Explaining IT to the educated people

Yona F. Maro

Nov 2, 2006
Steve S.Makasi,
Information Technology (IT) Technician

What are your duties as a computer technician?
First, I ensure that all the computers in the network are working properly and are in good order and I also ensure they don't have viruses. I do service and repairs regularly. I also provide service to our external customers by servicing, repairing their computers, and offering consultation with whoever approaches our office for service.

Sometimes I attend to customers' needs by advising them on the right approach to take with their hardware. For example, I consider the type of computer system as well as the competency of the user. This is because most computer problems are caused by the users. Most users only know how to use computers but not maintaining them.

Where can one train?
There is a misconception concerning IT specialists and Computer engineers/technicia ns. Whereas
IT concerns use of information, such as designing and hosting a website, computer engineering is about maintenance, service of the computers plus networking of computers. The two fields overlap but the basic difference is that computer engineering has a greater focus on the computer hardware and computer science mainly focuses on computer software. As far as training is concerned, there are so many training centres, from universities to technical institutions like Veta.

What are the qualities needed for this kind of job?
One must have an interest or an inner desire for the job. You also must be up-to-date as far as technological advancements are concerned. It is also imperative that one should acquaint himself with on-line training to ensure they are not left behind by the ever-changing technology.

Does the job get stressful?
Yes. Stress is there. Sometimes it becomes hard when it comes to explaining something to educated people who are computer illiterate. They can be disturbing at times
because most of them may not easily trust you because they may think that you are like any other quack technician, who is there just to get money.

Does your work affect your social life?
No. I do balance my work and my social life. I have time for social activities, as well as time for work.

What challenges do you face?
Sometimes I don't have access to the latest technological devices that are very relevant to my job. They are very expensive, and this limits me in a way
for I fail to fully explore my potential.

What do you like most about your job?
I like repairing and teaching. I do both and I find the experience very enriching. It is also a pleasure to see many people getting skills from my school. We even
host university students from different countries for practical training, and they find the place quite useful.

Should one expect a high salary?
It depends. In this field, self-employment is challenging. To make a breakthrough, one needs to be exceptionally innovative. Maybe those employed in government departments and big companies may be getting better deals in terms of salaries.

What advice would you give to people wishing to pursue this career?
Those doing computer studies should aim at being computer engineers and IT specialists. In case they miss on these two, there are still other avenues. They can become computer tutors in computer training schools. Practice is valuable in this field as well, that is why students with certificates from vocational training schools are better than some university graduates because of the former's hands-on experience. It is something that the government should also acknowledge. That students from vocational institutes are doing much better and therefore they should get the same treatment in the job market


Computer Regency IT Training Centre
Bibi Titi Road, Opp. College of Business Education
P.O.Box 32415
Dar es Salaam
Tel. 2121732/3
The assumption is that "educated people" want IT explained to them.While this is true for some cases, it can hardly be said for all such people.

Having burrowed through not only Karl Max and Adam Smith but also some Muhammad Yunus and contemporary luminaries, some Economist could very well care and perhaps rightly so less about a hard drive defrag, network topography or RAM efficiency, hence relegating the geeky stuff to you in what such people may very well believe to be the perfect order of "division of labour"

To such a person, your barrage of meaningless acronym rich geekspeak is as distasteful as a balance sheet is scary to some nerds.The explanation, though well intentioned, may prove to be unnecessary, wasteful and even counterproductive.

The notion of "explaining IT to educated people" is only useful if taken with the caveat, please ask if the audience is at all interested in the more technical details or would rather have you fix the system and go and if needed do it again all over as necessary.
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