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The Military IT

With Troop Drawdown, IT Looks To Hire More Vets 212

Lucas123 writes "The military's a great place to learn how to kill people and break things, but many also consider it one of the best training grounds for high-tech skills. 'If you're working on a ship or a plane or tank, you've got responsibility for large, complex, extremely expensive equipment run by highly sophisticated IT platforms and software,' said Mike Brown, senior director of talent acquisition at Siemens. But, just how well do military tech skills translate to private-sector IT? Computerworld spoke to veterans to find out just what they learned during their tours of duty and how hard it was to transition to the civilian workforce."
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With Troop Drawdown, IT Looks To Hire More Vets

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  • yes sir! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:05PM (#38013792)

    We've hired a few of these folks. Technical skills tend to be shallow, but we are willing to train the right candidate. Worse is their yes man attitude. You can't get these guys to provide any useful input, when they think their input might conflict with that from somebody "above them". It doesn't seem like these guys can overcome that part of their military training.

  • Logistics (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:12PM (#38013858)

    Military logistics is some of the most advanced out there.

    When I was working shipping at Dell I would say almost all of the logistics management was ex-military. At least all the useful ones were ex-military.

    FedEx being another good example of military logistics making its way to the civilian world.

  • by fredrated ( 639554 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:28PM (#38014040) Journal

    If they give hiring preference based on being a vet that seems discriminatory to me though I am open to suggestion if you can explain why that is not discriminatory.

  • Why would they? This is based on skill and experience, not the color of someone's skin. Nice try though...

    No, it's not. Subsidies to employers mean that, given 2 people of "close-enough"qualifications, the one from the military, who qualifies for subsidies and tax credits, will get the job.

    How is that NOT economic discrimination?

  • by CPTreese ( 2114124 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:32PM (#38014086) Journal

    I'm a prior Army Officer that has transitioned into the civilian workforce. The Army taught me many things, but the primary benefit was the amount of money the Army was willing to risk on me. Not many people can say that their first job out of college was managing 55 people and 8 million dollars in physical assets. Fortunately I did very well and had more command positions after with ever increasing responsibilities. I have what I consider to be an above average intelligence, but I'm certainly not anything special (certainly not genius level, I've met geniuses, I can't understand half of what to them is simple). I've faced combat and been under extreme pressure situations. I currently work in programming and find it moderately boring and frustrating with almost no correlation to my military service. Currently I'm working on getting back into some sort of operational role.

    The point is, just because their military does not mean they will be uniquely gifted to do a job. The talent to shut up and listen I have found is what differentiates the good from the bad.

  • by Bardwick ( 696376 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @02:56PM (#38014928)
    I served 5 years, USN, I would agree with this. A non-perfect way to determine is what they went in for, and how long they stayed. First couple of years, especially if your a grease monkey or infantry type your pretty jaded for the first 3-4 years. Your comments mostly apply to below E-5. The gear that I used (Air Traffic Control) was built in 1973, same year I was born. Ash trays were part of the actual radar gear, so as far as new tech.. Besides some isolated pockets, it's WAY behind. Side note: Loading the ATC software was aluminum punch tape on a spool. So accurate on automated landings, that they had to put in a deviation to keep tail hooks from hitting the exact same spot on the flight deck every time.
  • by CPTreese ( 2114124 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @03:07PM (#38015040) Journal

    I suppose I should specify my statement. It is important to shut up and listen to your subordinates and in turn give their statement voice. It doesn't intimidate me to manage people that are clearly more intelligent than me, and to promote their successes as their own (I never steal credit for someone's work or ideas). I also regularly fought higher authority and at times flat out told them their ideas were stupid.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 10, 2011 @03:43PM (#38015472)

    I served on Teddy a long long time ago as a Desert Storm Vet. Great ship, great crew and although a different era, had no issue transitioning from working in the Reactor as a MM to IT life. As the above poster noted, in the military you learn to deal with stress in a calm = success fashion. No amount of issue down time can equate to life a threatening event.

  • Well, no sub is even close to being 1000' long.... ;)

    But an oft overlooked factor is the small size of the crews. We operated my weapons system (sixteen Tridents and their control, launching, testing and support equipment) with just eighteen people. There was just no room for anyone that wasn't at least above average. The Missile Techs (which generally came from the bottom third of the rankings in school) even called themselves the "scum of the cream".
    The schools were brutal. When I attended SWSEA, the drop rate (I.E. people kicked out of the school) *averaged* thirty percent. My class started with 18 people, and graduated with 12. I was the only person in the class who had never been 'dropped back' (failed a block, and been transferred to a class behind you in the cycle to repeat it), and with a 99.988 average was the *number two* man in the class. Of the 18 people I started with, only 7 of us eventually completed the school and graduated.

  • by TClevenger ( 252206 ) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @11:18PM (#38019368)
    You mean Mr. Government-is-bad-unless-it's-mine Paul? Who thinks that government should get out of our lives, but who is strongly anti-abortion? Who wants to eliminate legal tender and let "the market decide" what currencies we're going to use? Who wants to eliminate basically all government agencies, under the premise that businesses will regulate themselves (like the banking industry did), and if some factory causes the Cuyahoga River to self-ignite again, we'll let the "market punish them?"

C makes it easy for you to shoot yourself in the foot. C++ makes that harder, but when you do, it blows away your whole leg. -- Bjarne Stroustrup