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The Unhappy World of IT Professionals

Hemos posted more than 10 years ago | from the cry-me-a-river dept.

The Almighty Buck 981

npistentis writes "According to an article on ZDNet.com, only 1 in 7 IT professionals rate themselves as "very happy" with their chosen profession- which stands in stark contrast to one in three hairdressers, plumbers and chefs, and one in four florists. But then again, very few plumbers have to deal with users who consistently download BonziBuddy, blindly click on suspicious email attachments and use their cd trays as cupholders." Of course, it should be noted that by and large IT professionals earn more money then most other jobs - which I suppose is once again a warning of money != happiness.

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fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644371)

fp

Re:fp (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644409)

I win! I win!

BEARLOAD TROLL HAS BEEN FOUND (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644374)

As many of you may have seen, over the past few days Slashdot came under attack from an Anonymous Coward identifying himself as the Bearload [bearload.com] Troll, who posted hidden links to gay pornography in numerous stories.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=101332&cid=863 5348 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=101346&cid=863 5875 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=101328&cid=863 5103 [slashdot.org]
http://games.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=101326&c id=8634559 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=101280&cid=863 1115 [slashdot.org]

This was assumed to be the work of a troll group, but none have claimed responsibility, nor have any lone users been discoverd. Until now. The poster made the mistake of boasting on an anti-slashdot website, with a static IP. Nothing was thought of this at first, obviously. Except for a fluke. Space Cowboy [slashdot.org] , in a fit of boredom caused by his ceaseless karma whoring had emailed the site boasting he was planning to troll Slashdot out of ennui. They were stunned when they realised Space Cowboy and the Bearload Troll had exactly the same IP.

It appears that Space Cowboy had felt bored with normal discussion and had decided to relvie this boredom by linking the people of Slashdot to shock sites. This kind of behaviour cannot be allowed to continue. Please, if you have mod points, mod down Space Cowboy [slashdot.org] . With a little discipline, he can return to being a productive member of the community. I urge you not to be vindictive

I'm happy with my job (1)

roXet (95005) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644375)

I'm very happy with my current job, sure there are some problems, not being paid enough, management, but overall I'm quite pleased.

Self-employed (3, Interesting)

turnstyle (588788) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644427)

I don't know if it counts as a "job" but I've been self-employed since '94 or '95. And I'm happy. It can get stressful at times, but I'm addicted to the lifestyle...

Re:I'm happy with my job (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644548)

I would be very happy too...if I HAD A JOB!! For us geeks, even having a job in the world of IT (even for peanuts) is all that we ask for now. It's what we do..and love.

1 in 7 :) (4, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644376)


Fortunately I'm part of that "1 in 7" and I think this comment has a lot to do with it:
"There is an increasing trend for people to swap careers to do something more hands on,"
A "pure IT job" of sitting in front of a screen all day would drive me bonkers. I like having to physically get into our big SGI machines, re-routing fiber & Cat-5, mounting new things in racks, etc. If I had a "screwdriver boy" to do all that while I sat at a console and worked on the equipment through the network my job satisfaction would go down 50% at least.

That all said, I'll wager that when the "DotCom Boom" was happening, many of the "other 6 of the 7" got into IT for the money. If you don't love what you do then get out of it.

About five writings against this article is sweet (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644513)

Drawing up it sleeps, Contents drawing up.

Re:1 in 7 :) (5, Interesting)

IWorkForMorons (679120) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644517)

Not all of us...

I got into college for programming at the very beginning of the boom. I did it because I liked programming, not because it was going to pay me lots of money. Of course I was looking forward to the money, but I still liked the programming.

Now, I've found that the programming is becoming stale and boring. It very well could be just this job causing those feelings, because I hardly do any real programming anymore, but until I get another programming job I won't know for sure. And I managed to graduate a year before the bust, so I couldn't build up those wages like some. I'm only making $6000 more then my starting wage 3.5 years ago. So the money definately isn't worth it. Currently, I'm considering looking for a new IT job, or going back to school for welding or something more hands-on. So at least for me, it's not so much that it's boring work, or that I'm only interested in the money. It's more that I think I need more variety and action in my job. Because god knows insurance is NOT a fun and exciting job...

Re:1 in 7 :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644545)

"That all said, I'll wager that when the "DotCom Boom" was happening, many of the "other 6 of the 7" got into IT for the money. If you don't love what you do then get out of it."

Yeah, instead you should get a job doing something else you don't like doing and get paid less, right?

I've always found that argument interesting in the IT world. There is a highbrow attitude where "geeks" frown on those who get into the industry "for the money".

What's wrong with getting into the industry for the money? What if you don't want to do anything else? If there isn't anything else you're interested in doing, and you have to bring home a paycheck to pay the rent, you may as well make more money doing something you don't like than making a lot less doing something you don't like.

It's that way in all trades. People act as if it's some kind of "sin" to become a tech for the money end of it. Curious why that doesn't seem to come up in other fields as often.

Tell me about it. (5, Funny)

JosKarith (757063) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644377)

I had a user bothering me during my lunch break, wanting me to come and restore her Office Assistant because she "Missed the little kitty". It took a great effort of will to keep my language pg-13.

Become happy : switch to Linux! (-1, Offtopic)

Krik Johnson (764568) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644378)

To avoid bonzi buddy, install Linux! Bonzi buddy is not avalible for Linux!

Re:Become happy : switch to Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644437)

But spell checkers ARE 'available' on Linux.

Re:Become happy : switch to Linux! (-1)

terriblekarmanow tm (592883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644441)

I hear the abacus is making a comeback, too.

Re:Become happy : switch to Linux! (1)

DaHat (247651) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644443)

And then what happens when enough users are using Linux and companies decide to port software such as Bonzi Buddy to it?

The only reason Linux is a more safe alternative to Windows is that the number of users of Linux is comparatively so low, if that were to change, Linux users could end up no better then Windows users.

Btw... you are the type that is the reason for my sig.

Re:Become happy : switch to Linux! (1)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644480)


To avoid that crap don't give full admin access on your Windows machines, install Spybot Search & Destroy and use its neat Immunize feature. I have hard numbers from our firewall connection logs that show a marked decrease in traffic to spyware sites as we load Spybot S&D on PCs around here.

In related news... (5, Funny)

gregwbrooks (512319) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644380)

Fully 7 out of 7 Bastard Operators From Hell were "just peachy keen" with making users' lives miserable.

Obligitory Weird Al quote... (0)

jiffah (685832) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644381)

money != happiness

"You know they say that you can't buy happiness, so I guess I'll just have to rent it."

Not to put down hairdressers or plumbers, (2, Interesting)

Trigun (685027) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644382)

but I think that the IT community aspires to be more than what their career generally denegrates to, tech support monkeys.

And by the way: (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644449)

What's worse? Telling an idiot how to uninstall BonziBuddy or deal with the idiots who constantly flush wierd stuff down their toilets and keep clogging the pipes.

Re:Not to put down hairdressers or plumbers, (1)

calennert (654624) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644458)

Amen.

And (1)

hplasm (576983) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644383)

plumbers, hairdressers & co don't usually have a PHB to deal with...at least the hairdressers don't...

Re:And (1, Funny)

irving47 (73147) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644494)

Well, not after 20 seconds with the good scissors.

Re:And (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644501)

Have you had any friends that are hairdressers?? The FHB (Frizzy-Haired-Boss) or PHB (Pink-haired-boss) can be just as bad or worse. Not so mindless as a PHB, much more vindictive and cut-throat.

I'm certainly glad I switched (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644386)

Sitting here, watching an entire Uni department go mad as nearly all their NT servers were utterly mangled by the latest worm, I'm certainly glad it's no longer my fucking problem to fix it.

Re:I'm certainly glad I switched (5, Funny)

redfenix (456698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644471)

Wait a sec, that sounds dangerously like a haiku. Okay, let's give it a try:

Sitting here, watching
Uni department go mad
Mangled by the worm

6/7 IT Indians consider themselves happy (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644387)

...making $19,700 a year and living in luxury in Bangalaore

What?! (5, Insightful)

Beatbyte (163694) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644388)

But then again, very few plumbers have to deal with users who consistently download BonziBuddy, blindly click on suspicious email attachments and use their cd trays as cupholders.

But then again, no IT guys have to work in feces in a sweaty, humid, tiny room. STFU you little baby.

Re:What?! (1)

alphaFlight (26589) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644453)

I don't know, I think a lot of IT people have to deal with all kinds of shit that comes down the pipe :) Also, how many of us have had to spend time in uncomfortable server rooms?

Re:What?! (2, Funny)

redfenix (456698) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644498)

Yes, but you have to admit, when you accidently unplug that fiber line, raw sewage doesn't usually come out of it!

Until the plumbing backs up into the server room (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644497)

And don't forget, most plumbers make more that we do.

Re:What?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644533)

Unless maybe you are the IT guy in India that a US job got outsourced to.

My philosophy (2, Insightful)

TrentL (761772) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644390)

I like my IT job. But whenever I see some hot new server or piece of hardware, I think to myself, "You know what? No matter how exciting that is, there is someone somewhere who is doing the most boring thing in the world with it."

what makes IT professionals unhappy (4, Interesting)

Squeezer (132342) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644391)

1. users
2. job security

thankfully, I have job security because i work for state government (state government don't lay off employees) but I still have to deal with users that should know the basics of how to use a computer since they probably have a computer at home or use their computer at work enough :(

Re:what makes IT professionals unhappy (3, Insightful)

fingerfucker (740769) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644553)

I have job security because i work for state government (state government don't lay off employees)

Aaah, that's just simply not right...

This again only underscores that government employees are not motivated to perform, because they can rely on their "job security".

One would hope that the government would strive to become better through becoming more efficient, and more productive.

If you are not dealing with extremely confidential information (such as national secrets), there is no reason to keep a policy that guarantees you job safety within the state government.

How ya like me now? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644394)

I hate all of you!

Is it just me? (-1, Troll)

pyr0 (120990) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644399)

Is it just me or did the article submitter not provide any alternate professions that are more happy than IT professionals? That'd be like saying I'm short because other people are shorter than me.

Re:Is it just me? (4, Informative)

myspys (204685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644467)

it's even in the short blurb here on /.

"which stands in stark contrast to one in three hairdressers, plumbers and chefs, and one in four florists"

Re:Is it just me? (3, Insightful)

pkalkul (450979) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644483)

Part of the problem with this and most other studies of IT labor issues (markets, salaries, job satisfaction, etc.) is that it does not differentiate between different types of IT labor. Often IT is taken to include a wide range of jobs that vary from tech support to network administration to programming. The category is so broad as to be almost meaningless. There is an enormous difference between the type of work (and the people who do it, how much they get paid, etc.) done by systems programmers and that done by call-center tech support staff.

Thanks alot! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644401)

Reading this article made me even more unhappy and depressed about my job! Thanks ./! Now I'm even more miserable than I was 5 mins ago.

Plumbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644407)

>>But then again, very few plumbers have to deal with users who consistently download BonziBuddy, blindly click on suspicious email attachments and use their cd trays as cupholders

I'll complain about my job when the plumber that was ankle deep in human waste when he saved my A$$ from a plugged main line complains about his.

If he cleans up the crap, I can clean up Bonzi Buddy.

Geek Culture (4, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644408)

Y'know, it's kinda chic to be disgruntled if you're in IT. Think about it--if you're amongst your computer-saavy peers, is it cool to say that you're very happy working your IT job, or is it cool to bitch and moan about the lusers you need to herd on a daily basis?

Re:Geek Culture (5, Interesting)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644481)

This "chic" is not exclusive to IT. It appears that bitching and moaning, and taking things for granted, is common in popular spoon-fed TV-enslaved western culture.

Personally, I find that sort of 'pleasure' abhorent. Sitting around bitching about things, or criticizing something just for the social effect ... that's fully lame.

Re:Geek Culture (1)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644542)


It appears that bitching and moaning, and taking things for granted, is common in popular spoon-fed TV-enslaved western culture.

Well said!

re: geek culture (4, Insightful)

ed.han (444783) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644514)

that's an excellent point. it's like whining about the food in school/corp cafeteria. it's not like the stuff is literally wretched, but it's a pastime and part of the culture. you can whine about your lusers all you want, but the reason it's aggravating sometimes is b/c you know that if they just stopped to think for a nanosecond, they wouldn't open that attachment, etc. IMX, the majority of users aren't that clueless and amidst the support guys i know, the stress that comes from supporting userse is more often a function of the fact that you want to try to do right by them. of course there's always the occasional idiot, but then again, when isn't there?

ed

Ouch (4, Insightful)

mbadolato (105588) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644410)

But then again, very few plumbers have to deal with users who consistently download BonziBuddy, blindly click on suspicious email attachments and use their cd trays as cupholders."

Pretty sad that there's a higher percentage of people that are happy fixing toilets clogged with shit then the perecentage of people supporting computer users....

Re:Ouch (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644543)

You haven't seen the shit in their users mail boxes.

The results would have been different... (5, Interesting)

supersmike (563905) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644414)

...if this survey had been conducted just 5 or 6 years ago.

intelligence (-1)

93,000 (150453) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644416)

I believe intelligence correlates with depression to some extent. Based on that, one might argue that since IT tends to consist of a 'smarter' set of individuals than average, the result is a higher rate of depression - i.e. unsatisfied workers.

Yes, I am basing this on assumptions.

Re:intelligence (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644499)

I predict that you will be modded up because IT people really believe that they're super intelligent.

if my title was professional virus hunter .. (1)

darthcamaro (735685) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644419)

I'd be a whole lot happier. I spend more time fighting viruses, trojans and other malware shit that dumb ass users download than anything else...

Re:if my title was professional virus hunter .. (1)

torpor (458) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644515)

My role is Professional Virus Maker. [virus.info]

(Well, not really. It says "r&d" on my visitenkarten ... but I think you get the point. :)

I knew a guy (4, Funny)

budhaboy (717823) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644420)

I knew a guy who lived in OH and commuted to Manhattan to cut hair part time in the village.

He claimed to make a lot of money, and was actually quite happy... I personally think he was running dope on the side, though, so what the hell do I know?

Plumbers (1)

iiioxx (610652) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644423)

But then again, very few plumbers have to deal with users who consistently download BonziBuddy, blindly click on suspicious email attachments and use their cd trays as cupholders.

No, plumbers just have to deal with clogged toilets and backed up septic systems. Think I'll keep my admin job, thanks. I may have to deal with a lot of bullshit, but at least there's no human excrement involved.

do your users wash their hands after using the... (1, Funny)

holy_smoke (694875) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644521)

restroom? Do you touch their keyboards and mice when helping them? You may be getting more human feces than you think. :-)

Of course (4, Insightful)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644429)

A lot of people moved to IT in the 90s because it was the *biggest* thing. They didn't have to like the job as the pay package was usually better than a lot of other jobs out there and it was easier to pick up a couple of books, get HTML training and boom. You were in.

If plumbing, hairdressing or whatever becomes the next *big* thing, I am sure a lot of people would join the bandwagon without having to necessarily like it. And consequently, the percentage of people disliking this job would go up.

The cliche' goes again. Do what you like or you will forced to like what you do.

Huh.. (1)

ezzzD55J (697465) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644430)

But then again, very few plumbers have to deal with users who consistently download BonziBuddy, blindly click on suspicious email attachments and use their cd trays as cupholders
This makes me wonder what is meant by 'IT professionals'. The above sounds like guys that support IT (desktop machines and network) in the office.. Well, that's only a small fraction of the work that goes on in IT, thankfully :) (or there would be nothing to support, for one thing).

Salaries (1)

aliens (90441) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644433)

it should be noted that by and large IT professionals earn more money then most other jobs

Is that really true any more? I mean, last I heard plumbers could do quite well for themselves and had much better job security.

I thought IT salaries came back down to earth after the DotCom bust.

Of course my dream job is CEO. Who else wants in?

Totally makes sense! (2, Interesting)

cpn2000 (660758) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644435)

I used to enjoy working in this profession. Learning new things everyday, dabbling with cutting edge technology .... you all know what I'm talking about.

Now, I am happy I have a job, and thats where it ends. I dont enjoy what I'm doing in my current job, but I know the pickings are rather slim if I leave here, my town not being a IT hub does not help either (and I really dont want to move)

If that's not enough, in the back of my mind, I'm always worried about the next down-sizing, and whether I'm on the radar for that or not.

I am sure this profile is fairly typical for most people working in IT.

Re:Totally makes sense! (1)

EFGearman (245715) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644504)

Preach it. After my last job loss (been at current job for a bit over a year now), I couldn't move, as that would require selling house at a loss, amoung other things.

Odd way to report the results (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644440)

Since they reported the percentage of respondents who said they were "very happy", I'm assuming they used categories such as "very happy", "somewhat happy", etc. I'd like to see the whole breakdown. Suppose that hypothetically, workers in Job X were 5% "very happy" but 50% "somewhat happy", 20% "somewhat unhappy", and 25% "very unhappy", while those in Job Y were 10% / 20% / 30% / 40% on the same scale -- it would be hard to argue at that point that Y's are happier than X's, but that's how the survey results would be interpreted if you only "skim the cream" and report the top category.

Money does not equal happiness (1)

alteridem (46954) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644448)

Money might equal happiness if I had time to spend it. With 12 to 14 hour days the norm, the job I love doing is burning me out and making me think of a new career. To make it worse, in Ontario, IT workers are exempt from labour laws governing working hours and overtime. One of the few other trades exempt in Ontario is farm workers. It's nice to know that we are appreciated and our bosses got to the government...

Re:Money does not equal happiness (1)

arhca (653190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644546)

Who told you that? Your PHB?

Might want to look it up...

Helping users is no problem (3, Insightful)

Carnivore24 (467239) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644452)

its the imcompetent coworkers who have to be constantly "retrained" how to do simple things such as imaging machines, troubleshooting laptops, and installing software.

Conversely.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644454)

very few IT professionals have to deal with toilets overflowing diarrhea onto the floor.

IT professionals take their problems very seriously but, they don't seem to remember that thier problems are not of the real (physical) world.

Re:Conversely.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644525)

IT professionals ... don't seem to remember that thier problems are not of the real (physical) world.

Yeah, we never have deadly-serious responsibilities like cleaning up shit. We just have to fix things after every ILOVEYOU, Slammer and Blaster sweeps the globe, leaving paralyzed Windows boxes behind.

Oh, wait.

Salary (3, Interesting)

peterpi (585134) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644455)

"Of course, it should be noted that by and large IT professionals earn more money then most other jobs"

Over here in the UK, plumbers make an absolute fortune (well above your average code monkey) because their skills are so in demand.

I hear... (1)

hool5400 (257022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644461)

I hear IT has a killer suicide rate...

I'd bet it's proportional to Microsoft product use too.

IT sux0r (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644462)

I've been in the IT business my entire professional life, and although I love writing my own freeware software in my own free time, I now detest sitting in an office writing code for ever more demanding users and sales people who have fewer brain cells than a dead ant.

I'm sick & tired of everything always being urgent. Any kind of code change is urgent. Always urgent.

Then there are the sales people who will do anything to get a sale. Once they get the sale it becomes your problem to implement the crap they promised the customer. Some sales moron wanted to "skin" the software. It's a medical application for christ's sake, not an MP3 player. And they wanted it done in two days! There are hundreds of thousands of lines of code!

Then there is the management that expect (demand!) that you work all day everyday and all weekend. You must be on call 24 hours a day.

Then there are the even more stupid idiotic management who want changes that no customer has requested, because it would be "cool".

I'd work in McDonalds in an instant - if it paid the same wages.

Not many professionals are happy. (5, Informative)

SiliconJesus (1407) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644463)

Here's the stats per the website.

Position Profession Vocational/Academic % Very Happy
1 Care Assistants Vocational 40%
2 Hairdressers Vocational 32%
3 Plumbers Vocational 32%
4 Chefs Vocational 30%
5 Florists Vocational 20%
6 Chartered
Engineers Professional 18%
7 Lawyers Professional 16%
8 Mechanics Vocational 14%
9 IT Specialists Professional 14%
10 Scientists/R&D Professional 14%
11 Secretaries /
receptionists Vocational 13%
12 Butchers Vocational 12%
13 Builders Vocational 10%
14 Teachers Professional 8%
15 Architects Professional 8%
16 Electricians Vocational 6%
17 Accountants Professional 4%
18 Pharmacists Professional 4%
19 Media Professional 4%
20 Estate agents Professional 4%

Job != Life either (4, Insightful)

mccalli (323026) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644464)

Of course, it should be noted that by and large IT professionals earn more money then most other jobs - which I suppose is once again a warning of money != happiness

It should also be noted that not being happy in your job doesn't mean you're not happy with your life, either. For example, last year I left a terrible but very well paid job. Thought the job was appalling, but the money I was making from it allowed me to get on with my life in other areas, so overall I was having a good time.

Be wary of describing people as just "IT Professionals" or "Hairdressers". They're not 2D stereotypes, they're full-blown people with all the complexity that implies.

Cheers,
Ian

This what will drive Linux! (-1, Offtopic)

Krik Johnson (764568) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644465)

Linux is starting to get installed on corporate desktops for one big reason, less anoyances!

No bonzi buddies, root system keeps users sandboxed away from trouble! Evoloution has really good virus protection, The linux kernel can disable the eject button on cd drives to stop them being used as cup holders.

If you are unhappy with your current job, concider rolling out Linux in your business today. With the latest products such as Xandros Business edtion, Sun Java Desktop and SuSE office desktop, Linux for business desktops is the natural choice. So stop worring, and be happy!

I have already rolled out Linux to several businesses, and my wage has increased, plus I am a lot happier! So talk to your manager about rolling out linux in your business, TODAY!

Don't forget to tell him about Crossover office [codeweavers.com] !

Underlying commonalities? (2, Interesting)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644470)

After looking through the article (gasp, I read it!) I think the authors may have missed a significant factor. Most of the "happier" professions aren't worried about their jobs getting outsourced, and don't appear to be the type of job that have bosses breathing down your neck, forcing you to work 80 hour weeks for 40 hours of pay, which, by the way, also had your salary cut.

Nurses are an example of a profession even less "happy" than IT. While nurses aren't worried about their jobs being outsourced, interestingly enough they tend to be overworked (usually 10-12 hour rotating shifts throughout the week) and underpaid, especially compared to their colleagues. But, according to the articles, they should be happy, as they are very hands on. Guess that hypothesis just got shot down.

The only useful thing I found out of this study is the actual data, which I don't really know how to treat (with suspicion?). The rest is pretty much opinionated fluff.

Bonzai Buddy beats poop anyday... (-1, Offtopic)

gatkinso (15975) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644474)

...atleast I would tend to think so.

But then again maybe not according to the stats...

That's not the real conclusion (3, Insightful)

Underholdning (758194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644476)

So what this basically means is, that unhappy people chose a career in IT, not that IT makes you unhappy. Think about it - when we were young, the IT savvy where the geeks with no friends. They (we) are the guys working as IT professionals today. IT didn't make me unhappy. Being a nerd did.

Whaaa? (1)

pistaugh (316764) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644477)

IT professionsals earn more money than whom? When did this happen?

hours worked? dumb customers? (2, Insightful)

iamjim (313916) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644482)

I would like to see an analysis of time spent on the job vs. pay. I know that my wife, who makes less than half of what I do, makes more than I do per-hour due to the fact that I would find myself working for 20-30 hours straight often. On a daily basis I work in excess of 10 hours.

This, I would assume, is a reason why there are so many of us unhappy (I am not unhappy, which is why I work constantly) - but we don't get over time for the >40 hrs/week worked - do the other "happier" professions qualify for overtime? I believe at least one of them does.

A lot also has to do with the people you interact with. Florists, for example (as mentioned), don't have to deal with people watering their flowers with battery acid and come to you saying "I didn't do anything, it just died".

money != happiness? (1)

vertical_98 (463483) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644485)

Of course, it should be noted that by and large IT professionals earn more money then most other jobs - which I suppose is once again a warning of money != happiness.

Chefs, plumbers, and florists get less than 36k a year? I guess I should be happy then. I mean I would love my job if I got paid better.

Vertical

Re:money != happiness? (1)

EFGearman (245715) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644559)

30K if they compare it to me. :( Every time I have had to get a new job, I get paid less. I just love living in an economic downturn.

I use to be an IT pro (5, Insightful)

Fisher99 (580290) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644490)

pay was good but the hours were crap, so was the constant bs. So I traded my computer geek coat. Now I go around the world as a consultant fixing problems. Kind of like Macgyver. Meet interesting people, see beautiful places, do interesting things, but still use my greek knowledge to solve problems. Nobody gives you your dream job, you have to make your own dream job and make it happen. It's hard work but well worth it. We are creatures of a social network. Enlighten yourself, and you will be a lot happier.

Uh, (1)

pragma_x (644215) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644496)

But then again, very few plumbers have to deal with users who consistently download BonziBuddy, blindly click on suspicious email attachments and use their cd trays as cupholders.

This is true. However, i'd take any clogged email box over a clogged toilet anyday. Throw in the occasional "upper decker", hairball clogged shower drain, backed up septic tank or the rare detonated water heater and suddenly being a mouse jockey seems like a luxury cruise.

Computer user stupidity pales in comparsion to plumbing user stupidity IMO.

Basic Economics (1)

Fished (574624) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644512)

The more people like a job, the higher the supply, and the lower the pay (all else being equal).

That's why programmers, accountants, doctors and the like make a lot of money while teachers make little more than minimum wage. Moreso, teachers in public schools make reasonable (but not great money), but teachers in private schools make a lot less. Why can private schools get cheaper teachers? Because the teachers in private schools like their job better.

Happiness is an internal condition (1)

FearUncertaintyDoubt (578295) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644518)

Happiness is not something that external conditions can produce. Happiness is an internal quality -- it comes from within you. For example, I am pretty much miserable most of the time. Why? Is it my job? No, my job is very good, and I have no reason to be unhappy. I would be just as unhappy as I am now if I was CEO, movie star, pro athlete, surrounded by beautiful women, fabulously rich, etc. And if I were a happy person (as an internal quality) I could be happy as a busboy or poopsmith.

The faint scent of a rat (1)

WindowlessView (703773) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644520)

I'll bet there were a slew of newspaper articles in the 70s and 80s along the lines of "Money isn't everything, only 1 in 20 auto workers are happy anyway. 7 out of 8 computer people have job satisfaction though..."

Re:The faint scent of a rat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644560)

Seven out of eight computer people have job satisfaction now, too. The bad news is, the seven all work for U.S. companies but still live in Bangalore.

The eighth guy still has a job in the U.S., but he's shittin' bricks because sooner or later his job will go overseas, as well.

We're not all tech support. (3, Insightful)

kryzx (178628) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644523)

"But then again, very few plumbers have to deal with users who consistently download BonziBuddy, blindly click on suspicious email attachments and use their cd trays as cupholders."

I would guess that most IT professionals are not in tech support. I've not seen numbers on it, but if you lump together programmers, DBA's, web developers, analysts, etc, vs. sysads and tech support I bet you get something like an 80/20 ratio. Anyone seen stats on it?

But, for those in tech support, I think there are inherent conflicts. People attracted to tech are often more introverted. You take people like that and force them to deal with users who know nothing, are resentful of their utter dependence on others, want immediate results, and blame tech support for the problem in the first place, and you get BOFH [iinet.net.au] .

People are the key (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644524)

If you can learn to enjoy interacting with people then it doesn't matter what you do. To the extent you are in a job where you isolate yourself by thinking everyone you work with are idiots, then it doesn't matter what you do, you will be unhappy.

Great jobs are created by the people doing them, the social work environment being created and managed by the people who work at a place.

Take a pin to your ego and remember your lawyer, your plumber, your mechanic all think you're an idiot, too.

So let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644526)

They don't like their job... we don't like how they do their job... and yet we keep paying these people?

They let you out sometimes? (1)

amigoro (761348) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644534)

not being chained to a desk (59 percent)

I thought chaining IT people to the desk was done at every office. So they do let some of you work without shackles, huh?

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IT is a largely intellectual field (2, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644535)

Which means that it has the most to lose in the current anti-intellectual, anti-causality cultural climate. IT professionals have to battle the PHB crowd and the AOLers, people who think that computers 'should just know' how to do something, or people who 'feel like it needs to reboot', or explain THEIR failure as 'the computer didn't want to do that'. A generation raised on Star Trek, combined with a cultural disdain for anything intellectual or requiring brains, means that IT pros are nearly always playing to a hostile crowd. Since skepticism is in full swing, people who don't know how to use a computer system think that nobody knows, or worse, that nobody CAN know, what the problem is. Unfortunately, with MS products as pervasive as they are, sometimes nobody DOES know what the problem is, and often, all systems need ARE reboots.

Wait! (1, Funny)

hookedup (630460) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644536)

My boss just took the next two months off. I'd like to change my vote please.

Professional, Schmessional (1)

awol (98751) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644537)

I expect that the definition of professional in their survey was very broad. Quite apart from code monkeys, about whose status we can argue significantly, the vast majority of people working in IT do not garner what I consider to be professional status. They are working in menial jobs, the 21st century equivalent of being a clerk.

Most of the people I know, who I consider to be IT professionals, higher degree educated people whose services are sought out by their clients are remarkably happy and have an excellent quality of life.

Maybe... (5, Insightful)

Shant3030 (414048) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644540)

Us IT people would be alot happier if we had more attractive women working in our companies. I work with 50 software engineers, 47 males and 3 women.

Yes, we are that shallow. Nothing wrong with having some hot women in the office.

Happiness is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8644547)

taking up a challenge you can overtake. Too many people in IT take up challenges they cannot take because they don't know how to.

Plumbers' pay (1)

mahler3 (577336) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644552)

- which stands in stark contrast to one in three hairdressers, plumbers[....] Of course, it should be noted that by and large IT professionals earn more money then most other jobs - which I suppose is once again a warning of money != happiness.

FWIW, a competent plumber can make very good money; I've known a few who out-earned me in my software day job.

Incidentally, my job often includes snaking network cables under raised flooring or above dropped ceilings. I'm not sure whether inhaling asbestos particles is better or worse than occasionally getting fresh sewage on myself.

CD-ROMS not cup holders? (0, Offtopic)

FictionPimp (712802) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644554)

I always put a CD-ROM in my PC for that purpose alone.

Cup Holder, top slot
Empty space
Empty Space
DVD-Burner
Floppy

It works out really well when you pc sits about chair high. Oh and just to stay on topic. I love my job as a software analyst. I find it rewarding and the pay/stress level is better then my admin and programming jobs.

Happy Happy Joy Joy (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644556)


One thing I do remember is that another survey picked the Amish as being the happiest group in America - to be honest I can see why. They have a lot of community and extended family around to make life a lot richer than the nuclear family way of life that is the norm in the US.

money != happiness ? (1)

selderrr (523988) | more than 10 years ago | (#8644557)

which I suppose is once again a warning of money != happiness

Wrong conclusion : perhaps the money is making them less frustrated. If they earned less, they'd be even more unhappy with their job.

Which proves that money is not like the speed of light : you can keep on adding (ad infinitum) money-happiness to unhappy people untill they get happy :-)
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