My current love/hate relationship with working in IT…


I wrote the following tweet the other day.

I love technology, but hate working in IT. The politics and bullshit drag you down… 🙁 #baddayatwork

— Tim Hall (@oraclebase) February 28, 2013

I’ve been known to say on numerous occasions,

“Sometimes, a bad decision is better than no decision at all!”

I’m currently reading God Emperor of Dune by Frank Herbert and I just read this passage, which is a conversation between Leto (The God Emperor) and an Ixian Ambassador.

“The difference between a good administrator and a bad one is about five heartbeats. Good administrators make immediate choices”

“Acceptable choices?”

“They usually can be made to work. A bad administrator, on the other hand, hesitates, diddles around, asks for committees, for research and reports. Eventually, he acts in ways which create serious problems.”

“But don’t they sometimes need more information to make…”

“A bad administrator is more concerned with reports than with decisions. He wants the hard record which he can display as an excuse for his errors.”

“And good administrators?”

“Oh, they depend on verbal orders. They never lie about what they’ve done if their verbal orders cause problems, and they surround themselves with people able to act wisely on the basis of verbal orders. Often, the most important piece of information is that something has gone wrong. Bad administrators hide their mistakes until it’s too late to make corrections.”

I feel like making giant posters of this quote and pinning them in every room at work.

In IT, most of the good stuff you come across is done by small groups of focused people. Once they get some measure of success the layers of management build up, as do the number of less focused hangers-on, until you end up with a company that is paralyzed by committees and becomes totally stagnant. You see this cycle again and again.



Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

7 thoughts on “My current love/hate relationship with working in IT…”

  1. I’ve been lucky in my current role. There’s lots to do and sometimes there’s an opening to really push. On the flip side, there’s a lot of denormalisation in the schema and inconsistent data that cause issues. Plus a whole chunk of legacy code…. Just focus on the good bits.

    If you can find time, a useful technique is to try a headstart on solutions. If you can say “I’ve already got X and Y in place, so we are two thirds there and just need to tidy off Z” you can get things moving quicker. And sometimes X and Y are things that you were either trivial or standard or used in another project.

  2. @Gary: My work life is pretty much a constant “headstart on solutions”, which I’m starting to realize does not actually help at all. In many cases, people seem to take issue with the fact you’ve tried to help and just stall the process even more…

    I’m not a political creature, which means I don’t really fit into the modern IT world, which seems to concern itself more with office politics than actually getting the job done…



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