About this pandemic

Discussion in 'The Water Cooler' started by delldude, May 17, 2020.

  1. La Li Lu Le Lo

    La Li Lu Le Lo Veteran

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    And how many years ago was that?

    Also airlines tend to have old equipment and outdated software, so does the government.
     
  2. KCFlyer

    KCFlyer Veteran

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    I retired from an IT position in public health. Started with Electronic Data Systems in Dallas in 1984. Worked with several different systems....From PC's to midrange to mainframe to client server. Still think you know more than me
     
  3. La Li Lu Le Lo

    La Li Lu Le Lo Veteran

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    So I can assume you did IT services for the CDC?

    That was 20 years of your working life.

    So this IT work made you an expert over an airline worker regarding CDC matters?
     
  4. KCFlyer

    KCFlyer Veteran

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    More experience than a baggage handler would have. But I almost forgot (old age I guess)...while I didn't work for an airline I did work for an AIRPORT a long time ago. Dallas Fort Worth Regional (you might have heard of it). I found I liked an air conditioned work environment better though. But while I didn't work for an airline, I did work around several.

    And yes...the CDC gave us data requirements that we needed to meet and I worked on those. And to learn about some of those, you had to get a little background in what they were doing. And as part of a management team responsible for this, I learned quite a bit about the CDC. Next question?
     
  5. La Li Lu Le Lo

    La Li Lu Le Lo Veteran

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    I think I know just as much, though in different areas (my expertise is in networking though I know some of servers). I also think my knowledge is a lot more up to date. Though i can see some value in knowledge of legacy equipment seeing how much of corporate America runs on it.
     
  6. KCFlyer

    KCFlyer Veteran

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    I dunno. EMR systems are awfully recent and I had to work with those. Some of the IT guys in other departments said they'd never want my job because I had to know about far more than they did - data communications...networking...security...applications. All in a days work. And I only retired a year ago. I'm not sure how much technology advanced in the course of a year, but yours might be a little more recent.
     
  7. NewHampshire Black Bears

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    Thankfully ' J ', La' is giving You the Respect You Deserve !!
     
  8. La Li Lu Le Lo

    La Li Lu Le Lo Veteran

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    Storage and manipulating the delivery of data does not grant you expertise over communicable diseases.
     
  9. KCFlyer

    KCFlyer Veteran

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    You have to learn what they do. I'm not an epidemiologist, but I worked with them that worked out of my office. And I had to work on projects with them. In order to know what they needed, you kind of had to learn what they did. Because I had one system that they needed data from. When we would meet, I had to hear what they wanted so that I could go into my systems to get it. So no....I'm not an expert, but I do believe I am more well versed on it than you are.
     
  10. La Li Lu Le Lo

    La Li Lu Le Lo Veteran

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    #130 La Li Lu Le Lo, May 28, 2020
    Last edited: May 28, 2020
    I respect his knowledge. Often we have had to depend on old timers for their knowledge of outdated equipment still being used. I can respect that he built up a skill set over decades of employment.

    That being said he is retired and even KCFlyer will admit that tech moves at a fast pace. The longer you are out of it the less relevant your knowledge becomes. He will also admit that often it is not what you know but how fast you can learn what you need to know. That is just the reality of working in tech.

    I am sure he will also admit that government tends to use older equipment.

    That being said I don't work in IT. I am a specialist (computer networking). Most people that work in multiple disciplines have good all around knowledge but they tend to never become experts in any one field as their focus is divided.

    Think of it like this. Lets say you have a really talented general car mechanic. He might be able to rebuild a transmission but he will never reach the level of expertise as someone who specializes in transmissions. The general mechanic may be able to do body work but he will never reach the expertise of a dedicated paint and body man.

    So if KCFlyer had say a major focus on servers and a minor focus on applications, networks, and security that would be much more believable than him stating he had expertise in all of those fields.

    I can write in HTML and CSS and do some programming. That does not make me a web designer. Can I make a webpage manually? Sure. But that does not mean I can compete with an actual web designer.

    I am currently learning Python. I am sure in time I will get a passing familiarity with it but that will not make me a programmer.

    I know something of monitoring and hardening a network, that does not make me a security expert.

    A lot of people spend their whole "IT" career doing nothing but password unlocks and help desk.

    So how about it KCFlyer, forget the IT label, what was your expertise actually in? Or were you just a jack of all trades, master of none?
     
  11. La Li Lu Le Lo

    La Li Lu Le Lo Veteran

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    Fair enough.
     
  12. KCFlyer

    KCFlyer Veteran

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    Well...while I wasn't a master, I knew a helluva lot more than most. In fact, some of the guys that I worked with said that they had noticed a trend - companies weren't looking for specialists - they preferred people who had a working knowledge of many different areas. My area was applications...and because it was applications, in order to do my job to the best of my abilities, I had to gain an understanding of what end users were using it for. So you can learn a lot that isn't related to "your job". Anybody can write code to make a computer do something, but when you understand what your "customer" is doing, you can make sure that what you are doing will benefit them and not cause other problems. When you understand what they are doing you can pull the data that is relevant to their mission. But....you need to understand their mission. None of that makes someone an "expert"...but it immerses you in their business.

    I really hate to blow my own horn, but I've had more than one person or group who said "you're a rock star". FWIW, my core systems were Electronic Medical Records and Medical Billing. And when I worked for the EPI's, my job was to pull data from those records to allow them to see trends in our data. And...I don't have a college degree. When I started with EDS, I knew banking. They wanted people who knew the business. From that, I learned how to make the computer do things to make my job easier. While I was there, I pretty much automated the on site conversion process for the reps. It was adopted for everyone in my division.

    When I left there, I had a knowledge of midrange computer systems. I took another job with International Paper in their graphic arts supply business. I didn't know order entry systems, so instead of spending a lot of time in front of a computer screen, I was at the branch offices, learning what they did. And by that time I knew that midrange system like the back of my hand. As hardware made advances, we upgraded to a new platform. And I learned that platform well enough that I was hired as a "systems engineer" for another company. I managed the system, I did performance analysis and tuning for existing clients and system sizing for new clients. Along the way, I learned networking so that I wouldn't have to go find some specialist to resolve issues. It allowed me to talk to them instead of saying "it ain't working".

    When I started in public health 20 years ago, I didn't know what they did...I only knew the computer they were running. So I had to learn. From that I learned a lot about government programs such as Title X FAmily Planning and Title IX Maternal Health. I was also introduced to the CDC and vaccine tracking. And then I worked with the EPI's on outbreaks. From that, I learned what they do in a communicable disease investigation, which also involved working with the CDC. About the time I started with public health, PC's were replacing dumb terminals and more and more things became PC based. So I learned the app as well as how to make the PC perform better. So you can call me a jack of all trades and a "master" of none, but there were very few people in the county who could do what I did.

    Oh yeah...while I worked for government, my county is the "wealthiest" in the state of Kansas. And while our systems weren't "bleeding edge", we WERE leading edge. We stayed out front in systems and applications.

    So
     
  13. Dog Wonder

    Dog Wonder Veteran

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    LaLa is an expert on everything.

    Except social skills.
     
  14. La Li Lu Le Lo

    La Li Lu Le Lo Veteran

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    That is the trend as well today. Most companies prefer someone with well rounded skills over specialist (in fact they want 5 people worth of skill sets in one person..... that is called casting a wide net). That works most of the time however they do tend to hire specialist by way of consultant (and pay HUGE) when things go sideways or the ask exceeds the skill level of their well rounded employee.

    We had a company in Tulsa that was having tech related issues Their people could not figure out what the issue was so they had to call in a consultant. He was there less than an hour and handed them a 6 figure bill. Their "well rounded" individual knew just enough to be dangerous and cost them a lot of money (far beyond the bill).

    After that they hired a specialist.

    Makes sense to me.

    I don't have a degree either.

    When you get out in the real world you learn there is a difference between having an education and being able to put knowledge to practical use.

    I think you and I are a lot alike in that respect.

    That brings me to another point. It is a lot easier to grow with the technology than it is to come in after the technology has matured. I say that because the ask is ever greater and the implementation is ever more complex. That is one advantage you had that I did not.

    The people who came after me have a harder time of it simply because they are being asked to do more than I was when I first entered the field. It gets harder and harder to train new people because they are being asked to learn more and more at an exponential rate.

    Another advantage you had is when you started in the field, companies were more willing to sink time and money into training someone. These days most companies expect you to hit the ground running. It is a real sink or swim kind of environment.

    I think that is because you learned early that "architecture" takes a back seat to code.

    What I mean by that is most people only ever learn if a do b, if c do d. They never question the why. they just accept that is the way of things. Sometimes they don't even understand what the changes they are implementing actually do, they just know it makes it work.

    Once you understand "architecture" you get a deeper understanding of the whole picture.

    At least that is the way it is in my field. I am sure you have experienced that yourself.

    No such thing. Tech moves at such a rapid pace "leading edge" is a target no one really ever hits. Not for long anyway.

    I will admit it was a bit arrogant of me to state I know more than you about PC's. However I happen to know quite a bit about them myself. Certainly enough to find an effective ad blocker.
     
  15. NewHampshire Black Bears

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    HOLY CHIT'.

    You two are tremendous, and I'm GLAD that you two know more about each other now !! Talent is a shame to waste, even on the 'Cooler' !

    Now you realize, that EVERYTHING you Two just posted in the last 3 'back and forth's, Flew over the HEADS of Clit rat and Insp69, like the Dam CONCORDE !!!!!!!!!!
     
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