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The Road to Geekdom
Foo Tech Transforms Your Life!
September 16, 2008
I'll answer these in reverse: No, not really. Yes, lots of tech jobs are outsourced, but I wouldn't call them good, unless your idea of good is unrealistic expectations, time zone and language barriers and an unswerving focus on paying people as absolutely little as possible.
Why consider a tech career? I think if you have to ask this, you're probably not suited for it. People should choose careers that excite and challenge them. Choosing a profession because it pays well, or carries prestige, or means you get to work in a nice climate-controlled office means you probably won't enjoy your work, and will burn out early and become bitter and cynical and no fun, and your friends won't call anymore, so you'll be lost and lonely too. My favorite take on the subject is by Dick Hamilton the PC Man (hey Dick, are you still around?):
"In a past life I was a contract applications programmer. Self-taught ... I have been fortunate to pretty much always do what I have been interested in at the time.
This is a grand time to be in high tech, because the opportunities are nearly limitless. You can be a wage slave, or enter the exciting crapshoot of startups, or freelance. I love freelancing, because for me working for other people is itchy and galling. Whatever you like best, you can find it.
What Kinds of Jobs?
How do I Get There?
Should you go to school? That depends on the school. Too many of them are behind the times. High tech is a fast-evolving industry, so you're better off knowing to how teach yourself. I'm not saying formal schooling is bad � of course you should take classes if they are worthy and taught by actual gurus who are not entombed in the last millennium. No matter how brilliant your formal education, you're still going to need the ability to keep up with new developments and advancing your skills.
The best part of the FOSS world is making friends all over the planet. Because it is free and open, unencumbered by delicate corporate sensibilities and paranoia, we can trade knowledge and information freely. I think the best minds in tech are in FOSS, and most of them are generous with their time and knowledge. (Even the grumpy ones can be baited into revealing good stuff - just say something you know is way wrong and wait for the informative flames.)
But I'm a Girl or Too Old or Too Dumb
Carla Schroder is a self-taught Linux and Windows sysadmin who laid hands on her first computer around her 37th birthday...Carla is living proof that you're never too old to try something new; computers are a heck of a lot of fun; and anyone can learn to do anything.Resources
Article courtesy of Enterprise Networking Planet, originally published October 13, 2006