In the beginning, when I did my first service desk job, I also thought: "Oh, I'm going to have to convince them I'm this technical wizard". In the end I got hired for being able to explain technology in human language and because in the interview I successfully communicated and explained ideas to both the team manager and the CEO, not because I knew what goes on inside a computer. This is a very important distinction.
My friends have also been in service desk positions and ironically they were the most successful when they were empathetic slimeballs (saying: "of course, anything for you" while not meaning it, constantly making jokes), rather than people with integrity (those got fired for telling the customer they were wrong while being unfriendly).
I hope this helps.8