Sunday, March 18, 2007

Graduates! What is your profession?!

Yesterday, I watched the movie, 300. It's about the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BC, an alliance of Greek city-states fought the invading Persian Empire army at the pass of Thermopylae in central Greece. Vastly outnumbered, the Greeks held back the Persians for three days in one of history's most famous last stands.

In this movie, the Spartan King, Leonidas, lead his 300 soldiers to the field, with 700 Arcadian soldiers. The leader of the 700 soldiers saw the very few amount of soldiers leaded by Leonidas, he was so angry, so Leonidas asked some questions to Arcadian :

Leonidas: You, what is your profession?
Arcadian Soldier: I'm a potter, sir.
Leonidas: And you, Arcadian, what is your profession?
Arcadian Soldier: I'm a sculptor.
Leonidas: And you?
Arcadian Soldier:I'm a blacksmith.
Leonidas: [Turning towards the Spartans] Spartans! What is your profession?
Spartans: Harooh! Harooh! Harooh!
Leonidas: See old friend, I brought more soldiers than you did.

Even though this is a last stand match, but at least Spartan can survive longer than other, as Spartans' profession is to war. They have their profession.

The World is Flat
These day, MMU Foundation students are digging their skull to choose their major in the upcoming degree studies. I personally choose Software Engineering, Data Communication, and Security Technology as my first choice, second choice and so on. Each major is to train you into a professional, majoring in the courses that you choose.

A popular book, The World is Flat, by Thomas L.Friedman, discuss about what technology can contribute to globalization. Since Columbia found newland, the globalization started, and now entered globalization 3.0(sounds like software version). In the book, the author list out the changes of economy, country, and employment, and the factors that contributed it.

In this flat world, jobs are not limited in your own country, with Internet, people from oversea can get your job, and your business. So what you should equip yourself, before you boss found another cheaper and more hardworking IT professional from India?

"In current time, to be a fruit knife is no more enough. We want our tools to have multiple function, like Swiss Knife."

The tool that I mean is you. Facing the pressure from all around the world, employers(not mention Intel and Microsoft that kind of giant) is trying to find the cheapest workers to produce the most output. They hope their programmers do more than 1 task, instead sitting in front the monitor for 10 hours a day, employers do prefer if you can communicate with clients; for a truck driver, instead of delivering stuff, your boss too hope that you can manage the store room, or even buying food for the workers.

Equip yourself with several skills may seem difficult and useless now. Example for me: instead sitting in front PC with NFS Carbon or DotA, I involve actively in Engineering Society(I am IT student), Trinite(a high budget prom night), MMU Vista Launch, but I never let my academic down. This more or less will train my management skill, let my change into a small Swiss Knife.

I admit that I am greedy, I hope there is an ALL-IN-ONE course, that include the 3 courses that I like, but it's impossible, unless I take all 3 degrees. But, by just choosing 1 major not mean that you cannot be pro in other majors, you still can learn the skills by your own. One of my friend's brother study Data Communication, but he is pro in hacking and Linux. In his industry training, he still need to fill patch for his hosting company's security hole, while other employees don't know how to do it, he is cool.

The skill I mean is not just refer to IT knowledge, for engineering  and other field, it still works. Try to equip yourself with multiple profession before you graduate, you won't regret. In interview, don't tell your boss that you just know only how to program. Every IT employees know that, not special at all.

So now, graduates, what is your profession?


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hcfoo said...

The book, The World Is Flat, is highly recommended for everyone!

vhanded said...

That's a cool book, everyone who live in 21st century and want to survive must read it! It's like a bible...

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