3 minute read

As an IT person I have experienced a lot of oddities that I have not noticed in any of my past jobs.

It seems as though people seem to think we surf the internet all day waiting to fix their problems the very second they arise.

My day can vary from writing code all day (C# .NET), to fixing a server or two, to planning future purchases, to managing any of my 20+ employees, to building new machines, the list goes on.

All this and I am still a full time student, as well as working 40 hours a week. Since I started working for Colorado State University back in 2006, my inbox has only reached the point of having no-emails one or two times. I guess I should have prefaced that by saying that I utilize my inbox as a to-do list. As I am writing this I have 19 emails in my inbox, and the amount of time I will need to dedicate to each item ranges from as little as 15 minutes to several hours or even a full week.

I find that my work day would be much more productive if I were to work during the off-hours. However this is not really feasible since part of my job is having face to face interactions with co-workers, bosses, and employees.

Another misconception I see in IT is that businesses don’t value IT positions as highly as the value other positions. From where I sit, I cannot see a single full-time employee doing a department or companies website as well as maintaining servers and supporting end-users, but at the many of the places I have worked this is not far from reality.

Within the past few years I have had to work several over-nighters and several long weekends. In a perfect world making big system and architecture changes would go smoothly without error, but every now and then problems do arise. IT professionals always try to have critical and even non-critical systems up during all working hours, but this is not always possible. During a few over-nighters, after being awake for the better part of 48 hours, my brain has not been able to solve problems that I would if I had a bigger maintenance window or more staff helping with the process. After these long weekends IT people are still expected to be around during their normal hours during the week, often without being paid overtime.

Believe it or not IT people do not know how to use every single program known to man. Most graphical user interfaces are designed so that the common person can figure them out. After using one or two programs we can fairly easily figure out how to do most common tasks in most programs, but we certainly do not know the inner workings and functionality of all programs.

IT people often require more information than is normally given to solve a problem. A lot of times I will have a co-worker come tell me their wireless internet at home is not working, and ask me what they should do. What I really want to know is when it stopped working, what was happening when it stopped working, have they tried resetting their modem or router, and so on. I have been contacted in the morning with messages like I cant get to my email or my computer wont wake up, and when I get to their desk I literally have to plug their machine into the wall.

In short, I believe that IT should be recognized as an important aspect of an organization, and allocating a proper budget for equipment and personnel will help with many of the annoyances that end-users often experience.