IT Job Titles – What Do They Mean?

Although only a few decades old, the information technology or IT field is as broad and deep as industries that have been around for centuries. IT job categories, titles and specialties abound – so many that anyone investigating IT as a career is likely to be very, very confused. What’s the difference between a Network Engineer and a Network Support Analyst? Between a Web Developer, a Web Designer and a Web Technology Specialist? Just what does a Database Administrator do?

Although labels and responsibilities tend to vary from employer to employer, here are some common IT job titles and their descriptions. Consider these when looking for an IT career that best suits your interests, talents and temperament:

Database Administrator – A database is any collection of information that a company or organization keeps on file (e.g. customer names, addresses, inventory, etc.) The Database Administrator (DBA) is in charge of organizing, maintaining and updating this database and creating systems so that people authorized to view, add or remove information are able to do so as quickly and as easily as possible.

Internet Solutions Developer - This is a “catch-all” description for a person responsible for devising and executing Internet-based projects. The job usually involves working with programs that allow the public to view and interact with a company, organization or agency’s Website.

IT Project Program Manager – This is a managerial position requiring some years of experience in the IT field. The IT Project Program Manager is responsible for finding solutions to IT-related problems and then implementing those solutions, often with the help of a team.

Network Administrator – A “network” is any collection of computers that are linked either to each other or to a central server so that information can be created, shared and updated. The Network Administrator is generally responsible for making sure than an existing network runs smoothly and for adding or removing hardware (computers, printers, etc.) and software (programs, applications) from the system.

Network and Security Specialist – The Network and Internet Security Specialist is the person responsible for making sure people who use a computer network only get access to that information they are allowed to see, that information in the network database’s is protected and properly preserved, and that the network cannot be accessed (or “hacked”) by unauthorized individuals, wherever they may be.

Network Engineer – The network engineer is usually responsible for 1) Designing new computer networks, 2) Actually creating these networks, 3) Installing the computers and software that connect to the networks and, 4) Ensuring the network is able to grow and function as needed.

Network Support Analyst – A Network Support Analyst is much like a Network Administrator in that he/she is responsible for keeping an existing network operating as needed, but has fewer managerial responsibilities. The Network Support Analyst may also be responsible for monitoring how people actually use the network, identifying problem areas and then recommending and implementing solutions.

Software Developer/Engineer – “Software” is the set of instructions that make a computer do what you want it to do. The Software Developer/Engineer is the person who writes the instructions, also known as “code,” for these computer programs/applications. Software Developer/Engineers may work “in-house” developing customized programs for a specific employer or client, or may work on programs that are then sold commercially.

Technical Support Specialist – Computers and networks invariably have problems, and it’s the Technical Support Specialist’s job to identify these problems and find a way to correct them. Technical Support Specialists often work at “help desks” where they communicate with company employees or customers by phone, IM or email.

Web Developer – Web Developers create, maintain and update the functional aspects of Websites, be they on the Internet or on a company’s internal Intranet. When designing a new site, they’re usually responsible for creating its architecture, navigation and interactive functions. They may also be responsible for creating programs or applications designed specifically for the Web.

Web Designer – While the Web Developer is concerned with the technical aspects of a Website or Web-based application, the Web Designer is responsible for how such a site or application actually looks. This is an artistic position that requires training and experience in graphic design and layout – and perhaps even animation — as well as the technical aspects of Web operations.

Web Technology Specialist – This position combines the responsibilities of the Web Developer and Web Designer. The Web Technology Specialist needs to not only the technical aspects of Websites and applications, but also needs to frequently handle the design and graphic aspects as well.

If you are considering career training in Information Technology, you need to understand these (and other) job descriptions so you can pursue the education and training that will qualify you for the kind of IT job that fits your talent and personality.

13 Different Types of Engineering Explained

As a student considering your options for college or university, the choices can be overwhelming. This is the case even within certain disciplines where there might be a dozen different subcategories and / or specialties within the profession. Let’s explore some of the more popular Engineering disciplines, shall we?

Agricultural Engineering is the engineering discipline that strives to apply engineering science to agricultural production and farming. In some circles it is commonly accepted that the scope of agricultural engineering is broader than all other forms of engineering, as it combines elements of mechanical, civil, and chemical engineering with animal and plant biology.

Architectural Engineering involves the application of engineering principles to building construction and design. In some parts of the world, the words architect and architectural engineer are used interchangeably.

Biomedical Engineering strives to apply engineering principles and technology to the field of medicine. Originally considered an interdisciplinary specialization, biomedical eng has grown to become a respected discipline of its own. Tissue engineering, while also considered a specialization within biotechnology, is one such example of biomedical engineering in action.

Ceramic Engineering relates to the practice of designing and creating objects from inorganic, non-metallic materials. The process generally includes the purification of raw materials, the production of compounds, their formation into components, and the study of their composition, properties and structure.

Civil Engineering is a discipline that deals primarily with the design, construction and maintenance of bridges, roads, canals, and the like. As a point of interest, this engineering discipline was enshrined to distinguish itself from military engineering. It is considered the second-oldest discipline, after military.

Computer Engineering is a combination of computer science and electronic engineering. Computer engineers design both computer software and computer hardware, in addition to developing solutions for the integration of the two.

Electrical Engineering is the study and application of electromagnetism, electronics, and electricity. It’s a broad-based discipline that encompasses the design and implementation of various electronic / electrical systems such as circuits, generators, motors, and transformers.

Environmental Engineering refers to the application of scientific principles to environmental improvement. Generally speaking, this discipline attempts to provide healthy air, water and land for safe habitation. Additionally, this particular discipline attempts to find ways to reverse environmental damages caused by pollution.

Industrial Engineering is a discipline concerned with the development and ongoing improvement of integrated systems. In manufacturing systems, focus is placed on finding ways to eliminate waste (time, money, materials, energy, etc). Industrial engineering is not necessarily limited to manufacturing, however.

Manufacturing Engineering, on the other hand, deals almost exclusively with the design and maintenance of different manufacturing processes, tools, equipment and machines. Lean manufacturing principles are one such example of scientific manufacturing in action.

Materials Engineering is concerned with the properties of matter and it’s application to science and technology. This generally refers to the study of the structure of materials at the molecular level, and includes elements of applied physics and chemistry. Nanotechnology is one such example of materials engineering in action.

Mechanical Engineering is one of the oldest disciplines, and is primarily concerned with the design, production and use of tools and machines. It is primarily concerned with the generation and application of mechanical power.

Nuclear Engineering is a discipline that is primarily concerned with finding practical applications of nuclear energy. This includes the development and maintenance of nuclear reactors, power plants, and weapons.

Should I Quit Weed Cold-Turkey Or Cut Down Gradually?

A common question people often ask when they first quit weed, is “Should I quit weed cold turkey or cut down slowly?”

Look at it this way; the two contrasting options when quitting weed are obvious:

  • Stop smoking weed cold turkey
  • Stop smoking weed slowly or cut down gradually

Each has advantages, however one of them is clearly the right way to go about quitting weed. Let’s look at both strategies to determine which one will cause you the least discomfort in your efforts to quit.

Quitting Weed Cold Turkey

To stop smoking weed cold turkey means that one day you simply stop, and never look back. The plan is to never smoke again and people are satisfied to take on all withdrawals at once, knowing that it is only going to be once.

Like they say: Do it one time, and do it properly.

It is very easy to plan to quit cold turkey, although you need to make a plan for the onset of withdrawals and decreased stress tolerance. You may not be the nicest person in this time.

  • PROS: Less planning
  • CONS: More stressful (if you don’t know what you are doing!)

Quitting Marijuana Gradually

To slowly cut back is the opposite. You hope to experience more bearable withdrawals for a longer time, this way the hurdle of quitting altogether seems lowered and you have more chance of success in the long run – that’s the thinking behind it anyway.

  • PROS: More planning and discipline
  • CONS: Less stressful, although it may not work

Which Method Works For Often For More People?

Although different people employ different strategies to cope with marijuana addiction, the fact is that one of these ways works far more often than the other – on almost every person.

Believe it or not, when it comes to stopping a marijuana addiction, cold turkey is the answer.

Cold turkey is definite. There is not a lot to contemplate after you have passed your ‘quitting date’.

Quitting gradually may seem easier at the beginning (obviously – you haven’t even quit yet) but many people fail in the long run when they try this tactic. It’s almost a trap!

Don’t cigarette smokers cut back slowly to help them quit?

Yes they do, although it would be wise of you not compare a marijuana addiction to a nicotine addiction. Chemicals in nicotine are purely physical addictions, fueling a physical need in the consumer.

Marijuana’s strength and cravings lie mainly in the psychological addictions it creates in users. This will keep you coming back to weed, and this is what you will need to deal with primarily in order to quit. Do yourself a good deed, quit weed cold turkey.

Using Graphic Design Inspiration and Avoiding Plagiarism

One of the most difficult things to do is gain inspiration without copying or stealing someone else’s ideas. Because we are surrounded by designs and art in everyday lives, trying to find that fine line between inspiration and theft proves to be problematic at times. Especially when you take into account that all designs are essentially influenced by the earlier created works of art we are surrounded by. The Internet alone has millions upon millions of graphic design inspiration at your fingertips. These days, with so many resources so readily available, finding inspiration for a design is pretty easy. The difficult part is taking the idea and making something new of it. How do you do that, you ask; by merging various concepts, approaches and design features together.

When doing a search for graphic design inspiration, don’t stop at one idea. Keep your searches going for additional designs that are related or similar in color, content and structure to what you are looking for. The objective is not to choose one design and duplicate it, instead find a collection of elements that can work together in a different way. As you’re doing your search you should be looking at the design and picking it apart to see if any piece can be meshed with another to create something fresh. Your ultimate goal is to combine the best components of each of these, creating a new design that inspires you.

Once you’ve gathered some inspirational ideas, take a deeper look and study the fine details that really make them stand out and catch your eye. Look for typography, light effects and gradients; these are the subtle details that bring the design to life. You should be asking yourself, “Why do I love this design so much?” Once you have it pinpointed it will be easy for you to create a new vision with different concepts. When you’re finished, it should not look like an imitation of any of the other designs. It should be a renewed design created with the contribution of them all. You must work to fuse the different elements with common stylistic methods to transform your design into something brand new.

There is no guidebook that teaches you how to search for graphic design inspiration and not commit plagiarism, but there are some forthright ways to avoid it. By using the strategies mentioned above we can all help the circulation of new ideas, creating new inspiration for everyone.