Tech Republic has recently relased another article under their Sanity Check series: Five things that suck about working in I.T.

As I read the TR list I realized that in the Philippine context, Jason Hiner’s list was in the wrong order. This is the list as it appears on the article on Tech Republic.

5. You get a lot of fingers pointed at you
4. People assume you’re an expert in all things tech
3. You have to continually re-train, on your own dime
2. The hours are long and irregular
1. The job market is tumultuous and in transition

Having been in the I.T. business since 1995 (and a professed computer addict 10 years prior to that) I would say that list is upside down, and so may I offer my explanations to the same list, reordered for the Philippine I.T. setting.

5. The job market is tumultuous and in transition – Yes there are a lot of I.T. jobs out there, but quite a few of them are now going into the contractual basis which means a lot of money for the contractor but not for the programmer/developer/technician. There is also the I.T. brain drain out to Singapore, which has claimed a number of our better developers and technical support engineers.

4. The hours are long and irregular – I.T. has always been synonymous with long working hours, this is not something new, however it is always bewailed and belabored, like the habit of beating a dead horse.

3. You have to continually re-train, on your own dime – This may be true in a lot of offices, but not where I work. The company I work for pays for our training and certification exams and gives us an increase in pay (increase, not bonus) when we pass. Workers in other companies are not as fortunate.

2. People assume you’re an expert in all things tech – This is probably the most misunderstood aspect of I.T.  totally incomprehensible to non-I.T. beings. Everyone assumes that just because I can make a website I can also fix their motherboards and its popped ic’s and their hard disks that have crashed without any backups, and even fix their kitchen sinks as well.  I can’t. They think a programmer knows the same thing as a technical support engineer and are interchangeable. They’re not. There are times when I really feel like wearing one of the classic ThinkGeek shirts that say “No, I will not fix your computer.” (I can, actually, but I don’t wanna.)

1. You get a lot of fingers pointed at you – Yeah, but when something goes wrong with the machine all fingers are pointed at the I.T. guy. Case in point: ISP decides to change the IP address assigned to a company’s server “just for the heck of it” without telling anyone. As a result, no mail comes in or goes out. We come in and reconfigure the firewall to accommodate the new IP address, and the general manager (who in our case 9 out of 10 is an expat) is screaming expletives at us when he actually should have been screaming at the ISP. He doesn’t know or care about the difference. Tough, but hey, we get a lot of that, and it has made us stronger.

Things that suck about being in IT

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3 thoughts on “Things that suck about being in IT

  1. How true bro! That’s why I took a two-year vacation, and did something else non-IT. I had become sedentary, as the deadlines are always stressing me out, that it’s hard to relax even when you’re on a self-declared time-off to be with the family. Due to the long and irregulars hours, finding time to exercise too difficult. I had been an IT professional since 1992 and rested on 2006.

    I enjoy your post. As it strikes a chord with me. I think, I’ll get that Thinkgeek shirt. Blog on.

  2. musta maam viks! long time no see and heard anything about you.. since i left ycs, still remember me? 1999 when i was a newbie programmer on my first company and you are our pm…hahaha. those were the days, now been a programmer for almost a decade… IT sucks, true! but still love it. that’s life.

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