Friday, September 18, 2009

The Unspoken Truth About Managing Geeks

My boss pointed me at an article in CIO magazine today. The article's title, The Unspoken Truth About Managing Geeks, was interesting enough to catch my attention. After reading it, I decided to put a reference up here in the hope that, even if it just came to one person's attention, the message conveyed in this work would spread wider.

See, for those of us who work in IT, there is nothing more frustrating than things (that we feel are important) are not getting done at all, or getting done in a backwards way. Much has been written about that already, and I am sure that everyone has their own war stories. The article's author, Jeff Ello, added another dimension to this.

"While everyone would like to work for a nice person who is always right, IT pros will prefer a jerk who is always right over a nice person who is always wrong. Wrong creates unnecessary work, impossible situations and major failures. Wrong is evil, and it must be defeated. Capacity for technical reasoning trumps all other professional factors, period"

The article introduces a few stereotypes that can be useful for IT managers: ego, victim mentality, insubordination, credit whoring, and antisocial behavior.

Other quote:

"What executives often fail to recognize is that every decision made that impacts IT is a technical decision. Not just some of the decisions, and not just the details of the decision, but every decision, bar none."

As a result of this observation, IT people spend a lot of time, money, and resources to fix problems that should have been done right the first time, but occurred because IT was not sufficiently involved in the decision making process.

The article hit home on many different points. Go forth and read it!



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