Monday, June 10, 2013

Ten Lessons I Learned in my 20 Years in IT

As just one of thousands of professional IT consultants, who routinely guide unsure customers through spending thousands, even millions of dollars, based *entirely* on their trust in you and your experience, the most important lessons I've ever learned through the past twenty years could be summed up as follows:

1. If you don't absolutely, truthfully and unconditionally know the answer to a question, say you don't know. It's not a crime to not know every answer. 

2. If you didn't directly see it with your own eyes; directly hear it with your own ears; touch, taste or smell it, do not EVER say you know for sure it happened. It's okay to say "I heard that ____ happened...".

3. Treat everyone with respect until they give you a reason not to. Do your best to greet every person who passes by. If you're tired of dealing with a shitty world, stop adding to the shittiness. You'd be surprised how many interesting people you will encounter when you start off with a smile and a "good morning!"

4. 9999.9999 times out of 10,000 the solution to a technical challenge involves people, not technology. It's almost always a defective process. 

5. Software products are never really finished. 

6. A certificate is nice, but it's no substitute for real experience. 

7. Never trust a vendor who says "trust me"

8. Coffee is the greatest technological invention in the history of mankind. Beer is a very close second place. 

9. Lesson number 8 should be taught from kindergarten through college. 

10. What happens in Vegas usually ends up on Facebook. 

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