28 April 2014

Word of the Day - Technology

It should be no surprise when I tell you I am a software developer. My background is pretty diverse in the field of technology, so I'm sharing with you some reactions to different scenarios in the IT world. Not every technologist will have similar reactions, but I'm willing to bet that the majority of us do.

tech·nol·o·gy  [tek-nol-uh-jee]

the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment, drawing upon such subjects as industrial arts, engineering, applied science, and pure science.

I was recently asked to provide a simple email confirmation for those members registering for an event. Knowing this to be a task I could complete in less than 30 minutes: creation, testing, and implementation, I looked forward to the work. However, after using the Lotus Notes Designer Client on my PC and having experienced several instances of computer seizures and restarts, I was left completely spent and frustrated.

So the years pass. I'm not just a worker, you know. I've applied for promotions into management many times. Yet, many times those opportunities just were not for me or it wasn't my time. No matter which jobs I applied for in hopes to climb out of the restrictive claws of technology in order to make a difference, I have been met with disappointment. Either someone else got the job or it mysteriously disappeared.

Technology is forever changing, so if you're not changing with it, it's easy to get left behind, especially if you keep doing the same job with no opportunity for advancement. Because I refuse to be that person, I learn as much about technology as I can.

As a matter of fact, much of my time is spent learning new technology, new languages, and new development environments. I may not be in a position to use what I've learned at the moment, but it feels good knowing how things work, all the while keeping the current processes from falling apart.

I have a B.S. in Computer Science and 16 years experience and the hardest part of my job is trying to figure out how to answer this basic question, "Can you just tell me how to do it and I'll do it myself?"

Listen, if technology were that simple, everybody would be a developer. Many years ago, you could get away with just showing someone how to operate a tape drive in one of those clunky mainframes. Clearing the telephone queue when it bottlenecks? No problem! Push this button.

But see, technology looks simple today because so much of the complexities are hidden from the average user. They don't see the algorithms, the code, or the architecture involved in the creation and maintenance of a variety of systems. Everything should work just like the stuff on your iPhone, right?

So, whenever a mature IT crowd, and I use that term respectfully because we have a ton of experience and knowledge in the progression of this thing called infrastructure, whenever they get a new boss fresh out of college and he wants to switch to .NET, it's like...

In all honesty, if I didn't love my job and the people I work with, I wouldn't be able to provide this information so freely and without prejudice. If you can relate, don't be afraid to make it known how you feel. Technology isn't just frustration for the average person. I feel it too! We are all making it through life with constant change, whether it's technology or something else. How you deal with it along the way can make you a better person. So, as technology improves, so do you!

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