In the final View from Ground Zero column of 2000, I wanted to mark the occasion by sharing with you some of my favorite "Ground Zero" moments. The categories are:
- Most response to a TechMail tip
- The column that generated the most e-mail
- Readers' Choice View from Ground Zero
Thank you for the posts and the e-mail messages. Please keep the feedback coming. (You can always write to me here.)
The favorite TechMail-only tip
In the View from Ground Zero TechMail (which comes out each Tuesday), you get a preview and a link to the article plus content reserved for subscribers to the TechMail. (Follow this link to subscribe to the TechMail.)
In the TechMail-only content, I share subscriber feedback and recommend Web sites for IT support people. I invite subscribers to let me know what they think of the sites I recommend, and in 2000, the award for the Favorite TechMail Tip goes to Languages of the World Wide Web, featured in the View from Ground Zero TechMail from July 11, 2000. Here's an excerpt from that TechMail:
I'm still getting e-mail about that one. TechMail subscriber Yolanda from Panama summed it best: "The site is a virtual treasure, and to do it justice, I must recommend it highly to neophytes and experts alike. They are sure to go gaga over it. Thanks a lot."
In response to November's "Adopt yourself an IT protégé" I received this note from TechRepublic member african_rhino: "I was a paper MCSE less than two years ago. I was terrified the first three months of my new and highly responsible job. My skills were pretty basic, and to compound the stress, I was flying solo...well, not quite. I had a mentor 1,000 km away. We kept in touch through e-mail, and he gave me a tremendous amount of technical and emotional help. I owe him my job, and quite honestly, I owe that next paper MCSE the same treatment."
The most e-mail award
I relish the feedback that you, fellow TechRepublic members, give me in the comments you post on the site and in the e-mail messages you write. In May 2000, I received more e-mails for my column on teaching our kids to touch-type than I received in response to any other column.
Most of the notes were from people who agreed with my feeling that touch-typing should be taught to all students. However, that column also set the record for the number of flame e-mails I received. I thought it was ironic and hilarious that so many people took time to write to tell me how proud they were that they couldn't type!
Another column high on the list of articles generating the most e-mail messages was the September offering "Succeeding as a 'career subordinate.'" One theme that was apparent is the job satisfaction IT support people get from their work. In spite of the stress, the unpredictable behavior of end users, managers, and employers, we like what we do.
And the winner is...
The View from Ground Zero that generated the most reader response—in comments posted on the site, number of times rated, and e-mail messages to the author—was "If you want me to stay, you gotta pay" from Feb. 29.
Money is always a hot topic with IT people. I wrote that as long as you know what you're worth, you should ask for it. If you deserve a raise, tell your employer that the cost of doing business with you has gone up. Obviously, that's something easier said than done, but many of you wrote to share your lessons learned in negotiating salaries.
Here's how TechRepublic member Sa1paradise summed up his strategy: "If you force a good employee to put a gun to your head to get the raise he/she deserves, there's a good chance they'll walk—even if you agree to match the offer. If you're an employee walking into a review, it's a powerful advantage to have an offer you're ready to take in your back pocket. The party that can afford to walk away from a negotiation usually wins."
If you'd like to get something off your chest about the state of IT support, or if you'd like to suggest a topic for a future View from Ground Zero column, please follow this link to write to Jeff.