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New FAQ

RE: New FAQ

#2 - In reality, my current boss doesn't care what you do as long a) there is lots of praise for your work and b) they don't have to lift a finger to get the praise.

#4 - Probably only applies to some jobs.  This doesn't apply to embedded programming and central heating systems.

#5 - surely that is to do with the infrastructure.

#6 - Management speak.  They tell you to see their view of the big picture which is not necessarily the same as yours and when you show them the big picture, they say "don't worry about that - it is not important".

#7 - This is down to how you treat people.  I say the same thing about a lot of managers and accountants.  You will find that the ones who have reasonable people skills seldom have this label.  Nobody has ever said that they feel intimidated by me because I'm an IT person.

#8 - Annoying people and people who do no work have shown their bad habits to be useful on some occassions.

#9 - ???

#10 - Sometimes it is not education: it is attitude or necessity that someone has not picked up.  You may say that they do not need a printer because everything can be done online.  Tax office wants printed records so regardless of what you say, a printout is still required for tax reasons.  Some people like working on paper - difficult to scribble on a screen.  They can't think with a screen in front of them.  It is nothing to do with education.

 

RE: New FAQ

#1 It's all about customers.
I wish it were true. It is about what you can sell, not about what the customers want. I am a great fan of eXtreme Programming and especially the customer involvement and honesty about the amount of work is something no company is willing to take up. No company that I know, that is.
Also, there is a difference between a customer and a user. That is a problem also. A customer has to pay the bill, a user has to use the system.

#2 It's our job to educate, as well as support.
#4 It's all just ones and zeros.
They contradict each other. It is your job to tell that passwords are encrypted (so you can only issue a new one, not read an existing one). The idea that data is just ones and zeros is like a doctor telling that a patient is mainly water. Data is sensitive, temporal, offensive, dangerous, executable in disguise, or maybe just storage pollution. It can be all of them and more.

And it is not our job to educate the technical terms. We just should express ourself clearly without them and only mention those terms when they are needed.

#3 Just because we CAN doesn't mean we SHOULD.
Off course not. You can walk to the cupboard with project files and destroy them all. It is no different with digital files. However, if you have any hunch that you could view sensitive data, you'd ask yourself if that does not gets copied on laptops and stolen. Especially with financial software, data protection is almost non-existing. So we definitely should ask ourselves what would happen if anyone WOULD. But this is the same for any employee. Remember that the person with the most (physical) access is the cleaner.

#5
It is not any IT person's job to do backups. In general, users are just as responsible. How can it be different? I can keep all corporate e-mail addresses hidden to anybody except one employee. That will not serve anybody if that person sends a mailing with all those addresses in the cc: field. See The Big Picture...

#7 People often feel intimidated by IT people.
That is also a matter of training. In a lot of companies, all employees must work with computers, but only the network administrators really understand them. Funny, isn't it? Network administrators do awfully little with desktops, yet they are asked when office programs "behave funny". I know no company that trains its employees to use the desktop software, so it comes all down to a few nerds who can think like a programmer (or in many cases just have a fresh look at the problem). It is not your job to maintain this situation. See The Big Picture...

#8 People have their own skills and values.
I think that is the reason that there are now even laws for people "earning" 20.000 pies an hour AND get a bonus after messing up. That really takes a lot of YOUR flour! The problem of the current crisis is that you after having added your flour till you dropped, there is still no pie left after you are done. See "The habits of greedy people", every night at the nine o'clock news...

Again, see The Big Picture. We had that situation in the 90s when IT people were promised cars, laptops, mobile phones, bonuses and it was only in the small print that the company actually wanted them to work for it. I always shunned those companies because I did not want to be that one guy who actually did all the work. I am a craftsman and even if I were given a car, laptop and mobile, I would still want to be useful. In fact, many companies are too short-sighted to see that I do not even want a car or a mobile...

# 9 IT is often seen as a "Necessary Evil"
True. And a lot of it is "just in case". I mean, you don't need a backup. Unless at that very moment that you need there to be a backup. And yes, network engineers do a lot "behind peoples back" so they do not get any credit for it. Unless one the services fail, off course.

Budget problems belong to management. If managers are too stupid to see where the company's values are, you should not make that your problem or have it been made your problem.

# 10 It's not our job to dictate
Sometimes it is. Even software and hardware has to abide rules. Even if you did not make those rules, you will have to abide and enforce them (like dual DNS servers, an "abuse" e-mail account, error handling, audit trails in medical software, etc).
 

+++ Despite being wrong in every important aspect, that is a very good analogy +++
   Hex (in Darwin's Watch)

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