Every Monday morning, our team starts the day with a quick stand-up meeting. The purpose of this meeting is to provide team members the opportunity to give shout-outs, call-outs or watch-outs to the rest of the team.
On occasion, I also take this time to talk about the team’s direction. The direction of our team is greatly influenced by the development of technology, which of course, is always changing.
The speed of changing technology… honestly, we’ve heard that phase so much that it’s become cliché. Even so, many people continue to talk about changing technology as if it’s a big mystery. Well, here’s a clue.
In 1965, Intel co-founder Gordon Moore made his first comments regarding the growth of processing power. These comments evolved into what became known as Moore’s Law. Moore’s Law commonly states that processing power doubles every 18 months. For the last 50 years, technology has dutifully followed its path.
So what does that mean? Well, it means that if you think technology is moving fast, then… well, how should I say this… you’re old. To everyone born in the last 25 years, Moore’s Law reflects the normal condition.
Every year, we expect to receive an excess of new features and gizmos coming out of WWDC, CES or any of the other product showcases. Why? Because deep down in our soul, we want the new stuff will do all the things that the old stuff just couldn’t do.
Be honest with yourself. As much as you love your smart phone, you could probably rattle off the top three things that it just can’t do. Here’s my list — I can’t edit documents, I can’t edit pictures and the remote desktop is not usable.
Now some of you trolls will argue that I can do these things; the functionality is there. Fine. Go ahead and let out your hot air. In the end, there’s only one person that gets to judge whether something is usable — and that’s me.
So in the mist of all the new features being released at a blazing pace, revolutionary changes do occur, and they are spectacular. The PC, the internet, the cloud — these are all revolutionary changes that occurred in our lifetime. An underlying growth in raw technology (i.e., Moore’s Law) facilitates this evolution. But there’s an underlying need that shapes its instantiation — self-reliance.
Every revolutionary change in technology enables a greater IT self-sufficiency. The PC brought raw computer power to the individual. The internet brought the universe of information to our fingertips. The cloud enables freedom of movement. Prior to the PC, we required a team of experts to perform simple calculations. Now we can deploy our own IT resources anytime and anywhere to do anything.
Revolutionary changes present an interesting challenge to the technology professional. On one hand, the commoditization of IT resources is great for the consumer. No longer are folks dependent on us to do simple tasks, e.g., no more midnight calls to reset a password.
On the other hand, technical knowledge becomes irrelevant over time. The skills needed to perform a job today will not be same set of skills needed in the future. There’s no time to relax. Constant self-study is required to stay relevant.
So do you want to have a career in IT or some other technical field? I’ve had the opportunity to work with some really great engineers and technicians, and the secret to success comes down to three things.
· First of all, you must possess the skills. Oftentimes, human interactions are limited to answering the question, “Does it work?” You better have the skills to make it happen.
· Secondly, you must be willing to put in the effort. Most of the time the people requesting your help ask you to work after they’ve gone home. In addition, you still have to find time to understand the latest gizmos. If you’re not willing to put in the time, don’t expect to stay relevant.
· Finally, a positive attitude goes a long way. Negative feelings creep in when stuff doesn’t work. A bad attitude slows down troubleshooting and harms the relationship with your users. Maintaining a can-do attitude keeps progress moving in the right direction.
Technology is going to change, that’s a given, but change also brings opportunity. If you are looking for a new opportunity, something that never gets boring, think about doing something with technology.
Why not? Give it a shot. If it doesn’t work, you can always change.