The thoughts, opinions, happenings, and just plain ramblings of a seemingly boring person.

IT: We’re Not All Brain Surgeons

I thought it might be time for another rant, you have been forewarned ;).

Throughout my experiences in my very short 'career' as an IT 'professional' it always amazes me that regular people expect you to know everything about every computer, every piece of software, and every piece of hardware, and also how it works.

When I inform family and acquaintances that I don't know anything about *insert free software that they have downloaded from a dodgy Russian website*, or that I haven't seen or used the model of their new router, or that i can't program a complete accounting system for their business, they occasionally give me the look that I must not be as technologically minded as they once thought.

It amazes me that just because you work in 'IT', they automatically think that you would naturally know the answer to all their quite abstract and specialised questions and needs in relation to their computers.

IT is a massive and quite diverse and complicated set of disciplines. In this situation i like to compare it to medicine. I currently work in general IT Support, which means I generally administer a set of computers and associated software. In the medicinal world, you could say that I am a neighbourhood Doctor or GP (General Practitioner).

Like a GP in medicine, I'm quite generally knowledgeable and capable of doing most day to day stuff with computers. However just because a GP is quite skilled and proficient in what he does, it doesn't mean your average GP can perform brain surgery or successfully complete a triple bypass operation. Nor does it mean that a successful brain surgeon is necessarily a competent heart surgeon.

The same goes for most IT people: whilst there are a lot of general support people out there, most won't be able to program an accounting package, and those that can program an accounting package probably won't be able to administer a corporate database solution, or design a enterprise's CMS-driven website.

When people ask for advice or help with IT related stuff, I'm more than happy to help out and give advice where I can and what i'm qualified for. However that doesn't mean i'll be able to develop a corporate firewall for your cousin's legal firm, or help you work out why Crazy Vladimir's MP3 Musik Worcshop is remixing all your songs with Mongolian techno.

We're not all brain surgeons, but even a brain surgeon probably won't make a good GP 😉

7 thoughts on “IT: We’re Not All Brain Surgeons”

  1. Heh, reminds me of that South Park episode where they get the guy who runs the Chinese restaurant to build a wall - and all these Mongolians start attacking it.

    "Goddamn Mongolians! Stop breaking down my shitty wall!"

    Hehehehe 😀

    Oh yeah, great rant.:D

  2. lol, I love that episode. Just because he's Chinese they think he can build a wall.

    Similar to the other episode where Cartman insists that Token (the black kid) automatically has a bass guitar in his basement and that he'll naturally be able to play it without any prior experience:

    "Token, how many times do we have to go through this?! You're black. You can play bass." lol

  3. From one IT 'geek' to another - I feel your pain brother.

    I really dislike trouble shooting programs that were installed 10 years ago by 'the last IT guy' and only broke yesterday and the company who made it does not exist anymore! - Yet we IT fold are expected to know the intricacies of how it is setup and works!

    PS we should be paid like doctors too!


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