Things learned in IT

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#1 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Things learned in IT

Posted 14 August 2012 - 01:30 PM

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I came across this blog post about 10 things learned when working in IT and thought we could assemble a more comprehensive list from all of our varied backgrounds..

  • Meetings cannot be harnessed for renewable energy - no matter how many time-wasters you have sat through.
  • Software rarely goofs up for the janitor - it's always the big cheeses like a VP or CEO.
  • A boss's inability to say no in a meeting guarantees a project is, at least, extended by 175%.
  • Always seek user input, but realize the user often has issues determine what they need.
  • The thought that IT people cannot communicate is greatly exaggerated.
  • The boss's fourteen year old kid will always get the web design work before you.


What nuggets of wisdom have you come across, rules to live by, axioms you see proven true when working in IT?

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Replies To: Things learned in IT

#2 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Things learned in IT

Posted 14 August 2012 - 01:33 PM

Never trust an end user. They are either lying or they are truthfully unacknowledged in the actual events of the situation.
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#3 DarenR  Icon User is offline

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Re: Things learned in IT

Posted 14 August 2012 - 01:37 PM

  • After you finish a project the managers always come and say oh we don't need this any more.
  • IT and end users have different languages
  • IT and end users have different names for everything
  • You can never please everyone
  • People generally have no idea what they want
  • Auditors usually have 0 knowledge of programming and yet they tell us what's wrong

This post has been edited by DarenR: 14 August 2012 - 01:38 PM

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#4 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: Things learned in IT

Posted 14 August 2012 - 01:41 PM

Never touch-up another coder's code.
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#5 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Things learned in IT

Posted 14 August 2012 - 01:42 PM

@no2 - Ha.. ain't that the truth.

I think a corollary of that "Every so often watch your users use your product, but pay more attention to those who they train. A user may be *trained* to use your software one way, and they may even *SAY* they are using it as intended, but they will build up books and books of: cheats, error work around, abuse of states, and sympathetic magic routines with out ever telling you. This all spills forth with the second generation being trained by the first adopters.".
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#6 Lemur  Icon User is offline

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Re: Things learned in IT

Posted 14 August 2012 - 04:11 PM

> Always assume the user is completely ignorant and work up from there, unless given considerable reason not to. Try the other way around and you'll have nightmares for quite a while.

> Never rely on clockies to get anything done, if they say that they go home and don't want to touch a computer you're taking a pretty steep bet on giving them anything serious to do.

> Even if you invent the most brilliant thing in the world, you had better make sure you can explain its value to the men in charge or you'll be out in seconds.

> Business comes before Technology, no matter how much that new server would help things out.

> Politics are absolute. Every decision will be a battle in which you need a silver tongue to prevail, or some pretty good allies.

> You're not there to be a savior of anything, you're there to do a job. Don't reinvent anything until you've earned the right to talk that way.

> You WILL have to deal with people. Man up and get to some social events, it'll make it far more pleasant if you know the people you have to talk to at at least a basic level.

> It doesn't matter how decorated you are, any relative downstream of the boss will trump you.

This post has been edited by Lemur: 14 August 2012 - 04:11 PM

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#7 Sho Ke  Icon User is offline

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Re: Things learned in IT

Posted 14 August 2012 - 06:23 PM

View Postmodi123_1, on 14 August 2012 - 08:30 PM, said:

The boss's fourteen year old kid will always get the web design work before you.

This is actually how I got my first web design project :D
Though I was 15 when I got it..

This post has been edited by Sho Ke: 14 August 2012 - 06:24 PM

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#8 RudiVisser  Icon User is offline

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Re: Things learned in IT

Posted 15 August 2012 - 05:41 AM

A "crash", as reported by an end user, tester, or simply any non-developer (not "non-IT", because IT people sometimes use the "crash" word too), is, 99.9% of the time, not a crash.
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#9 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Things learned in IT

Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:13 AM

Users under report errors by a disturbing amount.
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#10 Smurphy  Icon User is offline

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Re: Things learned in IT

Posted 15 August 2012 - 11:04 AM

>The "thing" does not work.

I swear if someone describes a problem to me starting with "The thing does not work." and never giving anymore detail. I am going to go crazy.

I should probably have made this more detailed. >Users never give enough detail.

This post has been edited by Smurphy: 15 August 2012 - 11:06 AM

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#11 torind_2000  Icon User is offline

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Re: Things learned in IT

Posted 15 August 2012 - 11:26 AM

User: Oh, that hasn't worked for months.
IT: uh, why didn't you send us an email?
User: We figured you'd get to it eventually.
IT: I didn't even know it was broken.
User: Oh, well, now you do so, whenever you get a chance to fix it that'd be great.
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#12 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Things learned in IT

Posted 15 August 2012 - 11:33 AM

Corollary - when a user says "whenever you get a chance" that means in two minutes because the fate of the company's financials depends on me impressing some new client with a zany power point presentation that *REQUIRE* these handouts to be printed.
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#13 CanDoThat  Icon User is offline

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Re: Things learned in IT

Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:41 PM

A few of things I have learned.

1) Do not delete any accounts that could be an alias to the admin account for an entire company, read the warning, when it says delete the files ... stop and think hard about it before you say yes.

2) Ask questions of the end user. Walk them through step by step, what they did when they have an issue to find the real cause of an error or another problem they say they have. They hardly ever explain it correctly the first time.

3) Don't be afraid to teach users, who are interested, how to do some of things that you know. Do not hoard knowledge for job security. I have found the more they know how to do the more they want and need. It's a win/win situation.

4) Companies will idolize a consultant any day over an IT employee.
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#14 MIT560  Icon User is offline

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Re: Things learned in IT

Posted 15 August 2012 - 05:19 PM

Restart the computer before you try anything. It will fix most of all issues.

"Did you try turning it off and on again" - from IT Crowd
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#15 AdamSpeight2008  Icon User is offline

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Re: Things learned in IT

Posted 15 August 2012 - 05:29 PM

View PostMIT560, on 16 August 2012 - 01:19 AM, said:

Restart the computer before you try anything. It will fix most of all issues.


Not a solution to all problems then.
Without understand the root cause, how do you know?
Just loose all of your clients irreplaceable data, why not.

It could make it worse, without and diagnostic information to debug the cause to boot.

This post has been edited by AdamSpeight2008: 15 August 2012 - 05:31 PM

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