War of the professions...

Vask3nVask3n Member Posts: 517
A friend and I were having a debate today. He was pro- programmer, and I was pro-network engineer/security. I kept mentioning that you simply can't compare the two professions, they are quite different, but he kept insisting that programmers are superior and that they pretty much rule everything while network engineers are simply "there" to work. I do not want to offend anybody, and I respect both jobs, but can someone please contribute anything to this, as in your thoughts?
Working on MS-ISA at Western Governor's University

Comments

  • elgecko69elgecko69 Member Posts: 17 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Can Chewbacca beat up Warf ?
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    They are simply different, as you stated. I do think programmers are mighty smart though, especially guys like JD and Johan. I personally would not want to go toe-to-toe with either of them in a technical free for all. icon_eek.gif

    Fortunately for us networking guys, most programmers are too busy writing code to worry about administering and managing and securing networks. I think the Mountain Dew and cold pizza keep them in a semi comatose state, just aware of their surroundings enough to tap out awesome code, but they aren't able to get any further away from their desk than the light eminating from their monitors allows. icon_lol.gif
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  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Shut down their server and see how much they rule then.
    IT guy since 12/00

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  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure / Core Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016 Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    It's very true, programmers and admins are two very different sides of the same coin. I like to tell the infamous story of the editor for Dr. Dobbs that didn't know what an IP address was, yet he'd been a software engineer for nearly 30 years.

    I also worked with a man who was a brilliant electrical engineer. In fact, he had a Master's degree in electrical engineering and a Bachelor's in mechanical engineering. The man was an IEEE member, and had worked on Bluetooth in it's early days, for his graduate work. Could he write code? No. Could he do A+ work? No. However, while he was terrified to install an ASUS board, he could tell you exactly what each circuit and transistor on the damn thing did, why it was there, and how much better it would be if they just did. . . you know the deal.

    Currently, I work with a very talented programmer who graduated from the school I'd love to get my foot in the door with: UC Berkeley. He was an honor student, and he has a brilliant mind for software design. However, he's working as a network engineer. I consider myself a junior when it comes to a lot of things IT, especially here at work, but I find myself teaching him things about servers, about routers, about all sorts of things we do on a regular day-to-day basis. He simply wasn't trained on this end of the IT spectrum, but his degree got him in. Slowly but surely, he's beginning to learn more and more, and he's hoping to take his MCSE before next summer.

    I guess it just goes to show that, while you may "know the software", it doesn't mean you know how that software is implemented and used in the world. The same thing goes for admins: just because we use all those wonderful apps that the developers give us, doesn't mean we know sh*t about sh*t when it's time to look under the hood.

    I think, for a lot of us, we like to reminisce about the good old days, back when you could write your own OS in your garage, and then build a box to install it on. Back in the days before software licensing and standardization, when everyone who was anyone in the IT world knew each other, and networking was still something we did at D&D sessions. The world has changed, IT has become a much larger place, and it's impossible to be an "all-knowing guru" anymore. You can't expect to be a hardware expert, a networking expert, a master admin, and a full-fledged software engineer all at once anymore. You either have to find an area you can specialize in, or you can know a little about a lot of things. Usually, though, the "mile wide/inch deep" guys can only go so far.

    It happens in all fields, unfortunately. As late as the mid-nineties, a hit video game could still have been developed by a couple of people on a shoestring budget. A killer piece of software that could change the way companies did business was still written by one or two people, and even hardware gadgets were sometimes created and sold by the hands of a few, skilled people. These days, it usually takes teams of people, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, to make the modern-equivalent of that piece of software or that game.

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  • TheShadowTheShadow Member Posts: 1,057 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Very elegantly stated slowhand. I agree with your assessment. icon_thumright.gif
    Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of technology?... The Shadow DO
  • borumasborumas Member Posts: 244 ■■■□□□□□□□
    blargoe wrote:
    Shut down their server and see how much they rule then.
    icon_cheers.gif
    LOL, you said it there dude. They are both different, like apples and oranges, both are needed and both are good jobs that need an intelligent person at the helm.
  • RussSRussS Member Posts: 2,068 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Slowhand - good read.

    Being an older guy that is relatively new to this game there is something that I have noticed. I am not wanting to offend anyone here so please do not take this in the wrong way ....

    I have noticed that younger engineers seem to spend a lot more time learning from seniors than programmers. Several of the companies we do support work for have teams of coders and I find some of the younger ones seem to ignore what has come before. Having a fairly gifted old-school coder on our staff I get a kick out of seeing him tear apart some code and rewrite it - making it smaller, faster and less prone to conflicts.


    Of course being a guy that likes to play with kit and has a love of cruising around town going from client to client I might be unintentionally biased but I hope not.
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  • deneb829deneb829 Member Posts: 292
    That's like comparing a civil engineer (the guy who builds the roads) with the guy who designs the car. Sure, I guess they are somehow related ... like a song writer and a sound engineer.

    Every job has their elitists and there are plenty of people who feel like the world would come to an end if someone didn't do what they do - even trash collection. I find people who vigorously defend anything are normally insecure. This goes for all professions, sports teams, political parties, religion, etc. His parents probably gave him a hard time about his career and he's just used to saying that his job is more important than many others.

    I believe that there is a job for just about everyone, and we are all not suited to do the same thing. I am sure glad we have a police force, but I wouldn't want to be a cop - same thing about doctors - you couldn't pay me enough to be a doctor. The perfect career would be the job that you would do for free if you didn't need the money. Give me a network ... yeah baby!
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  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec CISSP SSCP GSOM GSEC EnCE C|EH Cloud+ CySA+ CASP+ PenTest+ Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 12,675 Admin
    Slowhand wrote:
    I like to tell the infamous story of the editor for Dr. Dobbs that didn't know what an IP address was, yet he'd been a software engineer for nearly 30 years.
    If Dr. Dobbs never wrote software for IP network applications, or wrote software before the IP address was invented, then I wouldn't expect him to know what an IP address is. Being a software engineer doesn't mean that you automatically know all forms of computer and networking technology--although most people expect you to.

    I have a friend who back in the 80's was a Cobol programmer; he had to constantly explain to people that despite his being a "programmer" he couldn't help them fix any computer problem, such as installing a printer or configuring spreadsheet software. People then just didn't understand the differences in the professions, and still don't today.
    Slowhand wrote:
    he has a brilliant mind for software design. However, he's working as a network engineer.
    It's not unusual for someone to get a degree in CS and suddenly decide that they don't want to write software for a living. At this point, they can either try and fast-track into management, or go into the hardware side of IT.
    Slowhand wrote:
    I guess it just goes to show that, while you may "know the software", it doesn't mean you know how that software is implemented and used in the world.
    Boy, this is true. Most programmers do not actually use in the real-world the software that they write, so they are not aware of the work flow and usability issues that may arise. The people who design the software are responsible for this part, and it's suppose to be shaken-out during the beta testing too. Still, many software development organizations look to their programmers (and the software testers) to actually define the form, feel, and functionality of the software being created. Programmers should have some input into the software's design, but not the final say.
    Slowhand wrote:
    I think, for a lot of us, we like to reminisce about the good old days, back when you could write your own OS in your garage, and then build a box to install it on.
    Actually, it was the other way around, followed by writing your own BASIC interpreter in assembly, but point acknowledged. ;)

    I worked with an exceptionally intelligent guy who had degrees in both EE and CS. Where we worked, he designed hardware and then wrote the firmware for it. I once asked him what he thought the difference between designing hardware and software was. He replied that the only significant difference was the number of "decision points." The login in a software (or firmware) program has many thousands of times more decision points than the logic in a typical piece of computer hardware. He thought that this, and the physical nature of hardware, made hardware engineering much easier to perform than software engineering.
    Slowhand wrote:
    The world has changed, IT has become a much larger place, and it's impossible to be an "all-knowing guru" anymore. You can't expect to be a hardware expert, a networking expert, a master admin, and a full-fledged software engineer all at once anymore.
    Both operating systems and IT hardware infrastructure have grown increasingly complex over the past few decades, thus forcing people to specialize. If you choose the wrong specialization, the IT world may turn the other way and leave you a dusty old dinosaur. You've got to move with it. This is the part of the software and IT world that keeps me thinking and interested in it as a career.
    Slowhand wrote:
    These days, it usually takes teams of people, sometimes numbering in the hundreds, to make the modern-equivalent of that piece of software or that game.
    This is a wonderful thing. Getting together a team of 100 people to create a computer game back in 1986 was impossible, but in 2006 it's very doable--although hardly the norm. Still today, the lone garage programmer is capable of designing, building, marketing, and selling by themselves perfectly good games for the PC, Web, and XBox. Cottage industry software is still alive and well and an excellent example of capitalism and the American Dream.
  • garv221garv221 Member Posts: 1,914
    If you want a winner, look at the person who knows both. Both professions benifit from an understanding of each other.

    Like blargoe said
    Shut down their server and see how much they rule then.
    Excellent point, I enjoy knowing I can simply stop programming and walk over to the server console and configure it. icon_wink.gif
  • keenonkeenon Member Posts: 1,922 ■■■■□□□□□□
    the desktop tech will win.. LMAO


    he will take the pcs thus eliminating both icon_lol.gif
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  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure / Core Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016 Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    jdmurray wrote:
    Actually, it was the other way around, followed by writing your own BASIC interpreter in assembly, but point acknowledged.

    Well. . . I suppose I was bound to make that mistake. I was around at that time, but I was barely aware computers existed, let alone making my own. icon_lol.gif

    (Not that I'm any less backwards these days, mind you. The difference now is that I'm certified as well as being certifiable.)

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  • Vogon PoetVogon Poet Member Posts: 291
    Programmers got skills. No doubt.
    Programming is also the number one outsourced job outside of the garment industry. Like job security?
    No matter how paranoid you are, you're not paranoid enough.
  • DirtySouthDirtySouth Member Posts: 314 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yep, two completely different professions. However, both extremely important. I think they each require different personalities as well.
  • steve-o87steve-o87 Member Posts: 274
    So True!!

    I have a family member who is an absolutely brilliant programmer, But he doesn't know diddly squat about networking.
    We are both from different sides of the pond but that doesn't mean either of us are "better" but both are as equally important in the workplace.

    If the only tool you have in yor toolbox is a hammer - every problem starts to resemble a nail. :D
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  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure / Core Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016 Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    steve-o87 wrote:
    If the only tool you have in yor toolbox is a hammer - every problem starts to resemble a nail. :D

    Funny you should mention that. I have a co-worker that's starting to resemble a nail. Where's my toolbox. . .

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  • PlantwizPlantwiz Alligator wrestler Mod Posts: 5,057 Mod
    blargoe wrote:
    Shut down their server and see how much they rule then.

    icon_lol.gif


    Funny I was thinking the same thing ;)
    Posted: Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:29 pm Post subject:
    Can Chewbacca beat up Warf ?

    Warf? Maybe Worf? ;)
    Plantwiz
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    ***I'll add you can Capitalize the word 'I' to show a little respect for yourself too.

    'i' before 'e' except after 'c'.... weird?
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