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Nomad
29-10-2010, 05:58 PM
I had my first experience in a company, thru my course which has a 2 week work for free component.

Well it is different to office jobs, not sure if that's right for me.
There is none of that glamour, or that textbook stuff, roll your sleeves up and get it done. Wiping HDDs securely and using a network switch image computers like 10 (identical PCs) at a time (although one at a time), 3min testing the basics and then ship it out. Quite factory type of work IMO, reminded me of working at The Warehouse over summer as a tertiary student. There is none of that sit at your own desk, having a chat to your peers and a having laugh, time for morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea or a Friday floor shared morning tea where everyone attends. There is also none of that focus work when you sit down and really analyse something.

So not sure after this course, I'm done apart from this 2 week thing. If I return back to my old office job or to a office job but maybe something more with spreadsheets and databases (now with this IT qualification).

IT now appears to me just a tool. It works and then that's it, scrap the fancy wallpaper or sound effects. Personal users treats their equipment so much nicer.
It was like ex lease machine for the price of 2 Mackers meal :D It was like a car mechanic, you get all the former Hyundai govt dept cars, or the Police's Ford/Holdens or those Toyota Vans ...

Like to know your thoughts. :)

somebody
29-10-2010, 06:56 PM
"IT" is such a diverse field it is impossible to make a general statement which accurately reflects what is involved in an "IT" job. What you've experienced is very much at the more entry-level end of the spectrum - more of a "computer technician" type role - which is a lot more hands on, and perhaps more practical. Working in IT can be anything from answering phones on a helpdesk (helpdesk operator), through to making key strategic and architectural decisions about your IT infrastructure and operations (systems architect, CIO etc.).

Fundamentally, you're right about IT being a tool. The systems I deal with on a daily basis are on their own completely useless - they are like a spanner, or a drill. It's what our clients do with the systems, to run their businesses, manage people, resources, and so on which is where the value is. I see my job as being an "enabler", putting in place (and supporting) the systems which allow our clients to run their organisations effectively and efficiently. I do "stuff" to realise the strategies which have been decided by CIOs and put in place (or support) systems which fit the architecture set out by an organisation.


There is none of that sit at your own desk, having a chat to your peers and a having laugh, time for morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea or a Friday floor shared morning tea where everyone attends. There is also none of that focus work when you sit down and really analyse something.

Although we don't have fixed morning/afternoon tea times (most of us rarely have time for those - I'll generally take several 5 minute breaks throughout the day to grab a glass of water, go for a walk around the office, talk to workmates on the other side of the office, etc.), every now and then on someone's birthday they bring cake and we'll have a shared morning tea (or a few drinks after work a couple of times a month). Work is a place to... well.. work - so while we'll have a laugh, or a quick chat every now and then, for the most part it's a matter of doing what it takes to get the job done. Nobody holds your hand, and you can't expect textbooks or user manuals to tell you all the answers - you need to look at the situation and figure it out for yourself. For myself and most of my colleagues, we spend a lot of time sitting down, really analysing "something", problem solving (or if it's something we can't solve, engaging the appropriate vendor for assistance), installing/configuring enterprise systems, designing, planning and working with our clients. During the course of any given day I'll do work ranging from mundane support work (there is a helpdesk team who deal with the customer first, and only escalate specific things through to us - which certainly helps) through to designing new platforms, planning various stages of an implementation project, installing/configuring/fixing a system a client has paid a lot of money for, or whatever comes up. I certainly wouldn't describe what I do in my "IT" job as factory work - our clients pay us to do it because the work isn't simple, it can't be automated, and requires someone to sit down, use their brain (plus their experience, knowledge, and problem solving skills) to sort out.

Admittedly this is not the sort of work you'd expect to be doing straight out of university/polytech, but is something which is achievable as you progress through your career.

pctek
29-10-2010, 07:38 PM
IT now appears to me just a tool. It works and then that's it, scrap the fancy wallpaper or sound effects. Personal users treats their equipment so much nicer.

Oh yes.
The nicest part of IT (leaving out those who actually like programming and such) is giving your user/customer something they want and making them happy.

Corporate IT is ****., You spend most of your time locking them out/telling them what they can't do, all on boring basic crapboxes.

And you wouldn't believe some of the pathetic excuses for IT some places have, being more focused on bureacracy, looking after their own cushy lazy jobs and the hell with being efficient and useful.


Pity being a tech making them happy pays so crap.

wainuitech
29-10-2010, 08:43 PM
Totally agree with what Somebody & PCTek say :thumbs:

Its not all "beer and Skittles" Theres a lot of hard work, sometimes theres a bit of repetition, but that can also depend on what you are doing in a day to day job.

One comment Somebody made, made me :D

Nobody holds your hand, and you can't expect textbooks or user manuals to tell you all the answers - you need to look at the situation and figure it out for yourself. Anyone who has been in this game for a while will know thats where the "cowboys" get weeded out. It all looks good and easy -- Its not.

While there are a lot of clever people about with a lot of knowledge,Its good and well to be the "brain box" helping out friends and family, but when it comes to the real world work, thats when they all turn to crap.

Times money,and if you start slacking you soon find you can easily be on the wrong end of the Bosses Xmas card list --Thats unless you are the boss ;) Like today - my normal hours, I finish at 5 -- around 4 I went stuff it, had enough - Mind you still answered the phone and made another appointment for next week.

No one knows everything, but Personally I find coming here and helping actually relaxing from the day to day stresses of paid work.

somebody
29-10-2010, 10:02 PM
Corporate IT is ****., You spend most of your time locking them out/telling them what they can't do, all on boring basic crapboxes.


Cisco's VPN client software has been driving me up the wall lately - we use it to connect to several clients and the profiles are set up as such that as soon as you connect to the VPN, you are essentially booted off your local network -i.e. all of a sudden Outlook can't talk to our Exchange server, I can't get to our internal knowledgebase, can't get onto the internet, etc.

It's so frustrating that I've resorted to running this VPN client in a VM so my PC is actually vaguely usable when I'm connected.

The "boring crapboxes" are good in one respect - they're really quiet. None of the noisy fans you find in cheaply built home PCs.

Nomad
29-10-2010, 10:05 PM
There's no such thing as antistatic in their practice :D
We were like pulling out and reinserting WLAN cards in a laptop.
RAM sticks rubberbanded together and placed in a plastic container :eek:

They get truck loads of stuff daily .. it's based in a warehouse.

pctek
30-10-2010, 06:37 AM
The "boring crapboxes" are good in one respect - they're really quiet. None of the noisy fans you find in cheaply built home PCs.

Cheaply built home PCs huh.
Like JJJJJs?
I spent a fair bit on mine too, the case was rather expensive as well. Noisy. Huh.

Nomad
31-10-2010, 02:01 PM
Well I am thinking of withdrawing ...

They got me to work Saturday by myself 9-5 while this other dude was sitting at his chair drinking coffee and soaking his biscuits, and often when I talked to him half his mouth was full.

It's an abuse of free labour. There's like 2 paid staff right doing this stuff, but there is like 3 students who work for free and we were told anothe 2 will arrive on Monday.

wainuitech
31-10-2010, 02:31 PM
A LOT has to do with where you are sent to do work experience. Some places are really good, others are not.

The place I went to years ago - I was meant to be there for a week, and ended up staying about a 2 months (my choice). BUT It was enjoyable, and I learn't so much more from the Techs than any books / institute, including a few "tricks" ;) they dont teach in any books.

Funny thing now -- the guy that taught me lots, was asking me if I had any for work he could do not so long ago when he decided to start his own business.

Nomad
31-10-2010, 02:34 PM
Well, I worked my butt off myself until 4.30 on Saturday and on my way out he asked me again if I could work next week Saturday :rolleyes:

I believe at the start they even asked me if I could work for free after my 2 weeks period.

forums12345
31-10-2010, 02:34 PM
Experience is the key, it does not matter if it was volunteer or not. Experience is experience.

Nomad
31-10-2010, 02:37 PM
I mean why would an org have 2 paid staff on the floor and up to 5 students. I think one of students got a bit of a telling off, that he was to give a daily report on exatly what they did. They thought he was working too slow.

forums12345
31-10-2010, 02:41 PM
It is not fair, I know.

Nomad
31-10-2010, 02:42 PM
With 6yr work experience, I'm not that desparate.
I can work for another voluntarily, or get a first IT job formally and that can count my 2 weeks or I can go back to my other life.

KarameaDave
31-10-2010, 02:46 PM
They are exploiting you, maybe you could try somewhere else?

forums12345
31-10-2010, 02:59 PM
Well who knows it could turn into a full time paid position in the long run. Remember they also use their resources and time not to mention money to train you guys.

Nomad
31-10-2010, 03:03 PM
Well who knows it could turn into a full time paid position in the long run. Remember they also use their resources and time not to mention money to train you guys.

Nope. There is a dude there who has graduated and continue to work for them unpaid, he attended a job interview and wasn't expected to turn up, but they rang him to see if he could anyway.

No training was provided, another student who's been there for a week just taught me in 5mins.

forums12345
01-11-2010, 10:15 AM
Nope. There is a dude there who has graduated and continue to work for them unpaid, he attended a job interview and wasn't expected to turn up, but they rang him to see if he could anyway.

No training was provided, another student who's been there for a week just taught me in 5mins.


I understand, well that is just sad, if you guys are doing the work that an employee there is doing without any kind of training and supervision then employer should pay you guys something even if it is minimum wage. I guess some people like to take an advantage with graduates and entry level I.T people in this economy, they know that experience is important and since they got nothing else to do they would not leave. I mean working for free is better than sitting at home and doing nothing after all so some volunteers choose not to leave.

zqwerty
01-11-2010, 12:12 PM
Yes this is what happens when there are no Unions, workers get exploited, there is nothing new about this, I don't see why we have to learn the same lessons over and over again.

It must mean that there is an ongoing battle between bosses and workers and the workers have short memories or the bosses never stop trying to exploit.

More, better, faster cheaper - race to the bottom.

Erayd
01-11-2010, 12:24 PM
No Zquerty, this is what happens when you have a bad boss / bosses, and / or a bad corporate culture. The presence of a union is irrelevant in this case, as the workers aren't paid employees.

1101
02-11-2010, 10:06 AM
We have labour laws in NZ > minimum wage applies.
They are breaking the law
you are being exploited
More important....you are helping keep someone else out of PAID work
Report them to the Dept of labour. You may than get paid.

Even crims get paid for the work the do in jail...so where does that put you??

Erayd
02-11-2010, 10:27 AM
We have labour laws in NZ > minimum wage applies.
They are breaking the law
you are being exploited
More important....you are helping keep someone else out of PAID work
Report them to the Dept of labour. You may than get paid.

Even crims get paid for the work the do in jail...so where does that put you??Sorry 1101, minimum wage doesn't apply to volunteer work, which this is. They're unpaid volunteers there for the work experience, not paid employees.

It's also worth pointing out that there is no law against denying someone else a job opportunity by volunteering for the position.

Cicero
02-11-2010, 10:50 AM
No one knows everything, but Personally I find coming here and helping actually relaxing from the day to day stresses of paid work.

There is a small charge for this therapy, just send to
A/C # 09 5639348 490 00

1101
02-11-2010, 11:07 AM
OK, Erayd, I stand corrected :-)
but my other comments still stand
he is being exploited
More important....you are helping keep someone else out of PAID work
Even crims get paid for the work the do in jail...so where does that put him??
Another step towards 3rd world working conditions
If he was actually receiving usefull training, then perhaps its justifiable.
But it sounds like he was just used as unpaid labour.

http://www.volunteerwellington.org.nz/members/memberfr.html

Factors which tend to make the involvement of volunteers inappropriate:

* Where the work is for the benefit of a profit-making organisation
* Where the volunteer receives remuneration implying low-wage status rather than voluntary work
* Where the work will typically require more than 20 hours per week
* Where the work is normally considered to be the responsibility of a statutory service, e.g. nursing care, teaching etc
* Where the volunteer would be undertaking work which is the subject of an industrial dispute
* Where the volunteer would be performing tasks carried out by paid staff in the past 6 months or where their involvement would reduce the likelihood of employment of paid staff
* Where the involvement of volunteers would jeopardise the wage or employment conditions of paid staff
* Where there is a disagreement within the client organisation about the nature and purpose of volunteer involvement
* Where there are insufficient resources to provide proper support, supervision, training and workspace for volunteers
* Where there is no money available to pay volunteers out-of-pocket expenses or provide appropriate insurance cover
* Where the work offers no rewards to the volunteer, e.g. work is too demanding, tedious, dirty and unpleasant and the volunteer does not have an opportunity to achieve personal goals
* Where unacceptable risks to health and safety are involved, e.g. physically dangerous work, potentially violent work etc.

Erayd
02-11-2010, 11:22 AM
Of course he's being exploited - I never claimed otherwise :rolleyes:.

forums12345
02-11-2010, 06:44 PM
Well he is free to leave if he wants to, it is not like his boss has forced him to stay now if it was like that, that is forced labor which is illegal. Just leave if you are not happy there will be 10000 more people waiting to take your chance and work for free, because everyone knows that work experience is important and it is hard to get a job without next to no experience. However if they are resourceful and have money they should pay you.

somebody
02-11-2010, 07:02 PM
OK, Erayd, I stand corrected :-)
but my other comments still stand
he is being exploited
More important....you are helping keep someone else out of PAID work
Even crims get paid for the work the do in jail...so where does that put him??
Another step towards 3rd world working conditions
If he was actually receiving usefull training, then perhaps its justifiable.
But it sounds like he was just used as unpaid labour.


Nobody is forcing him to stay there - by signing up for the course he has voluntarily offered his services (for free) under a work experience programme.

You can't give someone a Xmas present, and then accuse them of exploiting you because they didn't give you $$$.

wainuitech
02-11-2010, 07:16 PM
Erayds & Somebody's comments stands true
They're unpaid volunteers there for the work experience, not paid employees.
Nobody is forcing him to stay there - by signing up for the course he has voluntarily offered his services (for free) under a work experience programme.Its WORK EXPERIENCE.
In this case bad experience.

What it all boils down to is simple - The place being worked at, the boss appears to be an A*** Hole, and the full time staff not much better.

If it were the other way around, like I mentioned in post #9 - a good boss, and good full time staff willing to teach a person on work experience, I bet this whole thread wouldn't have even been started as a grumble.

It comes down to the fact, that some places are good to work for some are not.

Welcome to the real world ;)