2010: Best Tales From the Tech Trenches
The daily grind of the tech professional's job is the focus of InfoWorld's Off the Record blog. In this "water cooler chat" setting, readers submit tales that we publish anonymously, sharing stories of humor or frustration or interesting situations faced by those who work in technology.
These stories from IT pros to other IT pros include the inevitable mistakes made or humbling lesson learned that make us all human: A way to cope with office backstabbing and time-wasting bureaucracy; a humorous encounter with an end-user or coworker; a way to deal with a frustrating situation; or a story that illustrates a relevant takeaway to the IT profession.
If you need an escape from the humdrum routine, take a look at the collection from this year's tech tales from the trenches. And to share your own memorable IT story, send your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org. If we publish it, we'll send you a $50 American Express gift cheque.
We look forward to the tech stories that 2011 will bring. Happy new year!
The tech pro on the job
Some Off the Record stories share tales about what it means to be an IT pro. Some are humorous, others harrowing. Patience is required to deal with many of these situations, be it solving the mystery of an unexpected tech problem or finding out just how little tech skills are valued at a former company: "We spoke for a couple of minutes, and ultimately, the conversation turned to Jean's computer problems. He wondered if I could take a look sometime soon. I said something, I don't quite recall what it was, but it was said to cover my surprise. I had just been asked for technical advice at a funeral."
More "on the job" stories:
Office politics ensure the tech's life is anything but boringBlundering bosses, out-of-touch-with-reality suits, and disgruntled or inept coworkers are often featured in Off the Record stories. In one newbie tech's tale of the first day on the job, he is given an ominous greeting by his soon-to-be-ex officemate: "The manager left and closed the door behind him. Bob looked at me and, barely waiting for the door to shut, said, 'If you have another job, go back to it. You won't make it here.'"
More "office politics" stories:
Users keep tech pros on their toes
Ah, where would life be without the timeless stories of the scrapes users get themselves into? Take, for instance, the tale of user ignorance wreaking havoc on company's computer files: "I went to Ed's office, where he was hard at work on his new laptop. ... I found that on the advice of his teenage son, he was deleting any extra files to make his laptop run faster and give him more storage space. After deleting anything he didn't recognize on the C: drive, he had moved on to the P: drive (his personal network storage location), the G: drive (general public storage of shared documents), and the F: drive (the accounting system, the label system, the menu system). Overall, he had deleted almost 300MB off of his 20MB hard drive."
More "users" stories:
Read more about adventures in IT in InfoWorld's Adventures in IT Channel.