January 1, 2022

IT changed

For the past years, I have been working in IT, in many different places. Even though I like my current job, I often read the latest job offers I can find on the web and more specifically, the offers available in my country. Most of the time, it is not very interesting actually.

I started my carreer by doing the tasks nobody wants to do, like dealing with printers or trying to figure why a specific machine was suddenly offline. However, I quickly needed to understand and "feel" the system. It means explaining the relationship between the hardware and the software. It means reading an entire manpage, in order to find the specific option I needed. It means dissecting why a network packet can't go to a destination. I also remember two interviews I had when I was looking for my first job : in the first, the tutor asked me to explain how a computer boots, from the moment when you press the power button, to the final login screen. I even had a GRUB prompt to do it by myself but I failed at the end. In the second interview for a different job, the tutor gave my a random laptop and asked me to extract the data he needed. Then, he asks me what port a random daemon uses and how to find it. I loved that correlation hardware / software.

Nowadays, what can I read everywhere : AWS, Microsoft Azure, ECS, GCP. Everything should be automated and your data have to be stored in the "cloud". You do not know where it is exactly, how the system is installed and what you have inside it. I do not use AWS, Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure or softwares like Kubernetes. I manage the entire infrastructure locally from my own server rooms. Does it mean I am now completely overwhelmed and incompetent ?

Where are the requirements like having to create and maintain fine-tune RAID setups with storcli / perccli, like having to manage Dell Networking or Cisco switches, like having to setup servers with IPMI, like having to create Proxmox VE clusters from different places for redundancy and resilience ? It is nowhere to be found. Some people may argue these skills should be mandatory but it's false. I met people working more than 20 years in IT (meaning they started before me), they are unable to change a faulty drive in RAID, outside of iDRAC or iLO graphical interfaces.

We could say I became lazy and that's true. Being lazy is the best state of mind to achieve what you want, in the simplest way possible. I'm not against anything new, I learned most of my work as an autodidact, alone in my bedroom, I could do the same today. The idea of relying on external infrastructures managed by deployment tool and their obscure dialect or actions, does not sound very sexy to my ears, though.

Seems like I'll have to adapt… or die.