Você está na página 1de 16

6

C
H
A
P
T
E
R

6
Syllabus outcomes
5.5.3 Describes and compares key roles and responsibilities of
people in the eld of information and software technology.
Overview
This chapter examines the roles and responsibilities of people in the
eld of information and software technology. Careers are divided
into three sections: system development; operations and
maintenance; and end user support. Each section describes a range
of career opportunities and career paths.
People
People
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 127
128 HI Tech: I nf or mati on and Sof twar e Technol ogy
6.1 System development
People in system development are involved in the planning, design
and construction of a computer system. There are a number of
career opportunities, such as project managers, systems analysts,
programmers, software engineers, computer engineers, multimedia
specialists and web designers.
Project managers
Project managers supervise all aspects of a project (see Figure 6.1).
Project managers are required to determine the goals of the project,
a costing of the project and
ensure the project is delivered
on time. Project managers are
also responsible for resolving
any conicts and checking the
work of each member of the
team. A project manager only
needs a broad understanding
of the information technology
industry. However, project
management does require
good interpersonal and
leadership skills.
Systems analysts
Systems analysts solve computer problems and enable information
technology to meet the needs of the user. They help an organisation
realise the maximum benet from its investment in equipment and
personnel. Systems analysts are involved in the planning,
implementation and maintenance of the computer system. They
must have good management and personal skills to be able to
interview users of the system, determine their hardware and
software requirements and develop a plan of action.
Most systems analysts have university degrees in either
computer science or business. They must have a broad knowledge
of computers and keep up-to-date with recent developments in
information technology. They are often required to test new
products. Systems analysts are given a variety of titles such as
computer analyst, systems consultant, or systems ofcer.
Figure 6.1 Project managers supervise their teams
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 128
129 6 Peopl e
Programmers
Programmers design and write software. A programmer depends on
a systems analyst to provide a detailed description of the users
requirements. This description is called the design specications. A
programmer writes programs using a programming language such
as Visual BASIC, PROLOG, Java or C++. It is common for several
programmers to work together as a team under a senior
programmers supervision. Programmers usually have completed a
degree at university. There are two types of programmers, the
systems programmer and the application programmer.
A systems programmer writes the systems software such as the
operating system. For example, they could make changes to the
way the CPU communicates with peripheral devices or the
relationship between workstations on a network.
An application programmer writes software to handle a specic
job such as a program to track inventory. The software may be
written by revising an existing software package. Application
programmers are usually focused on business, engineering or
science.
Software engineers
Software engineers design, create and modify
software to solve a computer problem. They
are focused on developing software
products including the certication,
maintenance and testing of the software.
Most software is very large and complex. It
is often built by a team of experts guided by
a software engineer. The team includes
programmers, engineers, designers and
marketing people. Software engineers must
have good programming skills and a
detailed understanding of software
technologies. They are more concerned with
developing algorithms than writing the
program code. Project management is an
important feature of software engineering.
Software engineers require a university
degree in information technology and
programming (see Figure 6.2).
Figure 6.2 A job advertisement for
a software engineer
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 129
130 HI Tech: I nf or mati on and Sof twar e Technol ogy
Multimedia specialists
Multimedia specialists are involved in the integration of text,
graphic, audio, animation and video. They could be involved in
authoring commercial CD and DVD products, designing websites
or creating promotional demonstrations. Multimedia specialists
require a combination of skills and experience in different areas.
The development of a multimedia product may require content
providers and technical staff:
Content providers are people who provide the material for the
multimedia product. This may include text, drawings, video
footage and audio tracks. Generally these people are skilled in
their eld without necessarily having any technical skills in the
software or hardware areas.
Technical staff modify the material developed by the content
providers into the appropriate format for the nal product.
They include design staff who work to develop the overall
theme and look of the product.
Web designers
Web designers are
responsible for the
creation and
management of a website
(see Figure 6.3). They
must have a good
knowledge of
programming, excellent
writing skills and a
detailed understanding of
design. Web designers
must be able to sell a
design idea to their
client. They work closely
with clients and must
develop websites to meet
their clients needs. Web
designers are often
required to work long
and irregular hours to meet deadlines. They must be flexible and
able to work under pressure. Web designers usually operate within
a team and must enjoy working closely with people. Web
IT skills in greatest
demand at present
are in the areas
of clientserver
applications,
Internet,
multimedia, data-
base management
and system
software support.
Figure 6.3 A web designer works closely with others to
develop products to meet a clients needs
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 130
131 6 Peopl e
designers need to be competent in database development and
have a high proficiency in HTML and Java.
Computer engineers
Computer engineers design and invent new hardware and software.
They are involved in a range of projects such as the design,
development, testing and supervision of new integrated circuits.
Computer engineers are attracted to new developments such as
robotics and machines with articial intelligence. Computer engineers
usually construct prototypes before building the new product. They
work as part of a team. A career as a computer engineer requires a
university degree in engineering or computer science.
Exercise 6.1
1 What career am I?
a Designs and invents new hardware and software.
b Designs, creates and modies software to solve a computer
problem.
c Supervises all aspects of a project.
d Solves computer problems and enables information technology
to meet the needs of the user.
2 True or false?
a Systems analysts are often required to test new products.
b Software engineers are concerned with writing program code.
c Web designers usually operate within a team.
d Computer engineers depend on systems analysts to provide a
detailed description of the users requirements.
3 Copy and complete the following by replacing the letter in brackets
with a suitable term:
A web designer is responsible for the creation and management of
a (a). They must be able to sell their (b) to their client. Web
designers must be exible and able to work under (c). They need to
be competent in (d) development.
4 a What is the role and responsibility of a project manager?
b Describe the role of the systems analyst.
c How does a programmer write programs?
d Explain the difference between a systems programmer and an
application programmer.
e What is a multimedia specialist?
f List a project that would involve a computer engineer.
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 131
132
Development
5 The most important qualication for employing people in the
information technology industry is experience. Do you agree with
this statement? Give reasons for your answer.
6 Research the newspaper or the Internet to nd the employment
opportunities and pathways for careers in system development.
Write a brief report that summarises the result of your
investigation.
7 Design an advertisement for a job opportunity for a programmer.
6.2 Operations and
maintenance
Operations and maintenance people keep the system working
efciently. They ensure the system is achieving its purpose. Career
opportunities include managers, computer operators, technicians,
data entry operators, network administrators and database
administrators.
Managers
Managers oversee the computer
operation and ensure that
personnel and machines are
working efciently. Managers
must have leadership skills as
well as technical knowledge
about systems development, so
a degree in business and
information systems is
generally required. They have a
variety of titles, with slightly
different roles, including
information systems manager
(see Figure 6.4). An
information systems manager
plans and oversees all the
information resources in the
organisation.
Figure 6.4 An information systems manager
oversees the computer operation in an
organisation
HI Tech: I nf or mati on and Sof twar e Technol ogy
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 132
133 6 Peopl e
Computer operators
Computer operators look after computing resources in a large
computer system such as a mainframe. Their tasks often include
preparing, starting up, and running the computers and peripheral
devices. A computer operator is responsible for the maintenance of
hardware and software, security, virus scanning, regular backups
and providing consumables. If the equipment breaks down they
attempt to x the problem and, if necessary, liaise with a technician
to x the problem. Many computer operators receive their training
on-the-job, although university qualications are becoming necessary.
They need a logical mind and to be able to work under pressure.
Technicians
Technicians install, maintain and repair the hardware of a computer
system. To prevent the computer from breaking down, they
perform routine checks and service. This may involve checking for
loose connections, cleaning any moving parts and running
diagnostic programs to check that everything is working correctly.
If a component such as a motherboard is not working they replace
it and take it back to a workshop for repair. Technicians must have
a thorough understanding of information technology and usually
have a strong background in electronics.
Computer service technician
Fadia is a computer service technician who enjoys her work.
She is dealing with cutting edge technology each
day. Fadia gets to use equipment that other
people dream about. It is exciting playing
with the latest CPU and using the best
quality graphic cards. Fadia travels to
homes or ofces each day to x a
clients problem. The hardest task for a
technician is nding the cause of the
problem. It often takes some detective
work. You need a logical mind to
identify the problem.
Fadia not only xes computers but
also assembles them. She inserts
components onto the motherboard and
connects peripheral devices. Fadias role
involves setting up computers for people who
have just purchased a new system. She spends most
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 133
TAFE courses
provide specialist
training and
qualications
that are widely
recognised in
the information
technology
industry. There are
a range of courses
that cater for most
careers.
134 HI Tech: I nf or mati on and Sof twar e Technol ogy
of her time dealing with hardware but also needs to install software
and run tests on computers to make sure they are working correctly.
Tasks
1 Fadia gets to use equipment that other people dream about.
Describe the latest equipment that people dream about.
2 Does a career as a computer service technician interest you?
Give reasons for your answer.
Data entry operators
Data entry operators are people who accurately and quickly enter,
modify and delete data. Data entry operators work with large
computer systems and are trained on-the-job, although good
typing skills are required. Smaller companies may employ a
secretary whose job would include data entry.
Network administrators
Network administrators are responsible for the security and
administration of a network. They also design and implement
systems to keep the network working in the event of a power failure
or emergency. The duties of a network administrator include
installing new hardware and software, maintaining peripherals on
the network, training staff, changing passwords, enforcing licensing
agreements, developing a storage system and providing routine
backups.
Network administrators
need a good understanding
of network hardware and a
detailed knowledge of at
least one major network
operating system (see Figure
6.5). Network related
problems are often very
complex so a network
administrator should enjoy
solving challenging
problems. A network
administrator is also
required to adapt to new
technology and to have
good communication skills.
Figure 6.5 A job advertisement for a network administrator
ICT 6.1
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 134
135 6 Peopl e
Database administrators
Database administrators install, maintain and control databases.
The Internet and the expansion of e-commerce have resulted in a
rapid increase in job opportunities for database administrators.
Determining the best structure of a database to meet a clients
needs is an important role of the database administrator. However,
they also need to maintain the security of the database and ensure
the data is not accessed or altered by unauthorised users. Most
database administrators work for a medium or large business and
need to have completed a university degree. They require a broad
knowledge of information technology and excellent
communication skills.
Exercise 6.2
1 Copy and complete the following by replacing the letter in brackets
with a suitable term:
A network administrator (a) new hardware and software, maintains
(b) on the network, trains staff, changes (c), enforces licensing
agreements and provides (d) backups.
2 Copy and complete the following sentences:
a Computer operators may liaise with a _______ to rectify a
problem.
b Technicians would _______ a component if it is not working.
c Network related problems are often very _______.
d The _______ has resulted in a rapid increase in job opportunities
for database administrators.
3 What career am I?
a Installs, maintains and repairs the hardware of a computer
system.
b Responsible for the security and administration of a network.
c Oversees the computer operation and ensures personnel and
machines are working efciently.
d Looks after the computer resources in a large computer system.
4 a Describe the qualications required by a manager.
b What are the tasks performed by a computer operator?
c How does a technician perform routine checks and service?
d What is the role of a data entry operator?
e List the knowledge required to be a network administrator.
f Describe an important role performed by a database
administrator.
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 135
136 HI Tech: I nf or mati on and Sof twar e Technol ogy
Future growth in
demand for IT
skilled people is
expected to
increase by over
24 per cent in the
next three years.
Development
5 Research the newspaper or the Internet to nd the employment
opportunities and pathways for careers in operations and
maintenance. Write a brief report that summarises the result of
your investigation.
6 Design a job advertisement for a job opportunity for a technician.
7 Investigate information technology courses at your local TAFE.
Briey outline the career paths for each course, the content taught
and any requirements for admission.
6.3 End user support
An end user or user is a person or a group of people who make use
of the information technology. They operate the computer system
to perform a particular task. Users have different levels of skills,
from inexperienced beginners to information technology
professionals. They require support in a range of tasks, such as
using a piece of software, installing new equipment or simply
understanding the basics of a computer system. Career
opportunities involved in end user support include training
specialists, support staff, consultants and sales staff.
Training specialists
Training specialists teach users how to operate their computer
systems. Training is needed in the installation of a new computer
system and to ensure users are efciently using software
applications. There are many opportunities for qualied instructors
in schools, TAFEs, universities and private industry. Trainers
present information to individuals, at meetings, workshops or
conferences (see Figure 6.6). They may be asked to develop training
documentation, multimedia presentations or create a tutorial for
the computer. It is essential that trainers keep pace with the latest
developments in information technology. Trainers usually require
industry qualications such as a Microsoft Certication.
Support staff
Support staff provide hardware and software support to a range of
users. Their roles and responsibilities may include advice on backup
and virus detection, undertaking preventative maintenance,
installing hardware and software, documenting solutions and
responding to problems. Support staff need a broad knowledge of
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 136
137 6 Peopl e
information technology and to be completely familiar with the
specic products of their employer.
People working on the help desk are support staff. Help desk
staff receive notication of problems by phone or email. Help desk
staff enter details of problems into help desk software, prioritise
problems, solve problems and, if necessary, refer problems to more
qualied staff. Most information technology organisations employ
help desk support staff to answer a wide range of questions on their
products.
Help desk
Alexis works on the help desk for a business called IT Results.
His day involves answering a constant stream of phone
callsfrom people who have forgotten their
passwords to people whose computers do
not work. Most problems can be dealt
with immediately. However, if this is not
possible, Alexis records the problem
and passes it to a technician. Alexis
enjoys his job but it can be quite
stressful. When people have deadlines
and their computer is not working they
can get very angry. For this reason, help
desk staff need excellent communication
skills and the ability to solve problems
quickly and effectively.
Figure 6.6 Trainers at a workshop
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 137
138 HI Tech: I nf or mati on and Sof twar e Technol ogy
Help desk staff are most needed when there is a new or updated
system being installed. Users will have questions and need help until
they become familiar with the new software, or hardwares operation.
Alexis has been able gain a huge variety of knowledge and skills
working on the help desk. The experience gained has the potential to
open career opportunities in the future. Alexis would like to move
from help desk into help desk management where you actually visit
the user or client to x problems.
Tasks
1 Would you be interested in working on a help desk? Give reasons
for your answer.
2 Developments in information technology will make the help desk
unnecessary. Do you agree with this statement? Give reasons for
your answer.
Consultants
Consultants are experts who charge a fee for providing advice or
service. They draw on their experience gained in one or more areas,
such as education, nance or engineering. Consultants must have
good technical skills and the ability to communicate their
suggestions effectively to their clients (see Figure 6.7).
Sales staff
Sales staff are
employed by an
organisation to sell the
companys products.
Sales staff provide
information to
customers to enable
them to choose a
product that meets
their needs. Sales staff
in information
technology may have
customers who want
to purchase a new
computer, a piece of
software or who are
inquiring about a new
computer game. They
Figure 6.7 Searching for a job on the Internet (screen capture taken
23 July 2004)
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 138
139 6 Peopl e
are required to provide basic technical support to their customers.
For this reason they must have a broad understanding of
information technology and a specic knowledge of the products
they are selling. This requires sales staff to learn new technologies
and keep pace with constant changes in hardware and software.
Sales staff require good people skills and the ability to communicate
effectively. There are many job opportunities for sales staff with
developers of hardware and software as well as through retailers.
Exercise 6.3
1 Copy and complete the following sentences:
a The _______ is a person who makes use of information
technology.
b Trainers develop training _______, multimedia presentations or
create computer tutorials.
c _______ staff receive incoming problems for service from the
phone or email.
d Sales staff need to keep pace with the constant _______ in
hardware and software.
2 What career am I?
a Experts who charge a fee for providing advice or service.
b Teach users how to operate their computer systems.
c Provide hardware and software support to a range of users.
d Employed by an organisation to sell their products.
3 Unjumble these words:
a ephl keds
b nde rues
c raetinr
4 a Describe the type of support provided for end users.
b Describe some of the opportunities for training specialists.
c What are the roles and responsibilities of support staff?
d Why do most information technology organisations employ
help desk support staff?
e List the skills needed to be a consultant.
f Describe the knowledge required by sales staff in information
technology.
Development
5 Some software companies charge a fee to provide user support. Do
you agree with a user-pays system? Give reasons for your answer.
6 Research the newspaper or the Internet to nd the employment
opportunities and pathways for careers in end user support. Write
a brief report that summarises the result of your investigation.
7 Design a job advertisement for a job opportunity for a help desk
staff member.
Tutorial
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 139
140 HI Tech: I nf or mati on and Sof twar e Technol ogy
Part A: Multiple choice questions
Select the alternative (a), (b), (c) or (d)
that best answers each question.
1 What do you call a person who is
involved in system development of a
computer system?
a Computer operator
b Technician
c Programmer
d Support staff
2 What does the work of a
programmer involve?
a Designs and invents new hardware
and software
b Writes programs using
programming language
c Plans implements and maintains a
computer system
d Focuses on developing software
products
3 What do you call a person who is
concerned with developing software
products?
a Software engineer
b Software analyst
c Programmer
d Computer engineer
4 What do you call a person who
solves problems and enables
information technology to meet the
needs of the user?
a Project manger
b Software engineer
c System analyst
d User support staff
5 What do you call a person who is
involved in the security and
maintenance of a computer system?
a System analyst
b Software engineer
c Consultant
d Network administrator
6 What does the work of a computer
operator involve?
a Prepares, starts up and runs the
computers and peripheral devices
b Oversees the computer operation
and ensures that personnel and
machines are working efciently
c Responds to incoming problems
from the phone or email
d Needs a good knowledge of
programming
7 What do you call a person who
installs, maintains and repairs the
hardware of a computer system?
a Data entry operator
b Technician
c Hardware repairer
d Computer operator
8 What do you call a person who is
involved in end user support?
a Training specialist
b Information system manager
c Network administrator
d Computer engineer
9 What does the work of a consultant
involve?
a Installs, maintains and controls a
database
b Supervises all aspects of a project
c Plans implements and maintains a
computer system
d Charges a fee for providing advice
or service on which they are
expert
10 What do you call a person who
receives incoming problems for
service from the phone or email?
a End user
b Sales staff
c Help desk staff
d Consultant
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 140
141 6 Peopl e
Part B: Matching the term
For each of the following statements (1 to 10), select from the list of terms (a to j)
the one that most closely ts the statement.
Statements
1 A person who solves computer
problems and enables information
technology to meet the needs of the
user.
2 A person who determines the goals
of the project, a costing of the
project and ensuring the project is
delivered on time.
3 A person who designs and writes
software.
4 A person who designs, creates and
modies software to solve a
computer problem.
5 A person who accurately and quickly
enters, modies and deletes data.
6 A person who looks after computing
resources in a large computer system
such as a mainframe.
7 A person who installs, maintains and
repairs the hardware of a computer
system.
8 A person who is an expert in one or
more areas and charges a fee for
providing advice or service.
9 A person who teaches users how to
operate their computer system.
10 A person who provides hardware and
software support to a range of users.
Terms
a Computer operator
b Consultant
c Data entry operator
d Programmer
e Project manager
f Software engineer
g Support staff
h Systems analyst
i Technician
j Training specialist
Part C: Extended response questions
Write at least one paragraph for each of the following:
1 Describe three careers in system
development. Which career would you
prefer? Give reasons for your answer.
2 Explain the difference between the
role of a software engineer and that
of a programmer.
3 Describe three careers in operations
and maintenance. Which career
would you prefer? Give reasons for
your answer.
4 There has been a rapid increase in
job opportunities for database
administrators. What are the roles
and responsibilities of database
administrators? What qualications
are required to be a database
administrator?
5 Describe three career opportunities
in end user support. Which career
would you prefer? Give reasons for
your answer.
6 Help desk staff have stressful jobs.
Do you agree with this statement?
Explain your answer by referring to
the role of help desk staff.
e Tester
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 141
142 HI Tech: I nf or mati on and Sof twar e Technol ogy
Project: Careers
Create an employment database of the career opportunities in the eld of
information technology. The careers described in this chapter will provide a basis
for the database. However, students are expected to nd recent information on
each career and other careers not specied in this chapter. The employment sites
on the Internet and newspapers have appropriate information. Each career will be
a record in the database. Suitable elds for each record should be chosen, such as
name, job description, qualications, personal qualities and salary. Students are
expected to create forms for data entry and to be able to search the data for
specic information.
ICT 6.1
313 ISTech Chapt 06.3pp 23/9/04 11:37 AM Page 142