Friday, July 27, 2018

If You Don't Like Change, Maybe Information Technology is not the Career for You

Information Technology is all about innovation and how technology can help streamline processes and workflows and make it easier to access the information you need to make decisions, learn or simply get the job done.  With the Internet of Things and Robotics, it has also become somewhat of a controversial field with the loss of some jobs and the closing of factories.  But yet, a lot of IT Professionals get stir crazy when they hear the word "Change" whether it affects them directly or the company they work for.

I have a quick story about a manager that had a 1-on-1 meeting with one of his employees recently.
The employee came into the manager's office looking a little stressed about the topics at an all department meeting.  The employee proceeds to ask questions about why the company was bringing in all of this "new"technology and how it will affect the job they were doing.   The employee also recalled the speaker talk about being agile when it comes to project management and then asked what does agile mean.   After a few more topics, the manager was thinking that their employee really has no clue with what is going on in today's ever-changing technology world.   It reminded them of the perception of older technology workers is that they are not interested in learning anything new and the old "this is how we always did it" is a mantra for "if it ain't broke, then don't change it".   I am sure some IT managers can relate to this.

Nothing is further from the truth that saying "This is How We Always Did It" when it comes to Information Technology.   An IT Professional has to adapt to change since what they learned five years ago may not be relevant today.   Companies and businesses change, organizations change and even that database software you have known for over 20 years is going to change.  If the word "Change" scares you, then maybe IT is not the career for you.   

At a lot of older large corporations, you may have a veteran IT staff of professionals that have put in quite a few years doing the same thing day in and day out and have no interest in learning anything new.  I personally have managed teams like this and challenged myself to see it from their perspective and sell the idea that change is good and that they should always be ready to adapt.  One way I have done that is simply mention to them how IT has changed the way we do things anything from how you do your banking, order food at your favorite restaurant or get directions in a town you are not familiar with.   People adapted to and embraced those changes so likewise our company and you as an IT Professional have to be ready for change or else the company and yourself may be out of business.

So put away those Oracle Database Tech Manuals or that Cold Fusion Web Design book and be ready for being in constant learning and adapting mode.  If not, your picture may be placed in the local Computer Museum!

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