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.

Open Source For Web Design

What is open source? Open source is defined as computer source code that is freely available to anyone. Developers and users can modify and use it to their advantage. Of course, this only works if you are able to write code or if you have someone available that can rewrite code to suit your needs.

If you want to use it for web design; there are many sources available. Some software is for beginners and some is for advanced technological users.

When you are considering web design open source software consider the following:

Is it user friendly – will you and your visitors to the website be able to use it effectively?

Read reviews about the. Pay particular attention to the level of difficulty there can be in using any particular product.

Ask colleagues that are in the same business what they use and how they like it.

Web design is big business. Having a web site is important for a business and can be compared to a storefront. Like a storefront, you want your site to be attractive and inviting as well as easy for visitors to use. When you are looking for open source products, keep this in mind. Also consider what your site will be used for. Will it be a static web designed page for information only or a place where you will want people to return to, to gather new and updated information. You also need to look at how reliable is the support. There is no point in using software that is not supported well.

How Can I Build My Own Website?

There are millions of people who are getting the urge to build their own website. When an individual asks themselves, “How Can I Build my Own Website?” there are no easy solutions. However, there are a number of products on the market today that can help even the most computer illiterate individuals to start up their own website.

One of the easiest ways to build my own website is to use a pre built template. These templates can be found for free from many different sites. Users simply need to download the template that they like the most, input the information they want to change and upload it to their web hosting account. This process does require a small amount of technical knowledge but can be done by most individuals who are able to check their email. Templates often come in a wide variety of colors, formats and styles. Users can pick from a template that is already designed or they can contract with a professional web design company to have a template designed completely for them. This process is up to the user and can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars!

Another option that many users who say that they want to build my own website is to use a content management system. A content management system or CMS is one of the many methods in which individuals can manage pictures, text and other content on the Internet. There are a number of different content management systems available for public use. Some of these systems are more user friendly than others. However, when a user wants to use one of these content management systems they may need to understand basic computer programming and coding. Not know what these are can cause the individual to delete a piece of computer code that is critical to the program being able to work.

Yet another option that some users choose when they say that they want to build my own website is to use an easy to install option provided from their web host. There are many individuals who have web hosting companies that install easy to use templates or forms that can be used to build an entire website. The downside to using one of these forms is that it may limit the individual in what they are able to do. However, it allows a user to get a website up and running extremely quickly. It is up to the user to decide whether or not they would like to use one of these services.

Deciding to build my own website was one of the best decisions I ever made. Having complete control over everything that you make is great. You also save a large amount of money and are able to ensure that you are happy with the end product. However, if you do not understand the basics of computer programming or want to save time, consider one of the other options for designing your own website that are listed above.