Its time to start writing and stop sitting around thinking about doing it! Sound familiar?
This attitude of getting up and getting the job done has been pivitol in helping me get to where I am today in my career as a network engineer, achieving my CCIE and working as network architect for a global technology company (at the time of this writing). I am in a very privileged position today as I get to go to work each day and do what I love. Some say those types of jobs are only for the rich and famous people of this world but this is not the case for me.
I love the challenges that working in networking brings and not just the technical challenges. I believe in the IT industry today with the growth and rate of new technologies been developed that nearly all business challenges can be overcome and deployed in a successful manner when the right design, testing and implementation is taken. The biggest challenge today is the human aspect of the IT industry. Depending on the industry you are working in I believe your business will fall into one of three categories;
Speed boat – We all know who these players are in the IT industry. The ones at the bleeding edge of new technology. Driven by customer demand and to stay one step ahead of their competitors. When something new comes along they have the business agility to make that quick move and reline the business to keep up with the demand, just like a speed boat gliding over the waves.
The Sail boat – These are the business’ that know they are safe where they are today living with the technology they are running on but are aware of what new technology is out in the market. Their decisions to make the move into new technologies are given to them by their very “friendly” vendor SE who always seems to call on the right month of the quarter. They are like a sail boat floating out at sea who are taken on their journey by help of the wind (vendor).
The Oil Tanker – These are the business’ that have been around for a long time, some of them since TCP/IP was invented, and have the battle scares to show from the years of battle to have survived this long. They see new technologies coming from a long way out. They understand their business demands but are driven by a world of processes, ITIL, and to many human touch points that have built up over the years. They want to talk any new idea or technology over and over before going live into any production environment, driven out of fear. By the time that happens that new technology/idea is no long new and the process is started all over again. They are like the oil tanker trying to turn in the oceans to change course along the journey.
Working in either one of these business’ does not mean you are good or bad engineer. The world of IT is driven by the business needs and the business needs is always driven by humans (money). So as well as the technical challenges I have in my day to day job I do love the human challenge. With technolgy I know 99% of the time the action I take is going to give me back either a True or False answer, computer says yes or computer says no. With the human aspect you never know what you are going to get!
So is technology our biggest challenge in today’s IT industry? Or is our biggest challenge working with humans in today’s IT industry? 🙂