Anecdotes

IT does the moonwalk: our endless search for absolutes

Tweet Scene: I was CTO at a high-traffic social networking site, circa ten years ago. It was one of those times when our site got crushed by unexpected sudden volume, due to being mentioned in an article in a prominent newspaper. My infrastructure manager walked into my office the next morning, ashen-faced. “We’re gonna get […]

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The One True Way syndrome exemplified: the overstated case against code comments

Tweet I write frequently, and not without some exasperation, about the perennial search for the “silver bullet” in IT: the holy grail, the end-all, be-all solution to preventing IT failure. The silver bullet has a very close and similarly pernicious internal twin cousin: the One True Way. That’s a technique or practice that is (usually) […]

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Valuable vs. fun: learning to love IT Asset Management

Tweet My attitude is that if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength. – Michael Jordan As with so much in life, so it goes with IT: the parts that are fun aren’t always valuable, and the parts that are valuable aren’t […]

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IT entropy in reverse: ITSM and integrated software

Tweet Why am I an IT professional? Here’s one major compelling reason: you simply can’t rest on your laurels. You can’t stop learning and growing and examining and improving, in all aspects, or you stagnate and die. The best IT professionals, I’m convinced, work energetically and on an ongoing basis, actively striving to push the […]

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Three IT behavior patterns seen in the wild

Tweet Assumed Omniscience, Chooser’s Remorse, and Fixation With all due respect to the many fine folks I’ve worked with in the career I’ve spent decades pursuing: we IT types can be an idiosyncratic, even odd, bunch.  That’s actually well known to us all, and it generally makes great fodder for this blog. I find the […]

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One CIO’s “lessons learned” in managing others

Tweet Here’s a shocker: none of us has failed to fail at times. We’ve all screwed things up on occasion, and I’m no exception. And that’s especially true when it comes to managing others, which I believe is very much a learned skill.  In that spirit, there are a number of things about people management […]

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“ASAP” considered harmful

Tweet When do you want it?  “As soon as possible”, comes the ready answer. Everyone says it. Everyone knows what they mean by it, in essence, and it seems fairly harmless.  But more often than not, I’ve seen it overused as a substitute for real thought and real leadership. Especially in this new era of […]

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We don’t like that estimate. Change it.

Tweet CIO: “We can’t go live in six weeks as you want.  It’s going to take at least three months.” CEO: “That’s … unacceptable!” One of the most recurring memes in IT, for me, has to be hearing “we don’t like that estimate”, coming from stakeholders, senior management, etc. Depending on the mood and/or semi-intellectual […]

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