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Why Everyone Hates the IT Department

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the gotta-be-the-shoes dept.

IT 960

Barence writes "Why are IT staff treated with near universal contempt? This article discusses why everyone hates the IT department. From cultivating a culture of 'them and us,' to unrealistic demands from end users and senior management, to the inevitable tension created when employees try and bring their own equipment into the office, there are a variety of reasons for the lack of respect for IT."

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Reflections (5, Insightful)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176782)

Why are IT staff treated with near universal contempt?

One reason might be because that's how IT staff treat everyone else.

Re:Reflections (5, Interesting)

Anrego (830717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176838)

Yup.. works both ways.

Users can be real dicks.. but so can IT guys. Yes it's the IT departments job to keep the system running and secure.. but the whole point of that system is so everyone else can do their work. When IT starts unreasonably hindering that, you see the hostility build.

This is especially true in software shops, where everyone tends to be fairly technically literate and have unusual needs for their systems.

Re:Reflections (5, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176930)

There's some truth to this, except at as an IT support person with a fair amount of experience, I'd like to raise 2 points:

First, often enough the draconian restrictions are forced on us by upper management. Like... I might not care at all whether you're looking at Facebook at work, but if upper management says we need to filter the web usage to block Facebook, I'll do it. I might even let them know that I don't agree with the policy, but if they overrule me and tell me to implement the filter, I will. It's my job, after all.

Second, I have to comment on your statement, "This is especially true in software shops, where everyone tends to be fairly technically literate..." Honestly, software developers and the "fairly technically literate" are some of the worst people to support. They'll constantly break their own computers and make work for the help desk staff.

Seriously. Sorry, I know there are a lot of programmers on Slashdot and you think you know everything there is about computers, but most software developers I've known, no matter how brilliant, don't understand how to do IT support. They don't know how to make a stable system. They're one step away from the guy who wants admin access to his own machine because he upgraded his own video card once and he "knows what he's doing".

Now depending on the situation, it may still be a good idea to give developers some more leeway, but only because they need it. It can be a necessary evil, but be sure to have an "software developer" image ready, because they *will* trash their computers and expect you to fix it immediately.

I don't mean to make flamebait, but it needs to be said.

Re:Reflections (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177032)

Usually upper management insists on draconian restrictions upon the recommendation of IT who are trying to maintain their power and control. Scare the crap out of the pointy haired boss, you can do what you like as long as you say it is in the interests of security. Time to do away with in-house IT and move to utility. Put it up on the cloud and you don't have to deal with prima donna "tech support" or tech that goes out of date or security breaches etc.

Re:Reflections (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177094)

Move IT to the cloud? How does this make sense? You can't access a cloud without computers and networks... in short, IT.

Re:Reflections (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177096)

Ah yes, put it in the cloud! The cloud fixes all!

Fuck the cloud.

Re:Reflections (1, Troll)

gomiam (587421) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177108)

I call bullshit. Most ITs I have ever been in contact with have, like most people, no desire to do needless extra work. They will cut down your ability to install software because you don't usually do it anyway and it drives the incidences number down because you can't mess that up any more. They will set up proxies because it suddenly becomes trendy watching the same videos at Youtube once and again, and the organization has better uses for its inbound bandwidth than downloading the same thing once and again.

Then again, some IT departments are bent on keeping their power share. I pity the people unlucky enough to deal with those.

Re:Reflections (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177064)

I'm a software developer by trade, but I know how to admin a system as well (I helped run an ISP for several years.). At past companies I've been called in (while there and at home) to fix system issues that our admins were pulling their hair out over. However, I wasn't allowed to get all the access I needed to efficiently do my job.

At one place (web development) all of our developers wanted to run Linux, but none of the admins knew anything about Linux at the time so I was basically doing desktop support for the other developers as well. It was more of a courtesy to them than anything, because most of the time they could figure out whatever they needed anyhow. What scared me about that was all our servers were running Linux and no one, but me apparently knew how to manage them. I didn't stay there long.

Re:Reflections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177212)

but most software developers I've known, no matter how brilliant, don't understand how to do IT support. They don't know how to make a stable system. ...

I don't mean to make flamebait, but it needs to be said.

What you fail to see here is that the developer got to do a job, too. He couldn't care for a stable system if it was his (or hers) own debugged project that made the system die in the first place (which is easy enough on some platforms).

Also, the wish for local administer privileges on said platform is pretty normal - it might actually be needed for more than 1 reason. What IT department fails to see is that it's up to them to get their network right. If 'local administrator' poses a threat to your network, then you network guys are doing it wrong in the first place!

It's worse enough to get screwed by forcing to dev on your less-than-favorite platform. It's even worse when someone from IT comes tell you you can't do your job 'because they want a stable system, and (apparently) prefer explaining the [good looking cup DD] secretary how to hold the mouse, instead of assisting the 'power user' in getting the job done properly and earn money for the company.

Having said all that, most (and all where i worked longer than a blue monday) IT departments i met were all friendly and helpful and ready to grant any special wishes. It's this crap talk on some of those 'CEO' websites that tells -certain- people the wrong attitude in the first place.

Re:Reflections (0)

Fnord666 (889225) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176994)

This is especially true in software shops, where everyone tends to be fairly technically literate and have unusual needs for their systems.

Yeah, because they all have really good reasons why they "need" that random piece of software. You know, reasons like they don't want to learn the company standard software or they don't like the available background colors. Never mind the cost, the vulnerabilities, the audit requirements. Just as long as the cornflower blue background is available.

Re:Reflections (4, Insightful)

cynyr (703126) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177156)

yes, heaven forbid the code monkey would work better in gvim/emacs and a shell than whatever god awful gui is company policy....

or the CAD monkey would like to install the drivers for the 3d input device, instead of making do with a keyboard and mouse.

More likely (4, Insightful)

publiclurker (952615) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177208)

cases like when the IT department decided to ship all engineers with a standard system that does not include a DVD reader. The fact that our software shipped on DVDs at the time apparently didn't matter to them. then there was the time when IT decided that we needed to have IT perform all software installs on our systems. I was in charge of creating install packages for six different product lines at the time. IT only relented when I scheduled five solid days of their time to simply press the buttons on my regression test systems.

Re:Reflections (2)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177166)

It's the developers that crash enterprise systems while doing development against the prod database because "The account is read only and won't do any harm".
To generalise, developers do not care about hogging resources or security unless they are forced to because the deadline is only a couple of days away.

Re:Reflections (4, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177180)

When IT starts unreasonably hindering that, you see the hostility build.

Actually I think this is a problem somewhat unique to IT. Everyone has a computer at home and therefore thinks they *know* what IT does. They think its just a matter of scale and that the issues they face on their PC are the same ones the IT department deals with. On the other hand hardly anyone runs payroll at home or does the sort of accounting the finance departments handles. The are not doing materials research like the engineering group so they don't constantly second guess those people.

Most users don't have a clue what is reasonable or not. They only think they do. They don't want to be educated or trained either, they one have their own work to think about, and be don't appreciate there is anything to learn.

I keep having finance people tell me they want to use Dropbox! Which my department blocks, we are public company, we can't have people putting financial records on Dropbox, because we really don't know who at dropbox can get the data, under what circumstances, etc as they can change their terms whenever. We'd never survive our next SOX audit! What do the users say, "everyone else is using the cloud!", no everyone else is NOT using the cloud for M&A documents, I assure you. They sent some baby photo's to grandma though so they think they get it.

Re:Reflections (4, Funny)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176852)

Why are IT staff treated with near universal contempt?

One reason might be because that's how IT staff treat everyone else.

Even when that's true, it's usually because of a combination of stupid end users and end users that are competent but undertrained. Then there are the people with unrealistic expectations. "Whaddaya mean I can't install this program? I'm sales, I earn the profits that pay your ****ing salary, nerd!".

Re:Reflections (0)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176960)

Even when that's true, it's usually because of the IT department thinking they know better than end users and hence calling them all stupid for wanting something other than what they provided. Then there are the ones with unrealistic power complexes. "whaddaya mean you want a program to do your job? I'm IT, I dictate what everyone gets to do on their computer."

Re:Reflections (3, Insightful)

DesScorp (410532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177162)

Even when that's true, it's usually because of the IT department thinking they know better than end users and hence calling them all stupid for wanting something other than what they provided. Then there are the ones with unrealistic power complexes. "whaddaya mean you want a program to do your job? I'm IT, I dictate what everyone gets to do on their computer."

IT does know better than end users. This is why IT locks down systems. Because if they don't end users do stupid things like opening attachments, surfing porn at work, an generally doing things that put the whole network at risk. There is no wisdom of crowds in the Enterprise. Just a lot of users who are, at best, competent, with a big number of frankly dumb people that do dumb things.

Re:Reflections (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176862)

Which in turn is no different from how IT hates dealing with HR, how HR hates dealing with Payroll, how Payroll hates dealing with Accounting, how Accounting hates dealing with Marketing, how Marketing hates dealing with Legal, and how they all hate dealing with Management, who hates dealing with all of these Grunts doing the actual work.

Corporations today are more about fostering hatred and dislike among the various units that make up the business, rather than working together toward a common goal. That's probably why many Western economies are in the shitter, so to speak. There's no incentive to be productive when you absolutely hate every single person that you have to interact with.

Re:Reflections (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176916)

You forgot hating the customer the most...

Re:Reflections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177012)

Many American businesses today have few to no customers. They "survive" merely on the own small-scale economy that has developed within. This is especially true for those businesses that force departments to basically pay one another in order to function. Accounting has to budget some of its resources to IT, who in turn can budget some of these "earned" resources to HR, who can budget some of their "earnings" back to Accounting, and so on and so forth.

The complete lack of real income, combined with salaries and external expenses, are what finally puts an end to this at most places. These result in resources leaving this small-scale economy, which eventually causes it to collapse, or at best end up in a very sorry state that allows some other company to come in and absorb it (where the cycle repeats).

Re:Reflections (4, Insightful)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176910)

At the core of the problem is that security is a tradeoff between convenience and security. Users like convenience and don't care about security. IT is tasked with (among other things) keeping things secure, and so users see them as making things less convenient. Making things even worse is that people ignorant of technology closer to the top of the organization are fond of instituting security theatre policies, which of course also fall upon IT to implement.

Re:Reflections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176918)

My job generated the revenue that pays for IT jobs. But IT thinks they have the authority to tell me how to do my job (i.e. what equipment to use, how I use my computer, what programs I can run, what websites I can visit, etc...).

Re:Reflections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176992)

They do. They were given that authority by the people above you and the rules about what you can and can't use were set by them too.

Re:Reflections (1)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177226)


My job generated the revenue that pays for IT jobs.

This is exactly the wrong way to think of how a company operates. There's no one job that generates revenue, and others than consume it. The bullshit "cost center" approach to managing a business is like drawing some arbitrary circles around your business to attempt to get a handle on one aspect of it, and then forgetting why you picked those circles in the first place, and applying them to an entirely different problem.

But IT thinks they have the authority to tell me how to do my job (i.e. what equipment to use, how I use my computer, what programs I can run, what websites I can visit, etc...).

Perhaps that's because everything you just mentioned has a cost associated with it to support, which is on the IT department budget? This idea that you have that you're the king, and everyone bows down to you is nonsensical. A business exists to make money. To do that you need to run efficiently, which can't be done unless there's some sort of feedback loop between the people who consume the resources, and those that bear the cost of it. That doesn't mean that it has to be this hard set of rules to accomplish that, but it does mean giving up some control over how you accomplish tasks. Resources aren't infinite.

Re:Reflections (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176922)

Yeah, we should allow everyone to break servers by causing ip conflicts to plug in an unsecured wireless home router. We should allow the user to fritter away time on facebook, youtube, and every game site out there. We should allow everyone to be local admins so they can update their flash player.
By extension we should also let you fix your own machine when you screw it up. We should allow you to plug in anything you want regardless of what it might interfere with. We should also allow you to install all the malware and file-sharing software you want.
Oh don't forget: we should also stop donating the 30 hours a week to research your problems and tech on our own time. We should also let you order your own tech at retail instead of corporate discount prices.
If you think its so easy maybe you should apply.

Re:Reflections (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176988)

You should have wireless networking in the first place.
Your job is not to manage what websites users go to. If their boss wants them to play on facebook all day, it's none of your damn business as the IT dept.
You should be keeping flash player updated in the first place.
You should facilitate installing any required software for them to do their jobs as soon as it is bought and paid for instead of whining about supported software lists.
You have an attitude problem.

Re:Reflections (5, Funny)

Torinir (870836) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177068)

Zynga is not a requirement for any employee.
That steaming hot pr0n site is not a piece of "productivity software".
Bonzai Buddy isn't Clippy, and he's not your friend.
BitTorrent is not an approved method of software acquisition and installation.
Your concerns has been noted, and your permissions on the network updated appropriately.

Re:Reflections (0)

beelsebob (529313) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176942)

Indeed, not all, but most IT departments I've ever had to work with have had an attitude of "it's our network, you can do on it what we tell you you can, whether this is in direct conflict with you doing your job or not"... The way it should work is "you have needs to get your job done, we will try to design a network to get as many people able to do their job as well as possible as they can".

Re:Reflections (1, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177072)

Dont you think we try that? But at the end of the day when a no stays a no for real, valid security concerns, you are STILL going to get butt-hurt about it. I.T. is very much a 'respect my authoritay' type of job. If you want to interact with the very fabric of what keeps the company secure, you better be prepared to walk away when we say no for cause. By the very nature of our job, we are the gatekeepers, it is our network and you will comply and operate within the framework which has been set out by our superiors. The minute we let fucking developers or god forbid sales decide what is best for the network is the minute we lose the network.

Re:Reflections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177198)

Just keep in mind cooperation neither involves fucking everyone you can nor automatically bending over and spreading the second someone starts to get a little uppity.

Re:Reflections (1)

idji (984038) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177114)

Because there is not much difference between IT and the plumber or the electrician - they are all just responsible for keeping the infrastructure running. and like the plumber they are also not central to the core business of the organisation - they just provide required services to it. In my experience they are more interested in their own issues than helping the core business of the company and giving the best solutions to the business units who generate revenue. Too often the CEO/CFO has to tell the CIO that his people need to get on board where the company is going.

Re:Reflections (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177204)

I work in IT, you are wrong, so fuck you dip shit!

Why Everyone Hates the Info Desk (1)

masternerdguy (2468142) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176804)

Why Everyone Hates the Help Desk

"Why are information desk staff treated with near universal contempt? This article discusses why everyone hates the information desk department. From cultivating a culture of 'why u no work' to unrealistic demands from IT managers, to the inevitable tension created when employees try and use optical drives as cupholders, there are a variety of reasons for the lack of respect for information desk." :)

Re:Why Everyone Hates the Info Desk (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176898)

IME, help desks are staffed by people who can barely speak English and follow a script. "You want to run foxfire?"

It's our fault (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176812)

Because, BOFH forgive us, we have forsaken the way of the LART.

It's because all the sysadmins aspire... (5, Funny)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176818)

... to be the next one true BOFH. They may fall short, and remain PFY's forever, but that doesn't stop them from trying...

Like lawyers, impose unrealistic limits (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176826)

The problem with many IT staff is that they can and often do impose more draconian controls than are strictly required; like lawyers they are simply trying to keep a company or client safe from harm, but they often cannot see that purity must often be sacrificed for the greater good of simply letting a business get work done.

Re:Like lawyers, impose unrealistic limits (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177020)

Damn right. The gigantic telco I am working for has symantec cranked all the way up to scan every single file extension. In addition to multiple full scans per day.
Full disk encryption on every desktop not just laptops.
And the AD admins decided that just about every option must be set one way or the other in group policies.
And they wonder why no work gets done on time when the multi-core boxes sit there with full disk queues all day long without doing anything useful at all.

Then make a business case for it. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177046)

#1. The IT techs do NOT (as a rule) "impose more draconian controls than are strictly required". They are TOLD what to do by management.

#2. If you (as a non-IT and non-management user) want something done differently, then put together a business case and send it up through your manager.

#3. If your manager gets his/her manager and the other managers to approve and fund it then the IT techs will implement it.

Yay! Everyone wins! Then we all dance!

No business case, no funding, no changes.

And that is the core of the problem. People WANT things because they WANT them. But they don't understand (nor do they want to understand) how their "small change" affects the whole company's IT system.

Re:Like lawyers, impose unrealistic limits (1, Interesting)

Knave75 (894961) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177054)

As somebody on the receiving end of IT "help", I'll tell you why I get annoyed.

I have a job to do. At home, the process is simple. I turn on the computer, and it just works. However, on the job, it feels like the IT department is trying to make my life as difficult as possible, while admittedly streamlining their own work. Sometimes I make requests that would save me hours a day, and the IT department complains because it will slightly increase their own workload. As for certain simple programs, and it takes them weeks to install those programs, costing me hundreds of hours in productivity a year.

I get that IT has a job to do, but it feels like IT often forgets that I have a job to do as well, and that at the end of the day their role is to facilitate my ability to do my job.

As the parent said, IT often sets things up in a way that is best for IT, not necessarily for the other employees... and that is objectively not the role of IT at all. As one of those employees, I am aware that IT is making their life easy at the expense of my productivity, and it really really really annoys me.

it's IT's fault (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176832)

I work with an IT that is treated with respect by the other business functions. You know why? Because we deliver what the business needs to provide customer value. Usually it's the IT functions fault for building a "them and us" culture, and that ultimately has a negative affect on the way they can benefit the business.

Two reasons (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176836)

1. non-technical users are technical idiots

2. technical users are treated like idiots when they're not

My users love me (4, Informative)

trolman (648780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176848)

Well most of my users love me. At the annual party I get cheers. Everyone complements the IT staff work verbally and in writing. Once in a while a hater will hate. Really all it takes is to treat the users like people and things will work out just fine.

I figure that out of every hundred users there is going to be at least one hater. I have three haters. If you are IT and feel disrespected it is probably by the few selfish and self-centered people. Just ignore their phobia and treat them like adults. One day they will grow up or get pushed aside.

It's not the "no" response... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176854)

Its the lack of follow-up of "heres how we can make this work" that gets to me the most

We made computers too simple to use (5, Interesting)

El_Muerte_TDS (592157) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176858)

How often have you heard things like "My nephew is good with computers, he could do X"?

In the short history that computers exist we've made them too simple so that the average person thinks it's not complicated to keep those things running correctly (or develop new and better versions of it). The average person thinks a car (or even airplane for that matter) is more complicated than a computer. And this believe also translates towards the price they are willing to pay for it. Although that's not a bad thing, expect when you expect a Trabant to perform like a Ferrari.

oops - unintentional good analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177018)

For the daily driving that people actually do, a Trabant /does/ perform as well as a Ferrari. With much less fuss, and arguably more comfort.

Re:We made computers too simple to use (2)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177080)

Are you suggesting that computers are more complex than airplanes? Maybe if you're talking about the nuts & bolts of how the silicon works, but at the sysadmin level, no way. If my email client is crashing, that is not a problem on a level with figuring out why an airplane went down. I expect the IT department to be able to fix it out without reinstalling Windows. If they can't, then I think I'm justified in criticizing them.

Re:We made computers too simple to use (1)

trolman (648780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177088)

I do not find this comment at all interesting or insightful or what ever the mod checked.

If you give the users hard, complex stuff they will not like. These 'computers' are really workstations. The users need to be able to accomplish work. Make it hard and for what reason?

Make the behind the scenes sound like a mix of rocket science and brain surgery but the workstations are for work.

Re:We made computers too simple to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177130)

"But it's simple! All you have to do is..."

Re:The average person is right. (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177218)

How often have you heard things like "My nephew is good with computers, he could do X"?

In the short history that computers exist we've made them too simple so that the average person thinks it's not complicated to keep those things running correctly

It's not. Computers are essentially maintenance free these days. I mean what maintenance does a computer require these days? Security updates? They apply automagically, on my computer while I'm asleep. Software updates, pretty much all automatically. Defrag? Windows does this during it's quiet times. What do you actually think is required for a computer to keep it running correctly? Keep it virus free, but that pretty much applies to a car too (don't crash). If you actively need to do maintenance on a computer these days then maybe you should look at just what it is you are doing to the poor thing.

Now one could argue the complication of building it and setting it up. But this too is trivial. Your average teenager can assemble a computer, and your average grandma can run a windows setup. Neither of them would be able to actually assemble a car engine without considerable knowledge or specialised tools. Cars ARE effectively more complicated than computers.

Although that's not a bad thing, expect when you expect a Trabant to perform like a Ferrari.

My girlfriend just bought a new laptop. $700. Runs like a rocket, much faster than my $2000 pc of the day. Computers are cheap, disposable, and even the cheapest ones are fast enough to satisfy the demands of probably more than 95% of the users. People who need Core i7 and video cards that require a small powerplant to run are in the real minority.

Like it or not, computers these days are consumer toys. The age of the needing a nerd with big round glasses in the house to help set them up is over. Computers essentially set themselves up and maintain themselves.

Face it, in the consumer world we're obsolete. In the corporate world we're simply there to ensure the clever tech savey users don't screw things up, and the software update doesn't break anything.

Re:We made computers too simple to use (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177230)

Then why can't my computer fly on autopilot? And how can i play games in first class?

Not geek enough (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176880)

IT departments I have come across seem to be staffed with the slowest tech workers who have no interest in technology. By contrast, their customers want the latest/greatest tools to keep the business edge. So while IT department sees upgrading from WinXP to Win7 as a win, their customers are frustrated about lack of support for OSX, Android and iOS phones.

Not because of all the outsourcing? (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176886)

It's not because a lot of IT is outsourced for processes that need to be handled onsite?

That, combined with intense budget constraints that mean resources are extremely limited, and what can be spun up at an offsite facility by Amazon cloud services in moments can't be replicated locally because of no disk space, no memory, etc.

Untrustworthy (1)

ludomancer (921940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176888)

Every company I've worked at that has been large enough to warrant it's own IT dept. has been standoffish because they're told not to associate with the desk employees. The reason being for "security", and the overall feeling I've gotten from those I've been close to is because they basically monitor employee activity. They create logs of internet usage, emails, instant messages, and any network activity. In the last 5 or so years that has extended into time logs of entering/exiting the office, and actual desktop activity. There are three companies I've worked at that have had this behavior, with the exception of the timesheet and desktop activity recording because that was all at the same company since then, (though I've gotten the impression that this behavior was "standard" for IT now).
Either way, I feel like checking out of the corporate world entirely, because it's just pathetic. Especially if you consider where it's going: http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/11/18/1419252/microsoft-patent-aims-to-curb-obnoxious-employee-behavior [slashdot.org]

Re:Untrustworthy (2, Interesting)

trolman (648780) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176932)

Let HR do the dirty work that they are paid. If they need to monitor then let them buy cameras and microphones. IT should not be the Internet police, ever.

Any good manager knows the slackers. Just because the slackers can use the computer should not move the problem from HR to IT. Fine if they need to use the IT policy to fire. But that should be the end of IT involvement.

I used to work in IT and.... (4, Interesting)

Daneurysm (732825) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176904)

I used to work in IT. When I was in IT I figured the reason we were so generally hated was that whenever we pop up it's to fix something that is broken or to change something that isn't. So either we showed up at an emergency or we showed up to create one...or at least I was sure that's how it was perceived. Most of the time it was to roll out changes of some sort. This never went over well. Add to that the difficulty of grabbing an IT guy for a moment for something small "sorry, fill out a ticket" sounds very cold. Of course if we didn't adhere to that system nothing would ever get done.

As seen from the IT department it's a dynamic issue, and a rather complicated one at that.

Now that I'm no longer in the IT department and have to deal with the IT department I'm pretty everybody hates the IT department because fuck those guys.

Re:I used to work in IT and.... (1)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176940)

Filling out a ticket has become mandatory in our company, since they report on how many tickets you complete but "that metric doesn't matter".
Uh huh, I am sure Bob, who closes twice as many tickets as Frank yet does half the work looks a lot better in the boss's eyes.

Asked to do the impossible (5, Insightful)

hessian (467078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176908)

Pro-IT:

1. IT staff are asked to make computers work, when computers are a complex interaction between hardware and software, most of which is shaped by commercial interests for their own profit or created by non-profits with no interest in business use.
2. Users tend to be unreliable, inarticulate and lack the ability to remember basic procedures in reporting errors.
3. Businesses inevitably strangle IT for funding where it needs it, preferring to spend on the salaries of managers, touchy feelgood "training," and gee-whiz gizmos that achieve very little.

Con-IT:

1. IT managers have difficulty standing up to the demands from marketing and management in order to insist on what is likely instead of what "might be possible."
2. Most people in IT have poor social skills and aren't as smart as they think they are, leading to them projecting an aura of arrogance that offsets users. Sympathy for the user is often lacking.
3. Because IT is a hot topic job, the kiss-asses get promoted over the competent and stable, which leads to a proliferation of incompetents while the heroes get driven into the back room.

Nice cons. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177196)

1. IT managers have difficulty standing up to the demands from marketing and management in order to insist on what is likely instead of what "might be possible."

a. IT managers do NOT think like marketing / sales people. Sales is happy to go with the smallest option presented ... knowing that they can grow it from there. "In for a penny, in for a pound".

b. IT managers (in my experience) do not know how to manage the other managers. Hearing, "I know someone who can do it in a weekend for $100" from someone in Sales causes them to capitulate to unreasonable demands.

c. IT managers (again, in my experience) do not know as much as they think they know about IT or their systems. So they cannot provide an accurate cost (money / manpower) for any changes.

d. IT managers (a, ime) do not have plans for improving their systems over the years. Where will your systems / functions be 3 years from now? 5 years? 10 years? The Sales team can give you all kinds of projections. Maybe all lies. But they still have them.

2. Most people in IT have poor social skills and aren't as smart as they think they are, leading to them projecting an aura of arrogance that offsets users. Sympathy for the user is often lacking.

Yep. Big time. Think about it. Do you REALLY know more about IT (your job) than that accountant knows about Accounting (his job)?

3. Because IT is a hot topic job, the kiss-asses get promoted over the competent and stable, which leads to a proliferation of incompetents while the heroes get driven into the back room.

See all of my above comments. A good test for this is ... what CURRENT certifications does your manager carry? If any. How diverse are the certs?

Most lower level IT people are just plain stupid.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38176924)

Lets be honest. The lowest rung of IT has a lot of turnover. You move up quick if you're good, you get fired if you're bad... however there is a large group of individuals that stick in the middle. They aren't very good... but they aren't bad enough to get fired. Lets take my company for example. 5000+ employees, and a solid upper IT infrastructure... yet the IT people that come by often don't follow through all the way with requests, or do things without asking, or say they fixed something and there is no way it's fixed.

  On top of that... most people don't interact with IT unless something has gone wrong so people associated that. So I've come up with a saying... Good IT people you never hear of problems... which is why you never hear about me at all.

Oh, I don't know... (0)

maugle (1369813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176926)

... maybe it's because we developers don't appreciate having the libraries we rely on upgraded to a new version without warning on half of the machines we use?

Loss of focus on the organization's true purpose (2)

markabq (971992) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176928)

They institute policies for their own convenience and security, rather than for the benefit of people who are directly engaged in carrying out the organization's mission. Admittedly, this is more commonly a characteristic of the IT executives rather than the local staff, but it's problematic nevertheless.

Re:Loss of focus on the organization's true purpos (2)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176964)

Security is for the benefit of the people who are directly engaged in carrying out the mission, just ask Sony.

Re:Loss of focus on the organization's true purpos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177066)

This is exactly right. That's why I hate the IT department at my company. They forget that they exist to allow the rest of us to be more productive, and for no other reason.

Colleagues, customers, clients, whatever (0)

henkvanderlaak (965214) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176934)

If the IT guys would refer to me as colleague, client, customer, whatever I would be quite happy.
But no.... the IT guys always refer to me as a 'user'. I am your f***cking colleague, trying to help the company as a whole forward.
As long as IT think of themselves as a separate company-within-the-company despite their ever poor performance, they have my contempt. H.

Often it's because they're proxy slave-drivers (1)

smoothnorman (1670542) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176956)

Fat cat CEO/boss/owner wants to maximize the profit margin; and doesn't want anyone to be doing anything that might be less than utterly devoted to that goal.
Fat cat CEO doesn't want to be troubled with the technical side of that goal, so established a proxy slave-driver: the IT department
Folks don't like proxy slave-driver.
surprise! ...?

next-up: Fat cat CEO doesn't like bothering to fire or hire people. why-oh-why do people fear/hate the HR department?

My experience (4, Interesting)

koan (80826) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176962)

Primarily dealing with end users, they are ignorant (not stupid most of the time) and feel inadequate, as though they should know how to solve their problems but they don't, an attitude that is about as realistic as being handed an F-14 fighter manual and told you will be flying tomorrow.
What happens when I come into contact with them is they are primed and expecting to feel dumb so they do, and it's some how my fault, God forbid I dumb the explanation down and they "catch on" to that, "I'm not stupid you know" yes yes that's why you're here talking to me.

To be fair my delivery does need work, I am sure something close to sarcasm leaks out on occasion, I just never saw myself as their therapist.

With management, I have to say I don't get management, they seem to be baby sitters and I don't need sitting, I am autonomous and some seem threatened by that.
They have their own set of issues all of which seem to be created to appear they are needed, created out of sheer ignorance (Peter Principal) or just simple minded D-bags that some how got promoted and now you have to deal with them or rather their egos and egos don't make good business/management/IT decisions.

Re:My experience (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177048)

Primarily dealing with end users, they are ignorant (not stupid most of the time)

And what's the problem again? Nearly all people who bring their cars in for service can't service it themselves. They are ignorant. No harm in that...that's why we have IT departments. It's the IT department spending their 8-5 lamenting the ignorance of the office staff (mixed in with an inordinate amount of smoke breaks) instead of, you know, helping them that makes everyone hate IT.

In my experience (1)

zbaron (649094) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176970)

the IT Policy is what is universally hated, not the IT dept or the poor souls that make it up. Often there are some very bright and helpful people that will try to go out of their way to help out end users (especially researchers, who have "interesting" requirements -- we've gotten around this by setting up a department just to field their demands).

I also can't help feeling that IT depts have brought this reputation on themselves. "Our way is the One Try Way and you can't do it any other way". "Oh, yes, we installed this multi-million dollar pile of enterprise software that does not work, makes simple tasks week long epics, but you have to use it anyway".

Over the past decade, there has been a brain drain and now the IT depts are filled with "admins" that hardly know anything about only one particular platform and refuse to consider anything else (watch them squirm when the CEO / President walks in with a MacBook Air). To them, every problem can be solved by reinstalling the SOE, blaming the end user for installing "non-approved" tools etc etc.

IT is now looked upon as a cost centre. The business is quite rightly making comparisons with other providers who can provide the same service, for much less outlay.

Re:In my experience (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177228)

how often is the choice of "multi-million dollar pile of enterprise software that does not work," and that "makes simple tasks week long epics" left up to the IT guy and not up to a number cruncher or worse someone who if buddies with some one involved in the software in question?

RHEL 5 (1)

colsandurz45 (1314477) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176982)

I don't hate my IT department, I hate RHEL5. (They have good reasons for not upgrading to RHEL6 yet)

Re:RHEL 5 (2)

jaymz666 (34050) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177026)

Like you can't do in place upgrades? Or more correctly, in place upgrades don't preserve system settings, services or data so Redhat strongly suggests fresh installations when moving to a new major version?

No user is an island (3, Insightful)

realmolo (574068) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176986)

The fundamental problem is that most people don't understand that while they think that piece of software they want installed is PERFECT for their needs, it might not be something that integrates well into the rest of the company's systems.

The IT department KNOWS that any new system/software that is brought in has the potential to stick around for YEARS, and that it is likely that someone will want to integrate the data generated by that system/software into some OTHER system. Contrary to popular belief, not every file can be opened by every program. Not easily or cheaply anyway.

Basically, IT wants to make sure that we don't get into a situation where we are FORCED to develop expensive custom software (or expensive support procedures) because some non-IT management-type decided they wanted to use MS Publisher to create webpages.

Personal experience (5, Informative)

nine-times (778537) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176990)

In my experience, doing IT support is inherently a thankless job. Lots of people who do it are bad at their jobs, but the people receiving the support are rarely in a position to evaluate the competency of their support personnel, which makes things difficult. Even if you've done a really good job, the person you're supporting might not think so. If you're doing a crappy job, they might not know that either.

And a big part of the problem is that, by the nature of the job, if someone is calling you, they're probably already frustrated. They're trying to do something and their computer broke. They've probably already made a few attempts to fix things themselves. Often enough, they've put off asking for help for a little while already, and they're only contacting you now because the problem has hit the point of crisis. So now, then they're completely frustrated and pissed off, they call you, and they're looking for someone to be angry at. Guess what? That someone is you.

And often enough, you have to tell people that they can't have what they want. It's part of the job. Some employee wants Microsoft Publisher installed, but their boss has said not to buy them a license. "I have a disc. Can't you just install it? My son downloaded it for my home computer, so why can't you do that? If my son can do it, surely you can figure it out?!" Nope. Sorry, I'm not allowed to pirate. I'm not allowed to give you access to this file or that file without some manager's approval. I can't just buy you a new computer-- not unless your boss has budgeted for it.

The job requires dealing with people when they're at the end of the rope, and even then telling them "no". They're not going to like you most of the time. But they need you, and if you do a good job, they'll like you more than the alternative. It's what you need to settle for.

where to begin.... (4, Interesting)

uncanny (954868) | more than 2 years ago | (#38176998)

Lets see, i'm a fire alarm technician where we have about 40 buildings networked together.
We wanted to upgrade our network and the easiest way to do it would be to set up our own wireless mesh network. Our IT department said "no, wireless networks are our business and you cant set up your own" even though ours would operate on the emergency channels and have nothing to do with them. They whined to management and now we cant set up our stuff.
So they said "hey, use our network (internet)" ok, so we gave that a try. One big problem, when the building loses power, it loses it's internet, and we cant have our panels not monitored. so now we are stuck using phone lines with internet as a backup.
And half the time they cant even do a simple thing like provide a jack with a set IP address for us. They even tried to take away admin controls on OUR computers that aren't even hooked up to their network

if they had just stayed out of it, we would have a very nice and reliable system set up. But i dont hate them, i'm just taking note of all their failures so next time they say "let us do it" i can show how bad of an idea that really is.

Re:where to begin.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177036)

You sound fat.

Re:where to begin.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177234)

If they want you to use their network, then their network needs to meet your needs. If they want to use a particular network for a certain task (FERPA, HIPPA, PCI, Emergency Response, whatever) then they have technical, as well as legal, requirements to satisfy in the configuration and maintenance of that network. Additionally, if it is something that requires 24/7 access and support then they need to have adequate SLAs to provide the level of service demanded.

It sounds like the problem here was 3 fold. (1) You didn't adequately justify your demands with supporting documentation and requirements, (2) the IT group either didn't understand the request or failed to adequately understand the level of support/service you required, and/or (3) management failed to understand the difference between the two network types being proposed and/or the costs/benefits of doing it the way it is being done vs the way it needs to be done.

Depending on the organization and heirachy you may simply need to find the person who makes decisions and make your case. The CTO and/or Security Architect should (in theory) understand the argument that people / safety is the #1 priority and the dangerous consequences of inadequate disaster (yes, a power loss is a form of disaster) preparedness.

It is because of Media/Culture (1)

desertfool (21262) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177004)

IT is always portrayed in the media/culture/ads as somewhat of an outcast? Who amongst us remembers the rooster looking dude in the Ameritrade (I think that is what they were called) commercials to the "SWEET" idiot of the horrible CDW commercials. While many (if not most) of us were professional and CAN talk to an average user, we are portrayed as some weird punk-rock drummer.

This made us easy to demonize, and demote. We weren't 'leaders', professionals, or whatever.

"Let him fix it" (2)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177014)

My anecdote. My new office mate moved into my office. IT did their duty and moved his gear, but setup the KVM switch incorrectly, so he got the wrong two displays on the wrong system. IT's response..."let him fix it". Um, no, assholes, your lazy asses set it up incorrectly. Even though we have the technical ability to set it up ourselves, your stupid IT policies won't let us. So when YOU screw it up, you can come back and fix it.

This is why we all hate IT.

A word of advice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177028)

Take it from an ex-IT guy: Get away from the IT department as soon as you can. There are good IT jobs out there. Stay away from being the "cost center". Always take a job in a "profit center". Always. Repeat: Always.

Nick Burns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177052)

"Your company's computer guy"

It's because blanket policies are sure to fail (1)

cellocgw (617879) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177058)

Let me say first off that the local Computer/Network Operators at my company (I refuse to use "IT" because, heck, a paperback book and a slide rule are both "information technology") are competent, helpful, and interact w/ the tech staff well. The overarching group (NorthropGrumman IT *Division*) not so much. Simple example: someone decided that Office2007 should be rolled out. Now, that person may have had worries about document compatibility with customers and vendors, in which case he was wrong, since there are converters which down-convert the _content_ just fine even if the fancy-schmancy eye candy doesn't. Or he may have simply decided (or been bribed) to pay $gazilliion to upgrade all machines. In either case, nobody cared to ask any users whether they were able to work more efficiently with Office03 than Office07. And, yes, I am fully of the opinion that a "power user" knows that speed and efficiency come from minimizing the use of the mouse in favor of keystroke commands, and that being able to customize menus is infinitely better than searching thru "ribbons" with commands placed in unintuitive, seemingly arbitrary sub-menus. Take another example: most employees think python is either a reptile or an old BBC comedy show, but those who actually want to write and use Python code should not be barred from doing so. You just cannot have a common policy applied to factory workers, administrators, software jocks, and science/engineering staff. I, for one, do not ask for "support" for most of the tools I use. I just ask for _permission_ to use and maintain them without coming in to find my machine has been once again rooted by the midnight auto-update patch monster.

Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177060)

Nobody gives a fuck about IT until theres a problem. And even then they think our job is nothing special. "Hey my kid is good with computers."

The fucking janitor gets more respect from people within the company.

After awhile that attitude starts to get to any IT person and they turn into the BOFH. Or worse. Start doing just enough not to get fired. Shit the boss doesnt have any clue about IT. Whos gonna know.

poor management / poor HR is part of the blame (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177062)

It needs peoele with tech school skills / hands on work and not CS only.

Build your own hated IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177102)

1) Hire some people in IT
2) Grow your business, hire people working with computers (can be software developers to lawyers, doesn't matter)
3) Profit !

So now, IT has a very hard time keeping up with the requests, they will just say no to any improvement request (software, hardware, network, ...).
Everybody will hate IT because they don't help, they are slow, they always reply no.

Obviously, IT will hate everybody asking new things when they don't even have the time to even maintain the current system.
They will hate non-technician people asking questions because they loose precious time for futile questions, and they will hate technician people because they ask for improvements IT have no time to do.
IT will hate upper management too, not giving them enough resources.

From this point, IT will be angry at everyone, everyone else will be hangry at IT, upper management will be hangry at everyone not doing their job efficiently enough (which they can't do because IT does not help them when they need it).
Then usually the non-technician people make anything so that they can work, which usually make IT life hell, disrupting the (mostly) working system. The technician people will usually use their own solution, it won't break or harm IT, but is usually bad from a security point of view.

Note that not once will upper management decide to invest in IT, because IT is not an activity making money.
I'd say that upper management is often the problem, they will usually still keep their job.
Giving more resources to IT could help the company make more income, but short-sight make you miss that.

Be nice and Google! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177110)

When people deal with IT departments they are probably already stressed out - as something is not working properly. So inital respect comes about by communicating in simple terms so as not to confuse and giving some sympathy. If the problem can't be sorted straight away, you give the person a reference and a resolution time. A lot of IT departments could learn from this.

Using google can be productive if you know the exact error message, it's amazing how some problems are well known by the community at large so all you have to do is read. Everyone seems to know someone that is 'good with computers' but it doesn't really mean they know how anything works. There are so many levels and facets of computing and no real measure of self-taught knowledge, which in this connected day and age is as much as you can get your browser on!

I've logged calls with IT support and resovled it days before geting a reply. And the way I used was far simpler, all thanks to some understanding of computers, software and good old Google.

Helpdesk software (1)

hansoloaf (668609) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177124)

Most helpdesk software are crap and I suspect it's the first step in pissing people off when they contact IT for help with whatever issue. It only goes downhill from there.

I don't think *everyone* hates us at my company (2)

MrLizardo (264289) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177136)

I work in IT and I'm relatively certain that the IT department at my company isn't *universally* reviled. In no particular order, here are some of the things that I think make us mesh with the rest of the company well:
1) An emphasis on hiring IT people with good communication skills, sometimes even preferring the candidate with communication skills and a good "cultural fit" (e.g., excited about working for the company, interested in continuing to learn, etc), over the candidate with specific technical experience.
2) A company-wide emphasis on not hiring technophobes into jobs where they'll be in front of a computer 8 hours a day.
3) IT management that can say "no" at least some of the time
4) IT management with the foresight to actually calculate internal support costs (i.e., hours spent making it actually work) into the TCO of a technology
5) A top-down corporate philosophy of avoiding vendor lockin means that we tend not to get stuck with our backs to the wall (or over the barrel ...) all that often.
6) Using bugzilla for support ticket management (or replace that with any other good way of keeping track of open issues). Our biggest problem in the past had been with users asking for support and those issues getting glossed over or forgotten about.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head, but I can certainly say that without all of those in place doing IT would be a *ton* harder and/or require more staff to get the same amount of work done.

It's time to get up and organize (1)

Baloo Uriza (1582831) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177150)

Maybe if the IT staff went on strike and demanded the pay and respect such a critical assignment should afford, we might be able to break the cycle.

Selling IT (3, Insightful)

mseeger (40923) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177152)

Usually the IT department is not very good at selling things. Being technically right is no replacement for explanations. If you take some extra time, you can give things a completely different spin.

I have seen very successful IT departments which were headed by marketing/sales guys. They just focused on selling what their department was doing and why. For technical decisions they had their staff. They were much better off (budget- and apprecion-wise) than the average IT department.

It is a typical mistake in IT departments to think the manager has to know about every topic. Therefor the best technical guys often become abysmal managers.

Yours, Martin

my reason (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38177158)

My reason for not respecting IT is in part supported by incidents like one that happened a few years ago. They pushed a mandatory update uncluding a forced ATI video card driver to about 30,000 computers, less of half of which actually had ATI video cards. Of course none of the non-ATI card computers would boot, and some entered endless reboot cycles that lasted all weekend, destroying some of them in the process. I'll let you guess what organization this was...

Re:my reason (1)

eagl (86459) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177176)

Let me guess... The same organization that discovered a keylogger on armed UAV control systems and couldn't get rid of it for months?

Skewed perceptions (2)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177184)

Slashdotters will have a skewed perception of IT anyway.

The articles says "a department that is, after all, designed to help and support workers". For certain classes of users, this could not be further from the truth.

Last time I called IT, they commented on how little I called them. This is because the only reason I call them is for the occasional forgotten password. Everything else, I know it's going to take less time and frustration if I fix it myself. Yes, I know that some people who do this are rogue users who should be shot.

My department hates IT because they have to carry out the ridiculously over-protective policies forced on a large government department. And because the policy is designed for an army of clerical workers when we are an R&D organization.

They actually want to impose VDI on all of us - you have to justify not having it. Everyone I work with has a mix of custom tooling (users AND developers) that means that making a virtual machine image for each of them, or even for each user group, would be a nightmare. We are the least suitable set of users for VDI I can imagine, but hey, since we're the "tech guys", we get to be the guinea pigs and try it out first.

They're experimenting with Windows 7 - but not with 64-bit versions, which some of our apps are starting to need, because the enormous suite of software they install to enforce policy doesn't have a 64-bit version yet.

They changed our anti-virus from Symantec, which ate about 10% CPU time when checking, to McAfee, which eats about 40%. I/O heavy processes that used to take around 2 minutes now take 8. They got McAfee free in a bundle - it's a shame about the cost to our productivity. The snoopware that checks every path on your drive - including ones inside archives (yes, including jars - we're mostly Java developers) will thrash your disk for about 20 minutes and then will consume a whole CPU core for another 10 zipping up the list to send back to base. Since the change of antivirus, reading all those files of course also thrashes the CPU. This grinds some of our machines to a halt so well that you can watch the display being rendered, one raster line at a time.

Not a day goes past without my colleague cursing because his machine is doing the bidding of the IT department instead of compiling his code.

But what about the things they do for us? The things we ask for?

If you ask for software that's not sold by one of our official suppliers, they'll subcontract one of them to : buy it for you, mark it up 10% and then deduct the whole cost from your budget. Once this process took 13 weeks - by which time, the job the software was intended to speed up was already complete.

If you lock out your email account, they tell you to get in touch with your "local email admin". You can't get into the address book to find out who that is, without your email account.

To be honest, I ran out of anecdotes in that department there, because I barely ask them for anything ; as I said, it's easier to do it myself.

We get that IT is a department that perceives the majority of users to be hapless idiots who would install a worm that caused Armageddon in exchange for a smiley pack for their IM client. To be honest, as developers, we can really sympathise with that sometimes. But we get very frustrated being tarred with the same brush, because the tar makes doing our job so much harder.

bean counters (1)

Cherubim1 (2501030) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177186)

Like a lot of departments today, IT is run by boneheaded bean counters who lack any comprehension of technical matters. I regularly have to fight with these moronic turds for extra funding whilst having to endure the wrath of irate "clients" who think network engineers can work magic. The term "chief shit stirrer" is used a lot when referring to system engineers and is considered (in my view) as both apt and offensive.

As a IT guy (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177194)

I have had a few jobs as IT and I have to say I (and everyone else in my field) were loved.
I was the guy that fixed your broken shit and got your thesis to finally work in an hour after you spent 5 weeks on it.
In general most people like help when they ask for it, and when you can perform magic in front of them and save then 50 hours of boring and repetitive computer work or tell them why the '&' symbol is not working in their HTML then they will love you for it.

It really depends on people (5, Informative)

godrik (1287354) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177200)

I usually need a lot of tools because I have a versatile job. As a researcher in a university in a close R&D department, I often have to test tools and analyse data that come a little bit from everywhere.

Often I have root access on my machines. Once I did not have root privilege on my desktop because of "security policy". I ended up asking IT to install software frequently. For some reason the IT guy believed he could do my job better than me and knew which tools I need better than me. Every time, the IT asked me stupid question, like
"why do you need an installation of pdflatex? you have latex already!!"
"well, the journal we are submitting to uses pdflatex and our article does not compile."
"In my experience, journal use latex"
"!? well, this one doesn't"
"I see. Why don't you install it on your home directory?"
"I could, but installing a latex distribution manually is a nightmare. As root, it only requires installing one package and let the package manager do its job. In 10 minutes it is installed, properly configured and will update automatically with the system."
"Latex is not updated very often, so the automatic updates are not very useful. You could install it based on a chroot in your home directory" ... it went like that for about 20 minutes
Two days later:
"Could you install ruby on our computing nodes?"
"Why do you need ruby? It is not a very good programming language and it is significantly less efficient than alternatives like python."
"Because I need tool-foo which is written in ruby."
"Oh I see. Instead of tool-foo, you could use tool-bar which is written in java and does almost the same thing."
"Well, I need tool-foo because tool-bar does not have a feature I need."
"Which feature? In my experience users ask for many different tools without wondering if another tool happen to have the proper features." ... It went like that for 30 minutes.
the week after
"Could you install git on my machine and on our computing nodes?"
"Why do you need git?"
"To have versioning of my code and experiement"
"We have an svn server, why don't you use that?"
"because the svn server has a limited capacity and it relies on accessing the network, which is not accessible on our computing nodes. But git is point to point and works great over ssh."
"I see. I guess we could set up a git server to synchronize the machine..."
"Well, I don't need a git server. I just need the git package to be installed"
"... so I need to install a new virtual machine. But I will need to connect it to the LDAP. Oh yes the problem of accessing from the computing nodes, so I could modify the settings of the firewall..."
"I don't need a git server I just need git. I'll synchronize on the file system"
"... but if I change the setting of the firewall, you could access the SVN server. So why don't you use SVN?"
"because the SVN server will never support the load I am going to push to the repository"
"I see. In my experience, people in university use git mainly to contribute to open source software and not for actually working."
"... *sigh*"

I let you imagine the day I requested a kernel update...

Because they know less about their job than I do. (1)

Sarusa (104047) | more than 2 years ago | (#38177202)

I'm not pretending I know everything (there's a heck of a lot I don't know), so I do expect someone whose career is IT, when mine isn't, to know more about it than I do or I just can't respect you. It's that easy.

Having someone who knows less about networking, Windows, Linux, you name it, standing in the way of you getting something done just because they prefer to stick with what little they know is just infuriating. Either help, tell me where I'm wrong, or get out of my way. 'That's just not what we always do' doesn't cut it. Since you don't produce anything, your job is to assist, not to c#$@block people who are actually making products.

One of our IT guys is very good at what he does, helpful, and can suggest why I might want to do something a different way or why they'd prefer I not do that (which is fine). Sometimes he'll give me the go-ahead even though it's not official company policy. He knows what he's doing and I respect him, and will defer to his judgement.

So it's 'easy' - earn it.

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