Nearly Diploma Certified

At the end of last year, I concluded that I would want my Diploma in IT, and was certain to acheive that.

I enrolled into the course then, and have found that I have a total of 800 hours (in TAFE terms) of study to complete to get my Diploma in IT.

The hours are a little packed up, but those 800 hours are spread over around 23 seperate modules, and many of them aren’t really complex. With names such as “Design A Server”, and “Configure an Internet Gateway”, you can easily see that it isn’t really a packed up task.

When I started IT courses, during a slow period here on the Central Coast, I decided that I would study for a while, and see what doors opened later on.

I completed as far as the campus I was studying at was prepared for, of my Certificate III in IT, and despite not completing it 100%, completed a great deal of the course and then enrolled into a Cert IV afterwards with a different arena.

Throughout my studies of Certificate III, it was constantly drummed into us, that IT isn’t actually working with computers.

IT, is in fact reporting on technology. And a lot of reports are generated for some simple things.

Build a network for example, and the requirement is several pages of text detailing what the network should be capable of, and what expectations and maintenance requirements it will have.

And, of course, what business will gain from the network.

You look at that and you think, what a big waste of time, reporting on what essentially are obvious recommendations obtained through observation and benchmarking the network in place.

None the less, the concept of IT is writing reports on what will happen if this plug is pulled, and what will happen if this much money is spent.

Does management actually read such reports with interest? Or do they simply call the IT Guru in and stare amazingly at his wisdom that the business has yet again been able to produce a pretty pie graph on a wall?

Reporting isn’t that bad though, it’s always a constant look at what technology is doing for a business, and keeps everyone on top of the technology. A new CPU is released, the average professional would buy the CPU, turn the machine off, pull the old CPU out, plug the new one in, turn it on and see what magic they can do.

In Business, this is changed dramatically, prior to purchasing the CPU, a report is written on what the current system is capable of, what the new CPU will acheive, what performance benefits will be delivered, what sort of service effects it will have, what it will cost, and what enhancements can come in the future.

Then, if that’s approved, you would buy the CPU either using a purchase order which might involve a few emails and calls to the ‘Financing’ department, then,  you would get the CPU.

With the CPU in hand, you must then, write up an implementation report, and get the implementation approved by management, to make sure they are fully aware of what is happening, what will happen if something goes bang, what if the CPU does not work and is faulty, essentially covering the details from start to finish.

Then, with that implemenation report approved, you can actually proceed with the implementation. Essentially, wait til after work hours, turn the server off, remove it’s cover, take off the fan, remove the CPU, install the new CPU, add a bit of cooling paste, install the fan, place the cover back on the server, power it on, and test to ensure there is no problems, and also test to see if the claimed performance gain is realised.

Then, yep, there’s more. You would write up a post implementation report, stating whether implementation was effective, what gains have been realised, and if any thing should be documentated about the installation.

And that’s how you install a CPU into a server in a real business environment, according to my Cert III studies. I have some doubts this is somewhat realistic, because I just don’t think business would pay someone to write 3 reports for 15 minutes work, but, it could happen.

The diploma is more a theory course then anything from what I gather, as it is a lot about how you would approach a situation, how you would design a server for example, or how you would ensure client privacy (yep, that’s one of them).

Not only do you “Design A Server”, but you also “Build and Configure a server”, and “Build a security shield for a network”.

From my previous studies, a lot of the IT Systems Admin arena is focussed on Active Directory networks, setting up Windows Domains, monitoring them, making sure they tick like clockwork, and upgrading them when required, securing them.

Writing reports isn’t really a big issue with IT, it’s great to some extent, as you gather a lot of data in a report, that can clear the water a little more, and you by research (required for many items), you naturally stay on top of the latest technology. You probably shouldn’t have a personal preference for any specific item, so that you can compare both side by side and always pick the best item, and know why you are picking it – something not always common with the ‘gamer’ style CPU purchase, where they might buy a CPU because it has 4 cores, of which 2 are actually used.

It nearly all focuses on networking, ranging from managing a project, to gathering data for business, and translating business needs into technical needs, and after that, it’s maintaining system security, securing a network, ensuring user privacy, and so forth

Interesting, but not entertaining.

I estimate that if I actually got stuck in every day for a solid day, the course could reasonably be completed within 6 months.

I don’t get stuck in every day of course, because I simply just don’t get motivated much to get stuck into it (or anything else really). It’s sort of annoying that I can’t get buzzed into completing items like I used to be able to, it’s just so hard to get started on something, but, once I start something, I can generally follow it through to finish.

The start is the hardest, once started, the finish is nearly always insight. This same situation applies to OzVoIPStatus for example, where I have started a new layout, new design, and new pages for the site, and they are there waiting completion. One of the new pages has been sitting there for a while, waiting for me to code the rest of the “Provider URL” line that I had started weeks ago. It’s just “HARD” to get started.

TAFE work is easier, because it’s new and unstarted, once I start something though, and walk away from it, coming back to it another date isn’t interesting, but I do get there.

Maybe this is related to my arrangement of the room, or maybe something else, I’m not much for Feng Shui for example, I’m not 100% sure what’s dropped me off the regular motivation that I used to have to dig into and complete things, like I used to! I’m sure it’s something that can be sorted though by finding out what makes me comfortable when I was able to get stuck into things.

Maybe it’s just that firefox window with Whirlpool open that’s distracting me from what I’d usually do.. hard to tell.

Networking, gotta love it.


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