Friday, December 21, 2012

Thoughts about the right tech.



Quote from an unnamed blog:
Quote:
Probably going to get lambasted for this, but it is something to think about when judging a potential employee. Can a potential employee use what they have or do they need thousands of dollars just to do the simplest thing to get going. Here we will pit a confirmed Microsoft software only advocate versus someone who has at least some familiarity with linux or is willing to try something new and use the systems alloted to them.

In each of two separate rooms on the desk is a Pentium II computer with 128 megs of ram, minimal graphics card, network connection, floppy drive and a 4 gig hard drive. This system will have access to the internet. Also on the desk, are two items. A brand new MSWindows 7 dvd install disk and a gpxe based floppy setup to install linux remotely via the network. The two potential techs are sent to each of the separate rooms to get their computer up and running plus send an email to predefined email address left on a piece of paper also on the desk.

After an hour we hear the Microsoft software only advocate say he or she thew away the floppy as being worthless. Then they go on to complain they did not have a real computer to complete the job. They felt the project was unfair and demeaning. They also said they wanted no part of this type of company.

At the same time, we go over to the other room and find the other applicant working away sending an email as requested in the test. The floppy was put to full use and the MSWindows dvd was left untouched. That applicant in his or her email thanked the company for giving them such an opportunity to be useful.

Which applicant do you think should be offered a position? Which potential employee would you want? You might be also thinking, how can I use Linux to save money in my company?

Quote from an unnamed blog:
I'd do the remote Linux install and send an email message saying that an investment in modern and current computer hardware is a tax deductible item that can be written off against corporate taxes. If they want their next door neighbors son to keep tweaking the system instead of building their business by using the technology tools that are appropriate, I suggest they hire them at minimum wage instead - because you sure as hell know that the company still using a PII system and a cobbled together Linux desktop will not be paying proportionate to the amount of effort to maintain the hardware, let alone the operating system, and office productivity tools required by their staff.
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I'd go for the 2nd guy automatically based on your scenario and personal experience. People with degrees seem to act like gods having to have the most expensive tools and such. Meanwhile they accomplish nothing but high costs. The 2nd guy with little experience trying to make due with what's available was able to fulfill the task and thankful for the opportunity. I find the guys with little experience to be more honest and more helpful besides forums such as here. There is 1 computer place I've been to where they actually helped you out & not try to scam you to make a buck.

I don't know what the Microsoft advocate was thinking, old or new I can't think of a system that runs that can't at least send or receive emails. With those specs, your kind of forced to use Linux because you need at least a 1 gig of ram to run Windows 7 for the basic functions.

If I were that Microsoft Advocate, I would have politely said that you need more memory for Win 7 to run at the very least.

That's stupid. It's not a test of ability, it's just a way to piss off the people who don't know anything about linux. If it was a test of ability, there'd be no Win7 DVD.

If you want a linux guy, hire a linux guy. If you want a Windows guy, hire a Windows guy. Knowing linux does not make a tech better or worse - it's just that many people who know linux have a wider range of experience. But that's not a rule either, there are plenty of linux folks who have buried themselves so far into it that they are practically helpless on Windows or Mac OS.

The real trick to hiring someone good is to NOT ACCEPT BAD CANDIDATES. Have high standards. It's easy to tell a good tech from a bad one if you're already a good tech. If the applicant pool sucks, start again, don't just hire the least crappy person.

I'd have to agree with the last comment. It's a test biased toward linux experience not innate technical ability.

If you want someone with experience with a specific OS then don't play games. Be specific and concrete in your job requirements.

If you want someone who is flexible and can adapt to changing conditions, then place various systems in the room with planted failures in hardware, software, or both and let them resolve it. If it's a software development job, then use their bonefides and fire them if they lie or inflate their resume. IMO there's also be ground for civil action for falsifying their application.

The test maybe be biased, but I don't think it's designed to piss people off who don't know Linux. Yeah, I'm sure it will happen. If the 1st guy were more polite & forthcoming with why Win 7 wouldn't work, I think that goes just as far as completing the task. I would probably give him or her a chance then.

It is a test, I'm sure there's more to it than what's on the surface.

The test had nothing to do with hardware/software we vs them, the test was about the ability to adapt, Both the software and the hardware did well. Personally I would not suggest to hire someone with only one OS skill. Could be that if both Linux and Microsoft were gone (i doubt it), I would want the person who could adapt the best if something new did come along no matter what it is. Ironically, from what I have heard is that MS is going back to a real command line on the servers with gui also as a choice. They finally admit the gui servers are bloated.

You can use high end machines without using MS. It is a shame that most people do not know that. Never been a fan of any os that you have to pay for the sane thing all over again virtually once a year. I remember a version of windows 3.x that touted MS would support you forever and you would be free from upgrade costs., Like that happened.

I know someone with a masters degree in CS, but I would not let them work on my machine.I do applaud them for trying to learn how to use systems in the real world. Then again I know people with degrees in CS that could probably write software to get a rocket to the moon, but they did not have the first sense about how to do word processing or spreadsheets.

I have no use for MS only certified people. All they have done is memorize a book. We had one highly recommended ITT tech graduate come in. He was asked to point at at a ram chip. He pointed at the cpu. I have seen computer wizards that could hack anything, but to set up a working network was another issue. I have a college degree, but I came up through the school of hard knocks learning about computers. I think I can hold my own. Prefer people like me. They usually have a bit more common sense.

I have no use for MS only certified people. All they have done is memorize a book. We had one highly recommended ITT tech graduate come in. He was asked to point at at a tam chip. He pointed at the cpu.
So, all those brilliant Linux people out there ... where did they get their knowledge? Memorise a man file? Ask a forum? Learning is learning. I think you might be confusing acquisition of knowledge with application of knowledge ... and I have met just as many clueless people spouting off on the benefits of open source software.

I'm guessing you are the guy that drives your 1992 Crown Victoria into the mechanic with a hole in the muffler and tells the mechanic that you think it might be the carburetor.

Seriously? A TAM chip?? With TAM functionality being built into BIOS and CPUs (especially with consolidation of chips into SoC designs), pointing to the CPU would probably be right most of the time for modern motherboards.
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I'm in a situation similar to the only knowing one OS predicament.

I'm CCNA certified and all I know is Cisco IOS. Throw me in front of JUNOS and I'm lost. Although with networking all you pretty much have to know are the principles and the configs can be googled and torrented. Fortunately most businesses use cisco although for how long is seriously under question.

Now would you spend your finite amount of time learning a skill that is only employable in about 20 percent of the market or learn one that is employable in about 80 percent of the market? You can either be mediocre at 2 things or be good at 1.
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So, all those brilliant Linux people out there ... where did they get their knowledge? Memorize a man file? Ask a forum? Learning is learning. I think you might be confusing acquisition of knowledge with application of knowledge ... and I have met just as many clueless people spouting off on the benefits of open source software.

I'm guessing you are the guy that drives your 1992 Crown Victoria into the mechanic with a hole in the muffler and tells the mechanic that you think it might be the carburetor.

tam s/b ram. Typing with my eyes closed again. Actually do have a diploma in auto mechanics. I would not have that car. For people who have more diversity than just MS do pretty well. Like I said before, I prefer not to consider single disciplined individuals, no matter what it is.. It seems you have a mental block against open source and their patrons. I spent quite a few years in the MS world. I earned my bones. Now I want something better.

If you really know a subject, you should be able o transfer the knowledge fairly easily. Just knowing the syntax is know knowing a system, but it sure helps to know it though.. That is a hard pill to swallow for some people. I would like to get up to date on hardware, The ironic part is well still have the same basic parts of the computer system. That has never really changed.

Like a browser with a spell checker?
Yes, pointing out the RAM is valid, and important. Asking for the TAM is just plain stupid.

My comment on the car was pointing out (by analogy) that asking for the TAM was esoteric, and irrelevant to the problem at hand.

The Crown Vic is (was) a bomb proof car. There is a reason it was the choice of taxi fleets and law enforcement for decades. Like the computers you tend to prefer, they keep chugging along. The 92 Vic was also the first to ditch the carb, and go EFI.

I have no mental block against open source or their patrons, just the zealots. Like a republican/democrat political debate, the left wing free as in beer crowd are just as crazy as the right "its MS or nothing" folks.

The right person to hire is the one that chooses the appropriate tool for the job.

I was in a meeting today talking about a project I'll be working on for a large manufacturer of <things I can't really talk about>. There is a ton of data they want analyzed. As a management team, their tool of choice is Excel. I don't have a problem with that and I will present the results to them in Excel (I'll be using a Mac, they are on Windows7, but that make no difference either), but I'll be doing the complex analysis using a combination of the MySQL as the data store, Java, and a number of open source text mining libraries. I'll pull the manipulated results into Excel via ODBC so they can then play with the numbers how they feel fit (Excel is a tool they all know and use ... so its appropriate).
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The test maybe be biased, but I don't think it's designed to piss people off who don't know Linux. Yeah, I'm sure it will happen. If the 1st guy were more polite & forthcoming with why Win 7 wouldn't work, I think that goes just as far as completing the task. I would probably give him or her a chance then.

It is a test, I'm sure there's more to it than what's on the surface.
Good answer.


Default Knowledge!
it not a test of ability, but knowledge. one needs to know what the hadware can and cant do with the giving software and os! as far as ability, i don't know terminal well in linux or batch either in windows, knowledge is part of ones ability.
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Note: To be fair Microsoft does have RIS (Remote install boot) which is similar to pxeboot, I am surprised it was not even mentioned. Though W7 probably would not run on a pentium II.

Update: I stand corrected:  http://www.tomshardware.com/news/Windows-7-Pentium-II,8110.html#

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