Varieties Of Info Technology Jobs

(I originally created this breakdown in early 2014 for a friend whose son: is a High School grad who's not going to be getting a College Education; whose ADD/Aspey nature makes it hard for him to land a DayJob for Making A Living.)

Here are my thoughts so far, broken down by "area". They're rather sketchy, but give you both an overall framework to think about, plus a bunch of links to check out. Then you can ask me some more specific questions, and I can fill in more details.

Overall:

  • Tech work can be a good target because it involves lots of time focused on "just getting the job done".
  • But still have a fair amount of human contact (esp at entry levels), which can be stressful.
  • Another big plus is that you can learn a lot that's useful before being employed (unlike, say, marketing, where courses don't really help much on the first day of work)

IT - these are the "techie" people you're used to dealing with in your job

  • Different categories of employes
    • corporate internal
    • OutSourcing company- lots of companies are contracting everything out to avoid thinking about it. You might work onsite at one client company for years, might bounce around in the same day.
    • independent freelance: mostly for small companies. Can involve lots of sales/support work, maybe not be good fit.
    • All these tend to involve lots of running from task to task, putting out fires, lots of repetition. Good for some people (because you just react, do fairly consistent tasks, move on to the next one), bad for others (can hear lots of complaints no matter how fast you fix things).
  • One specialty: user systems
  • Another specialty: server software
    • MsExchange, SharePoint
    • path: take Microsoft certification course for those systems
    • alternative: internet-focused companies (server hosting, etc.)
      • Linux instead of Microsoft
      • Not ideal first step unless you have big local company to target, because there aren't as many of these.
  • Another specialty: network/telephone hardware

Computer Game-s

  • business environment
    • Mostly big companies (Electronic Arts makes all the sports games)
    • big teams, long hours
      • people do it anyway because they love it
    • alternative: DIY alone/with-friend - Rise Of The Videogame Zinesters
      • esp mobile games- "AppStore-s" - very rare to make much money, but some people do
  • Art for games (creating characters, backgrounds, etc.)
  • Programming
    • see my art links above, some cover overall process of game development (code, art, project management)
    • f2f class (community college)
      • whatever's available
    • DIY
      • Unity (will probably have to learn something else once get a job, but this is best place to learn)

WebApp development

  • Types of businesses
    • already hard to get a job in product/platform companies (Google, Amazon, etc.)
    • more potential in "agencies" that do contract Web Design projects for clients
      • which means many projects are stupid, but at least clients pay
    • can also do contracting alone for local businesses
      • but requires lots of sales/consulting interaction with client
    • can also build/sell products on your own (Micro ISV), but hard to make much money
  • lots of pieces to learn: HTML/CSS, PHP (I prefer Python, but PHP is easier to start and more widely used), JavaScript
    • can learn them in that order, whether book/online/class
    • then start getting some badly-paying contracts via online markets (ODesk), just to build a portfolio

Statistics

  • tends to have lots of math junkies

Meta: learning books


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