hard as in viagra, or soft as a marshmellow?

Discussion in 'Community' started by jefhatfield, Nov 1, 2002.

  1. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #1
    a question for you very experienced techies out there in the field of IT/IS?

    why is it that most software techies are bad at hardware stuff and vice versa?

    is it like sexual preference where most people are closer to one pole or the other?

    this month marks my third year, officially, as a techie, and i either see hardware types or software types

    the certifications in schools usually concern hardware or maintaining hardware and their gui related interfaces

    and the colleges usually center on coding and computer languages in the command line and see gui as some sort of travesty

    why is that???

    ...i still consider myself new to the field so any explanations would be helpful
     
  2. sparkleytone macrumors 68020

    sparkleytone

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2001
    Location:
    Greensboro, NC
    #2
    kind of like what i posted in your thread about cowboyfakers...people just want to belong to something. they want to feel better, more powerful, smarter in some way. the whole CLI vs. GUI elitism is ridiculous IMHO. if you want to work at the CLI, do so...if you would rather get work done that requires a GUI for efficiency, do that. simple. OS X has the power to do that too ;)

    your view on hardware/software techies is quite valid. i remember that a couple years ago all i basically knew was windows. i knew it inside and out. being that i was all of 17 at the time, i was still the person most people went to. then i had an internship where i got my own apt with two other interns. one of the guys there was a little older than me, and was all about hardware. he loved to troubleshoot it and really could care less about the software. while i was busy tweaking software and registry settings, he was reading reviews of new hardware and overclocking his current hardware. i learned alot from being around that, and i am now basically 50/50. i probably still know more about software...but being that i basically refuse to put the time into learning to code well...it stays a good solid mix.

    now my software knowledge is essentially windows advanced, linux/*nix intermediate to advanced (OS X included), and MacOS intermediate.

    i still also keep up with hardware that is new or very close to release. i read reviews, etc. i still like to mess with my old box running linux. pentium 133 baby!

    i think to have a better understanding of hardware, you HAVE to have a good understanding of software, and vice versa. otherwise you are limiting yourself to what you have direct experience with.
     
  3. Moxiemike macrumors 68020

    Moxiemike

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2002
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #3
    I hear ya jef... i have a friend who is a programmer and he, up until about a year ago, always referred to the tower case as the "hard drive"

    he has no interests in parts and what they're called, yadda yadda... he just wants stuff to work.

    His IT dept hates him. :) But yea. he got an ibook about 7 months ago, and completely loves it. He was amazed that you could plug a zip drive in and it recognizes it automatically.

    He thought it was "neat" and amazing that you didn't have to download drivers for it. Hilarious.
     
  4. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #4
    Except for a small minority who have the desire/ability to know both, in most cases its a matter of specialization. There is so much to know in both fields that knowing both is quite time consuming and difficult. Where I work, most people have a good understanding of both hardware and software, which is a huge exception.

    Personally, I do both, but I'm not as knowledgable as someone who just focuses on a single one, that and trying to do graphics, 3D, video, etc. I know of a lot of different systems, etc., but not a lot about many.

    There are a couple guys here, PhDs, who are phenomenal, who don't mind getting their hands dirty of delving into code - I've learned a lot.

    D
     
  5. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #5
    hey guys,

    funny and interesting stuff...thank you!!!

    sparkleytone, it's amazing that you have kept a good, solid fifty/fifty mix without being overly drawn into one kingdom or the other...i have yet to see that in silicon valley...of course, i only have three years in the fixing of computers field

    before that, i thought windows and mac os were basically the same and i didn't know what the blue screen of death was and here on macrumors was the first time i saw blue screen of death referred to as BSOD

    i first thought i saw BYOB which means bring your own beer or bring your own booze

    i do somehow keep a fifty/fifty ratio of time in the pc world and the mac world, but only because i fix the pc side

    if i wasn't a pc tech, i would be almost, if not totally, in the mac world and maybe even be a mac zealot who believed pc machines turn into monsters at night and eat innocent victims:p :eek:
     
  6. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #6
    vitually all the phds i know are coders 90-100% percent of the time

    but i do know of two phds that took the hardware route

    ...one computer science phd teaches A+ pc computer hardware repair and has done so even before there was an A+ certificaion...he hates coding with a passion but does teach some computer language classes only because it's in his job description

    ...the other computer science phd i know entertained his passion and opened up a pc repair shop and even though he had eight years of college under his belt and was qualified to code from here to mars, he went out and got a hardware certification, the mcse, so he could set up, fix, and sell networks/networking components and make boo-koo moola (actually, this phd, unlike the other relatively broke one mentioned above, inherited millions so if he wanted to, he could just hang out at pebble beach and play golf all day long ;) )
     
  7. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #7
    The PhDs I'm talking about are in Physics (Plasma and Ionospheric) and EE. These guys are at the top of their fields, one of them is even the Chairman of the DC chapter of IEEE.

    Our company is very top heavy, huge percentage of PhDs.

    D
     
  8. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #8
    you live in the dc area where there are tons of phds

    my best friend is a phd teacher and teaches computer languages

    i worked a lot with folks in and around dc since i was pentagon west coast branch

    there are two reasons there are a lot of phds near you

    the good sounding reason...there are a ton of schools on the east coast and all the ivy league schools are relatively close to you

    the bad sounding reason...failed professors often end up working for uncle sam because they couldn't succeed in their chosen professions

    it's those phds that made some on the outside decide to coin the term, "government slug"

    i have to wait until the afternoon to call my govt friends because they could be sleeping and i remember this one "slug" who used to come into work with his forty ounce malt liquor and i wondered...gee, and we won the gulf war?...it's amazing the papers he shuffled didn't end up in saddam's hot little hands;) :p :eek:

    ps...but i know you don't work in govt and the feds usually promote the non college people

    many of the college types where i worked were gs-5s and i remember this one young girl, no college, who was gs-4 and didn't carry her weight

    so how did uncle sam get rid of her and get her out of her department? they made her a gs-11 overnight so she would be in a completely different department/area and that way no one she used to work with her would have to deal with her incompetance

    i was and still am a democrat, but when i saw this government waste in the form of her promotion from 18k a year to 39k a year, i became so anti-big government i almost became a republican on the spot:p
     
  9. wdlove macrumors P6

    wdlove

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2002
    #9
    Glad to hear your thought jefhatfield, anyone that is thinking will no longer vote Democrat!
    :)
     
  10. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #10
    Right. :rolleyes:


    I agree with duke that it's a specialization thing.

    I'm able to do tech support for both pretty well, but I'm pretty shallow in terms of expertise.

    It's one of those "jack of all trades, master of none" deals. You can't know everything about everything, so you try to know everything about something. ;)
     
  11. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #11
    desktop support people, low level network engineers, phone support techies, and self employed 2 person operations like i have make one have to know a little bit about everything and master of none

    i am versatile so i can help newbies but i can't help technically inclined computer experts...that is a job for the specialist who usually makes more but is often not self employed

    i had a friend with his AAS computer science degree break into silicon valley as a specialist and not a generalist...he joined a company that installed and repaired flat panel monitors and they worked him 12 hours a day six days a week...when he was lucky...but sometimes the job required him to work seven days

    he knows something no computer science graduate in the united states knows...how to fix, install, and troubleshoot flat panel monitors quickly and on the run...right now, he fixes the mobo's on household appliances which is another specialist job last time i checked...unless schools are teaching non cpu mobos and flat panel display repair ;)

    either way, he does not like the high tech field and being a generalist like me would not make him any happier either...customers who don't know jack **** but think they can do it themselves are the worst part of the job

    i just got a new client who has a rev a imac with no external floppy, zip, or optical drive and when her computer died, i asked if she backed anything up...her answer...only PCs have hard drive problems and only PCs need to back up...i only thought PCs used zip disks...you mean they make a zip disk for macs?

    it is these types of people that make me want to quit my business

    and since she is a lawyer i think, she figured her dominant tone of voice would make her beliefs a fact

    her imac did not come with anything except for a cd-rom, so there is no need for a floppy or zip drive...ever

    sure, the imac is kind of all in one and self contained, lady...but you need to buy some sort of disk to back up your work in...and btw...some macs use the same hard drives that PCs use...really!!!:p
     
  12. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #12
    What are you trying to say there?
     
  13. digital1 macrumors 6502

    digital1

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #13
    :-D

    I guess for me, I had the oppertunity to be groomed both hardware and software at the same time. An AWESOME buddy of mine named Bob (Thanks man! :D) was about mid 70's or older. I mean this guy saw the ENIAC when it was first released. He had a photographic memory, and was a complete geek. He gave me my first set of programming books when I was younger(although I never read them through and through, I got my first exposure to coding at the nice young age of about 11 or so).He was the guy that got me into software, and showed me the ropes; At the same time, I took an interest in computer hardware on my own; He also showed me the side of computers and those in the field that I think is missing, people who really care about computing. Now I find too many people worried about making a quick buck or the "is this idea going to make me money" train of thought. Now I am a computer science student, with an eventual focus on hardware systems and developement. But for me, I took an interest in both at about the same time at an early age. I would consider myself roughly 50/50. Advanced Windows, Beginner-advanced Unix/Linux, and I am in love with hardware architecture. :D But I feel what you are saying though all you guys. I started off as tech support, and now I am internning doing systems auditing(basically a paid white cap hacker) for a big company. So I have been getting pretty spread out skills, which i think is important. Specialization is cool, but I think personally its good to have a good feel for the playing field overall and then choose favorites :). Just my 2 cents.
     
  14. digital1 macrumors 6502

    digital1

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2002
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #14
    :D

    Did I say white cap! Must be the wisconsin stuff sneaking in... White Hat I mean. :D
     
  15. evildead macrumors 65816

    evildead

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2001
    Location:
    WestCost, USA
    #15
    Re: hard as in viagra, or soft as a marshmellow?

    I am not a "hardware" person. My euducation is more theoretcal and general but leanind toward sofware developemnt but... my at work I am a UNIX/network admin. I never used a GUI for anything, not even text edditing. Most of my work is done remotely and more X11 ports are closed off for security reasons. Funny thing is that all the developers like to have X11 accesss to the development machines. I have to go to great lengths to find work arrounds so the developers can have GIUs on their desktop PCs when interfacing with the Big UNIX boxes in my lab.


    are we talking about real hardware people or just people that fix harware? I have some education on circit and basic computer desine but... thats not the kind of stuff I do for a living
     
  16. BenderBot1138 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2002
    #16
    Of Viagra and Marshmallows

    ooooohhhhmmmmm... wow, lofty questions... philosophical and troubling... Society needs skilled labour. It fills these needs in several ways. Unlimited needs and wants undermined by limited goods and services. If Janitors made what Doctors do, and Doctors what Janitors do, then you'd have the same people who are Doctors today sweeping your floors.

    If I had a barrel full of Marshmallows, I'd send em over viagra falls...
     
  17. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #17
    Re: Re: hard as in viagra, or soft as a marshmellow?

    software...coders...period

    hardware...everything else including bsee's and msee's, mcp, mcse, ccna, ccnp, ccie, cna, cne, mcne, cissp, a+/net+/server+/security+, ms/bs in electrical engineering, ms/bs in computer engineering, bs/ms in industiral technology, and all the associate's degrees, certifications, and phd's i left out on that list

    that's the way the people i work with see it on the hardware side...it's as if the coders have this combination of:

    1) complulsion to code
    2) fear of bathing
    3) general fear of the sun

    ;)
     
  18. Mr. Anderson Moderator emeritus

    Mr. Anderson

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2001
    Location:
    VA
    #18
    Re: Re: Re: hard as in viagra, or soft as a marshmellow?

    you've neglected to mention the reknowned coder's cuisine, ranging in many food groups, but mostly consisting of caffene, sugar and fats of some sort....;)

    D
     
  19. scem0 macrumors 604

    scem0

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    back in NYC!
    #19
    I am only 15, but I am trying to take both routes. I am taking c++ and all computer courses I can at my high school, but I research hardware stuff at my house. Oh god, that reminds me, I have a program to write that is due on Monday.... Ughhhhhh, not fun. Oh well :D. BTW, if anyone knows any internet hardware guides, that go over all the specific parts of all the units in the case (and outside the case for that matter), I would really appreciate if you could PM me, or post the link here.

    BTW - this is my 900th post. woohoo! :D
     
  20. jefhatfield thread starter Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #20
    congrats, you will hit 1,000 soon enough!!!

    as an analogy, it is like this...you either want to usually wake up in bed with a bearded macho russell crowe or a soft petite sarah michelle gellar

    it it personal preference and it is hard to see one who is equally happy on a day to day basis with both

    how's that for clarity?

    now, one has to ask, are hardware based techies the russell crowe type or the sarah michelle gellar type?

    to each his own, baby:p
     
  21. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #21
    Re: Re: Re: hard as in viagra, or soft as a marshmellow?

    Geez, I guess I'm not a real software developer. :D

    1) I like to code, but I'm no longer compelled to do it.
    2) I have no fear of bathing, unless there are spiders or insects there too.
    3) I live in Florida and I have a tan.

    What does that make me then?

    Jef, I know what you mean. Most places where I've worked (since 1983) have people to one extreme or the other. I'm always in the middle, but then, I remember most everything I've ever encountered (unfortunately).

    Give me Cheez-its and Mountain Dew and I can make anything work. :D
     
  22. Durandal7 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2001
    #22
    Re: Re: Re: hard as in viagra, or soft as a marshmellow?

    I guess that makes me a coder ;)
     

Share This Page