Quick Question For Those That Are Or Were In IT......

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guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
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Maybe there is something I am missing. I have a friend that has working in IT for as long as I have known him,15 years now, and he seems to have know problem with finding IT jobs. His resume in certifications is about 3 and half pages long which seems to get him the job and every year he adds two to three more certifications to the long list. He is constantly studying and cert testing so he will know more than the next guy so he can choose the job he wants. Right now he is Lead Legal Developer(assume this means lead programer for the legal department) for a top 10 Fortune Company that develops security software for companies like The Lord's of London(big financial company in the UK) and other companies that require specialized security protocols and programing.

The question is if it's so easy to study and get certified in the newer systems then why don't more people just get to studying and make their self more valuable to the big IT companies? Or am I missing the boat here and my friend is just making it sound easier than I think it is?

OOS:

When a violation by either a driver or company is confirmed, an out-of-service order removes either the driver or the vehicle from the roadway until the violation is corrected.

Jopa's Comment
member avatar
I actually read through the manual several times before I started taking any practice tests. I had already read it through the first couple of times before I signed up here. I learned a long time ago that taking practice tests until you can answer enough questions to pass is no way to learn anything. I've been taking practice tests through more than one source too. I do them through TR and I specifically googled IN CDL practice test and found a site that bases its practice tests on Indiana's tests. To be honest, the information in the manual hasn't changed a whole lot from the other times I've studied the manual.

Your friend has found his "niche" probably and has a step up on a lot of the competition. Most IT jobs after a while are subject to outsourcing and that's happening big time in that industry. Big companies can hire an Indian company with lots of talent cheaper than keeping someone like your friend on board. There is also the practice of getting work visas for qualified individuals from India (and other places) where the whole package is half the cost of keeping qualified American talent on the payroll. So much of IT is moving to the "cloud" where the business model makes it much more cost effective to get the functionality and store the data on the servers that can exist anywhere in the world. Just like you and I can access TT from any stop with wireless access, many providers can have their customer base anywhere in the world and it's just as if they were next door. That is the big push now. The customer pays based on each transaction and how much room their data takes up on the server. Google and Microsoft are championing this business model and it makes sense. However, it also favors those IT workers who have the talent and don't have to make American style wages to get along. Globalism. The bane of the working class in the 80's & 90's and now the bane of the professional class (at least IT working professional classes) in the 90's and now the "new millennium." Good thing trucks are still a hands on type of work. And short of importing drivers from other countries, we still have a chance to be successful right here in the good 'ole USA.

Jopa

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CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Jopa's Comment
member avatar

OOOOPPPSSS! Wrong quote - it was supposed to be this one:

The question is if it's so easy to study and get certified in the newer systems then why don't more people just get to studying and make their self more valuable to the big IT companies? Or am I missing the boat here and my friend is just making it sound easier than I think it is?

. . . sorry about that. That was the quote from a different post I just made to a different thread . . .

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Jopa

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Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
The question is if it's so easy to study and get certified in the newer systems then why don't more people just get to studying and make their self more valuable to the big IT companies?

Everything Jopa said is true. Let me add my two cents....

Now I don't know the first thing about your friend so none of this is directed at him personally whatsoever. But here's how the certification/degree thing goes for computer programmers....

There are generally two types of programmers....those that go the university/certification route which works at large corporations and those like myself who are self-taught in the real world and excel working alone or in very small groups.

In the corporate environment the people doing the hiring have no idea how to do the jobs they're hiring for so they look for things like certifications and degrees to help them try to validate someone's skills. They have large teams of programmers, many of which are not very good at what they do, but their lack of skills gets covered up by having them work on very specific tasks all the time or work in groups where they can help each other out.

In a small company where you work alone or in very small numbers you really have to know your stuff and you have to have a broad base of real-world skills. There's simply nowhere to hide. You either get the job done or you're out the door because your business fails or the people you work for have no choice but to find someone who knows what they're doing. The smaller the group, the more proficient each member has to be.

Compare a family-owned diner to a gigantic fast food place. In a family-owned diner you normally have a few family members that run everything. They have to know everything...marketing, book keeping, preparing food, handling inventory, serving customers, hiring, scheduling....the whole works. At McDonald's you'll have one person who does nothing but fries. You have another that does nothing but flip burgers. You have another who does nothing but take orders. They are two entirely different worlds. The people working individual jobs at McDonald's have very little in the way of real-world restaurant skills and could never in a million years run a small diner by themselves. But in a large group they can learn one job and blend in as part of a bigger whole. If they get in over their head there's someone two feet away that can bail them out.

I know a fella who wrote call center software years ago and sold his first program to Walmart for $100,000. He used that money to start a tiny company with only three programmers that wrote evolving versions for fortune 500 companies like Exxon/Mobil and Penzoil. These guys were top-notch pros. Anytime they were hiring they would look through the resumes and immediately throw out any that had a list of certifications because they knew it was a cover for people who really don't know what they're doing and usually worked in large corporations. Programmers who care about developing a wide variety of top-level skill sets wouldn't waste their time learning to pass certification tests. His exact words were, "The more certifications and degrees they had the faster the resume went in the garbage and the harder we laughed." They wouldn't go near those types.

Only about 1 in every 50,000 people really have the brains, patience, and determination to put in tens of thousands of hours continuously developing their skills and building things that function in the real world. They have developed their talent in all different areas and can prove they have real talent in about 5 minutes to anyone else that has real talent. You don't need certifications or degrees to trick people into thinking you know your stuff.

Again, I don't know anything about your buddy. But most people like that aren't very good at what they do. Certifications don't mean a thing. Building things that run in the real world is what it's all about.

Guyjax, you're a top pro in trucking. If someone came to you looking for a job driving one of your trucks and handed you a long list of certifications and training achievements what would you do? You'd toss the paperwork aside, put that person behind the wheel, and in less than 5 minutes you'd know exactly how good they were. That's because you know your stuff. But if you had never driven a truck you would love to see all of those certifications. It's the only hope you would have of finding someone with skills.

For TruckingTruth I work 100% alone and I'm 100% self-taught. I never spent 5 minutes in a classroom for any of this. I have no degrees or certifications, I've never worked for anyone but myself, and I've never worked on even a single project with another programmer. We are on pace for 2.2 million visits from 1.44 million unique visitors in 2014 and will serve well over 8 million page views. The website has over 18,000 pages in Google's index, half a dozen databases, almost 15,000 registered users and growing by 1,500 per month, two remote servers pulling hourly backups around the clock, and runs on the same basic infrastructure that Google, Twitter, Facebook, and Yahoo run on...all 100% setup, configured, and maintained by yours truly 24/7/365 all these years. If something quits working I have to diagnose and fix it. If something needs to be built I have to build it. There's nobody to call, nobody to hide behind. I either figure it out or it doesn't get figured out.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

guyjax(Guy Hodges)'s Comment
member avatar

I hear ya Brett. CERTS mean little in the way of real world experience. I guess I should have added in that my friend is a contractor. Since he has to be able to prove that he can do the job before he gets it I think he will do ok in the near future.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

The Internet has been around long enough now that the youngest generation of adults were raised with it from day one. They've never known a world without it. You are seeing such a massive influx of geniuses into the IT world that the charlatans are being rooted out and cast aside by people with real talent at an incredible rate.

Unlike most businesses, there is no barrier to entry in the IT world. You don't need a fancy education. You don't need a license. You don't need office space, bureaucratic approval from corporate big wigs, or even your own physical hardware anymore. You can write your own software for free. You can build websites and rent server space for a few bucks a month. You can offer web-based services to the entire world by simply buying a $10 domain name, renting a $30/month virtual server, and writing code in the comfort of your own living room. And there is no limit to how big you can get other than your own knowledge and talents. If you have the knowledge and talent, there's no stopping you.

But the competition is becoming more fierce by the day. You have to fight desperately to stay ahead of the pack, and the pack is growing larger and moving faster every day. And because of the way systems operate it takes very few talented programmers to handle a gigantic workload. It's not uncommon to find a 100,000 square foot warehouse packed to the roof with servers and only about 20 people running the whole place. Like I said, I'm handling millions of visitors and many millions of page views, caching systems, remote backup systems, multiple servers, and multiple databases from the comfort of my own living room. I don't own any of the hardware, I don't have a degree, I don't need any sort of license, and there is no oversight. It's the Wild West. I'm totally on my own to do whatever I like. If someone comes along that does it better than me I'm out. I mean, there's only one huge retailer - Amazon. There's only one big auction site - Ebay. There's only one big search engine - Google. Once someone has gotten ahead of the pack, as long as they stay ahead there's not much in the way of opportunity for anyone else.

It's a fascinating industry to be in but you have to be obsessed with learning and improving. Otherwise you're doomed to obsolescence. In 20 years you'll probably have about .01% of the population, high level programmers, running 90% of the world's IT infrastructure because a handful of talented people can run an enormous workload very efficiently. You're either on top of you're out completely.

Farming was like that over the generations. Back in the 1700's, 95% of our population were farming, mostly for themselves. But technology made farming so efficient that fewer than 1% of people today are commercial farmers. IT will be the same way. We're still in the infant stages. As technology progresses it will take fewer and fewer people to run things. Ironically it's probably going to come full circle. In 2050, fewer than 1% of our society will be making 95% of the money in IT and the rest of the people are going to have to go back to farming. And that's no joke.

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OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Ernie S. (AKA Old Salty D's Comment
member avatar

As most folks here know that has been here on TT for a while, I had my own IT business before I started trucking.

I and my partner did very well until everything crashed the end of 2008. We held on until Sept 2011 when we decided one of us needed to at least get a part time job other than what we were doing in order for the business to stay alive.

It was not due to lack of skills, just economics that forced the change.

So the fact that your friend is doing so well is as Brett pointed out, he has found his niche in the IT world.

So instead of finding a part time job, I decided it was time to act on a dream I had had since I retired from the military, and that was to come out here to drive. I have enjoyed my time very much, would not change that decision for the world.

Ernie

Jopa's Comment
member avatar
Unlike most businesses, there is no barrier to entry in the IT world. You don't need a fancy education. You don't need a license. You don't need office space, bureaucratic approval from corporate big wigs, or even your own physical hardware anymore. You can write your own software for free. You can build websites and rent server space for a few bucks a month. You can offer web-based services to the entire world by simply buying a $10 domain name, renting a $30/month virtual server, and writing code in the comfort of your own living room. And there is no limit to how big you can get other than your own knowledge and talents. If you have the knowledge and talent, there's no stopping you.

Hey Brett, I know you are a very busy (and productive) person and I admire your efforts here at TT. There is a guy (not Guy - a guy) who has a website I think you would very much enjoy. He's a political animal and I don't know your politics but I can gleam from what you say that you are a sober thinker and a person who makes up his own mind. He started out on the internet as an essayist and had his own blog. His ability to inform and persuade was uncanny and he got picked up by a larger website, one of the "online TV" sites (PJTV) that was doing such a thing long before Glen Beck started his. The guy's name is Bill Whittle and his website is www.billwhittle.com. He really gets the reality you are talking about in the part I quoted from your last post. (This reality is effecting all aspects of our society/culture, not just the IT world). I think you would enjoy his political rants (he is very conservative) even if you don't agree with his view points. I would encourage anyone who reads the posts here at TT to check him out. It's not going to help your truck driving career in the least so don't waste your time if you are not interested political commentary as that is what the content is all about. However, I have been following his stuff for over five years and he is very insightful, funny and poignant. And entertaining.

Jopa

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Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
It was not due to lack of skills, just economics that forced the change

Indeed adaptability is going to be critical. Everything changes continuously. It seems disruptive technologies come around every few years. Something that made a fortune five years ago becomes a relic today. And what you're doing today isn't going to work for long. Staying on top of the changes and staying at the forefront of technologies is key.

For example, I'm already working on building a slow speed maneuver simulator (both forward and backing maneuvers at slow speeds around various obstacles) and a shifting simulator to teach the concepts, techniques, and timing involved with maneuvering in tight situations and shifting big rigs. I'm 100% confident that I can teach people 90% of what they need to know about slow speed maneuvers and shifting in the comfort of their own homes. If the physics and mathematics are accurate enough, which they will be, it will be highly effective.

In fact, I learned how to fly small airplanes like Cessna 172's on a highly advanced desktop simulator (X Plane) and the very first time I flew a plane in real life I was able to land it. That was just unheard of before simulators. I would love to take credit for it like I'm some flying savant but it really was a simple matter of spending about 2000 hours flying those planes in an accurate simulator. Once you know where all the gauges are, how they work, and you've practiced the techniques over and over again you just do the same exact thing when you get in the plane for real. Everything I learned in the simulator translated to the real world so well that I'm not kidding when I say my first flight was rather anti-climatic. I mean, I thought it would be like my first time at Disney! I thought I'd be freaking out I'd be so excited! But it honestly felt like just another day on the simulator. I was shocked. And so was the instructor!

So my simulators will become part of the High Road Training Program which I'm anticipating will soon be the way training is done throughout the trucking industry before too long. And unfortunately for truck driving schools, all of their classroom time and most of their backing, shifting, and road training will become obsolete. People are already learning the materials from the CDL manual, the Logbook rules, and Weight & Balance better with The High Road than they are in school and soon my backing and shifting simulators are going to freak people out across the industry. It's going to be massively disruptive.

But that's what I'm saying...the people creating new technologies are going to run everything and those who don't are going to have to figure out something else. It wouldn't be as scary if it wasn't for the fact that it takes so few people to do so much in technology. I heard the other day that people with a four year degree in I.T. have the highest unemployment rate of any of the largest four year degree programs. You would think it would be the opposite. But there isn't a career I know of where you can reach the very highest levels without any formal training like you can in I.T. But that's because The Internet is the world's most disruptive technology of all time. Those who take advantage of it have massive advantages and opportunities.

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.

Logbook:

A written or electronic record of a driver's duty status which must be maintained at all times. The driver records the amount of time spent driving, on-duty not driving, in the sleeper berth, or off duty. The enforcement of the Hours Of Service Rules (HOS) are based upon the entries put in a driver's logbook.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar
I think you would enjoy his political rants (he is very conservative) even if you don't agree with his view points. I would encourage anyone who reads the posts here at TT to check him out

Absolutely I will! Just as soon as I get home. Oddly enough I have to stop writing code and talking trucking for a little while to go pick up my first batch of chickens for the season. My life is a 50/50 split of Star Trek and Little House On The Prairie. If only I could figure out a way for "Scotty" to beam my chickens over! Driving over to get them is sooooo 20th century!

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