Slideshow: 10 dirty little secrets about working in IT

Slideshow: 10 dirty little secrets about working in IT

Summary: Jason Hiner spills the beans on the most nefarious aspects of working in IT. From bursting the bubble of newbies to explaining how techies cover their butts, here is the tell-all.

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TOPICS: CXO
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  • A lot of companies could implement more cutting edge stuff than they do. There are plenty of times when upgrading or replacing software or infrastructure can potentially save money and/or increase productivity and profitability. However, it's often the case that one of the largest roadblocks to migrating to new technologies is not budget constraints or management objections; it's the veteran techies in the IT department. Once they have something up and running, they are reluctant to change it. This can be a good thing because their jobs depend on keeping the infrastructure stable, but they also use that as an excuse to not spend the time to learn new things or stretch themselves in new directions. They get lazy, complacent, and self-satisfied.

    To view this slideshow as a list, see the companion article.

    Photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/DenGuy
  • Another subtle but blameworthy thing that some IT professionals do is select and implement technologies based on how well those technologies make the business dependent on the IT pros to run them, rather than which ones are truly best for the business itself. For example, IT pros might select a solution that requires specialized skills to maintain instead of a more turnkey solution. Or an IT manager might have more of a Linux/UNIX background and so chooses a Linux-based solution over a Windows solution, even though the Windows solution is a better business decision (or, vice versa, a Windows admin might bypass a Linux-based appliance, for example). There are often excuses and justifications given for this type of behavior, but most of them are disingenuous.

    To view this slideshow as a list, see the companion article.

    Photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/LattaPictures
  • All IT pros -- even the very best -- screw things up once in a while. This is a profession where a lot is at stake and the systems that are being managed are complex and often difficult to integrate. However, not all IT pros are good at admitting when they make a mistake. Many of them take advantage of the fact that business managers (and even some high-level technical managers) don't have a good understanding of technology, and so the techies will use jargon to confuse them (and cover up the truth) when explaining why a problem or an outage occurred. For example, to tell a business manager why a financial application went down for three hours, the techie might say, "We had a blue screen of death on the SQL Server that runs that app. Damn Microsoft!" What the techie would fail to mention was that the BSOD was caused by a driver update he applied to the server without first testing it on a staging machine.

    To view this slideshow as a list, see the companion article.

    Photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Andresr

Topic: CXO

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  • RE: 10 Dirty IT Secrets #3...

    You have looked over the oft-time fact that all 'new ideas' are not 'good ideas'. Change for the sake of change isn't always the best course of action.
    mcherndon68
    • RE: Slideshow: 10 dirty little secrets about working in IT

      @mcherndon68

      #3 -- Yes -- it's about risk management. Fixing something that ain't broke with something that ain't proven is fine for stuff that isn't mission critical, but not for betting the farm on a risk of a beta technology. Sometimes the cutting edge is the bleeding edge. And sometimes wanting to learn, implement, and deploy the latest is great for the resume, but not necessarily in the best interests of the enterprise. However, the need to keep learning is always required.

      #2 -- This doesn't figure in the cost of bring in a new person just to implement a technology that is completely incongruous with everyone else's skill sets. But if the cost savings & solution truly justifies it, then so be it.
      voltrarian
  • RE: Slideshow: 10 dirty little secrets about working in IT

    Just because you can doesn't mean you should...
    Wirekat
  • RE: Slideshow: 10 dirty little secrets about working in IT

    I work for a company that purchased a desktop application but it's not the greatest and one of my co-workers kept telling the owner that it lacks important features, the owner got mad at the controller and said: don't ever ask me about buying a software again!!
    bApTizE
  • RE: Slideshow: 10 dirty little secrets about working in IT

    #11. You never have to actually respond to help requests from those pesky users. That's what that round thing on the floor is for. Is the user's computer actually on fire? Call Security and have them call 911, but to hell with the user.
    Vesicant
  • RE: Slideshow: 10 dirty little secrets about working in IT

    Since you are the tech guy everybody gives you all the things related to technology. For example, they'll give you their iPhones, Blackberrys, etc. so you set them up for them.
    RicardoMarval
  • Many people still think IT has one role. We are all interchangable..

    They wouldn't expect their pharmacist to peform a surgical procedure just because s/he is a medical professional, but when it comes to the "IT guys/gals" be ready to fix any and all problems you come upon that are even remotely related to technology. The line blurs even further for many and they expect us to be application level specialists and accountants as well, because....the app runs on a computer...duh!
    xuniL_z
  • RE: Slideshow: 10 dirty little secrets about working in IT

    i love the the #1. haha
    crazyhorsea