Re: Systems architect here
Hmm. It's insanity. I started off in IT, then wandered off into programming...the entire field is messed up. I mean, just hands down, screwed up. I do not know about the rest of you, but when I was growing up, 'understanding computers' meant having all the knowledge which appears to fill the fields of EE, CE, CS, SE, IT, possibly Physics and Math, and some Business thrown in for good measure. Quite a surprise, by the end of my CS degree, that despite my Computer Vision / Graphics track, we never quite got around to doing OpenGl...(something I experimented with my Sophomore year). Their response was "well, you can just extrapolate from the theories you learned in class, and OpenGl should be easy" -> that's immaterial; OpenGl is something both interesting, standard, important, and should be mandatory; why am I paying for a piece of paper which guarantees I did not study this? Just pure madness.And this is how you end up with people who graduate with CS / SE degrees, but can't build HelloWorld. PhDs who do not know how to build a server from individual components...pure waste of grant money.
But continuing with your point, it's the abuse of the good Samaritan principle here that is driving the techs bonkers. One person, every once in a while, asking for help (for free) with a computer problem? Not an issue, any more than a doctor / lawyer / priest / engineer / whatever donating their free time. Nine out of every ten people asking for help, demanding it be for free, demanding it be done immediately, on your free time, when you can't even get a job, and the jobs being offered pay nothing? Not many people can survive like that for long. You either need to be rich, or completely comped in life. But this is only part of the equation: the other half is that these tech skills are, like driving a car, something you are supposed to learn, not continuously put off learning. If I, like others, spend all of my time doing basic tech support because other people can't be bothered to read the manual, then I never get around to fulfilling the larger, and arguably more profitable / more powerful / more rewarding things that are on my plate. Basic tech literacy is really, what, a 6 month course in school, with occasional updates? Not difficult. And yet they're fighting it...and it's kind of like...well, I'm kind of past the age where I'm going to try and teach you the basics...that was a decade ago when you were too busy with 'more important stuff'...so I guess you can learn it the hard way now...because I have had a multiple decade plan in action for quite some time, and I really can't delay any longer because you decided to be lazy. I kind of have to go live my life now, as I'm probably not going to be given much in the way of any more time on this earth, and even less likely to get any more youth...and I am already terribly late.