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Moving up the ladder

Moving up the ladder

Moving up the ladder

(OP)
I am a senior Oracle DBA, who has hit the glass ceiling.  I can't progress any further, as I am already paid at or near top dollar for my job.

I have the right experience and ability to do design and technical architect work, but am in the old problem, no job no experience, no experience no job.

In these difficult times, what strategies would you adopt to be able to move onwards and upwards.  I know that certs always look good, but after 15 years in the game, they seem a bit superfluous.  If I can't do the job now then I never will.

What other career paths should I pursue?

So, any bright ideas?

Regards

T

RE: Moving up the ladder

Quote:

If I can't do the job now then I never will.
A defeatist attitude like that will get you nowhere fast. The day we stop learning in IT is the day we need to retire.
The first and foremost thing I would suggest is to talk to your direct supervisor. Ask them what they are looking for and what are some ways you can improve yourself to get past the glass ceiling. There is no harm in asking and in fact, your boss will more than likely welcome the conversation.

--------------------------------------------------
Bluto: What? Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? No!
Otter: Germans?
Boon: Forget it, he's rolling.
--------------------------------------------------

RE: Moving up the ladder

Fifteen years is not a long time. The first programming job I had used punched cards. I'm in the process of earning developer and database certifications. Like ousoonerjoe said, you never stop learning.

I had been a mainframe and AS400 programmer. For the last two years I have been in intense study of all things .NET and SQL Server. And, I'm starting to become familiar with Silverlight and cloud computing because those technologies are on the near horizon for my employer. My current employer hired me because I was willing to learn it.

You have knowledge and understanding and skills from your fifteen years that are important to an employer regardless of platform or technology. But, you have to show a passion for the technology and a willingness to learn.

One thing certifications show is that you have the drive to at least learn the very basics of a technology. Why do people attend college? Coming out of school, you don't really have the knowledge to be very effective. But, what it shows is the drive to learn and the ability to bring something such as a degree to completion. The idea is that if you can earn a college degree you can complete projects. Certifications show the same thing.

I don't know what your approach should be because that's different for each person. Maybe your passion lies in development. Maybe it's in some other area of technology. Maybe it's not in technology at all. Find your passion and pursue that.

I have several passions. The two that make me money are technology and fishing. I work as a fishing guide weekends.


 

RE: Moving up the ladder


thargtheslayer,

You said -

Quote:


I know that certs always look good, but after 15 years in the game, they seem a bit superfluous.  If I can't do the job now then I never will.

Don't forget, it might be some clerk in HR that was told by her boss "send me all the resumes with XYZ cert on it" - sure you have 15 years experience, but that clerk might not know the difference and HR NEVER gets your information!!

Cert Mag had a great story several years back, they said that to move up in MOST IT jobs it takes 3 things:
1) experience
2) education
3) certification

Look at your resume - are you lacking any of these, if so fill them in. That cert or AS or BS degree might just be the difference when a whole pile of resumes come in with 5 or more years experience!

Right now there are a lot of people WITH EXPERIENCE looking for jobs - you have got to make the cut and that might mean picking up a "superfluous" cert or taking a few night classes to finish that AS or BS degree smile

Just a few thoughts!  
 

E.A. Broda
CCNA, CCDA, CCAI, Network +

RE: Moving up the ladder

(OP)
Captain Cisco,

thanks for the pointer.  As you so rightly say, there are hordes of experienced folks looking for work right now.

To give you the details a wee bit, I have a Bachelors in Electrical & Electronic engineering and am an Oracle Certified Professional, which in my field is a respected certification.  I guess the next thing is to find another certification and go get it.  Perhaps something front-end, so that I am an all rounder - web stuff maybe?

Regards

T

RE: Moving up the ladder

Have you thought about going the other way? More towards enterprise solutions and architecture and that?

Fee

"The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea." Isak Dinesen

RE: Moving up the ladder

You could also look at starting to supervise others and moving in a managerial direction.  Of course, then you'll have to start growing pointy hair...

RE: Moving up the ladder

(OP)
korn,

sadly I am reaching this conclusion too.  I believe that "manager" is synonymous with "cocky arrogant ignorant buffoon who can't find his backside using both hands but has oodles of self-confidence".  On that basis I have hitherto fought shy of even thinking about turning to the dark side.

However, having seen the same fundamental design cock-ups made over and over again, I have reached the conclusion that the only way to ensure that things are done correctly is to be the one calling the shots, and stop design idiocy in the early stages of a project.

I'm aware that this must sound somewhere between self-aggrandising and arrogant, but I'm reaching my limits when it comes to tolerating managers who know dangerously little, and scupper projects at the outset, whilst lacking the wit to realise that they have done so.

Regards

T

RE: Moving up the ladder

Quote (tcsbiz):


I had been a mainframe and AS400 programmer.

You don't know where I could get a twinax terminal, or a twinax adapter long enough to change the IP and turn on TCP/IP on my AS/400 do you?

It's frustrating having a 400 sitting in the basement, and I can't use it. :(

 

Just my 2¢

"What the captain doesn't realize is that we've secretly replaced his Dilithium Crystals with new Folger's Crystals."

--Greg  http://parallel.tzo.com
 

RE: Moving up the ladder


Greg,

You asked -

Quote:


"You don't know where I could get a twinax terminal, or a twinax adapter long enough to change the IP and turn on TCP/IP on my AS/400 do you?"

Check with the Computer Science department at your local college, university or community college. We used to teach classes on the IBM AS400 and we had these just gathering dust until they were shipped out to our central warehouse for "getting rid of", after we sent our "leased" AS400 back to IBM.

You might find someone just waiting to "clean up" that storage area of "retired" equipment.

Hope this helps!

E.A. Broda
CCNA, CCDA, CCAI, Network +

RE: Moving up the ladder

Greg:

Twinax terminals are really cheap these days - just look on eBay. This Google search came up with one for $30.

-- Francis
I'd like to change the world, but I can't find the source code.

RE: Moving up the ladder

Tharg -

Quote:

"manager" is synonymous with "cocky arrogant ignorant buffoon who can't find his backside using both hands but has oodles of self-confidence"

Remind me to give you a serious slap next time I see you!  smile

I can assure you that I can find my posterior perfectly adequately (one hand only, with or without light!), and I am currently managing a department (Local Land Charges at a district council) about which I knew NOTHING when I took over 9 months ago. We're currently doing pretty good... well actually very good!

And that's in addition to my "real" job.

What I can do is; buy buns, listen, watch, buy buns, assess people, take advice, identify priorities, provide support (and buns), make informed decisions, read the regulations (then argue with Legal Services on detail), and buy buns.  

"Real" management is all about people, OK you have to watch the figures and do all the corporate crap, but you need to really enjoy the counseling, coaching, developing and not be afraid of disciplining - where necessary.

Of course, if you don't want to manage people per se - what about project management?  Your technical experience would be invaluable, and you've got the presence - all you would need is something like Prince2, which I'm sure you'd walk it.
 

Rosie
"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard Feynman

RE: Moving up the ladder

(OP)
Rosie,

w.r.t. your other thread, I'll make a point of "mentioning you in dispatches" - and thanks.

I do so enjoy people and using IT to make their working lives easier and less fraught and stressful.  Since people are the most valuable resource on the planet (as, unlike computers, they can think) freeing up brain power to do productive work is my goal for all of IT. I'd love to take on a "broken" department and "fix" it.

The Prince 2 idea is lots of hard work, which I would expect to cope with technically, but my inherent laziness is a bit of an issue.  I like the notion though, as it would be another string to my bow and enable me to apply for slightly different posts.  My cogs are all a-whirr...

Regards

T

RE: Moving up the ladder

Rosie,

Wow, between the things you buy and the things you find single-handedly, your job sure seems to involve lots of buns.

winky smile

RE: Moving up the ladder

rofl

Susan
"Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes.
Then, when you criticize them, you are a mile away ...
and you have their shoes."

RE: Moving up the ladder

smile  There's buns, and then there's buns!

Tharg - Prince 2 is supposed to be a week of hard work. Given the half-wits I've met who have passed it, it can't be all that hard. (Not that I really consider most PMs to be the lowest form of pond-life.) But it does seem to be valued and would offer you some alternatives.

If you want to do serious management, there are loads of courses, but many are terribly superficial (ie useless).  Have you thought about the OU?  Their courses are really good.

Rosie
"It doesn't matter how beautiful your theory is, it doesn't matter how smart you are. If it doesn't agree with experiment, it's wrong." Richard Feynman

RE: Moving up the ladder

The only reason certs are a good thing is to prove you know what you are doing (somewhat).  That being said, learn about other things...keep learning.  As someone who hires people, its frustrating to see people who have been doing IT for years but have just become stagnant in their job and don't want to learn more or prove that they still have it.

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