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Are IT Job Titles Getting Out of Control? 209

Posted by Cliff
from the what's-in-a-name dept.
grudgelord asks: "Information technology jobs have always been difficult for those from non-technical disciplines to understand. However, in recent years it has become difficult for even IT professionals to divine the actual responsibilities of a given position's role as job titles become increasingly more nebulous and the descriptions more buzz-wordy. At one time, we all had a reasonable grasp of the role of a 'System Administrator' or 'Helpdesk Technician' but now such roles may actually have significant DBA or developer responsibilities bundled into a lesser job title (such as the recent trend of 'Desktop Support Techs' with SQL DBA responsibilities), often robbing the holder of a fair position (and traditionally better paid) title on the résumé. Are these trends a contrivance by corporations to get more 'value' from IT professionals by bundling responsibilities of higher paid jobs into lesser roles and to evade competitive salary by creating titles that have no analogue on pay-scale indexes? Has there ever been a proposed standard for information technology position titles (or at least some form of translation guide)? How do Slashdot job searchers contend with these wildly varying, and increasingly vague titles that seem to have saturated the industry, or worse, when they've been festooned with an inaccurate or absurd job title?"
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Are IT Job Titles Getting Out of Control?

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  • describes my career: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by yagu (721525) * <<yayagu> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:03AM (#16780589) Journal

    • Programmer
    • Lead Programmer
    • Systems Administrator
    • MTS (Member Technical Staff)
    • MTS I (when the MTS was stratified)
    • MTS II
    • MTS III
    • MTS IV
    • Senior MTS
    • MTS (when they decided to collapse the strata)
    • Senior MTS (yep, re-stratified)
    • Architect
    • Senior Architect

    Yeah, that's pretty descriptive, it's all I put on my resume and they know EXACTLY what my career was about.

    I'd love to know the man-hour charges racked up scratching our collective heads about what the titles and job descriptions needed to be.

    I especially loved being an architect -- I had as difficult time defining it to people as they had grasping it.

    I also get (got) a kick out of people and their "I LOVE ME" walls in their offices and cubicles, pasting and taping up all of their certificates for classes they'd taken, certifications achieved, etc. In the final analysis, I don't ever see a consistent and understandable title/job description semantic, especially in IT where the landscape changes dramatically sometimes in months. (Other professions seem not much better defined, btw.) If your management is good, they're more tuned into and cognizant of what each employee does well and how to balance work loads accordingly. If they're not, they'll obsess about job titles (sometimes employees do the same, and drive management crazy).

  • Yes (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:03AM (#16780593)
    I'm a DHCP and DNS Dominatrix. I'm not even a woman. Craziness. Pays well, though. Get to wear jeans. And a ball gag.
  • If you go to some site that's based off government data, you'll notice there are standardized job titles in IT, they are just all obselete.

    There's programmer, and systems analyst, and business analyst and etc, with about 5 grades of each, and the descriptions all pretty much sound the same. Then there's still categories for "system operator" and very obselete things like that.

    So it's not so much we don't have standardized job titles, they just are 20 years out of date.
  • Blame the PHBs... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by d3ik (798966) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:07AM (#16780621)
    I think it's more about a manager trying to justify his position by "re-organizing" and "streamlining" positions and their descriptions. For instance, I'm a Java developer. You would think my job description would be "Senior Java Developer" or "Java Developer III" or something... no, I'm an "Information Design Specialist".

    To me it doesn't affect my job or my pay, so they can call my position anything they feel like. When I choose to move on I'm still putting "Java Developer" on my resume.
  • by nbvb (32836)
    Why is a System Operator out of date? We've got quite a few of those at my place of employment, actually. They do good work, keep a 24x7 eye on the system, monitor the applications, databases, tape mounts, etc.

    Not out of date at all, at least in Large IT.

    (I'm a Senior Member - Technical Staff, BTW, if that means anything.)
  • I've had 3 job titles in the last 5 years for the same job with the same company. I found out about the changes 6 months to a year after it happened. BTW, they're working on a fourth.
  • General Schedule (Score:3, Informative)

    by TubeSteak (669689) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:11AM (#16780663) Journal
    Dig up the General Schedule (GS) tables that the Federal Government uses to pay its employees.

    There is a General Schedule table w/specific requirements for pretty much any position you can think of... and it'll serve as a good starting point.

    I'd also suggest you find someone who is well versed in these GS tables & pay scales, because they are not uniform & will vary by agency and geographic location.
  • Nothing to see here (Score:3, Informative)

    by RealGrouchy (943109) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:19AM (#16780711)
    Euphemistic, unclear, and non-standardized job descriptions are common no matter the field. Of course, it's more common in places where there is high demand and low job quality: workers at Subway are called "sandwich artists", telemarketing is "enumeration-type work".

    Some job listing sites do require employers to use standardized job titles. The Government of Canada's Job Bank [jobbank.gc.ca] website uses a dewey-decimal-like National Occupation Classification [hrdc-drhc.gc.ca], so that at least you can understand what type of work is being described.

    The detailed job description? Well, the devil's in the details. Read the employment contract before you sign it.

    - RG>
  • by thepacketmaster (574632) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:23AM (#16780729) Homepage Journal
    I've always had a beef with the "Network Administrator" title being applied to a Windows Administrator job. A network administrator keeps your LANs and WANs running, not administering a Windows exchange server. The two jobs are totally separate and a Windows administrator doesn't even come close to anything that should be called a network administrator, and vice-versa.
    • Last time I checked, Windows still ran on a network.

      Sure if they just administer an exchange server, they should be called a Email Administrator, the same as if they only admin'd a Sendmail Install.

      Now if they maintain the entire network, from Domain controllers, to email, DNS and the infrastructure, they are a Network Administrator. Unless you're working in big IT, where you have many specialized jobs, most "Windows Administrators," as you call them, are responsible for a lot more then just the email

  • by Broken scope (973885) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:25AM (#16780743) Homepage
    Slightly off topic, might be IT related, since it was a software thing. Guy I have met in the CS program at my school came back one day from his internship with his bosses business card. His boss was the "Director of Product Enhancements". However on the front of the card it was given as an acronym, DOPE.

    For 2 reasons it was funny. One it came straight out of a Dilbert comic, the prof found it incredibly funny too.
    2nd reason, apparently this manager requested that every first letter in his title be in the acronym. Originally it was just DPE. His boss apparently remains completely oblivious.

    I was also suprised considering how small the company was.
  • I'm partial to "Chief Lizard Wrangler" myself.
  • by HiredMan (5546) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:35AM (#16780813) Journal

    The IT title thing jumped the shark at "Webmaster" as a real job title.

    It's all been re-arranging deck chairs since then.

    Seriously.

    =tkk
  • Two Tiers (Score:4, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:35AM (#16780817)
    For non-managerial positions:

          Sled Dog

          Lead sled dog (same work, better view)
  • Well, (Score:5, Funny)

    by hey! (33014) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:35AM (#16780821) Homepage Journal
    My (nontechnical) boss once told me he thought of me as "Mr. Go To".

    I said, "fine, just don't mention it to anybody else."
  • The IT industry does tend to overuse the term "engineer" a bit too much.

    Funny thing, though. Software Engineering is a real discipline that doesn't get much attention. Instead, we abuse the crap out of Computer Scientist when the engineers aren't even close to real Computer Scientists. That one had me confused for quite a while. I kept wondering why there seemed to be two completely different types of Computer Scientist, except that one had more to do with mathematics and pie in the sky research rather than

    • The difference between a Computer Scientist and a Software Engineer is that the first doesn't do any Science, while the second doesn't do any Engineering. On the other hand, neither does the other one.
  • by CyberGarp (242942) <Shawn@@@Garbett...org> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:36AM (#16780835) Homepage
    A friend of mine when presented with the option to join a startup asked for the title of 'Eyes and Ears'. Now that looked sweet on a business card.
  • by pafein (2979) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:38AM (#16780847) Homepage
    I work at a small startup. On my first trip to the datacenter, I had to fill out a form that asked for my job title. This had never come up before, so I called my boss, and after about 30 seconds of discussion, I wrote down:

    Chief Technical Dude.

    It's fitting & I liked it, so that's what my title is.

    Though a friend of mind (in IT) had on his business card Director, Piratical Affairs. Which is better.

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:39AM (#16780855) Homepage Journal
    H-1B agencies are natorious for manipulating job titles. This allows them to bring in avdanced experts and pay them shit.
  • by techno-vampire (666512) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:42AM (#16780869) Homepage
    I work in Tech Support, and I've been in the job market for a while now. (Outsourcing; go fig!) I've been seeing ads for "Help Desk Analyst" for the past few months. Checking, they have nothing to do with tech support or work on any help desk. Instead, a help desk analyst goes over support tickets to see what the average call time is, how many calls it takes to close it and so on. It's nothing more or less than a bean counter second-guessing the techs and trying to squeeze as many calls into each poor sod's work day as possible.
  • I have the same problem. My "Chief Lizard Wrangler" gag is visible from my list of posts, but is mislinked to a blank parent. Something weird is going on.

    (Let's hope you see this!)
    • /. recently faced, and possibly suffered, a rollover-error bug in the comments database (comment numbers maxed out at 16M; comment 16M+1 gets number 0). They had to recompile the software and reconstruct the database. Your problems could very well be a consequence of that bug and/or fix...inform CmdrTaco et al.
      • I actually posted that right before Taco announced the problems. It's now showing up because the kind Slashdot staff have gone through and reparented the lost posts. But thank you for your assistance. It is appreciated, even if it ended up being unecessary. :)
  • Nice. I'd love cards reading Basic Operations and Facilities Helper, but I guess that's a bit too much to ask for.
  • by QuantumG (50515) <qg@biodome.org> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:47AM (#16780895) Homepage Journal
    Need we say more?

  • They're much more willing to give you a fancy job title rather than a decent salary.
  • W hat is going on? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <<akaimbatman> <at> <gmail.com>> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @01:48AM (#16780907) Homepage Journal
    In response to this post [slashdot.org]

    I have the same problem. My "Chief Lizard Wrangler [slashdot.org]" gag is visible from my list of posts [slashdot.org], but is mislinked to a blank parent [slashdot.org]. Something weird is going on.
  • "Rockstar Programmer"

    I mean seriously, how are you ever going to get any work done when you're busy snorting coke off of the breasts of groupies? A real programmer wouldn't know what the hell to do with a groupie in the first place, though the coke would probably come in handy for month long hacking runs (though this may explain the quality of some of the commercial code I've seen).

    And the attrition rate would be horrible. In a larger organization you'd probably have to drag a overdosed programmer out of a
  • This is very simple. When you interview, you insist on clarity of job role, and then you turn them down if the title or compensation is misleading or inappropriate. There is no shortage of quality jobs, but you may have to be resolute about getting what you've earned. This has always been true; it is not something new.
  • by Sparr0 (451780)
    I don't see the problem with "Help Desk Analyst". It makes perfect sense. A person who analyzes the help desk, or more specifically the workings thereof. In the same way a "Stock Market Broker" is different from a "Stock Market Analyst".
  • The Office (Score:4, Funny)

    by crhylove (205956) <rhy@leperkhanz.com> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @02:06AM (#16781007) Homepage Journal
    Ok, so does that mean I can be Assistant Regional Manager, instead of Assistant TO the Regional Manager?

    Dwight
  • by Dakhran (319216) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @02:11AM (#16781027) Homepage
    What gets me is that the pointy-haired types attach so much baggage to the title, like it's a cattle brand or something. Especially with the current corporate environment (thank you, Sarbanes-Oxley), the same exact job can mean two different things, depending on the title...

    For example, I work for a fairly big Fortune 500 as a developer-slash-DBA-slash-webmaster (you know the drill, many hats, one paycheck). Last month, I was "Systems Development Specialist". Until they decided that anyone with "developer" in the title was an offshored cubicle dweller with all intention of getting their hands on some identities and credit cards (hey, I didn't make this generalization, don't blame me). I was already busted down from having domain admin privileges to local admin on just a few boxes (SQL server, webserver, development server, and my own PC). After the new title policy change, I was going to lose everything but the developer login, and I would even lose local privileges on my own PC. That was pretty much the last straw for me, since I figured after 7 years of pre-SOX full access, where if I'd had the will (and total lack of morals) to do so, I could have made it out of there with thousands of credit card numbers. What do they reward my loyalty with? Shackles. "Here, wear these boxing gloves when you code, it'll be harder for you to do it, but our data will be safe from your evil wicked ways!"

    Anyway, as I was about to hand in my notice, my immediate supervisor, a down-in-the-trenches network guy who ended up Site IT Manager, told me he managed to get my title switched to "Senior Information Management Specialist". Guess what my job description is? Exactly the same as System Development Specialist, although couched in more generic terms to prevent any instances of "developer" or "programmer" to show up. And now I have my access back, and I don't have to have someone hold my hand and wipe my ass when I implement change controls from my dev environment to production. All because of a few words in the title, I went from criminal suspect to a functional member of the IT staff.
  • As the Senior Lead Programming Network Systems Assistant Junior Administrator, I take exception to the fact that titles are out of control. If I didn't have such a long title, how else would I look important in my emails?
  • by 0racle (667029)
    Doesn't that make Help Desk Analyst an appropriate title? They're analyzing Help Desk's activities. Do you think the term 'analyst' is better given to someone who just reads steps off of a list and escalates the problem if the paper doesn't solve the persons problem?
  • by Gothmolly (148874) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @02:16AM (#16781057)
    There's "Sales Engineers", and "Level One Engineers", and god only know what else. Level one is button pushing, they're TECHNICIANS - people with technical experience, who do what they're told. Then are the real ENGINEERS, who design things (the buttons that the technicians push). Then there are ARCHITECTS, who form all the stuff into a cohesive whole.

    There is no "Systems Engineer II", or "Support Engineer III" - you are a technician. Push buttons, don't think.
  • That's why you shouldn't care so much about the title. It's more about the bosses.

    Comes down to:
    1) Who do you report to and need to make happy?
    2) What do you need to do to achieve 1) and what can you do
    3) What do you get as compensation for doing 2) and 1)

    Who your boss is helps a lot.

    Your job title could be Senior Microsoft Janitor (in charge of care and cleaning of Windows) for all you care.

    Your supervisor obviously figured out a way to get the system to work... That's what decent middle managers have to
  • Simple. Übergeek. My employer [pepper.com] put it on my business cards. Hell, they even put it on my offer letter.
  • It's not just IT (Score:5, Interesting)

    by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Thursday November 09, 2006 @02:47AM (#16781211)

    It happens everywhere (and has been for a good 5+ years now).

    Basically, low-end/crap jobs are being given fancier (and fancier still) job titles because:

    * They attract poseurs who can handle the low pay that goes with them as long as their job sounds impressive to their peers.
    * They look impressive in a Resume (thus being an acceptable stepping-stone job - used to attract people to low-skill, high-turnover positions)
    * It's easier to get people to work a bad job if it sounds important
    * The cotton-wool generation just starting to get into the workforce, who have been brought up being told they can never lose and never having had their feelings hurt, don't get all depressed about "only" being a "Secretary" or something similarly mundane.

  • by crossmr (957846)
    Depending on what you do it can be an apt description. A job which encompasses a wide skill set used on a variety of tasks is sometimes best served by that kind of title.
    What is a problem is that in Canada (maybe elsewhere) there is a society that controls the titles of Engineer and Engineering Technologist, which means any school which wants to create a program where someone could call themselves that (with an appropriate prefix attached depending on what they're doing) has to follow their rules for progra
  • I've worked in a few different areas, mostly accounting and IT, and this is by no means limited to one industry. At one point early in my career, I was a Credit Manager/Technical Support Officer/Photocopier repairman/Purchasing Officer - and this was in a company with 300 people on the payroll...obviously I was paid like a photocopier guy. I've had titles inflated and deflated, and at the end of the day, you gotta know what you do, and what it's worth, and forget about titles, as so many are meaningless. Ho
  • Are these trends a contrivance by corporations to get more 'value' from IT professionals by bundling responsibilities of higher paid jobs into lesser roles and to evade competitive salary by creating titles that have no analogue on pay-scale indexes?

    Yep
  • If you truly believe that the term, "system operator," is obsolete, perhaps it's because you've simply not been exposed to the breadth of technologies currently in use at the enterprise level and the varying levels of skill required to maintain them. For example, when I make a call to have tapes relocated from one library to another, it's not to someone who's at all qualified to do very much more than that in the datacenter.

  • Mine's pretty basic, and succinctly describes what I do:

    Network Engineer and Software Developer

    Easy, and describes my job description. Of course... when I joined, I wasn't really given a title so much as asked what I wanted it to say. Perhaps a benefit of working for a smaller company?
  • by Jesus_666 (702802)
    Others may think I'm a CS student but I know I'm an Information Collection and Processing Engineer of the Computer Science Department of My Life.
  • Well... (Score:2, Funny)

    by phagstrom (451510)
    Makes me want to puke....no wait...makes me want to engage in an involuntary personal protein spill.

  • by seawall (549985) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:04AM (#16781625)
    Some titles during the first internet bubble got pretty out-there.

    I really was handed a business card that said "Cyberspace Engineer" on it and I have to confess to bursting out laughing.

    Clever guy, important work, and the title wasn't entirely bogus but yikes.
  • Originally it was just DPE.

    ...which, in IBM terminology, means "Delivery Project Executive," yet another title that — on its face — doesn't necessarily mean anything in particular.

    My official job title conveniently breaks down to an eight-letter acronym (or more accurately, an eight-letter series of three separate acronyms).

  • by Jesus_666 (702802) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @04:20AM (#16781711)
    I'm a German CS student and while I'm mot going to be done for another two years I'd like to know whether the same nonsense is happening in Europe (and, more specifically, Germany). It'd be bad to enter the free market and spend the next two months trying to figure out what the hell the current name-du-jour for a Java developer is or why the hell they're offering me a job as an architect for the salary of a helpdesk technician (of course later I'd find out that "System Information Architect" is the current name for "Helpdesk Callcenter Phone Monkey").
  • by jimicus (737525)
    When I choose to move on I'm still putting "Java Developer" on my resume.

    Right up until the time a future employer contacts your current one for a reference, and they write back to say "[NAME] was employed by us as an Information Design Specialist from [date] to [date]".
  • Oh yes I agree, one employer of mine called me "technical en engineer" how little can you understand...

    (On the other hand those guys thought a recently CS graduated kid knows how to run a datacenter...)
  • Network Admin here. To the vast majority of the 1200 people I deal with, the servers are the network. I do the lot, LAN, WAN, Servers, clients, software. I suppose technically I should be a 'Systems' admin.....
  • A previous employer offered to change my title from "Manager, Systems Integration" to "God of Information." An earlier boss wanted my title to be "Deputy Minister of Pain" (when I was Assistant Network Manager), but then, he'd always fancied himself a BOFH [theregister.co.uk].
  • by sydb (176695)
    I don't see how, a typical "advanced expert" would not be looking at a job with a "lowly" title, and would know their market value from previous jobs. Also if you apply for a job or are headhunted, you look at the job description and the rate, you don't just accept the first thing that comes along.

    Of course I'm sure agencies do create non-existant jobs with low salaries so that the real jobs with slightly higher - but lower than market value - salaries appear attractive. Job seekers just need to be confiden
  • by pjbass (144318) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @05:17AM (#16781999) Homepage
    A few years ago, Intel changed the title of all the software engineers working for the software automation of the fabs to automation engineers. Interesting that the management did that when there was a mandatory market adjustment (increase) in pay for software engineers for that review cycle. They changed the titles right before the cutoff date, and screwed a few thousand engineers out of a mandatory raise.

    Luckily, I got out of there before they did this. Shitty though? Yes.
  • Hmmm.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NerveGas (168686) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @05:26AM (#16782063)
    We once had a person apply, and told us flat out that he was just looking to pad his resume - that he'd do anything we wanted - for a very low salary - if we'd just give him an impressive job title. We told him to take a walk.
  • It could be worse (Score:2, Informative)

    by NMigo (531653)
    come on guys, don't complain it could be worse... I've recently heard from a friend seeking a job in marketing: the title read "Relational Marketing" sounds cool, jult like relational DBMS... we'll on the interview they talked to him about marketing, he replied with the current trends and everything seam ok and like an important job, the office looked important... he decided to join... On his first day, they drove him to an outside neighborhood gave him and two other guys a bunch of forms, and his "boss" to
  • I agree, but do you find yourself constantly having to switch disciplines? For example, I work as an SA at the moment. Once a month, I have a hardcore Oracle or MySQL issue that I have to resolve. I end up working on one of the largest OLTP instances in the world, not because I am a qualified DBA/DBO, but because I just happen to "be there" and the boss tells me to do it.
    While I'm qualified to troubleshoot SQL issues, I am far from qualified to touch an OLTP instance that does 10000 transactions per min
  • by Xiph (723935)
    those titles you mentioned are not obsolete, your way of thinking is just too 1337
  • by qqtortqq (521284)
    I have been managing my union's IT stuff since its conception, so they allowed me to choose my titles. I am currently the 'information minister' and the 'overtime ambassador'. Not many people get it.
  • My last job was supposed to be an IT job. I was a database admin/Programmer. I had to build a database from scratch for a newly created department, write VB apps for it and maintain those apps and the database. Unfortunately, the company gave me the title of Admin Assistant and put data entry as my job description in my file despite the work I was assigned to do. It really screwed me on my resume/job history.

    HR people see that in my job history and don't take me seriously when I apply for simular work.
  • I couldn't agree more. Many professional engineers have to take some massive tests to get that "engineer" in their title, along with taking massive responsibility. If you have a bridge that collapses, you blame the head Civil Engineer, becuase his signature is on all the plans and designs. If he fails to live up to the standards of his title, someone dies. I couldn't imagine how I would function with that responsiblity, and so I truly respect "Engineers" with the same level I give doctors. I worked at
  • by Alioth (221270)
    Not totally separate - a network administrator can also administer Windows machines and still be a network administrator. The knowledge of one doesn't preclude the knowledge of another; human memory is large enough to remember how to do both!
  • by ocbwilg (259828) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @07:59AM (#16782977)
    At one time, we all had a reasonable grasp of the role of a 'System Administrator' or 'Helpdesk Technician' but now such roles may actually have significant DBA or developer responsibilities bundled into a lesser job title (such as the recent trend of 'Desktop Support Techs' with SQL DBA responsibilities), often robbing the holder of a fair position (and traditionally better paid) title on the résumé.

    Help desk techs doing SQL DBA work? And supposedly this is a "recent trend?" My suspicion is that it isn't a trend, but that instead some Helpdesk Tech somewhere was asked to set up system DSNs in Windows and thinks that it's SQL DBA work. There's a heck of a lot more to being a DBA than just installing SQL, setting up users and creating a DB, but it's not uncommon for people who don't understand that to think that they could do it.

    Now, on to the other topic, at my current employer we have several different titles in the IT department: Helpdesk Tech, Network Engineer, Project Manager, Application Specialist, Developer, and Director. Those all seem pretty standard to me, though in a larger company the duties would be a little more granular. For example, the HelpDesk Tech job would be split out into HelpDesk Operator and PC Tech and the Network Engineer would be split into Networking Admin/Engineer and Systems Admin/Engineer, and the Developer would be split into DBA and Developer.

    At most places I have worked over the past 10 years it's been basically the same breakdown, with higher or lower levels of granularity. I suspect that if you had a very small company with a very limited IT budget and owners/managers with no IT knowledge, you might get someone looking to hire a HelpDesk Tech and expect them to be able to manage everything. After all, to most users you always call the HelpDesk regardless of whether your needs are as low level as a new mouse or as high level as a boinked application server.

    Now, if you're working for someone who expects you to do the work of 2 or 3 widely varying jobs for the salary of a HelpDesk tech, well, any sensible person who had the skills to do the job would either demand more money or go elsewhere. If they didn't have he skills, they could either stay and learn them or go elsewhere.
  • by smkndrkn (3654)
    Hopefully that taught you to negotiate your title before accepting positions. I've been lucky with my title in the last 10 years and any problems were corrected. I don't accept positions now unless the title is in the offer letter and is correct.
  • by rizzo420 (136707)
    that's great... although they are "analyzing" the help desk. so the title is a description of what they do. ;)
  • by mgblst (80109)
    They did it so that low-paid workers can impress girls at clubs, get laid, have children, and produce more low-paid workers. It is the only way we can compete with China and India. For gods sake, don't tell them.
  • Interesting. I noticed the lack of replies on recent stories as well, just chalked it up to random chance.

    Of course, this one probably won't appear either, but got to try.
  • by cowscows (103644) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @08:57AM (#16783375) Journal
    Architects design buildings. We've designed them for thousands of years. We make, on average, significantly less than you computer nerds. Why must you take our job title as well?
  • by mgblst (80109)
    You might want to do what I do, and write your own resumes. Seriously, put on a more meaningful title, and put a list of the main activities that you did. Then, explain this in the interview.
  • Replying to this post just to spite you.
  • by mgblst (80109)
    He didn't get clued up when they asked him if he had comfortable shoes and a big bag? I find it hard to believe that someone could be so fooled by the people who operate these jobs.
  • Someone in my company had business cards with the title 'Cluster Ninja'.

    Offtopic: Why am I not seeing any replies to comments? Woo hoo, no one can disagree with me!
  • by Ronin441 (89631)
    I'm Australian. I used to work in the US for a tech company. My self-selected job title: Wizard From Oz.

    But the guy around the other side of the office, who had a similarly diverse and hard-to-describe job was Mayor For Life Of Happyville.

    (And has anyone else noticed that the presence of the word "Architect" in an IT job title usually translates as "Person who wanted the word 'Architect' in their job title"?)
  • by Shadow99_1 (86250)
    Having previously done what you call 'Windows Administrator' while it was labeled as 'Network Administrator', before I can say that (at least where I've worked) it did mean I kept the LAN (no WAN as it was a single building) running... I was also responsible for keeping the primary servers (authentication and file servers) up. I didn't run exchange servers (that was the exchange admin). I'd say it's a tad short sighted to say that just because it's a windows network that the network admin isn't doing the jo
  • by jbarr (2233) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @09:22AM (#16783591) Homepage
    In my 20 years of IT experience, I have NEVER held a position that was limited to its job description. Every job required me to take on additional responsibilities outside my defined job description. And conversely, when I hired people, it was not based solely not on their focused skills, but for their versatility and diversity of experience.
  • by Shadow99_1 (86250)
    Could be worse... Where my SO works they 'laid off' an entire department yesterday... The same day as they handed everyone else their 'holiday bonus'... I guess that could be thought of as a 'bonus' for some, but I would think theyed rather still have jobs...
  • by Shadow99_1 (86250)
    I've done the same thing before and been treated about the same... However on my resume I decided to group it into a time where I worked as a consultant rather than let it pollute my resume... Though in my case I basically was a consultant as they hired me specifically for 6 months... Even if I didn't include it as part of my time spent as a self-employed consultant I'd have listed a real job title that described the job not whatever HR gave me...
  • Re:Well, (Score:3, Funny)

    by Chris Mattern (191822) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @09:39AM (#16783789)
    > My (nontechnical) boss once told me he thought of me as "Mr. Go To".

    I hear that's considered harmful.

    Chris Mattern
  • You're lucky you still have a job. GOTO is considered harmful! :-)

  • Are these trends a contrivance by corporations to get more 'value' from IT professionals by bundling responsibilities of higher paid jobs into lesser roles and to evade competitive salary by creating titles that have no analogue on pay-scale indexes?

    Yes. The idea is to marginalize the IT staff so pay can be cut. Also, such tactics can be used to support outsourcing roles to overseas locations and to support H1B visas.

    Has there ever been a proposed standard for information technology position titles (or at l

  • by LMacG (118321)
    He considered you harmful?
  • All because of a few words in the title, I went from criminal suspect to a functional member of the IT staff

    With management like that, I think I'd still have turned in the notice. :-)
  • by ecklesweb (713901)
    His boss apparently remains completely oblivious.


    Or, and I know this is a longshot, he has a self-deprecating sense of humor.

  • Titles don't mean much, especially at small companies.

    One of my first titles was "Director of Software". I had a staff of one. I too, was once a "Senior MTS" (at a "Baby Bell") - I was made "Senior MTS" straight from hourly contractor, over many MTS n staffers (clock-punchers) who had been on the job for 10+ years. The only other Senior MTS was over 30 years my senior and about to retire.

    I had the largest staff as a "senior software engineer", but I made the most money with no staff and no title, as an

  • Sounds like my job - I am still stuck whether I am going to put 'Chief Web Lackey' or 'Code Monkey, Second Class' on my business cards. My lead person sees no humor in it, though our boss does. :/

    Sera


  • "Rockstar Programmer"

    I mean seriously, how are you ever going to get any work done when you're busy snorting coke off of the breasts of groupies?


    If that's in the job description, why would you *care* if you ever get any work done? Seriously, sign me up. Now.

    Well, except for the coke part. :)
  • Um, that's why "analyst" is in the title. They are "analyzing" the help desk by performing statistical "analysis." What is done with that data is really up to the administrators of the company, but I'd say the title is fairly straightforward. Sort of like the "financial auditor" isn't involved in the financial process. That's what the accountants do; he just audits them.
  • "involuntary personal protein spill" sounds like something that would fall under "public lewdness" or "indecent exposure"
  • A little while after I started my current job, I went through the hoops to get business cards. Given that I transitioned from temp fill-in for a stress leave to full time when the guy quit, I went to my boss and asked him what my official job title was. The answer? "I don't know". I got to sit down with HR as they went over the list of every possible title until we found one that sounded sufficient.

    The fact is that except for the occasional rigidly designed corporate structure, almost every place simply exp
  • That's seriously all my business cards say, and it's close enough to accurate for my needs.

    There are systems. I operate them.

    The term also has some nice BBS connotations, even though I was never a BBS sysop back in the day.

    I'm about due to have some new cards printed up, and I'm thinking of putting "BOFH" after my name, like it's a professional certification. Like what some folks do with MCSE, only not.
  • by AK Marc (707885)
    There's "Sales Engineers", and "Level One Engineers", and god only know what else. Level one is button pushing, they're TECHNICIANS

    And all those stupid "civil engineers" and such. What engines do they operate? I've never seen a civil engineer operate any engine on the job that wasn't in the car that got them there. So we should get rid of all those fake engineers and get back to the original definition of it, someone that operates engines. Then we'll all be happy. Of course, if you include automobile
  • I put on ... Systems Administrator because that was my job and the description of my responsibilities on my resume does reflect that. I was hired and salaried as a PC technician but doing absolutely nothing on Windows and implementing an administration on Unix/Linux/Mac I wasn't really a glorified PC technician, I was project manager, asset manager, LDAP directory administrator, systems & network administrator etc.
  • Over the years I have had some great titles!

    Lets see,
    I started out as "MIS Applications analyst" (I converted Lotus 123 spread sheets to Excel.
    "System Administrator" (I managed the systems at an ISP)
    I was promoted to "MIS Director" (I Managed the IT at the same ISP with no raise)

    I changed jobs and was "System/Network administrator of Product Development" or SNAPD
    Then promoted to "Sr. System/Network administrator of Product Development" small raise

    Then changed jobs to become "General Manager of Internet Serv
  • A friend had a co-worker at an Ottawa high tech firm who noticed that the company was asking everyone to fill out forms for new business cards. Said sharp cookie also noticed that no one was vetting these requests. So he filled out what he thought would be an excellent job title.

    He got back his business cards with the title "Master of Canine Fornication" on them.

    Needless to say, the company revised policy to vette subsequent card print runs after word got out. But he still has the cards.
  • There's "Sales Engineers", and "Level One Engineers", and god only know what else. Level one is button pushing, they're TECHNICIANS - people with technical experience, who do what they're told. Then are the real ENGINEERS, who design things (the buttons that the technicians push). Then there are ARCHITECTS, who form all the stuff into a cohesive whole.

    I don't know whose "Sales Engineers" you are used to dealing with, but most of the hardware and software vendors I deal with have Sales Engineers who actua
  • I was already busted down from having domain admin privileges to local admin on just a few boxes (SQL server, webserver, development server, and my own PC). After the new title policy change, I was going to lose everything but the developer login, and I would even lose local privileges on my own PC. That was pretty much the last straw for me, since I figured after 7 years of pre-SOX full access, where if I'd had the will (and total lack of morals) to do so, I could have made it out of there with thousands o
  • I personally prefer "Alpha Geek".

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