Wednesday, June 22, 2005

More Ravings

Well, I just re-read the first post and have no changes I want to make or retractions and I still agree with what I wrote. I gotta tell you that I often change my mind about stuff I write and want to be able to take it back - bit hard to do with an email you already sent.

I did decide that I should clarify one point. I am not against a University education, I think that there are a lot of people who can gain huge benfit from the knowledge but I am 100% against "everybody" getting a University education. I am 100% against Universities "dumbing down" their courses and entry levels so more people can get in and get a degree. What the hell is the point in that? Doesn't that prove the point that more and more people are getting degrees without any knowledge?

The problem seems to stem from the fact that Governments and Unions have decided that it is everbodys right to have a good education and the bean counters have determined that a degree means you get an extra $10,000 in annual starting salary.

I think that it is everybody's right to get an approriate education. This might mean that you do a trade, you might get a University degree or you might just start on the job training. When you can get a University degree by "studying" the Simpsons then clearly a degree means very little. This downgrading of the value of a degree means that more and more University graduates will experience the favourite TAFE joke.

What did the University Graduate say to the TAFE Graduate?

Do you want fries with that?

For our International readers, TAFE (Tertiary Adult Further Education) is an excellent third layer of education that has a significant "hands-on" component to the high level education they deliver but, you cannot get a degree, just an Advanced Diploma. They also are the source of training for apprentices. This means that they get sneered at as "not a real education" and "not to our level" which is a joke when you consider that the average plumber is making about $60,000 per year straight out of TAFE and much more if they have their own business. Most Unversity graduates start on mid $40,000 and then get progressively over paid.

But the bottom line has nothing to do with money, it has to do with job satisfaction. How many plumbers, carpenters, electricians, glaziers etc. leave their jobs to "find themselves" or for a "sea change"? Almost none. How many corporate dudes do that? Far more than we will ever know. If you sell your soul to the corporate god you lose. If you really want to retire wealthy, which seems to be the goal of most people who go to University, you don't need a high income. You only need a reasonable income and everybody can achieve that. I might go into that in later ravings but for now go here for more info. This is going to expand into the Automatic Millionaire training site later.

OK, leaving the money equation out of the decision for now, the best job/career path for you is to do whatever it is that you love to do. If you love it you will do it well, get great satisfaction doing it, enjoy every working day and have to be forced to go on leave. You will be more productive, have better relationships with your families, you wont be agitating for more money, taking sickies, going on strike or any of those other activities which cost our companies and countries so dearly. Find out what you love to do and what you are good at and go do that. If you need a University degree to get you into the field, go to Uni, you might need a TAFE Diploma or and apprenticeship. Whatever, go do whatever you need to be able to do what you love to do. Do not go to University just for a degree to get a higher income, you probably will learn to hate it, drop out and waste too much time and money.

Back to picking on the IT industry.

Here is a case to prove what I have just been raving over. Most of the staff in any IT department do not need a University degree to do what they do. Setting up networks, building computers, adding hardware, installing software, teaching people how to use their software, fixing user errors etc does not need a University degree, this is a job for a high school student. None of that stuff is hard, you just need a little (very little) on the job training and you can do it all day. It equates to the same level of expertise as the lube monkey in the local garage or the storeroom dudes at the supermarket. Now I am sorry if I have offended any of you but it is the truth.

Writing software doesn't need a University degree, it needs a pretty good level of creativity, some basic knowledge of the language and the target hardware and practice. There are plenty of cases to prove that one, lots of kids who have taught themselves how to program at home and churn out some prety good stuff. And then there is the uninspired (and uninspiring) crap that gets dumped on us by large, well funded, marketing machines.

I don't hate large organisations because they are large organisations, I hate them because they suck the soul out of everything they touch. I hate them because they get so fixated on being all things to all people (which is impossible). I hate them because they want to be the best at everything and end up being mediocre at everything. All because they lose their focus on delivering quality to their customer and try to deliver quantity. They forget that there are still quality products made to a standard and quantity products made to a price and that will never change no matter how much they charge. Quality isn't determined by price, cheap crap and expensive crap is still crap. Quality is care in production. It is thinking things through before beginning not patching afterwards. Quality in software is tight, optimised, fast code not fat ugly bloated code which only runs fast because it is on a fast computer.

Try this exercise, partition one of these huge hard drives into 4 partitions, install (in this order) any version of Windows 3 you can find, Linux, Win9x, WinXP. Set up your boot manager and put a large document (in .rtf format) on a floppy disk. Boot into each O/S in turn and then launch the document from the floppy disk. Time the delay to display. Don't know how to do that? Ask, I might even post a link for you.

Anyway, time's up for now. The dog wants to go out and I must go to work.