It Skillz Test17 May 2011
The “information technology” field (it’s encapsulated in quotes due to the insane amount of “broadness” that the phrase IT embodies) is a constantly changing, challenging, and often times exhausting swim. A swim in one of those pools that force water against you, so no matter how hard you swim, you still remain in the same place. Hmm, that sentence wasn’t any good. Anyway, ReadWriteWeb posted an interesting article today asking its community how they felt about their IT skillz. The funny thing being, RRW never mentioned what skills that we need to feel good about. I guess if you ask, you aren’t doing so hot.
The issue with IT isn’t the speed that it is moving; frankly it has always been a fairly agile job field. What is occurring is a dynamic shift in the the need of each individual. However, most of us are refusing to pivot. In the past we have needed to be hands on with hardware, maintaining images for our client’s computers, and the big one, making all the decisions. IT pros were the nerds who discovered and ultimately steered the “boat.” Not anymore.
CEOs are demanding that their iPhones work perfectly over the corporate VPN, they crave access to their files wherever they are, and they want all of this at the speed of light. It would appear that the client has yanked control out from underneath the snoozing IT’s arm. Without their power to be the top of the decision chain, the IT professional is helpless, caught in a never ending stream of reaction, and actually quite useless. So what can we do?
Accept it. Quit looking for meaningless certifications, start a blog, wiki or collaborative project, learn how to sling some code, and focus on implementing open source projects on offsite hardware. The last one is a huge part of my psyche these days. Local hardware is going the way of the dodo (I realize that there are those specific instances where it is an ABSOLUTE need) and there is nothing anyone can do to fight it…except by spending wads of cash. Not interested? Well the Government always needs people but watch yourself, even they are moving fairly quickly these days.