Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Getting real by wandering around

There are two kinds of wandering: wandering aimlessly and wandering with a purpose. Although it might seem like a contradiction in terms, wandering with a purpose is at the core of a 1980s management concept called Management by Wandering Around that has some serious benefits for IT staff.

Read more on my Computerworld blog INSIDER (registration required)...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Avoiding a collision between technology and emotion

We don't normally associate the term "emo" with IT. In fact, emo is usually associated with a genre of emotionally-charged music listened to by unsmiling teenagers wearing lots of black. As IT pros, however, we sometimes have to deal with end-users who are under pressure to accomplish a task right when some component of IT/IS fails. Like the emo teenager, that end-user is probably not smiling and very much emotionally-charged. It's at times like that emotion and technology intersect. It's also at that moment when our emotional intelligence skills can make the difference between a successful outcome or a disaster.

...Read more on my Computerworld blog

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Death by water cooler

Can a water cooler kill your career?  Possibly.  The office water cooler, hallways, and coffee machine are places where either your advocates congregate or where detractors launch career-sinking torpedoes.  These are the places where your colleagues in the office (superiors, peers, and subordinates) talk about you behind your back.  Your colleagues can be your advocates or your detractors, depending on how they feel about you.

...Read more on my Computerworld blog

Monday, January 3, 2011

Is that a router on your pallette (or are you just trying to ping me)?

Note to the reader:  I've been asked to be a regular blogger at Computerworld.  My Computerworld blog, titled "From Tech to Exec" will be about the human side of IT.  My plan is to continue this blog and include links to the posts on the Computerworld site as well as musings, rants, and how-to guides on things IT.  In other words, this blog isn't going to change much, except that once per week, there will be a short teaser with a link to the Computerworld blog.  What follows is that teaser.

Our jobs, although technical by definition, are really about how we solve human problems in the workplace.  The art of our work lies in how we develop creative, technical solutions to workplace challenges.  We're artists and, instead of paints or clay, our palettes consist of code, scripts, cables, servers, and routers. Oh, and an ability to communicate in meaningful ways with our users.  This blog is about the human side of technologists' jobs.  Read more at Computerworld.