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Struggling, tired, confused and other rants typical from the IT industry

Hello everyone,

Firstly, I really hope you are all well and healthy in the current world situation.

Secondly, please accept my apologies for the rather convoluted, pessimistic and long post. I take it this might not be the best place to post such a thing, but I thought of doing so considering I like this community and might find people with similar experiences.

Lastly, the whole thing:

For a while, probably for few years but more strongly since beginning of this one, I have been struggling with few key points in the IT industry, common workplace practices and my personal and political world views. Particularly, with the inability to fully separate them all. I will try to explain with few examples.

Most of the world companies now are in the cloud, the company I work for in AWS like many others for example. I like AWS, I think it's a good public cloud provider. But I hate that is so big. Big corporations, monopolies -or market dominance- really scare me, go against all my political beliefs -fortunately, or unfortunately, very left-wing- and prevent me from fully embracing certain technologies and ultimately enjoy more with technology. I'm AWS certified but I did it because it's good for the business, not because I have fun with it.

Similarly, some of those services conflict with my desire to learn open source*1 technologies and be in a less vendor lock in situation. Let's say I mention I'd like to work with Ansible, the answer is we use Systems Manager. Or that I would like to implement Nextcloud, Traefik or FreeIPA+AD, the answer is we have Azure AD, AWS Load Balancers and Office 365. I take it, people are used to those tools and workloads. But the business it's on a constant chase to reduce cost*2 so I thought that could be a good idea, plus new learning capabilities for us infra/dev people in the company.

Don't get me wrong, I also like some proprietary tools -Looking at JetBrains in particular- and see advantage of holistic services provided by certain environments. For example, one that I am used to, it's having Jira+Confluence+Bitbucket+Bamboo.

All this makes it harder because my colleagues, including my boss, at a personal level are great and get along with them pretty well.

Anyway, the above topic led me to start self-hosting services and different tools mainly at home in a spare server that I have, o some other providers like DigitalOcean. The reason behind this, was for learning purposes but also to take back control of my digital life, being more independent of the big companies and give money to smaller providers that might need it more than AWS. The down side to this, however, is that I am constantly involved with this projects at home. Fine tuning the network, troubleshooting, updating, improving, listening to my partner complain if something is down... haha.

So, considering this and the fact that since the lock-down I have been at home most of the time, working, has accentuated this by also spending more times on those projects. I feel like I'm constantly working, or on an endless route to find the next thing, always "on" that drains me. It also prevents me from doing proper organised studying with a goal, rather than blindly jump into new stuff.

The last nail on the coffin was on the weekend, where after all day playing around I decided I needed to change my hypervisor. By mistake, I installed a new OS to the server in the wrong SSD, the LVM partition got corrupt, then the RAID config went ballistic and with it all my data. Fortunately I have few backups with most stuff but the thought of having to re-deploy everything again with the new configuration sounds boring, or daunting even. It also put in my head a few questions:

What if I use managed services of tools that I like, -Codeberg or The Good Cloud to name some-?
Will stop managing those services stop me from learning in a more hands on approach, making me "sleeping on my laurels" and ultimately being less valuable in the market?
Will the "itch" really stop?
Am I giving in to the "mainstream approach" instead of standing up for my beliefs/IT view?
Am I just plain stupid? xD

Anyway, sorry again for the long post I needed to take that out of the chest. I have read the text few times and changing things here and there, and probably I'm a bit more confused now. Without a clear view of what is I need or want.

Thank you if you actually took the time to get to this point. Cheers!

*1 This probably also comes from my political view. Which, in itself it's a struggle as well. Whenever I mention something about politics I get rolled eyes and some looks like if I was still in high school or daydreaming.

*2 A lot of internal tools -Like Atlassian suite- are without maintenance for this same reason. But we have the inability to update them, move to other solution, etc. It's a vicious circle.

Quoting: Thrash_Metal_ComputersReading through your post, you sound very technically knowledgeable, especially when it comes to the web server side of things. Are you considering switching jobs to an open source company like Canonical, Red Hat or something similar? It would probably align better with your views. The above companies are only suggestions, as I myself have no experience with web development, aside from basic HTML.

Of course in this current world climate, it is much easier said than done to change jobs.

And no, you are not stupid Many people go through the same thing you are going through now regarding your personal beliefs vs. what a company wants.

Thanks for your words, it really helps :)

I'm more of a sysadmin to be honest, and yeah I have tried in the past to get into companies more aligned with the open source community. However, I wasn't very lucky then and as you say, with the current situation it's a bit difficult to change boats.

denyasis 9 Jul

Outsider here. Not a tech person. Although I too self host my own nextcloud and a few other small things for very similar personal reasons.

I'm blue collar and see some parallels to your current situation, so I'll quote from an older, wiser co-worker:

"Ya can't do and know it all and that's ok"

I don't think it's stupid to use a managed service tool to make your life a little easier. Especially since your pro open-source, you can always dive down into the details and systems when you want. It's really the best of both worlds. It makes your life a little easier, but you can always scratch the itch with out it being draining our too demanding

If it makes you feel better about trying to convince people to switch systems at work, I've tried to suggest some open source stuff at my work too..... We still use DOS.

Last edited by denyasis on 9 July 2020 at 8:16 am UTC

Quoting: denyasisOutsider here. Not a tech person. Although I too self host my own nextcloud and a few other small things for very similar personal reasons.

I'm blue collar and see some parallels to your current situation, so I'll quote from an older, wiser co-worker:

"Ya can't do and know it all and that's ok"

That's very wise indeed! I'll try to remind it, thanks :)

Quoting: denyasisI don't think it's stupid to use a managed service tool to make your life a little easier. Especially since your pro open-source, you can always dive down into the details and systems when you want. It's really the best of both worlds. It makes your life a little easier, but you can always scratch the itch with out it being draining our too demanding

If it makes you feel better about trying to convince people to switch systems at work, I've tried to suggest some open source stuff at my work too..... We still use DOS.

That's properly extending DOS life, very cool :D

Patola 9 Jul

Quoting: Thrash_Metal_ComputersAre you considering switching jobs to an open source company like Canonical, Red Hat or something similar? It would probably align better with your views. The above companies are only suggestions, as I myself have no experience with web development, aside from basic HTML.
I do think that in this case the disillusion could be even greater, because he would be expecting much more from these companies. And although they do open-source, to the core they are identical to proprietary software companies in many ways.

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