Gaming consoles, smart phones, tablets, computers, the internet and technology (in general) is a part of everyone’s life, these days.
Kids are growing up with a desire to learn more about the technology they are using. They do research. They tweak their own systems. They chat with buddies online and so on.
Eventually there comes a point when some of these kids decide, they want to do this as a profession. They graduate high school. They go to college or take a certification program. They get a piece of paper, which tells them they are a technician.
No college degree or certification makes these people diagnosticians!
This is what I call the “Certified Technician: The Pain in the Neck Syndrome” and I’ve talked about this idea for quite a while; just never got it down on my blog. I decided today was the day.
Non-related, Real-world Example
You are driving down the road at 65 MPH. You are traveling north, along a long stretch of road with a big curve to the right. This curve has a blind intersection. You know this because you saw the sign.
You cautiously approach the intersection, when BAM… Out of no where, a care pulls out in front of you and you t-bone them. The driver in the other vehicle, ran the stop sign, trying to get to the south-bound lane before you got there. You went from 65 MPH to 0 MPH in a split second.
Your face hurts from the air-bags and your shoulder hurts from the seat-belt. However, you have other pain. Your neck hurts bad and the pain is throbbing. You have tingling in your shoulders and arms. You are dizzy and have a sensitivity to light and sound.
You are rushed to the hospital where you are admitted. The ER staff immediately gives you a chiropractic adjustment. You are then discharged, that same day, with a clean bill of health because your symptoms went away immediately following the adjustment.
Obviously, this is not anywhere near first responder or hospital policy, for how to handle someone with these types of injuries.
In this scenario, the hospital is the end user, the injured person is the computer system needing repaired and the ER staff is the common computer technician. The chiropractic adjustment is the common computer technician’s attempt at fixing your computer.
Real-world Computer Virus Example
In today’s world, a computer problem seems like an emergency.
Lets say you decide to get some professional help with your new website. You fire up your Micro$lop computer and open Micro$lop’s Internet Explorer. You go to the address bar and type in:
…and hit the [enter] key.
Instead of taking you to https://bamajr.com, you are taken to an illegal software or porn website. You try again, thinking maybe you misspelled the web address. This time, you are taken to a website selling cheaper viagra and other prescription drugs.
Every time you attempt to go to a specific URL, Micro$lops Internet Explorer takes you to an illegal software, porn or prescription drug website.
My friend, your computer needs the services of a Qualified Technician.
You call your friend’s son, because he is “good with computers.” He comes over and spends two hours at the computer. He leaves without a clue of what is going on (or worse, he causes bigger problems).
So you flip through the yellow pages and find an add for John Doe’s Computer Repair. You are sure he can fix the computer, because he advertises he is an A+ and/or MCSE Certified Technician. His add says he has the best rates in town, so you call him up.
When John shows up, he is driving a rusted, beet up, late 70’s model Ford Festiva, with the emergency spare tire on the front. John walks into your house wearing a Budweiser t-shirt, torn/saggy jeans, his tennis shoes are untied and has his ball cap is tipped to the side.
John sits down at your computer and is there for about four hours. As he is getting ready to leave, he tells you the computer is fixed. You confirm Micro$lop’s Internet Explorer is no longer taking you to illegal software, porn or prescription drug websites. You pay John’s best-rate-in-town bill of $200. John leaves.
Two days later, you sit down at your computer to get some professional help with your new website. type in:
…and hit the [enter] key.
Instead of taking you to https://bamajr.com, you are taken to an illegal software or porn website. You try again, thinking maybe you misspelled the web address. This time, you are taken to a website selling cheaper viagra and other prescription drugs – again!
John could have shown up in a very clean, well kept, newer model service van, wearing a tailored sport coat, a dress shirt, khakis, dress shoes and a nice watch. The point is, every person with an A+, Network+, DCSE, or MCSE calls themselves a Certified Technician. The certifications they have, seem to provide some validity to their claim.
However, Certified Technician does NOT mean Qualified Technician. A qualified technician must also be a diagnostician. You will not find a certification or degree showing how good someone is at diagnosis.
Diagnostics is completely left out of collegiate programs and is very limited in certifications. This is in-part because diagnostics skills cannot be taught in a classroom or from a book, alone. Diagnostics skills come from many, many years of experience; with or without a degree or certification.
So, what happened in my scenario (above)? Why did the computer get infected again?
The answer is simple!
The computer problem was not properly diagnosed and the computer malware, spyware and/or virus was not properly removed!
The A+, MCSE Certified, Computer Technician, John Doe, treated the symptoms, but left out the part of his job where he should have fully diagnosed the problem. Thinking back to the car wreck scenario, John Doe gave your computer a chiropractic adjustment, with out checking vital signs or reading x-rays.
You thought your computer was fixed when Internet Explorer temporarily stopped re-directing web traffic. In the car wreck scenario, the chiropractic adjustment temporarily relieved the pain and symptoms. However, in both situations, the issues come back because they were not properly diagnosed.
John Doe did not properly diagnose the problem. Without a proper diagnosis, the computer problems will continue.
John Doe’s A+ and MCSE Certifications did not prepare him to properly diagnose these types of problems. However, it wouldn’t have mattered if he had a 4 year degree in computer science (or even a master’s degree). He wasn’t taught to be a Diagnostician. It simply isn’t a focus of conventional degree nor certification programs.
To end this article, I’d like to add a little about the IT departments of large corporations.
The issue discussed (above) is the main reason large corporations have big IT problems. People working for large corporations often comment about how slow their computers are, how many times they have to reboot their computers, how many errors they get on the computer, how slow their network is or how slow the company website loads.
When corporations blindly hire degrees and/or certifications instead of experience, their IT systems will never perform as they were intended. I will even go as far as to say the IT infrastructure of most major corporations, is likely under-performing for this very reason.
This whole process is pure comedy to me!
Corporations put so much money into their IT infrastructure without ever considering who is in what positions within their IT departments. These corporations waste copious amounts of money, paying salaries, buying equipment, and performing maintenance/upgrades; all in an effort to improve performance and efficiency.
No matter what educational institutions and big businesses want the world to believe, experience is far more valuable than degrees or certifications in the IT industry.