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March 31, 2009


Let's take a look at three major categories of tech workers: hardware, software and support personnel.


Hardware-oriented workers create and maintain electronic communications infrastructures. They build computers, which both businesses and home users buy. They also build large computers called servers, which mostly businesses buy. When businesses buy computers and servers, company hardware employees set up the computers, connecting them to each other and the server. This way, all of the computers have a common set of resources available to them, and all of the computers can communicate with each other. Hardware employees are often the ones who decide the architecture of the computer clusters and the resources they contain.


Software employees create programs that use and manipulate computer infrastructures. Through typing code and commands into the computers, they design the software interfaces between people and hardware. They also use those interfaces to create utilities and applications that perform specific tasks like tracking business records.

Nowadays, they build systems for the internet and other networks. They make sure that information flows efficiently between computers within an organization, or to and from a web site. At the same time, they keep the information safe, making sure that only authorized people can access sensitive information.


The hardware and software infrastructures at most companies are so large and complex that separate departments must plan them and support them. Support role employees include people in customer care, leadership and managerial roles, and testing departments. Analysts and managers decide the future of business IT infrastructures. Constantly examining new technology and how it can make business more effective, they weigh the costs and benefits to buying new hardware or modifying existing systems. Quality assurance testers make sure that the systems perform as they were designed and planned. Performing tests and discovering the limits of the systems makes sure that the infrastructure investments are worth the cost and effort in the long run. Customer, sales and user support people make sure that company employees know how to use the systems, and that the systems are in good working order. They also help customers use the software, information or hardware that the company distributes.


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