I was discussing with a friend yesterday the “power” we people in IT have to make others’ lives easier and even more pleasurable, or to right royally make their lives difficult.
He described us all as uncontrolled cowboys out to earn huge salaries for doing nothing. So I sat him down at my PC. Booted it and showed him the list of processes and services just MY laptop runs. How they are planned to do different things, how they have to interact, how when you tweak one you have to be aware of the ‘”chain” to ensure what you tweak doesn’t upset that obvious set of dependencies, and some less obvious ones.
Then I showed him something I explained to the project team yesterday, how to track bugs and minor enhancements to something running live in the world, vs tracking our next big phase of development, to enable us to make sure we don’t carry the bugs we fix from this phase into the next phase of major change.
At the end of that, he poured me a rather nice glass of wine and said “I take my hat off to you all”.
After that just to prove to him we are actually only human, I told the story of the e-mail greeting.
Yesterday I made a mistake and sent BACK an e-mail to someone instead of forwarding it to the developers. So many apologies later I had to grin when HE sent me the wrong set of information. I replied telling him he too was having a “Sidey” moment. THEN I made the oops. Instead of typing regards I typed RETARDS. Fortunately I realised it in time and fixed it, but it provided me with a moment to giggle. Something I needed because I put bits of my anatomy on the block with a go-live date in the middle of next week. 20,000 users affected; no stress!