From: Matthew French (mfrench42 at domain yahoo.co.uk)
Date: Thu 26 Sep 2002 - 15:46:04 IST
Pearse Stokes wrote:
> No-one need be surprised that a 4th yr student of any discipline would
> like this. A survey has just been published listing M$ as the company most
> Irish graduates would want to work for. The next most desirable after M$
> included some really big names in IT here.
Aaah, yes. 4th year. I remember 4th year. It is that time when one believes
that one knows everything (because one is in 4th year), before being rudely
subjected to the reality of global imperialism and rampant capitalism.
> It appears that most 'young' people want to work for BIG organisations.
> Perhaps they think that BIG means 'safe, powerful, robust, successful...'.
Actually, I would recommend working for a big organisation at the start of a
career. I used to think this was a Bad Idea(tm) and avoided them like the
plague. But then I was sucked into one (heck, they offered to bump up my
salary so that I would wear a suite), and I realised what I had been missing
Big companies are great places to learn about how things work and how things
fit together. And I don't only mean how Linux connects with Windows servers,
but how people in big companies interact. Important lessons like:
1) Why people will spend $x trillion on some crappy hardware when you can do
the same for EUR50.
2) Why people might ask you to install anti-virus software on a Linux
3) Why a multi-billion dollar company only buys Novell 3.12 servers.
4) Where all the money you spend on 'x' goes.
Some big companies are even nice to work for.
I did find a lot of it depends on your attitude. Joining a big company just
to climb the ladder is a bad idea, although some people find that they climb
the ladder quite naturally. And if you find you are not suited to
corporate life, then you can always change jobs later _and_ be more
marketable because you have "experience".
> The reality, yet to be brought to public attention in Ireland, is that
> Source, and Linux in particular, could strongly influence our economic
> outlook in years to come. With Linux's ability to utilise 'obsolete'
> equipment, it could potentially reduce demand for new computers, reducing
> the profitability of giants like Dell and others.
Word from Intel is that most people are no longer interested in faster
processors. Issues like mobility, heat dissipation and power consumption are
becoming much more important.
> I fear that colleges may be grooming IT students for use in the one or two
> big name firms rather than preparing them for life in the real world. A
> number of small individual companies (like ours) wait to draw on their
> skills in a long-term, safe, and mutually-satisfactory business
> using open source methods and non-proprietary software.
News flash: most graduates are not prepared for the real world. Even lawyers
and doctors, who have internship programs, are not usually prepared.
University gives one the capability to better understand the world, it does
not automatically transfer a better understanding. IME "Ivory Tower" is a
very accurate description in many cases.
So long as students can understand issues like packet vs switched networks,
or relational vs object databases, then the Universities have filled their
role. Regardless of what technology is used.
If, on the other hand, students know how to point and click their way to a
working database without understanding what those clicks do, then the
Universities have failed.
 Or however one prefers to describe the status quo.
 Pun intended. ha ha ha. <-- droll laugh
 Although I think Linux and open source is a much, much better way to
teach people about how things work, I cannot begrudge Universities that feel
a big Microsoft subsidy is a much better way to do business, er, transfer
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