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New Member

Depressing industry

After working with Cisco technologies for the last 15 years or so, I am thinking about changing focus to different technologies

Reasons?

1. Cisco is 20% design and implementation, and 80% support. After putting in the equipment, circuits, UCM servers, etc., the day then becomes calling in down circuits, fixing end user phones, replacing bad router cards at 3AM Saturday morning, etc. A monkey could call in a down circuit or slap a new card in. A low level guy can configure a new phone or VM box, yet this is 80% of any networking job. Even troubleshooting end user VPN connections is a headache.

2. No Life: the networking department of any company is the one doing the most after-hours/holiday work. As most companies have moved to a 24/7 model, the support has become a total nightmare. I have a friend who does full-time security work now, but used to do networking. He says, "there is no way I would ever go back to that."

3. Constantly changing technologies: Cisco introduces products and then abandons them, and these products often find their way onto certification exams even after they have been abadoned/discontinued. Examples include CSPM or SDM. Back in the day, ATM LAN emulation was a big focus, then it was ditched within a couple months in early 2000. Remember the Cisco content engines?

4. Overseas outsourcing: Cisco has such a dim view of its own engineers that it has outsourced all its support to India. That doesn't reflect well on those of us still working here in the US.

5. Being in networking now means doing the job of 2-3 people but getting one salary. Remember the PBX guy? That's you now. Nevertheless, we will keep you at the same salary.

6. The network is not part of the "business": we are looked at as an expense to be minimized, not as a strategic department in the business, even if that business has a heavy technology focus. CNA Insurance laid off its entire networking department (outsourced it) because it viewed the department as an unnecessary expense.

So what we have is decreasing respect and return on investement (training, work experience, etc.) and increasing responsibility and headaches.

oh well--that is my vent for this morning!

  • Cisco Cafe
5 REPLIES
Hall of Fame Super Red

Re: Depressing industry

Hey Colin,

Shouldn't that be 36/7 as we are supposed to get 36 hours of work done

each day

Sorry, I don't mean to make light of your plight at all my friend and I do agree

with many of your points. I am the PBX guy, and have been for many years.

Now I also have many other hats to wear so I feel your pain. But let's look

at the upside here.....we have jobs in this very difficult economy, we get to

put food on our family's table and eat well (too well for me ), we have homes

with many creature comforts, we don't have to put our lives on the line each day,

and every once in a while someone says "thanks" for our hard work.......you get my

drift. I have many friends in many other industries and they all agree that the

workplace can be grim struggle these days.

Grab a cool one, put on your favorite song and give those close to you a nice hug!

Cheers!

Rob

"May your heart always be joyful And may your song always be sung May you stay forever young " - Dylan
Silver

Depressing industry

Colin Higgins wrote:

After working with Cisco technologies for the last 15 years or so, I am thinking about changing focus to different technologies

Brother, I feel your pain.

I've had a national general managed of a decent sized company tell me to my face that the whole network department is a useless overhead he wished he didn't have to take out of his bottom line.

I don't call myself a network engineer anymore - I call myself an infrastructure engineer, because I have to do networks, and firewalls, and servers, and photocopiers, and VMWare, and.....

Makes me wish I had soem other talents in my resume besides this often-accursed IT stuff!

Cheers.

Hall of Fame Super Red

Re: Depressing industry

Hey Darren,

I find it exceedingly sad and totally misguided for a Manager to say something like;

"the whole network department is a useless overhead he wished he didn't have to take out of his bottom line."

It's like saying I wish I didn't have to pay for electricity or gasoline Let's get real here.....

although building a high availability network is expensive it's a "must have" in today's

business environment! Just take the network down for a few days and then see what he has

to say.

I work at a medium sized University and when I see all the Faculty take off for 3 months

every summer I do wish that I had picked a different vocation, like you say ...hahahaha!

Working in IT can be pretty thankless but I can think of many worse things in life as well!

Keep your chin up!

Cheers!

Rob

"May your heart always be joyful And may your song always be sung May you stay forever young " - Dylan
Silver

Depressing industry

Rob.

Yeah, I wasn't real impressed at the time either - I tried to organise my work colleagues for us all to take 2 weeks leave at the same time and see if his attitude was adjusted, but I couldn't pull it off.

I've never had the (mis)fortune to work at a University (although my wife has), but I reckon it'd be pretty galling to see the teachers get several (paid) weeks off on multiple occassions per year while you had to stay and slug it out with recalcitrant routers and switches - although it'd probably be a good time to get stuff done. :-)

My most recent gig prior to now was with a TV station - where you don't *get* downtime. I had to do a complete network replacement - removing some *very* dated Extreme switched and replacing them with a nexus 7000 core and 4948 access switches - and I had to build it in parallel then cutover piecemeal as various departments went offline - sometimes with windows as short as 30 minutes. That was interesting, in the Chinese curse sense of the word!

You're right,t here are worse things to be doing - long term unemployment (which I recently experienced) is one of them - but there are lots of better options too. Why won't someone just give me a couple of million bucks - then nobody would ever hear from me again! :-) :-)

Cheers.

New Member

Depressing industry

My company decided to give double bonuses this year to the systems/database groups.

The network department (mine) had our bonuses docked for frivoulous and capricious reasons, but most of all because we are not "visible." We didn't even get invited to the IT Christmas party.

i.e. we are an expense to be minimized and don't contribute to the bottom line.

Networking, regardless of the level (and I have been doing this for 15 years), is not a career. It is a "job." It has one of the worst quality of life levels, highest stress levels, etc.

We should unionize! lol

In any case, it is time for me to change career focus.

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