Many moons ago when I walked fresh faced out of an educational establishment and into the job market a career within what was then known as “Data Processing” was a dream come true. Having been the “nerdy fat kid” at school the prospect of working within rooms full of wardrobe size processors with all the noise that went with it, consoles that you stood up at to operate and bed sized printers and other pieces of hardware made for a very happy nerd then add in getting paid for it as well.
Over the course of my time working in DP/ IT / ICT / ISS or whatever the hell you want to call it there has been an explosion of new innovations. The dawn of the Internet age, Personal computers, Servers getting smaller and smaller as well as more powerful, virtualization , mobile telephony, cloud computing. the list goes on and on.. Work was interesting as there was the prospect of something new around the corner and the move from a network support/operations role into a development role made that even more so, now there was the prospect of getting under the skin of technology, finding new ways of making things work, creating applications and seeing the results.
Everything in the garden was Rosy, or at least it felt that way, there were things to learn skills to acquire and knowledge to share and look clever because of it. The job fed the ego, more knowledge , more sense of being valued and more things to learn, employers who recognised this and fed into the pattern helped immensely.
They saw the need to keep me fed on a diet of new things to do and learn and provided the necessary time to gain that knowledge and skills.
Take Geography out of the equation and all was good in the world, unfortunately geography and the cost of fuel did factor into things and a change in employer was made.
The move had plenty of potential, however the role fell victim to outsourcing after only 2 years and an enforced move was on the cards……..
SO….. I find myself where I am at present , the issue of geography is resolved as a 15 minute commute , or 30 by bike, is not something anyone can complain about, however there is little support for the thirst for knowledge and new skills, after nearly 3 years of practically standing still the joy has gone out of the job.
Now there will be some people out there who would argue, correctly, that I have a responsibility myself to keep current , to learn as I go , and i agree with you, I do……. BUT there needs to be some level of support and investment from the powers that be, and there isn’t … so far.
How long this can continue , I have no idea, but the feeling of being under valued and unappreciated grows steadily…. This in turn is killing the inner Nerd……
To put it another way… and using the tool found here