Is it just me, or is IT complexity proceeding at an unmanageable rate?

Here's my rough career trajectory:

  • 2 years, university help desk (part time, as a student),
  • 4 years freelance IT consulting for small business
  • 2 years back at school to finish my degree
  • 3 years law school
  • 3 years brokering cyber insurance
  • 2 years as a project manager
  • 3 years managing an insurance broker's cyber risk teams - consulting, insurance, finance, analytics, etc.

Back when I was in IT, I was mostly self-taught. Sure, I did all the basic certs back then. But if I needed to learn something, I'd just go learn it. RTFM. Install it on a machine in the lab. Break it. Fix it. There seemed to be an understanding that what IT did was basically black magic to non-technical people, and among IT people, figuring shit out was just part of the job.

It seems that has changed.

So, I'm tired of putting on a suit and managing people. I'm tired of constantly traveling. I'm tired of being surrounded by sales people and baby boomers who only talk about golf. I'm tired of going to shitty conferences where some dude in his 70s who can't even operate an Outlook calendar presumes to lecture a room full of people about systemic cyber risk. I'm looking to leave the industry and go back into IT; ideally in academia.

But holy fuck. I hope you have five years of experience with a two-year-old programming language like SWIFT. And you're a master of "security frameworks" like NIST, ISO 27000 series, COBIT, ITIL, SOX, GLBA, FISMA, HIPAA, and GDPR. And you also need to know whatever one-off SIEM and business continuity software they use, plus Microsoft Office, Tableau, three unrelated database technologies, and something that's either an obscure data analysis package or schizophrenic word salad. And have a CISSP, CISA, CISM, CASP, or PMP (because those are all equivalent, right?). And you need to be a master of Bash, Python, Perl, PHP, C/C++/ObjC/C#, Java, PHP, or .NET. And have management consulting experience. All for a job that pays about $75k/year.

I feel like some of this is that the technology is progressing at an unsustainable rate. But also because HR is more involved now, and organizations don't train. The same kind of people who were utterly paralyzed by the UI change from Windows XP to Windows 7 are unable to conceive of someone who wasn't, and are writing job descriptions (or at least doing the screening) accordingly.

/r/sysadmin Thread