Careers In It Information Technology Management

In the previous IT Diversity” articles I discussed Information Technology’s two main career paths IT Systems and IT Application Development. While you can spend a lifetime working on the basics in either of these sectors, people often desire to advance their careers and move up the ladder into Information Technology management positions. In this article I will cover some important considerations to keep in mind while pursuing this path, and briefly explain some useful educational programs to help you prepare for the journey.

Information Technology management jobs exist at many levels within an organization. In a large organization, you could serve as an IT manager in just one portion of an IT department (network, help desk, or application development manager, etc); you could be the director of the entire IT department, or a senior executive such as a Chief X Officer (CXO) – where X = I for information, S for security, C for compliance, T for technology, K for knowledge, etc. In a smaller organization, you might find yourself as the only IT manager and be tasked with overseeing all aspects of the Information Technology environment.

Experience required for the various levels of IT Management generally include but are not limited to:

- For any level IT managerial position you will be expected to have in-depth experience in at least one specialized area (i.e., systems, networking, security, application development, etc.)

- For higher level positions, the more cross-functional IT experience you have – the better

- The higher level you seek, the more in-tune and knowledgeable you need to be with the enterprise’s mission, vision, and business processes.

As an IT Manager, several skills and competencies are critical to your success:

- People management: People problems can become an overwhelming concern.

- You likely will not have or maintain the level of expertise needed for all the people you are responsible for, so you need to hire staff who have the right staff expertise.

- Information Technology is critical to the success of most enterprises, so you will often be underthe-gun to keep things working and get new projects completed on time. If you don’t manage your staff properly, treating them with respect, professional courtesy, and making sure that they get continuing education, they will burn out quickly and/or not enjoy their work, and look for employment elsewhere.

- You will need to remove or fire unnecessary or problematic employees. A disgruntled worker can destroy the teamwork required for a successful Information Technology project.

- Collaboration and facilitation abilities: Most Information Technology areas require interaction between the IT staff and the business sector. From experience I can tell you that both of these groups often have very little understanding of each other’s situation.

- The IT staff generally does not understand the reasons or priorities of business processes.

- The business staff rarely understands the capabilities of what Information Technology can or cannot do for them.

- Effective program management abilities will help immensely. Many IT projects are very complex, involving multiple functional areas across different business practices.

- Strategic Planning: Information Technology managers at all levels must be able to identify IT lifecycle needs based on current capabilities, while planning for future IT requirements and upgrades.

- IT Managers must also be capable of convincing their colleagues that the Information Technology department’s needs are essential to the enterprises bottom-line, to ensure proper prioritization of limited resources.

- Maintain IT Currency: Managers must keep abreast of IT developments to keep the enterprise and its technology relevant in both current and future environments. Failing to do so could cause the company to lose its competitive edge.

Once again, this is just a broad brush of what you need to keep in mind if you are considering stepping into an Information Technology Management position. This is a reasonable path for many senior service members that have been in one or more of the many IT career tracks, or for veterans who have served in the IT trenches in either military or civilian environments. In many cases you may have attended senior leadership schools or been in a managerial IT role in the military which helped you develop some of these skills. However, when leaving the military in search of a career in Information Technology Management, you will likely be short of civilian-world business skills.

If you have any questions about the IT field or if you are a service member transitioning into civilian life, feel free to leave a comment or question using the submission form below. I’d love to hear from you!

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Information Technology Something New?

When people hear the words “Information Technology,” the first things that come to mind are computers and the Internet. It may also bring up words like “network,” “intranet,” “server,” “firewall,” “security,” as well as more arcane expressions such as “router,” “T-1,” “Ethernet,” or the mysterious and exotic-sounding “VoIP” (pronounced “voyp”).

In fact, information technology is all of these things, and more. It’s hardly new, however. Information technology is as old as the brain itself, if you think of the brain as an information processor. As far as I.T. being a science, even that goes back as far as the earliest attempts to communicate and store information.

And that is essentially what information technology is: the communication and storage of information, along with the ability to process and make use of the information stored. In this chapter, we’ll begin with a brief history of I.T., what it comprises today, and the different major types of I.T. systems available today.

A Short History of Information Technology

As human societies have grown in size and complexity, so has the need to collect, store and transmit information. While it could be argued that brains represent a form of “bio-information technology,” Greek word “Tektra” – from which we get the word “technology” – really refers to scientific or mechanical knowledge, particularly that which involves the use of tools. Therefore, we’ll begin our journey with humans first attempts to record and transmit knowledge through mechanical means.

The Neolithic Period and the Bronze Age

We might not have thought of it as “information technology” several thousand years ago when we as a species were painting animals on cave walls. But in fact that may be exactly what it was.

Using a combination of tools that included manganese “crayons” and clay that was colored with various pigments, early humans left these images on the walls of a cave near Lascaux, France and on cliffs in the Algerian Sahara.

These have been dated as being approximately 18,000 and 8,000 years old respectively. Unfortunately, there is no way to be certain exactly what message was being communicated (a problem our own descendants 15,000 years from now may very well encounter from what we leave behind!)

Since the images depict animals that were commonly hunted at the time, and given the importance of game animals to a hunting-gathering culture, it’s possible that such images were attempts to present information about such game, or part of a rite designed to ensure a successful hunt.

The invention of writing systems – including pictograms such as hieroglyphics, alphabetic writing and “syllabic” systems – seems to have taken place almost at the same time as the development of agriculture. Agriculture introduced such formerly unknown concepts as land ownership, advanced trade and the accumulation of wealth, which in turn led to more complex societal structures.

As you might expect, this necessitated more detailed and efficient record-keeping. Alphabetic writing has a substantial advantage over pictograms (hieroglyphs), because a relatively limited number of symbols (letters) can be used over and over in infinite combination to communicate nearly anything. (As you will see later, modern I.T. uses only two of these symbols!)

Preserving and storing such information posed certain challenges; information either had to be inscribed on stone or clay tablets (which were heavy) or animal skins, wax tablets or papyrus (which weren’t durable).

The Hellenistic World

The Classical Greeks were the first people of record to attempt to find scientific, rational explanations for natural phenomena. Some of the earliest proto-computers known were mechanical devices developed by the Greeks. One of these was a form of abacus (which also developed and was used in ancient China). The device facilitated and simplified mathematical calculation.

Consider REALLY early Greco-Roman Abacus

Another early computational device was the antikthera, greek in origin. An antikthera was discovered by a Greek sponge diver over a century ago, it was only recently that this 2100-year-old device was reconstructed and shown to be an early form of computer designed to chart the movements of the sun, moon and five planets known at the time.

Early Programmable Devices

By the time the gradual break-up and fall of the Roman Empire was complete in the year 476 C.E., scientific and technological advances in the Western world had ground to a halt. While much of the scientific knowledge of the Greeks was preserved by Irish monks and Arab scholars, it wasn’t until the fourteenth century that principles of engineering were rediscovered and applied to information. The first of these was of course the printing press.

Although the concept of movable type printing had been developed in China some four hundred years earlier, it was Gutenberg’s device in 1447 that revolutionized communications, making it easier and faster to record and disseminate information than ever before. The first truly programmable device would not come along for another 354 years, however.

The Jacquard Loom of 1801 was a product of the Industrial Revolution. This invention used a series of specially punched paper cards that functional as templates, allowing for the automatic weaving of highly intricate patterns. Those punch cards became very significant to computing in the 1950′s, 60′s and 70′s.

The next development was Charles Babbage’s “Analytical Machine” – a fully-programmable computer that unfortunately was never actually built. Babbage worked on designs from 1837 until his passing in 1871. This steam-powered mechanism would have also utilized punch cards, with a central processing unit (CPU) and a form of memory storage in the form of a system of pegs inserted into rotating barrels.

The Analytical Machine would have been capable of storing 1,000 numbers of up to fifty digits each, and perform six different mathematical operations, including the calculation of square roots. Babbage’s ideas were incorporated into early electronic computing devices being developed in the late 1930′s and 1940′s, although not all of these were actually programmable. The first truly programmable computers – able to store and use information – did not come into common use until the 1950′s, and yes – made use of punch cards (those born before 1965 may remember playing with them).

Of course most people born in the 70′s, 80′s and 90′s just take for granted that the Information Technology we have today is from fairley recent developments in science, mechanics and electronics. But we know different now don’t we. And therefore can better appreciate what we have available to us now.

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Cutting Edge Industries Need Employees With Information Technology Degrees

An information technology degree is incredibly versatile in today’s high tech world. Although most people think of information technology as primarily focused within the computer industry itself or in fairly traditional roles such as data processing and retrieval, this doesn’t cover the wide scope of what information technology involves.

In fact, according to the U.S. government, information technology degrees are in high demand in several industries that are quite surprising. While many of these rely on complex computer transactions and information, several focus on entirely different areas but rely on information technology to keep them up and running.

Software Programming and Consulting

This is a relatively traditional field for those with information technology degrees to go into, but there’s a twist. The industries that actually rely heavily on software upgrades and customization may surprise you. Banking, finance and education all rely heavily on the ability of programmers and consultants to upgrade their software as well as keeping their databases safe and secure.

Manufacturing

Today’s advanced manufacturing facilities are highly automated with complex computer systems in place to keep things running smoothly. Electronics, computer systems and custom-designed software are all used in manufacturing to increase productivity and product quality through better control and design. Computer Aided Drafting (CAD) and Computer Aided Manufacturing (CAM) are in high demand in hundreds of advanced manufacturing areas from cell phones to automobiles.

Biotechnology and Genomics

Mapping genes, correlating voluminous amounts of medical and pharmaceutical research and controlling the production of highly volatile medical compounds requires some of the most advanced computing capabilities available. Bioprocessing, quality control and biotechnology research and development all rely on information technology. Human capabilities simply can’t keep pace with the complexity of engineering needed in genomic research. In fact, the biotech industry now needs more employees with information technology degrees than colleges and universities are producing, and the trend will continue to grow.

Nanotechnology

An information technology degree can put you in the thick of one of the most fascinating industries today nanotechnology. This is the development of devices and systems at the atomic level that will improve or enhance current products, from drug delivery systems to tracking equipment and information storage. Nanotechnology uses information technologies to design and create products on the smallest scale imaginable by designing devises and products not visible to the human eye.

Mapping and Geospatial Technology

Storm tracking, newer and more detailed maps and the study of geology and terrain all rely on information technology systems. From the national weather service to real estate development firms, geological and mapping technologies area growing industries always on the lookout for professionals with information technology degrees.

Aerospace Engineering

No other industry in the world relies so heavily on information technology within the design and actual use of its products. Airplanes, helicopters, jets and space shuttles all rely on computer guided navigational and communications systems to one degree or another. From design and evaluation of models to monitoring of actual missions, information technology is integral to the aerospace industry.

National Security

The CIA, FBI and various other federal agencies have sought individuals holding information technology for years; today the largest employer may well be Homeland Security. Information and database management, sensor controls for security systems and simulation software for disasters all demand highly qualified IT professionals.

Whether you enter one of these challenging and rewarding careers directly or leverage your education into becoming an expert in training others, an information technology degree obviously translates into success in many of today’s cutting edge industries.

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FAQS About Criminal Court Outcomes

If you are currently facing criminal charges, it is likely that you are anxiously awaiting your trial hearing. And just like many others in your position, you have questions and concerns about the court process and the potential outcomes you face. To give you some peace of mind, continue reading to learn some answers to the most frequently asked questions about criminal court outcomes. This may relieve your anxiety while awaiting your court date.

What are the Possible Outcomes in Criminal Court?

Because there are so many different type of charges, the outcomes vary greatly. It all depends on a defendant’s charges, criminal history, the state, and many other factors. Some common outcomes include guilty verdict, not guilty verdict, charges dropped, charges dismissed, charges reduced, mistrials, and more.

What Will Happen if I Plead Guilty?

You should only plead guilty if it is recommended by your criminal lawyer for the purpose of a plea bargain with the state prosecutor. Pleading guilty means you admit to committing the crime, understand the charges and the guilty plea, and waive your right to trial jury. Upon pleading guilty, you can expect to have a sentencing hearing scheduled with a few weeks or months. During your sentencing hearing, the judge will hand down your sentence, penalties, and court orders.

What Will Happen if I am Found Not Guilty?

You will have it on your record that you were charged with the crime, but never convicted. However, you may be able to have the charged expunged from your criminal record. Upon being found not guilty, you will be released from custody and court supervision, and you cannot be convicted of the same crime later on.

What Will Happen if I Plead No Contest?

Pleading no contest is not allowed in all states. When defendants enter a no contest plea, or nolo contender, it means they are not admitting guilt to the crime in question, but they surrender to the courts punishment. Although the defendant does not admit guilt, they are still sentenced as if they are guilty.

What Will Happen if I Miss My Court Date?

Missing your court date is a serious offense. Not only does it impede your current case, it adds on a separate criminal charge that comes with additional penalties. In rare cases, a criminal lawyer can waive the penalties for a missed court date if there is sufficient evidence that the client had no choice (i.e. emergency hospital stay, serious accident, etc.) A death in the family, work, and other similar life occurrences are not acceptable excuses to the court.

What Happens After a Mistrial?

Both the criminal lawyer and prosecutor can motion the court for a mistral for several reasons, including juror misconduct, inability to reach a verdict, law enforcement errors, and more. If granted, prosecution can sometimes retry the case. But most often, it puts defendants in a double-jeopardy situation, so it is not retried.

What Happens if All Charges are Dropped?

If your charges are dropped, you will not go to trial. The prosecutor drops charges for several reasons, including inadmissible evidence, lack of evidence, uncooperative victims, and more. Although your criminal record won’t show an actual conviction, it will show that you were once charged with the crime. In this case, you may qualify to have it expunged from your record.

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The Horse Hair Wig and the Law

It’s a peculiar sight to see when judges enter courts in their robes and horse hair wigs while barristers are similarly dressed. In the Supreme Court under British rule they line up like Santa Clauses in red robes and wigs to administer the law. The question is who are speaking for and what is the meaning behind their garb? One doesn’t have to travel too far back in time to secure the answers.

The term ‘horse’ is from ‘or-s’, which in ancient times meant sun-light. ‘O-r’ is interpreted as ‘circle of power’ where [r] or [ra] means power and ‘ray’ for a beam of light is from this source. The circle of power is the sun and it was this body that was worshipped and called the Mother God. She passed down the law through the high priests who interpreted it.

To demonstrate their allegiance to ‘her’ they dressed in the skins of horses and wore the mane on their heads. This was the start of the horse hair wig.

The sun-horse was called the ‘Magi’ or ‘mother god’s eye’, which is the sun. From this came ‘majesty’ for the king who interpreted her will as her ‘sun’ on earth. The terms ‘son’ and ‘sun’ are the same. This created the notion of ‘sun-kings’ and ‘Sons of God’.

‘Magi’ is also in ‘magistrate’ for the administer of the law. The colour red is symbolic of the skin after exposure to the sun and is also the colour of blood. In the city of Babylon that start of crucifixion of god-men saw men voluntarily die on crosses at dawn to ride the ‘ors’ or sun-beam upwards with the rising sun into heaven.

My research followed memory of reincarnation and knowledge that heaven and hell are myths. Tracing the progress of the law from the first concept of the Sun-God was an easy task as the story is locked in language, the law, and the general behaviour of humanity.

People bow to the majesty and the magistrate to acknowledge their god-like status and that they have the authority to speak for and on behalf of the sun.

‘Magi’ is a term for ‘horse’ and from it comes the term ‘magic’, which pervades all religions and forms of worship. The idea that words can change the status of people and elevate some to the position of a god, as in the canonisation of saints, is as much a product of man’s dreams as the notion that heaven is a place of eternal bliss or hell of eternal punishment.

Norma’s research went back to Babylon to unearth the roots of religion and the identity of 666. It proves conclusively that heaven and hell are tricks designed to manipulate people into believing in his Islamic religion.

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