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Topic # 144272 13-May-2014 12:02
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I work in the private education sector where I am a manager and have a few staff. I have spent most of my career working with IT in education.

The one things I have notched that to work in IT in the education sector requires you to be a jack of all trades, it requires you to be a help desk agent, programmer,  system admin and network admin.


I am interested to know if the commercial sector is the same, are you required to do everything or do you have a very defined role? The reasoning behind my question is am I discussing staffing and job descriptions with senior management and want a bit of info on other sectors.



Thanks in advance for any help!

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  Reply # 1042942 13-May-2014 12:14
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It depends on the market that you work in or service. In the SME area they have head count restrictions and often need one person to fill multiple roles, larger business and government organisations can support more staff so have specialised roles.

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  Reply # 1042959 13-May-2014 12:17
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It depends on the size of the company. 

If you are a programmer at a larger company then generally you don't stray outside that unless you voluntarily wish to change disciplines. 

I worked for a smaller company once (although it was global, the nz branch was less than 100 employees), and was required to do other stuff that I didn't want to do. Such as fixing printers (printer not working because no paper , not because you saw me around and thought i did something doh!), and even stock takes.  I hated it. 

So dumped that job and went back to working for large companies where I could do straight programming work. 



 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1042972 13-May-2014 12:36
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It depends on which part of the market you are in, I believe.  I worked for three of NZ's largest household names earlier in my career.  One cubicle.  One job. I got sick of the cubicle.  (I miss the big budgets and big toys sometimes, but not the commute.)

Working in the SMB space now my job has much more variety and I work with a greater variety of people.  I have to be a help desk agent, a network admin, and a sysadmin.  I love it 98% of the time.  I don't do programming aside from the odd script.  Programming is a vastly different skill set and cannot be expected of your typical IT Guy.  I have yet to meet someone who fits well in both camps.

Organisations with smaller teams require flexibility.  People who say 'that's not my job' don't last long in my experience, and this is one reason Kiwi's do well overseas as we are happy to turn our hand to anything.

Having said that, the sector requires specialists who have advanced skills in one or two key areas (e.g. programming, visualisation).  If you have a specialist, you need to keep them fed on their speciality or they will stagnate or leave.  There would not be many educational environments in NZ that could hold a specialist's attention.

Ramble over.  :)




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  Reply # 1042986 13-May-2014 13:03
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I have a defined role.  I'm an Automation Test Analyst part of a large commercial company.  In saying that it helps to have networking, development and solid interpersonal skills.

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  Reply # 1042991 13-May-2014 13:10
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Solution architect here. My role is very varied, but it generally follows the pattern of understand requirements, communicate with stakeholders and vendors, architect and design a solution, monitor implementation. The technology and project changes constantly so it's always interesting. As a developer I developed code, rarely doing anything else other than some design.

In big business and government you do tend to stick to your role, other than a few all rounders.




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  Reply # 1043009 13-May-2014 13:23
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I was hired as a support tech for a smallish software company (80 odd staff mostly in AKL with a couple on Welly and a couple in CHCH).
I have had to become good at everything from networking to server admin to support to desktop and laptop imaging and maintenance and everything in between. I am probably closest to a network admin now being as I am in charge of the Firewall, switches and wireless networks. I think if you are in a smaller company, it is way harder to be a specialist because you don't have the option to pass on much to others. In saying that, I don't program and I dont do SQL or website deployment. My boss is the one who handles that. I just do basic troubleshooting to determine networks and ports are working if needed. 




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  Reply # 1043019 13-May-2014 13:35
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I've worked in a number of sectors:

Education Integrator - Primary - High School - as you said jack of all trades, lots of personal growth. Lots of technology but at the cheaper scale (Servers etc but not a lot of SAN). 

SMB - Again, jack of all trades but at same or smaller scale. Hated it as I got bored. SBS + Exchange is not exciting in a 50 seat environment.

Corporate - working in Projects - a little bit more focused but still broad scope, but that is me being open for it. Don't get to do networking (which is fine) but get to do pretty much anything else at a large scale (2000+ seats).



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  Reply # 1043022 13-May-2014 13:38
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sysadmin for a law firm of 130ish staff. There is me, a GM Systems (Technical) and a helpdesk person. We don't have defined rolls as such but I tend to tackle more the server side of things, helpdesk person more desktop. Obviously these paths often meet so we do cross over a bit. If we are good at a particular aspect or want to learn more about it, we do it. If we don't want to do it, well it's done by the GM - Systems or assigned to which ever of us poor suckers who annoyed him more this week. 

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  Reply # 1043032 13-May-2014 13:59
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I just came out of a 6yr run at a PTE as their service desk admin, and it was a jack of all trades..... learnt a lot tho. :)

I'm now an "IT Support Technician" for the NZ arm of a multinational , most people would assume "desktop support", which a lot of it is, but also (again) everything else in some shape or form.

Think your "job" really depends on the way the company is run, where I am, everyone is quite relaxed and gets the work done by helping one another out etc, whereas some environments are more "thats your cubicle, dont leave it, until these TPS reports are completed, thats your job".






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  Reply # 1043043 13-May-2014 14:22
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Thanks guys, your responses have been really helpful. 



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  Reply # 1043050 13-May-2014 14:33
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I work in a small global corporate (about 15k people total), and about 1/3 of our business is technology with highly specialist roles. Developers are developers, server admins don't touch desktops and desktop admins don't touch servers, Dev DBAs don't touch production databases etc.




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  Reply # 1043052 13-May-2014 14:37
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Defined role. Infrastructure Architect - involved with pre sales, requirement gathering, design and implementation of Citrix solutions

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  Reply # 1043088 13-May-2014 15:24
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Officially I'm employed as a developer and only expected to do development work. In practice I occasionally do some server admin too (simple stuff like creating sites in IIS) just because it's faster than waiting for the real admins to do it, but it's not part of my job and I'm not required to do it.

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  Reply # 1043089 13-May-2014 15:27
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Behodar: Officially I'm employed as a developer and only expected to do development work. In practice I occasionally do some server admin too (simple stuff like creating sites in IIS) just because it's faster than waiting for the real admins to do it, but it's not part of my job and I'm not required to do it.


Depending on the environment, you might get stoned for 'messing with another team's server'.




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  Reply # 1043092 13-May-2014 15:34
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Well I'm glad that I don't work in that environment then! :)

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