The McDonald-ization of IT staff and workforce across North America

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I'll list a few examples here, for one of the
leading top 3 IT management companies, much
like IBM

Example 1:

We have 3 insurance companies merging. The Novell
Netware v5.1 will be migrated to NT 2000, coupled
with Domino migrated to Exchange Server 2000. Yes,
people are moving to Microsoft for a one-stop-shop
solution, even though Novell was more stable than
NT, and Lotus Notes more robust and user friendly
and versatible than MS Outlook. I'll get to the
core issue. I worked on this contract, with
another individual, who has only his A+
certification, was well versed in hardware, and
had good people skills. No Bachelor's in Science,
MCSA, MCSE, CCNA, or anything of the sort. I had
to walk him through how to share a folder on
the network, map the drive remotely, so we could
back up the data, and later copy the data on new
workstations, after we had finished ghosting them.
Apparently, sharing a drive, mapping one, and
doing peer to peer networking is brain surgery.

Example 2:

On another gig, I had to rollout a few 100 centrino
enabled laptops. One of the individuals got canned
in the first week, for lack of skill. No
certifications whatsoever, however, a modest amount
of working with computers but mostly with people
was the case. This guy admitted operating his own
landcaping business in the summer, with his own
trucks, salesforce, etc. Apart from the technical
failures demonstrated along the way, this guy
had to make a call on his cell phone, while 2 of
us were ghosting and customizing AutoCAD and similar
apps, asking his pal on the phone, how to save
a picture from a website, onto his local hard drive.
You know how to right click on a picture on a
website, and click SAVE PICTURE AS, pick a spot
and press OK? This was brain surgery to him. Of
course, a few days later (despite good human rapport
skills) he was out.

Example 3:

Another individual I worked with, tried to do a
1 year IT program, but quit mid-way because
he couldn't master the concepts, or hack it. That
didn't stop him from getting hired on another
contract that I did. Why ? Perhaps soft skills.
This guy, one more time, had a sense of
responsibility (as did the others) but very minimal,
or null, technical skills. This dude turned out
to be OK on the contract, but had no prior IT

Often people believe that A+ technicial work
normally requires technical skills, right?

Example 4:

Finally, I did another contract, where the project
manager, responsible for a 3 million dollar contract
and managing the IT infrastructure, could not hope
to pass a MCP exam, if his life depended on it. And
this is not an exaggeration, as the field techs,
had they required technical or Tier III or Tier II
style knowledge, would have been dead in the water.

The CWNA is a technical achievement, obviously,
but in IT, much like as McDonald's, if you can
flip a burger, let the fries fall out of the plastic
bag from the fridge into the cooker, and can press a
lever to let the coffee cup fill up, then that's
all you need to know to get and keep your job,
as a quote unquote cook. In networking and computers,
the lowest common denominator often is the case ...
which is not a bad thing, until a job is bungled,
the contract is bungled, jeopardized possibly,
and another individual is brought in to mop up
the mess.

The upshot here, is that employers, and even
the project managers are not looking specifically
or minimally for technical wizardry, but mostly,
hiring people whose technical aptitudes are nil,
but who have some experience and some demonstrated
success in soft skills and in dealing with people.

Will wireless rollouts require people who
are CWNA ? Or will project managers require
that their technicans doing the rollouts be
CWNA ? Nope! Already they don't need the A+
or the MCSA or Network+. Why would the CWNA
be required any more ?  Or MCSE ? CCNP ?

The problem, as I see it, is that the large
IT management companies are arrogant, and
purposely dumb down all operations in the field,
with rollouts, and contracts and such. It's called
the McDonald-ization of their IT staff and workforce.

Re: The McDonald-ization of IT staff and workforce across North America

I here what you're saying, but there's many different levels of IT.  As a
company, you may well be willing to let your desktop support go to people
with good personal skills, and low techincal skills....but.... if you're
responsible for the network of a bank or oil company you're hardly likely to
let anyone into the routers unless they have a proven track record.

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Re: The McDonald-ization of IT staff and workforce across North America


I wouldn't want to work for a company that hires people only because they
know the people skills and no technical knowledge
First of all you'd be (prolly ) underpaid, and then u have to put up with
idiots that don't know the ass from the elbow

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Re: The McDonald-ization of IT staff and workforce across North America

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this annoys me, I am currently half way through CCNA which I am doing as a
part of the first 2 years of a BSc in network computing, now At the minute I
would say I was pretty quizzed up, i can do most things computer related
including hardware.

The thing is that no one will give me a part time job fixing up computers or
networks because i dont have any past experience or simply because I haven't
got any qualifications, its the age old problem of having the knowledge but
not having the piece of paper that says you have that knowledge, it annoys

Re: The McDonald-ization of IT staff and workforce across NorthAmerica

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Just wait until you have the degree and certifications and can not get a
job because you do not have the work experience.

My problem is, i ran my own online business for 3 years from my own
home. Windows 2000/2003 domain, ISA firewall, cisco equipment etc... and
no one in the IT world wants to count this as actual experience.  I have
a degree in IT and I also have certifications. My main concentration in
in network security and securing cisco and microsoft products. I can get
very inventive with access lists that provide a great deal of security
from most casual attackers, but still no job because no IT experience.
i studied for 2 weeks and passed the CCNA, basically read the sybex book.

now certifications do not mean anything, anyone can go pass an exam. i
know many people at my school who passed the MCSA and can not do
anything within a windows environment.

BAH, another frustrated qualified IT worker that can not get a decent job

Re: The McDonald-ization of IT staff and workforce across North America

Eric Eastridge wrote:
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There are pros and cons to having lab only experience.  Or in your
case, a SOHO operating environment.  But the problem is that large
companies have large networks.  And you typically never see issues
unless you happen to have some trench time in large networks.  The
problem comes in defining the term "large network"  Large to me means
thousands and thousands of routers (more than 10,000).  To some, it
means hundreds of routers.

But be take comfort in knowing that some people, are willing to give
junior network people a shot.



"Somehow I imagined this experience would be more rewarding" Calvin
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