Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 13th Jan 2008 16:30 UTC, submitted by anonymous
GNU, GPL, Open Source "Operating systems come with cultures as much as codebases. I was forcibly reminded of this fact over the holidays when several family members and neighbors press-ganged me into troubleshooting their Windows computers. Although none of us had any formal computer training, and I know almost nothing about Windows, I was able to solve problems that baffled the others - not because of any technical brilliance, but because the free software culture in which I spend my days made me better able to cope."
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geeks vs 9-5'ers
by TechGeek on Mon 14th Jan 2008 03:07 UTC
TechGeek
Member since:
2006-01-14

Working at a university I see a lot of trends that people talk about. Its easy to spot these when you have seen thousands of students cycle through your program. The attitude that Open Source users are more capable looks like its true on the surface. But its just an illusion. The real problem is that there are two types of IT people, as I like to label them, the geeks and the 9to5'ers.

We have students who just went in to IT because they thought it would be a good career. These are the 9to5'ers. They do the minimum learning to skate by. And nothing is easier to look good at running than Windows. Thats not to say it IS that easy to do well, but with a little knowledge its pretty easy to look like you know what your doing. These people don't touch linux or unix because it requires a lot more effort to learn it to any degree of proficiency.

Then we have the true geeks. They would be doing this no matter how much it paid. They are the type of people that just think about technology all the time. These people put in whatever effort is necessary to learn whatever they want. Some of these people end up in Open Source. Some stay in Windows. Either way they are experts at what they do and know a scary amount of stuff.

I know many 9to5'ers who pretend to be Windows admins. I dont know any 9to5'ers who pretend to be Linux admins.

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