FofS (IS) board

#1
I just heard that two Technicians passed the FofS (IS) selection board, god knows how many re-traders as well. What does that say about the IS Eng trade group? Not enough good tradesman around so you are stealing ours!
 
#2
Not surprising really, anyone in the army that knows his way around a playstation is a candidate for that course. Half the senior IS supervisors didn't even do a supervisor course they were just given it because they had a computer and looked a bit geeky.
 
#4
This will open the flood gates now all the good techs will see it as a quick way to become a Foreman. Why spend 3 years (including TMA's) becoming a proper FofS when you can do it in 10 Months and get same name and pay. Shit you can be a WO2 before they finish.
 
#5
Roger_Ramjet said:
I just heard that two Technicians passed the FofS (IS) selection board, god knows how many re-traders as well. What does that say about the IS Eng trade group? Not enough good tradesman around so you are stealing ours!
They only picked up 1 x Sys Eng Tech, although there were two guys who were recent converts to the trade and are not as yet Class 1s. Think of it this way. In a couple of months every single Sys Eng Tech and IS Engr will be a Comms Sys Engr. Same trade ergo same criteria for selection to either supervisory trade (in theory).

I think what it says about the IS trade is that they took too many guys who were of a ripe age rather than homegrown youngsters and so the pinch has now become apparent where there is a lack of strong SNCOs at the 9 - 12 year point. In my humble opinion the IS trade has some brilliant guys at Cpl level and needs to start picking up some of that quality.

The_Flumps said:
This will open the flood gates now all the good techs will see it as a quick way to become a Foreman. Why spend 3 years (including TMA's) becoming a proper FofS when you can do it in 10 Months and get same name and pay. s*** you can be a WO2 before they finish.
I think you're right and it's easy to understand the human logic. I would also throw in the additional factors of a 5-year time bar (FofS) versus only 3 years (FofS IS), coupled with the demand and it's a no-brainer. It's easy to understand the argument about how the FofS (Digi) does half the course length of a FofS (****), but you could argue that the IS bloke could potentially qualify from the course, deploy straight to theatre, do a complete tour in the role and therefore deliver exactly what SOinC(A) wants, all while the tech is still sat in Blandford typing up a program in a dead language like Delphi or Python that makes a beeping noise or something just as exciting.

When one considers the issue over the length of commitment - commit 8 years or commit less than 4, the only real difference on paper is that one gains an honours degree (paid for by the firm) while the other is only 2/3 of an honours degree. I dare say that the buckshee 4 years would be at least enough to catch up in professional terms - for example the Modular Masters Programme and gaining an MSc in IMT or other useful qualification underpinned by Cranfield University, which is enormously respected. The issue over "acceptance" by the wider J6 community is significant although the biggest obstacle in my opinion is purely human attitudes.

At the end of the day, it's all about demand and supply. Good on the tech who has crossed over - quality will always shine. Good luck to him.

PD
 
#7
PoisonDwarf said:
all while the tech is still sat in Blandford typing up a program in a dead language like Delphi
Blasphemy :!: :!: :!: :!: :!:

Can't believe someone would ever say that, I've only just moved full time onto Delphi coding from a language called M.
 
#8
Roadster makes a good point. I was a Tech, trained in the traditional manner, and have now moved into the networking side. Some of the young uns I work with leave me aghast at their lack of theoretical knowledge. They ARE good on the kit, but as soon as there is a problem that involves thinking laterally and using "traditional" skills, they are flummoxed. Makes me look shiny though....
 
#9
the_guru said:
...as soon as there is a problem that involves thinking laterally....
Or outside the confines of a single white box
 
#10
roadster280 said:
I think a similar parallel could be drawn with the rather eloquent FofS(****) vs FofS (Digi). In depth knowledge of programming a computer (which essentially is the sum total of the IS world) is a parallel with knowing how to drive. The **** chappy however knows how the system does what it does. The donkey work of planning and data entry is analogous to the driving bit. The technical genius in the F1 pit lane who has produced a stunning 250mph rocket then gives it to a nancy boy to show off with/prang/blow the engine.

One could conceivably have a situation where some donut of a computer boy "improvises" a long network cable from D10 by crimping some RJ45s on the end of a 1km lay, and then wonders why it does not work. Without being armed with the fundamental principles (in this case tx line theory), he's left looking sheepish. One of the aforementioned **** chappies would have fcuked it off at the high port at the outset. In mitigation however, there's always a need for "users", and this brings me back to my original point. As long as the guy operating a computer system does not know how it works, he'll always be on the wrong side of "them and us".
Banter aside, roadie, I think there's a lot of truth in what you say and I agree that without in-depth underpinning knowledge, people are limited in their ability to square it all away when things go pear-shaped . Still, too many people dwell on what they perceive to be trade training deficiencies which in actual fact were squared away a long time ago. Blandford have now stopped running Class 3 IS courses, although the legacy courses that are ongoing still cover a lot of ground, including an awful lot of datacomms and networking theory. For that reason, the hypothetical D10 / RJ45 scenario simply isn't conceivable in any way, shape or form. "Programming a computer" (by which I know you mean set up and configure operating systems, applications, security, and so on) is only a tiny part of the modern job. It would probably be more fitting to consider the jobs that Class 3/2 tradesmen from both Sys Engr Tech and Info Sys Engr "legacy" trades are doing on ops. That's the real barometer of how things are in the environment where it counts. Both are working extremely hard without a doubt. But things have moved on and premise any assumption that the former is an architect of all things complex, while the latter is some gloryhunting "nancy boy" :D (good choice of words by the way!) would also be completely at odds with reality. If the IS guys were not able to deliver what big chief SOinC(A) wants then we would know all about it. In actual fact, the sheer demand on ops far outstrips what we the Corps can physically supply, which I think validates the argument and rejects the suggestion that they are just users.

I like your F1 analogy, but does that mean that Lewis Hamilton's chief engineer should be able to drive faster than Lewis himself since he knows how every droplet of fuel is injected, every stress point is calibrated and the amount of rubber per square millimetre of tyre? Even though our very good young Sys Engr Techs are great at doing maths and they do some good stuff on electrotech princples etc, do they really understand exactly how modern digital information equipment works? I think that most people would accept that there is more to winning the information battle in the deployed battlespace than simply knowing the transmission medium and hardware in isolation. All the stuff you were allowed to do in the past, these young lads ain't allowed to do any more. Open up a piece of COTS kit and repair it? Nope, some rich contractor has it all sewn up and there's nothing you can do about it. (woops - wild sweeping statement!)
 
#11
Spliff-Boy said:
the_guru said:
...as soon as there is a problem that involves thinking laterally....
Or outside the confines of a single white box
Or in our case, bluey green and lilac (Extreme really does make the racks look shoddy)
 
#12
roadster280 said:
The recent Sun kit we have been using is a pleasing shiny silver colour now, gone are the lilac hues, though the snot green bits on the back are still there!

Shiny kit syndrome....
Plus lots of nice flashing lights. Hypnotic... :D
 
#13
PoisonDwarf said:
Roger_Ramjet said:
It's easy to understand the argument about how the FofS (Digi) does half the course length of a FofS (****),
PD
I hope that was just to wind me up and not ignorance I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. The real FofS Cse is mostly Digi, even if it was only half digi it would still be the same amount of time spent on it as your lot.

The thing that really gets on my t*ts is that we have lots of techs and operators that either didn't want to make the commitment to go FofS or YofS or weren't good enough to do so. now walking around calling themselves Foreman I think youve all been very lucky that you were given a second chance at a carear in the signals in the past you would have all been RD or civilians
 
#15
The_Flumps said:
PoisonDwarf said:
Roger_Ramjet said:
It's easy to understand the argument about how the FofS (Digi) does half the course length of a FofS (****),
PD
I hope that was just to wind me up and not ignorance I'll give you the benefit of the doubt. The real FofS Cse is mostly Digi, even if it was only half digi it would still be the same amount of time spent on it as your lot.

The thing that really gets on my t*ts is that we have lots of techs and operators that either didn't want to make the commitment to go FofS or YofS or weren't good enough to do so. now walking around calling themselves Foreman I think youve all been very lucky that you were given a second chance at a carear in the signals in the past you would have all been RD or civilians
Second chance?

In the past you would be RD?

I know what you are saying Flumps, but don't belittle us RD types please.
 
#16
Of course there may be many in the IS sphere that actually wanted to do IS but couldn't because it is rather new to us. Given the choice back in the very early nineties I would have foregone my box of cornflakes every couple of years and worked the IS to prove my talents.

That said, I wouldn't have then have been bestowed with an engineering background which gives me a more rounded view of the big picture.

Let's not feel dirty about the FofS name, that wasn't our choice. He who made the call probably pulled the pin, threw the grenade and stepped away, probably chuckling to himself at the bitching he caused.
 
#17
northern said:
Of course there may be many in the IS sphere that actually wanted to do IS
Or vice versa. I was looking at going ADP Spec when I was a Cpl but stuck to my trade and now am a FofS (**** & Digi) who has a wider knowledge base then if I had just gone FofS (Digi).
 
#18
In reply to the original post, surely all individuals on the FofS IS board have retraded at some time. With this in mind, how can you bitch about job stealing? If a technician can gatecrash the board and be successful, then surely that is a reflection of his ability, or the lack of ability amongst the other candidates. Good luck to them.
 
#19
Codhead said:
In reply to the original post, surely all individuals on the FofS IS board have retraded at some time. With this in mind, how can you bitch about job stealing? If a technician can gatecrash the board and be successful, then surely that is a reflection of his ability, or the lack of ability amongst the other candidates. Good luck to them.
It wasn't a bitch. It was a reflection of the lack of quality in the IS trade. Good luck to the people in question is what I say. Fast track to Foreman cant be a bad thing.
 
#20
Roger_Ramjet said:
It wasn't a bitch. It was a reflection of the lack of quality in the IS trade. Good luck to the people in question is what I say. Fast track to Foreman cant be a bad thing.
You are certainly not alone in that perception, however I think it's actually an issue of quantity rather than quality due to the underlying fact that the IS trade is significantly smaller than the Sys Engr Tech trade. I don't have the figures to hand at the moment, but there are far more eligible Sys Engr Techs than there are eligible IS Engrs. A far smaller roster (look also at the size of the YofS (EW) course for a similar example) surely means that it is proportionally more difficult to sustain the training throughput to satisfy the field army's demand for FofS (IS).

Let's say (for argument's sake) that there were three times as many eligible Sys Engr Techs as there were IS Engrs (that's a totally arbitrary number off the top of my head by the way - I wonder if anyone can enlighten us as to the actual numbers). Then you look at how many Blandford churns out each year, which is up to 20 x FofS and 14 x FofS (IS). I know this doesn't account for booties or foreign nationals, however bear with me for now. I'm no mathemagician, however doing a completely objective comparison based on those numbers (20:3 compared to 17:1) would seem to indicate that there is around twice as much competition for a place on the FofS course than there is on the FofS (IS) course. Notwithstanding the arbitrary nature of those figures, it would suggest that it is indeed an underlying issue of quantity and therefore the "pound for pound" quality in the IS "gene pool" is rather more difficult to pin down and I don't think that it's fair to say there's less quality pro rata in the IS trade.

On the other hand....it would certainly be a valid argument (again all based on logic) that when supply and demand are heavily skewed in that way, you might reasonably expect the average quality of individual selected by the board to be lower by a factor directly related to those two ratios. But then again, I could be completely wrong (not an unknown phenomenon). Time will tell! :D

PD
 
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