DIY

10 midyear resolutions for support techs


Looking ahead is an occupational necessity in the IT field, whether you're assessing new technologies, planning for future bandwidth needs, or building project plans. With the second half of 2007 now underway, this might be a good time to do a little personal goal-setting, too.

A while back, IT pro Becky Roberts put together a list of resolutions aimed at improving her relationship with users and refining her support tech skills. Here's a recap of her goals to help guide your progress for the rest of 2007.

#1: Treat users with the respect they deserve by not pulling faces behind their backs, deliberately confusing their ages and IQs, or submitting "Dumb User Stories" to TechRepublic.

#2: Document all changes, procedures, solutions, outstanding issues, etc., so that if I'm struck dead by a random meteorite tomorrow someone can assume my responsibilities.

#3: Immediately cease and desist from deliberately confusing the users -- and stunning them with my brilliance -- by distributing instructions containing such geek-licious words as cache, demodulator, DOS attack, aspect ratio, and Bayesian logic.

#4: Practice the "safe computing habits" I preach to the users by routinely backing up my data, not downloading every free utility with geek-appeal, and not bypassing firewall protection even though I am a computer god and know how.

#5: Have the caffeine IV removed and drink only organic herbal tea or fresh spring water.

#6: Prioritize work orders by business need and not by who gives me the most chocolate.

#7: Remind myself every day that this is not my network, these are not my computers, and I exist only to serve the needs of the company and its employees.

#8: Make a concerted effort to better understand the needs of the users by learning their priorities and engaging with the requirements of their job functions. I will then apply this newly acquired knowledge to use technology to improve the lives of my users by simplifying their tasks and increasing their efficiency.

#9: Provide training and documentation for every rollout, upgrade, and procedural change instead of expecting the users to learn by osmosis.

#10: Occasionally venture out of Olduvai and Tristram into the real world of carbon-based entities and maybe even get a date....

13 comments
OldMarine
OldMarine

Well said Becky I really liked # 8. If you do that well you will see success

NatureBuff
NatureBuff

I agree with all but #1 and #6. #1 - we all need some brevity in our day and as long as when your repeating the incident it's not able to resolved to whom we are speaking, go for it. No pointing fingers @ particular individuals. #6 - we do priortize, people with chocolate first, then 2 thru xx based on business needs. LOL

evanderv
evanderv

I think these are all attainable, except number 10. I think some IT's will find this a little overwhelming. LOL.

peery
peery

"...and I exist only to serve the needs of the company and its employees" A poor choice of words, and dangerous if taken to heart. How about: "... and they pay for the network, computers, and MY SALARY because I make sure the needs of the company and its employees are served."

ejweid
ejweid

good for perfect IT consultant

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

#1 What is wrong with that? I do treat my users with respect -- mostly. But sometimes 'dumb user stories' are fun to post. Sometimes I will tease them (a little) about these situations as well. And sometimes, they may even tell me their dumb user stories by starting off with "you arent going to believe this, well, you will since you know my computer inability habits" They expect me to raz them a bit (some at least). And sharing these experiences can make others laugh as well, so why not?

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

I didn't know Becky was a DOOM and Diablo fan! Well, I'm off to Terokkar Forest to farm some Netherweb Spider Silk or maybe to the Elemental Plateau in Nagrand for a few primals. Papa needs an epic flying mount!

TMalandro
TMalandro

It's clearly obvious you have never workedin IT in the US.... lol The articles statement is more accurate here!

bwilkes8
bwilkes8

This does not have to be taken to heart by the Tech, the employer already believes it and here is why. If you do not serve the company and the employees you could find your salary being paid by a company where you connect two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles and onions on a sesame seed bun. However, I still think stupid user jokes are therapeutic for the Tech.

pmorrow
pmorrow

Be very careful repeating dumb IT stories. When someone tells you a dumb thing they have done and you laugh about it, you are laughing with him/her. When you repeat the story, you are laughing at him/her. It is similar to a blond telling a dumb-blond joke, or someone of a particular ethnicity telling a joke about their race. When you tell a dumb blond joke (unless you are blond), it is a put-down. When you tell an ethnic joke, you run the potential of being labelled a racist. I do not know what the term is for telling a dumb IT joke, but I'm suer there is one.

lzybum
lzybum

We can laugh at ourselves too...I heard this one from a client ; Two IT guys were chatting in a pub after work. "Guess what, mate," says the first IT guy, "yesterday, I met this gorgeous blonde girl in a bar." "What did you do?" says the other IT guy. "Well, I invited her over to my place, we had a couple of drinks, we got into the mood and then she suddenly asked me to take all her clothes off." "You're kidding me!" says the second IT guy. "I took her miniskirt off, and then I lifted her and put her on my desk next to my new laptop." "Really? You got a new laptop?"

STSanford
STSanford

I think humor helps make the world go 'round. Maybe I get away with too much, but I enjoy the good old "stupid person tricks" story telling. I don't name names, and it's good fun, sometimes illustrating an activity that a user shouldn't do themselves. Kind of like a thinly veiled "Now children, don't do this at home but..." It's more important to not condescend, and if you want to tell an ethnic joke or a computer user joke and it's not mean, or hateful, it probably has some amount of truth in it. Good humor always does.

pmorrow
pmorrow

OK. Add this to dumb spelling jokes. I meant 'sure', not 'suer', although some jokes belong in the 'sewer'.

Editor's Picks