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How to succeed in IT without really trying

snydeq (1272828) writes | more than 2 years ago

Enlightenment 1

snydeq writes "Deep End's Paul Venezia discusses the two ways to succeed in IT: through proficiency and hard work, a road that often leads to unending servitude, or the other way, with little effort or proficiency at all. 'I hate to say this, but a number of people in IT positions work harder to make it seem like they're busy as beavers than doing actual work. Quite often this dysfunction starts at the top: When an IT manager doesn't know the technology very well, he or she may hire folks who have no idea what their job is other than to show up every day and answer the occasional email, passing questions along to others with more technical abilities, or to their contacts at the various hardware and software vendors. People like these populate many consulting companies. They rely almost completely on contractors to perform the actual work, serving as remote hands in a real crisis and as part of a phone tree for less pressing issues.'"
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1 comment

This is not a problem (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#36353580)

People who have no idea what their job is other than to show up every day and answer the occasional email, passing questions along to others with more technical abilities, or to their contacts at the various hardware and software vendors. People like these populate many consulting companies. They rely almost completely on contractors to perform the actual work, serving as remote hands in a real crisis and as part of a phone tree for less pressing issues.'"

That is not a problem, it is a crucial function. Speaking from experience as a consultant who bills at lawyer-level hourly rates, except for the "have no idea what their job is" part, that is exactly what I do. And it is an immense value add for my clients.

It is precisely my contacts at various vendors and my personal domain knowledge that enables me to translate from client-speak to engineer speak and act as a very intelligent set of "remote hands" that makes it worthwhile for my clients to pay the, frankly outrageous, fees that I charge.

Basically they can pay me beau-coup bucks to facilitate fixing problems in days or they can muddle along for weeks or months trying to handle the situation on their own.

I make no secret about my methodology either - I always hit google first. But I am really damn good with google. I am always ready to train client employees to do what I do with google, but they almost always lack the patience and the domain experience to sort the wheat from the chaff on the net.

Then if google proves fruitless I move on to documenting the problem in as precise a manner as possible and passing it along to the people I know at the vendors involved. Sometimes I go through the official support channels, sometimes I skip them and go directly to the engineers.

Either way, I get results for my clients. Results that they are very happy with and which makes it worthwhile for them to keep me around twiddling my thumbs, essentially on "retainer" to be available whenever they need me.

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