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Comment: Re:Wrong question (Score 1) 186

by Bastardchyld (#41348735) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Prove IT Knowledge Without Expensive Certificates?
I agree with parent completely, although the OP also has missed the boat, certificates are really quite cheap and should not be scoffed at. Generally certificate testing costs between $150-300 USD per test. Which frankly is pretty cheap considering the alternatives. That said, it is most definitely more important to build a reputation for yourself, which would render certificates not only a moot point but a waste of effort. By far the most important thing you could do would be to have example documentation (I personally blog it) this really works well as a selling tool and is far more effective than a generalized IT certificate.

Comment: Re:Don't (Score 2) 454

by Bastardchyld (#41022737) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Best Setup a School Internet Filter?
That is totally dependent on where you are...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_majority

Oddly enough that Wikipedia Article shows only 6 countries that have age of adulthood at less than 18, and none of them are 16. In the US it is 18 except for Alabama (19), Nebraska (19), Mississippi (21), and Puerto Rico (21). Canada is about 50/50 between 18 and 19. The UK is 18. Most of Africa is 21. Japan 20.

So your point is flatly incorrect.

Comment: Business Value (Score 4, Informative) 171

Your current wage is completely irrelevant. Your compensation is based on agreement between you and the company in recognition of the value you bring to the organization. If you feel they are making an undervaluation it is because you are not demonstrating the value that you bring to the organization properly. Here are some recommendations...

1) Try to get the person you will be reporting to involved. HR usually has no idea what you do or how you do it. Your direct manager will at least have an idea, if not a full understanding.
2) This can be tricky in a low-level management because your value is largely based on your ability to control/influence others. You need to draw connections between your past actions and the goals of the business.
4) Finally you don't add value to the business by being a tech who leads, so don't sell yourself that way. You add value to the business by being an interpreter, you can make your subordinates more productive by insulating them from the push and pull of the business. And you make the business more able to achieve its goals by being able to effectively communicate technical concepts to them without making their eyes glaze over. The most important thing in this capacity is the ability to mirror someone to build a report if you are unable to do that or don't know what that means then that should be item number 1 for you to learn.

I think their rationale is crap; the primary reason behind their valuation is that I have no leadership experience. I would be a 'rookie' supervisor with no more value than a 4-year grad coming in off the street.

This is a fair assesment on their part until you can prove otherwise.

they don't give me credit for the 'global' projects I've led to complete success (completed on time, under budget, all goals met, blah, blah, blah).

This doesn't have anything to do with leadership, your job was to keep the project on-track and you did that nothing more. Not to say that you didn't use leadership skills to keep it on track, but this statement doesn't address that. When you look at the project from a 50,000 feet view then you aren't demonstrating your skills you are collecting statistics, and unless you have a massive number of them then you have no real data. But if instead you look inside Project X at a specific point when the project was at risk, Then demonstrate the risks and the subsequent actions you took which turned the project around and thusly earned/saved the company Y dollars. This is how you can demonstrate leadership and business value.

I know individuals in my field who wouldn't even talk to these folks for a starting wage less than 25% greater than what I'm currently making.

You are either (1) not worth what these other individuals are (2) working for less than your value. It is quite simple. Simple but irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that you are making what you are making because at some point you made a decision that either made perfect sense or not a lot of sense. The only way you change that is to present the business case and hope that you presented it well. These other individuals have different skillset different experience to draw on and different abilities.

How would I go about gathering that kind of data, from reputable sources, that would even stand a chance of these people's paradigms?

One final thought, you aren't going to win this one with salary surveys and similar data. This is not how compensation is determined. Factor 1 - Companies Budget, Factor 2 - Employee Requirements. If they have budget to pay 2.4M annually but you are willing to work for 50K, they are not going to split the difference with you, and they shouldn't, they will pay you the 50K you require and pocket the rest. Now considering you are an existing employee you need to demonstrate the value that you bring in order to be able to change your requirements. So don't worry about what others are making. Worry about the value you are bringing to the organization then once you demonstrate that then the company will be far more likely to shave off some of that and let it fall on your plate.

And for goodness sakes involve your soon-to-be new boss, he can make all of this go away if he wants to. But he won't do it without a reason.

Comment: Re:Busy databases (Score 1) 464

by Bastardchyld (#40268583) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Type of Asset Would You Not Virtualize?
You misunderstand. Databases already have the functionality builtin to allow you to gain a higher consolidation ratio with using database instances then with OS virtualization, so while you can virtualize at the OS level database servers it doesn't make that much sense considering that the consolidation you are achieving is (1) attainable using database instances (2) more efficient - less redundant OS files, doesn't have the virtualized storage interfaces to deal with (3) easier to manage - less Operating Systems and the same amount of DB instances so Sysadmin work goes down and DBA work stays flat.

Additionally considering database licensing if you are running SQL then you would need a SQL license for each virtualized OS. If you are using Oracle it is more of a moot point unless you are using Oracle VM as your virtualization platform as you have to license all the cores in the physical box anyways.

Comment: Re:Whatever -- Smarts and Work Ethic Come First (Score 2) 266

The bottom line here is that you have to be able to get them to notice you. The way you get noticed (in no particular order)...

1) have a degree
2) have experience
3) have certifications
4) do something so interesting that they have to notice you.

If he can't do one of the above then honestly it is all a crapshoot after that.

Personally I don't have a degree, I have some certifications unrelated to my position. But I maintain a personal blog where I document interesting technical problems. Which I sell the crap out of in my resume and interviews (if I haven't mentioned it three times in an interview I am not paying attention). A blog is good because it demonstrates technical ability, communication skills, and the best part is that it can be so condensed. Something that takes them 2 minutes to read will have taken days to run through the steps and fully validate and document (would you let an interviewee walk you through an hours worth of work to show you that they know how to do something - I wouldn't). The best part of this approach is, that if you can get them to read your blog before the interview then you can steer the conversation towards meaningful topics (that you are well-versed in) this makes it easy to show the value you bring to the business. Additionally folks in IT are notoriously bad at documentation, every organization has the same problem and knows it, and every manager _wants_ to fix it. So you are going to introduce all of these crazy thoughts in his head about how you will light a documentation fire under the rest of your team members, and he will no longer have this problem (honestly he still will - its part of the program) but at least it will get better with you.

Another key area that alot of people forget about the process of finding a job is the interview. You should be interviewing the company and not the other way around. You should know that you can add value to the company (otherwise why did you apply? If you just want a job go to McDonalds!) the only question should be if the company can add value to you. Because of this you should make sure that you are asking questions like...

What sort of career progression is available in this position? Where do I go next, What do I do when I get bored?
What technical challenges is the company currently facing (bonus points if you can solve them)?
How would I fit into the organization? What would my role be at a minumum and what can it be if I show the value that I can bring?

If your first thought after the interview is "phew... Glad that is over." then you're doing it wrong.

The bottom line is that you have to have a clean enough resume to get past the HR folks, you have to be able to talk the technical talk and do the technical walk to get past the technical folks, and you have to be able to show business folks the value you can add so that they will give the technical folks the go ahead to hire you. If you break one link in that chain then you better have impressed another link in that chain because they will have to fight like hell to hire you.

Of course you could always just work cheap, though to me that is just a race to the bottom there is always someone willing to work cheaper. The key is to add value.

Comment: Re:Thought so. (Score 1) 701

by Bastardchyld (#40255413) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Teaching Chemistry To Home-Schooled Kids?
The grandchild is below-average in reading, but what the OP doesn't say if that is because of the lack of effort or ability from the parents or if that is from the lack of aptitude of the child, if the problem is his aptitude then I would wager that he has improved since coming home based solely on the student teacher ratio. Honestly our public school system is excellent at churning out below average students, so it doesn't devastate me that the home schooled student is "below average" in this case. I think that the parents are irresponsible if they are not making adjustments for it, however a key point to notice is that Grandpa is posting this from the perspective of "how can I make science more interesting and engaging?" instead of "how can I get my grandchild out of the clutches of his parents and into the public school?" this indicates that he is 1) actively involved in the education process 2) trying to make adjustments to improve the education of the child. The second is key, because honestly that doesn't happen in public schools.

So bottom line, there are other factors which should be considered when rushing to judgement, but hey this is /. so let us begin with the vague generalizations...

Comment: Re:Busy databases (Score 1) 464

by Bastardchyld (#40175223) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Type of Asset Would You Not Virtualize?
I/O is not a valid argument against not virtualizing something. Proper architecture will allow you to control your I/O and guarantee the proper disk I/O regardless of your workload being virtualized or physical.

The problem is when you take and virtualize without a thought towards optimizing the hardware to ensure that you don't cause problems for yourself later on down the road. Now that said I don't virtualize database servers in prod (I do in dev/test - but that is different), however this has nothing to do with disk I/O. Databases instances are really a form of virtualization to begin with, and they are fairly dense and performant too. So there is really no consolidation argument that should need to happen at the OS level, in the same way that there is not a valid argument to virtualize your hypervisors to achieve a higher level of consolidation, since at the end of the day you are limited by your physical hardware anyways.

So the key thing with regards to virtualizing anything is I/O separation, you should have separate pools of disk for your tiers of I/O sensitivity. Running your most critical workloads on your highest I/O disk pool and then not oversubscribing it to the point of I/O impact.

-matt

Comment: Re:Alignment?! (Score 1) 243

by Bastardchyld (#39205789) Attached to: Japan Creates Earthquake-Proof Levitating House System
Good point, that was the first thing that I thought of when I read the article. The alignment issue is not so much of an issue, because potentially you could reinflate the bag and push it back, most likely with the help of some equipment.

More bothersome to me is that potentially the house could just shimmy itself right off of the foundation mid-earthquake with the airbag fully inflated and everything. Then it seems like the only thing your expensive little airbag does is protect the foundation itself from damage, which could potentially save some money on the rebuilding costs, but I highly doubt this is why folks would buy it.

Frankly though based on the video of the lady and the guy getting shaked. I wasn't paying too much attention the first time and thought that the lady (on the airbagged chair) was a person and the guy (on the unairbagged chair) was a manequin, which of course made my day when he got up.

Comment: Re:Post the name of your site (Score 1) 225

by Bastardchyld (#39185999) Attached to: Suggestions For Music Hosting?
Big advertisers don't care about how much data you push... They care far more about the userbase, if his site is small(ish) as he said in the original post then they most likely won't give him the time of day...

The key thing here is if your costs exceed your revenue then you are doing it wrong and it is unsustainable in the long term, so he needs to be focused on (1) finding unecessary costs and eliminating them - perhaps he has his music files encoded with too high of a bitrate and is wasting storage, perhaps he allows users to choose to listen to whatever songs they want at whatever time - so maybe he should be looking at more of a radio type format and take advantage of multicast (2) finding more revenue, this is easily the harder of the two - because you need to find a way to either charge existing customers more money (to make up for your previously incorrect assumptions about cost) or you need to find new users in a way where they will be self supporting and not just simply dig you further into a hole.

Sounds to me like this is more of a hobby, in order to fix that he needs to price it at a point where he can (1) support the existing service (2) scale to support new users (3) pay for his time to keep all of these pieces together. Or if this is a hobby, then he needs to cut out all of the extra users, host it off of his home internet connection on a non-standard port for his own enjoyment.

-matt

Comment: Re:Have you talked to anyone? (Score 1) 848

by Bastardchyld (#38512404) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handing Over Personal Work Without Compensation?
I think the original analogy is really pretty close to accurate, however with the distinction being that he has window washer on the corner on contract to perform "windscreen cleaning services" at which point he pulls up to the corner and the window washer points out the dirty windscreen and offers to clean it for $10.

As a Senior Systems Administrator, he can expect to do a little bit of code slinging as well, especially considering that they are a "Small Trade College". Additionally it sounds as if the OP is a W2 employee, which means that his job is whatever his manager says it is. This is true as long as he is not a contractor with a defined SoW (Statement of Work). If he has a SoW and this is not in it, then he can sell away, but it doesn't sound like they have the money to buy it.

Comment: Re:Have you talked to anyone? (Score 2) 848

by Bastardchyld (#38512316) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Handing Over Personal Work Without Compensation?
For the most part I agree with the parent, though I will be more blunt (though not necessarily short-winded).

You took it upon yourself to develop *something* which makes your (and your team's) job easier. However the only way I see you getting paid for this developed application is so effective that it actually renders you redundant, if it does (and I were in charge) I would not pay more than .5x your salary for the "application" however realistically probably not more than 1K or so, since realistically you can't provide a proper support structure so they would be buying it as/is. If it renders you and your entire team redundant then maybe it would be worth closer to 1x your salary (again lack of a proper support structure really kills the deal at this price point)...

Now bottom line... You did this for a reason, you got something out of it, be it knowledge or what-have-you. Also keep in mind that unless you have a contract which is VERY clear on who owns what property your state might already have laws which sell out your work-product regardless of whose time it was produced on. Even if your state isn't one where they can claim your after-hours work product, if they wanted to make a play for it then you would have to hire a lawyer to prove that (1) you created it without company resources (2) you created it on personal time (3) you had a personal reason for creating it. The third one might be hard to make the case for since it makes your PROFESSIONAL life much easier which would be a professional reason. Either way you are already at a disadvantage. They already have a lawyer (although he/she might not be the top of their class), you will have to find one who thinks you have either (1) a case and a little bit of money (2) no case and a ton of money.

So basically as for actual monetary compensation... It is out of the question... Won't happen. That said these are also the kinds of things which show your value to the business and frankly can be used to justify a promotion, assuming one is due and you weren't being a total schlub at work while developing this application in your "off-time".

Now in the future... If you are developing an application for work in your personal time. Please have a friend slap you. If the application is for work then either know you are working for free or clock the hours worked, this way they can object immediately if they don't want you working on the application in question.

Finally... When did "Senior Systems Administration" stop including at least a smidgen of development?

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