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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  • Headhunters and human resources departments love IT certifications. They make it easy to match up job candidates with job openings. They also make it easy for HR to screen candidates. You'll hear a lot of veteran IT pros whine about techies who were hired based on certifications but who don't have the experience to effectively do the job. They are often right. That has happened in plenty of places. But the fact is that certifications open up your career options. They show that you are organized and ambitious and have a desire to educate yourself and expand your skills. If you are an experienced IT pro and have certifications to match your experience, you will find yourself to be extremely marketable. Tech certifications are simply a way to prove your baseline knowledge and to market yourself as a professional. However, most of them are not a good indicator of how good you will be at the job.

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

    Photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/spxChrome
  • Your co-workers (in addition to your friends, family, and neighbors) will view you as their personal tech support department for their home PCs and home networks. They will e-mail you, call you, and/or stop by your office to talk about how to deal with the virus that took over their home PC or the wireless router that stopped working after the last power outage and to ask you how to put their photos and videos on the Web so their grandparents in Iowa can view them. Some of them might even ask you if they can bring their home PC to the office for you to fix it. The polite ones will offer to pay you, but some of them will just hope or expect you can help them for free. Helping these folks can be very rewarding, but you have to be careful about where to draw the line and know when to decline.

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

    Photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/Marje
  • Working with IT consultants is an important part of the job and can be one of the more challenging things to manage. Consultants bring niche expertise to help you deploy specialized systems, and when everything works right, it's a great partnership. But you have to be careful. When things go wrong, some consultants will try to push the blame off on you by arguing that their solution works great everywhere else so it must be a problem with the local IT infrastructure. Conversely, when a project is wildly successful, there are consultants who will try to take all of the credit and ignore the substantial work you did to customize and implement the solution for your company.

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

    Photo credit: ©iStockphoto.com/MichaelDeLeon
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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