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beltmanjr (TechnicalUser) (OP)
18 Mar 08 4:22
When can you call yourself a junior, 'something in the middle' or a senior in a field?

What factors does this depend on?
spamly (MIS)
18 Mar 08 9:47
From my experience it can depend on two different factors.
* Hiring salary
* Years of experience
SQLSister (Programmer)
18 Mar 08 10:43
What it depends on is knowledge and experience and how closely the person needs to be supervised. A trainee needs close supervision and typically has less than 2 years experience and is not assigned to work on the more difficult aspects of the job alone because he or she does not have the experience or knowledge. A midlevel person can generally work on most things and requires less supervision. A senior person fully understands the process from start to finish and is capable of working independently and is assigned to the projects or tasks that require the most in-depth knowledge or that require quickly gaining in-depth knowldge of a new technology or language. This person is generally also assigned to mentor junior personnel to get them up to that level of performance. In truth most people never get past the mid-level of performance because they never truly learn anything in depth. With languages and technologies changing so fast, it is extremely hard to truly become senior in performance. As a result many people who have been defined organizationally as senior due to years of experience are not because they have breadth of experience but not depth. A truly senior person has both.

"NOTHING is more important in a database than integrity." ESquared

spamly (MIS)
18 Mar 08 10:51
SQLSister,

I wish all workcenters used the method that you state to determine job placement. Sadly, it doesn't work that way where I'm at.
beltmanjr (TechnicalUser) (OP)
19 Mar 08 5:12
I wonder if I could call myself senior in crystal reports. I have been working with it since end 2000 on a monthly basis. Since 5 months I'm working with crystal as a consultant at a bank, at least 3 days a week.

I am aware that there are things in crystal I'm not using, tricks and methods to still learn, but I pick these things up quickly. I have no supervision, neither do I need any.
I use a lot of sql, which doesnt pose an issue at all. Oracle, sybase, mysql, MSSQL, all the same to me...

Could I regards myself as a midlevel person or should I see myself as a senior in Crystal Reports?
acewarlock (TechnicalUser)
19 Mar 08 16:39
You can call yourself whatever you want, just make sure you can back it up if you have to.




This is a Signature and not part of the answer, it appears on every reply.

This is an Analogy so don't take it personally as some have.

Why change the engine if all you need is to change the spark plugs.

 

SQLSister (Programmer)
19 Mar 08 18:20
And don't call yourself a senior developer if your official job title is differnt. If someone is checking refernces and finds that your job title is different thatn what you put on your resume you could be eliminated from a job for lying.

"NOTHING is more important in a database than integrity." ESquared

acewarlock (TechnicalUser)
19 Mar 08 20:18
There is no offcial title giving body that bestows JR or SR to anyone that I have ever seen. those titles are usually given by the employer for a job.




This is a Signature and not part of the answer, it appears on every reply.

This is an Analogy so don't take it personally as some have.

Why change the engine if all you need is to change the spark plugs.

 

beltmanjr (TechnicalUser) (OP)
20 Mar 08 4:42
Thanks all,
I'm getting a clear picture on how this works :)

I have often wondered what you should be able to do/know for jobs advertised with: senior ABC required......
Thadeus (TechnicalUser)
21 Mar 08 16:02
I applied for a Sr. Analyst a couple years ago because I felt that I met the qualifications with regards to the job responsibilities... If they had advertised the exact same job description and rate of pay, but called me either Jr. Clerk or Executive VP, I would still have applied based on the description.

~Thadeus
acewarlock (TechnicalUser)
21 Mar 08 17:04
You can call me anything, just don't call me late for supper. I could care less what my Title is as Title's don't mean anything. They now call Garbage Men, Sanitation Engineer's. Just pay me the Money!!!




This is a Signature and not part of the answer, it appears on every reply.

This is an Analogy so don't take it personally as some have.

Why change the engine if all you need is to change the spark plugs.

 

Helpful Member!  Bandenjamin (Programmer)
23 Mar 08 9:43
of course its more fun to put the cool titles on you resume. In high school I was a....

Petroleum Transfer Technician

--Dan
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Mark Twain

beltmanjr (TechnicalUser) (OP)
23 Mar 08 9:56
And it does differ when applying for jobs, at least in the UK. Calling myself an IT Manager rather than IT Network manager, gives me a better chance on my next IT Manager job..

Calling yourself a Petroleum Transfer Technician will look better than petrolium Pump boy!

It really is 'all' in the name :)

Just make sure you can proof your job title if ever needed. I did insist on the term IT Manager rather than something that wasn't industry norm as it does really help you finding your next job if ever needed..
Bandenjamin (Programmer)
23 Mar 08 14:57
And petrolium Pump boy, far better than "Gas Monkey"

--Dan
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Mark Twain

rolm9751 (TechnicalUser)
25 Mar 08 10:36
My title is "Senior Technician - Voice & Data Communications".
Mainly because I am the oldest, most knowledgeable technician with the most tenure.

acewarlock (TechnicalUser)
25 Mar 08 11:44
I'm usually the Senior Tech/Analyst/Engineer as I'm the only one there and I'm over 55 and it's after my last name.




This is a Signature and not part of the answer, it appears on every reply.

This is an Analogy so don't take it personally as some have.

Why change the engine if all you need is to change the spark plugs.

 

ArizonaGeek (IS/IT--Management)
26 Mar 08 16:04
While I agree with what most of the replies, especially that a title can't make up for skill and knowledge, one thing I have to disagree on is with any time analogy. Time doing a job doesn't necessarily have an effect on retaining skills.

We have a guy working for us (for now anyway) who has been doing IT work (desktop and laptop help desk type work) for the better part of 10+ years, yet he is still on a junior level. I had to help him figure out a very basic networking problem on his own computer that any first year IT person should have been able to troubleshoot. I've tried to teach him some basic skills and yet, he just doesn't get it. He doesn't seem like an idiot but after 10 years, 90% of his job, it's almost like we have to train him on the exact same things every few months.

I would agree that a junior level person is given tasks to accomplish, they need that eagle eye on them most of the time, and should be considered a beginner. They have neither the real world skills nor time "behind the wheel" to gain the experience needed.

A mid-level person is someone who has mastered some areas of expertise, is given some jobs, but can also find their own work to do as well, but really doesn't need the hand holding a junior person would need and they would be in a position to offer advice & some training to junior personal.

A master is someone who we all go to when your world breaks around you. They are the calm, cool, and collected person who has seen it all and done it all before. They know the in's and out's and could tell you everything and anything about that particular program, hardware, network etc. etc. etc. they are the trainers, mentors and people that offer up advice on how things really work.

Just my two cents on it. I think we all can be all three levels in certain areas it just depends on your job, your skills, how long you've been doing it and how long you retain that information. I know senior DBA's that are masters at SQL, mid-level at Sybase and juniors at Oracle. Yet a Senior DBA could be a master at any one of them or all of them.

Cheers
Rob

The answer is always "PEBKAC!"

beltmanjr (TechnicalUser) (OP)
26 Mar 08 16:32
[qoute]
after 10 years, 90% of his job, it's almost like we have to train him on the exact same things every few months.
[/quote]
Career advice: this person is not suitable for IT. He better finds something that does agree with him.. 10 years? Man you should certainly be mid-level in the field you have been working in for that long!
beltmanjr (TechnicalUser) (OP)
26 Mar 08 16:32
and learn how to spell 'quote'
acewarlock (TechnicalUser)
26 Mar 08 16:38
You did spell it right the 2nd time in the QUOTE




This is a Signature and not part of the answer, it appears on every reply.

This is an Analogy so don't take it personally as some have.

Why change the engine if all you need is to change the spark plugs.

 

spamly (MIS)
26 Mar 08 16:42
I think that it may depend on your HR department. In an ideal world, job titles would be based on competency and responsibility. Many HR departments, though, assume that years of experience equals skill level.  As we all know, this isn't always the case. Unfortunately for us, HR rules often overrides common sense.
beltmanjr (TechnicalUser) (OP)
26 Mar 08 16:51

Quote:


You did spell it right the 2nd time in the QUOTE
Maybe I progressed to mid-level 'quote' speller?

Quote:


I think that it may depend on your HR department.
It depends on the person recruiting/interviewing. It isn't that hard to pick out the really bad ones. Simple demonstration tests of the minimum you would expect as competence should eliminate the really bad ones.

And you can vary these tests to accomodate the level of knowledge you feel the right candidate should possess.

Test can be computer based, but also very silly questions could really give you a great inside on how the candidate would handle a situation.

But this wasn't a post about interviewing/recruitment techniques :)
SQLSister (Programmer)
26 Mar 08 18:32
spamly, it is my experience that HR often does not know the person is a poor performer because the supervisor always gave him or her satisfactory ratings. One cannot blame them on evaluating the ability to move to a senior position when no one has told them the person isn't doing the work at the correct level. Further in most places a manager would have a say in whether this person is to be promoted even if HR is the group that brings it up. I have also seen people win lawsuits to be promoted because they were never informed that their performance was not acceptable. It has always amazed me how many supervisors are unwilling to take the necessary steps to get rid of poor performers.

"NOTHING is more important in a database than integrity." ESquared

StuTheNetTech (IS/IT--Management)
27 Mar 08 16:52
Good day all,
I am getting into this thread rather late but I do have something to say about this whole ordeal. I have been in the IT field for 6 years. My job title in the military was Computer information systems network operator. in short the whole gambit for about 250 users. I learned a lot. now I am doing the exact same job on civi street and I am a Network support technician. what do you say to that? I say it is true that it all boils down to whatever the boss wants to call you. the BOSS is rarely savvy to the job titles in regards to IT due to the BOSS's lack of knowledge. Now, I support the users, the network and the software. I am good at my job (at least that is what they tell me) and when a task is put on me I complete the task. So, all in all if you are placed with a task and cant do it, does that make you junior? and if so if you can take on the task but need help does that make you a mid-level? and if so again, if you can take the task and complete on your own confidently does that make you senior? well, there hasn't been a task I haven't completed yet so if all that is true I am a senior with only 6 years.....doesn't make sense to me anyways. I am no good at SQL but I can network 20,000 in a week. what does that make me? I think it all comes down to level of confidence the company places on you. If you are placed under another guy then you aren't senior. if you have an IT Boss you answer to and a junior body your midlevel and if you are the bottom of the stack well, the confidence isn't there yet so you are a junior. aaahhh good post.

-Stu

-"failure is not an option. it comes bundled with windows"
ArizonaGeek (IS/IT--Management)
31 Mar 08 11:56

Quote (beltmanjr):

Career advice: this person is not suitable for IT. He better finds something that does agree with him.. 10 years? Man you should certainly be mid-level in the field you have been working in for that long!

Agreed. Too bad I am not in a position to remove him, otherwise he'd been walking a year ago. My boss keeps him around to do the jobs neither of us want to do. We task him with re-imaging desktops, changing out printer toner, etc. Personally I'd rather have a peer that compliments my weak spots. My boss is an expert at networking while I am an expert at server support and operating systems, where I fall short in my skills he picks up and where he falls short I pick up. The two of us work fantastic together. We just have this third wheel hanging around. I usually get more done if he is out of the office. I am not trying to bash the guy really, he really is a nice guy but lacking in the IT skills.

Quote (StuTheNetTech):

all in all if you are placed with a task and cant do it, does that make you junior?

I would think your boss or senior person wouldn't task you with a job you couldn't do. I've only had one job like that, I was tasked with work I clearly didn't have the skills to do (and the boss knew it,) that's like getting set up to fail. And that sucks!

Also, if you are tasked with something you cant do, personally I'd rather someone tell me they can't do it and I either work with them to teach them, or let them at least try to make it work. But I know ahead of time based on the job if I can assign it to them or not. Nothing like tasking someone with something to do, they say they can handle it no problem, then they fail at it and I gotta spend twice as long cleaning it up and redoing it.

Cheers
Rob

The answer is always "PEBKAC!"

StuTheNetTech (IS/IT--Management)
31 Mar 08 12:13
Well, Arizona Geek,

I think you miss understood what I was getting at in reference to your last quote there. We have only 5 IT guys and the tasks that get issued to me are usually from an executive level. where the tasks are issued with instructions from a user a level of interpretation is required to formulate a plan. for example. The executive wants outlook on his blackberry. well, from my point of view that cant be done. So I explain to the executive that if he wants outlook on his PDA we will have to revamp our blackberry server and purchase Treo's. This can be expensive. (just as a hypothetical.) So with that again being said with the example i think what i am trying to say is that the executives sometimes lack the IT Knowledge to clearly get across exactly want they want done, A junior level IT would probably say "Yes sir, Ill get right on it" and have to later report it cant be done.....hey, is that another way to define junior/mid-level-and senior? it is, I think the experience that comes with work in the IT field is only part of the overall experiance. perhaps you can guage your level on interpreting and translating IT Jargon and Exec-U-Speak. Trying to explain to the VP of your company that you need 50,000 dollars for offsite diaster recovery hardware is not an easy task (with some). But if the IT Manager can make a good, educated pitch it would be a lot easier. perhaps it again boils down to confidence in the task at hand. (sorry for the tangeant)
ArizonaGeek (IS/IT--Management)
31 Mar 08 12:43
Ah thats cool, I understand. I work in a shop of 3 IT guys and less than 50 employees including the CEO, VP's and managers. So I rarely get those executive level tasks. Other than our CEO and a few others (like our sales guys) our staff is actually pretty tech savvy. We have a fairly young group of employees, probably 70% are in their mid to late 20s, most straight out of college.

You're correct though, a junior level person will usually want to impress the boss and just say right out, "Sure I'll get right on that" instead of saying "it wont work and here are the reasons why"

And your DR scenario is a great example.

Cheers
Rob

The answer is always "PEBKAC!"

spamly (MIS)
31 Mar 08 16:57
It's interesting seeing this discussed from so many points of view. I work in a company with over 20,000 employees and an IT staff of ~420. I would love if rank/titles were associated with expertise. Unfortunately, where I work the HR department has categorized us all in into job categories/titles based on several factors (in this order):
* Experience
* Education
* Responsibility

It's definitely not perfect, but the people who have been around the longest like it because it greatly rewards longevity/loyalty.

[rant]
When I started here, I had more responsibility and relevant experience than everyone else on my team. Unfortunately, I didn't have the sheer number of years (12) of experience or education (4-year degree) to justify a "lead" position. This meant that a co-worker with 3 years server experience, 10 years repairing vending machines, and a theater degree was awarded a lead position. This is just one of the leads that I was tasked to train.  Oh, this was pure joy for me.

Now I have all the criteria (as defined by HR) for a lead. I was promoted to this level a year ago, but I've been so jaded that I haven't even updated my badge.
[/rant]
acewarlock (TechnicalUser)
1 Apr 08 0:06
I could care less what my Title and Responsibility's are as long as I enjoy my job and they pay me what I want. I have worked for some real jerks that I've had to carry, but they left me alone to do my job.




This is a Signature and not part of the answer, it appears on every reply.

This is an Analogy so don't take it personally as some have.

Why change the engine if all you need is to change the spark plugs.

 

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