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Job for IT generalist ...

Jay Zelos

Most of the roles I've seen tend towards one of either, developer, db admin, systems admin or network admin. (systems being servers, no one ever mentions desktops).

At the coalface this is fine, probably a good idea since the skills are so in depth these days. However someone needs to tell all these folk how it all links together and this is where the architect role comes in. It's typically more design and emergency problem solving than operational day to day stuff, great fun, varied and rewarding.

I performed that role for a government agency for a few years with fair bit of project management thrown in as well. The pay was terrible and recognition less than ideal at the very top, but since leaving for the private sector I've found my skill set in huge demand. Typically after I've taken a job as a developer (my primary skill of choice) my other abilities and knowledge get me moved onto urgent projects that are behind and in need of expert assistance. I then get asked to help out with planning and design to stop the same situation arising again. I'm currently in my second stint with my current UK based employer precisely because this employer valued those skills and was willing to chase me down and offer the rewards they deserve. Its a hard sell, but once you're in a company, all your skills will get noticed and promoted as long as you volunteer and get stuck in. It may take some time to find the right placement, but it will happen.

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