7 Downsides to IT.....

While I love lots of different facets of IT, there are a few downsides that I have experienced over the years and I thought I would share...

  1. The respect!
    • Don't you just love how the corporate machine has diminished our trade?  Considering how much power we should yield in the modern world, how the hell did we let them treat us like scum sucking pigs?    When everything is running smoothly, we are not noticed.  When the shit hits the fan, we are the first to get an ear full.
  2. The chicks!
    • With such finely honed bodies, what girl wouldn't want to work in an environment surrounded by tanned, social outgoing and muscled men.
    • While I have worked with/for several female clients and managers,  the number of actual female coders I have worked directly with is 1.   With a degree in mathematics and ecology, she was better than most males by a country mile.
  3. The pay!
    • Thank you Open Source community for reducing my worth.  I know I'll cop at lot of flak for this, but the rise of OSS has placed a growing perception on the non-IT public that software is essentially free. 
    • I can't tell you the number of times I have heard clients/customer say "that is a lot of money, ".  Considering most IT people charge less than plumbers or mechanics,  it really shits me.  (pun intended)
    • "I am sorry that you have to pay  the equivalent of a 6 month salary so you can sack 5 staff members."
  4. The environment!
    • The joy of working in a cube... Enough said.
  5. The learning curve!
    • Outside of cutting edge science/medicine, is there any other profession, that has a constantly changing skill set like IT?
    • While learning a new language, framework or DBMS is usually rewarding, the pace of change quickly gets tiring after a couple of decades.
  6. Job completion!
    • IT projects NEVER finish, they only get discarded.
    • They don't call it a development cycle for nothing
    • I am surprised that so few IT people go "Postal"..
  7. The output!
    • After 2 years on my current project, the source code of my efforts can fit on a few high density floppies.
    • Yet when I get on the tractor and fertilise/slash/till for a few hours, the result is there for all to see.... immediately

My current project is nearing completion and to be frank, I would like to learn a trade.. Either sparky, boilermaker or carpenter...  Anything out doors..

Print | posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2007 9:18 AM

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# 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by Brett at 2/15/2007 3:19 AM Gravatar
Damn......I wish I wrote this....all true

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by Paul at 2/15/2007 12:36 PM Gravatar
Amen!

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by Matthew at 2/19/2007 10:41 PM Gravatar
Agreed, however, we also need to consider the way that IT skills have become commoditised when looking at the reduced pay and respect. Why pay a coder here when you can get the same thing elswhere for less! (No flames, please).

Here are some more:

8. The way people's eye's glaze over at parties when they find out what we do. You never get a 'Oh cool' or 'How interesting' reaction.

9. Incipient autism. The more you focus on minute details to the exclusion of all else, you start to feel the rocking coming on....

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by Paul W at 2/20/2007 1:51 AM Gravatar
Well said.

With respect, I would like to submit a couple of codicils
- Respect
* being referred to as the "computer guy." You've known them for 10 years and after the 18th time you 've come and saved them from themselves you are referred to as "computer guy"
* "Computer fairy" syndrome. At 5:01 when you finally get some time to work on what you need to someone "pops in" to drop a load on you that they need by morning "since you are going to be here a while anyway.

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by John R. at 2/20/2007 11:56 PM Gravatar
And let's not forget:

Free support -
Your mother-in-law calls you up with some vague details of an error that occured yesterday and is pissed off when you can't help her fix it over the phone and don't know what caused it.

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by Mutt at 3/9/2007 4:58 PM Gravatar
(see 2nd comment from Matthew)

8a. Note: eyes only glaze over when the person does not own a PC. If they do own one, the next sentence usually starts with: "I must have some sort of virus in it because it's useless and won't do anything. Do you think you could...... (etc) ?"

8b. My response to this is: "Sure! No problem! Just be sure to go to your mechanic and ask him to work on your car in his precious free time with you looking over his shoulder telling him that you know all about the machine in question while *not* being able to fix it and then offering to "pay" him for his few hours of work with a meal consisting of baked beans & sausages or something like that."
- or - the next best response is:
"Sure! Just call these people on this number and tell them about your issues and they should fix it right up!" (while handing a blank card with the number of a local computer repair place :)

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by Edgar at 3/10/2007 12:07 AM Gravatar
11. You are "blamable". If the online bank system is under maintenance, its your fault. If the MSN is not logging in because the stoopid user didnt input the pw correctly, its your fault (even if they get the "incorrect login" popup - they just wont read the messages and click the ok button like automatons). If they drop a laptop and 2 days later it dies, its your fault. even if your mother in law from point 10 screws something in her computer, its your fault --- hell, me and my computers even got blamed once for a 200% increase in electric consuption (actually there was a short circuit, but hey!, lets blame the IT guy).

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by Scott at 3/10/2007 1:00 AM Gravatar
...and if you do help someone with a computer problem (or, god forbid, help them choose one to buy), you will be called at all hours for every little perceived problem for the life of this machine and their next 3.

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by Jasmine at 3/10/2007 3:10 AM Gravatar
Clearly you are not a person suited for IT work. Most of your list is stuff I consider a positive.

I get a lot of respect. I'm building the tools my company needs and they know it. I treat them with respect too.
I don't agree on chicks... I'm hot enough, and I've worked with some really cute developers. I've also noticed that the guys in IT are getting better-looking all the time.
Not sure what happened to you, but I make more money than I deserve for doing something I actually enjoy.
Working in cubes is OK, it doesn't bother me, and most geeks aren't bothered by it either. That said, I have a nice large office with a door and everything. Again, my company respects me. I've worked in cubes and in one place where I didn't even have a cube, I had a table. None of that bothered me - I just want to make cool software.
I like the learning curve. If it wasn't constantly changing I would get bored pretty fast. If you're not that kind of person then you shouldn't be a programmer for sure. After 25 years I'm not tired of it.
OK, those last two are pretty annoying, but if you've been coding for 2 years on something, it should at least require a CD. This says to me that you aren't being productive over a long period of time and you probably are not enjoying your job. A little temporary burn-out is ok, but you've been burned out for years, it's time for something new.

I think people need to assert themselves more. If you feel you deserve more money or you are not getting the respect you deserve, say something about it (to actual people)! If nobody responds, go somewhere else... they will quickly realize how much they needed you and they will be more respectful to the next person. If you don't like your job, have some respect for yourself and find something else!

People know my name, some people find my job interesting, I've got the money for fast cars and cool toys, and my family knows better than to ask me anything about computer problems. Pretty good overall I think.

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by DavidM at 3/10/2007 11:44 AM Gravatar
Jasmine,

I am stunned by your lack of humor.

I could just have easily written of the times when I have been grossly overpaid, lavished with perks and kudos.

>>>... but if you've been coding for 2 years on something, it should at least require a CD.
>>>This says to me that you aren't being productive over a long period of time....

That justs nasty.

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by jt at 3/10/2007 10:08 PM Gravatar
great posts, made me laugh at the truth of them all!

thanks : )

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by 1389 at 3/11/2007 5:40 PM Gravatar
I'm the other female commenting here, with thirty years' experience, and I have to say you're right. Also, if you do mainframe work, it's mostly contracting, so forget about settling down anywhere for any length of time. And then there's outsourcing...

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by 10-11 at 3/12/2007 3:01 PM Gravatar
All was true --- but now I sit with my house paid iin full, cars paid off...no debt ..... on easy street and demand to paid the big $$ when something needs to be done -- I don't look for work -- work lookds for me and many times I quote very high hopping not to get the job -- and get it anyway -- lol -- it's a great life ---

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by zeb at 3/16/2007 6:52 AM Gravatar
Don't forget that it's not just the corporations screwing us. Colleges making is as easy to get a degree in IS as one in PE are killing the workforce's respect for us. There are so many unskilled and unmotivated would-be employees out there that we have to put up with being paid like one, whether or not we're worthless.

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by BoredOfIT at 3/16/2007 10:57 PM Gravatar
After 20 years in IT, saying much the same thing for the last 10 years, I am so glad I am not alone. I have been looking for a suitable trade for a while now and am looking forward to getting away from being degraded be management for pointing out the "No Free Lunch Theorem" while they persist stating the opposite :).

As for the fool suggesting something along the lines of "More lines of code mean greater productivity", I would suggest that he would be one of the management team where I have worked in the past ;)

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by imU at 3/17/2007 11:00 AM Gravatar
i would sympathize, but auto mechanics get te same shit, minus the cubicle part.

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by Don at 3/17/2007 11:46 AM Gravatar
The Grass is always greener.........

if you hate it so much quit just quit. you are in control of your own destiny, and if you are that unhappy change it.

I enjoy helping people for free including my mother in law

Going on 25 years of Tech support

livin' the dream

Self employed of course

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by Rollo Jenkins at 3/22/2007 9:35 AM Gravatar
You're all gay...

# re: 7 Downsides to IT.....

left by Striker at 4/24/2007 11:36 PM Gravatar
I actually enjoy my job, and helping family and friends out. Yea sometimes I get paid, sometimes I dont, but I dont do it for the money. I do it because I love it.

Now I DO wish my job would pay me more tho LOL
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