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BlueWolf's Howl

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December 17, 2004

Thoughts from the vault

I recently got my 'poop in a group' and found a perfectly round Tuit. Since I got a round tuit, the computer upgrades that I've been ignoring finally were completed. Yeaaaaaaaahhhhh. I now have a bumpin' desktop and can finally put the laptop away and use it for mobile computing.

Part of the upgrades involved a new hard drive. Along with a fresh install of the OS and apps, I also rummaged through ALL my old backups, CDs, and other hard drives. Yes, I'm finally getting digitally organized. It feels great - like a fresh pair of underwear... everyone else doesn't see it, but it makes you feel fresher.

During my walk down digital lane, I stumbled across quite a few items that I will be adding to the site. I found the archives of my previous blogs, short stories, and copies of my old websites. So please enjoy these reposted/recycled tidbits while I combine and organize the 15 bookmark files that I have rediscovered...

The following (rant) was written on Dec 24, 2003 on my local/private blog. These are just thoughts to myself that I wanted to write down. So now you know what my inner dialogue sounds like....

Soft Skills

Everyone talks about "soft skills" that are needed to succeed in today's IT world. Yes, customer relations is a nice thing to have. But, there are so many soft skills that are not being enumerated. They should be enumerated and developed as a trophy, cert, skill set program....???

One of the soft skills needed is "Crisis Management." This is needed because CEOs shortchange IT. IT deals with infrastructure and it's not as noticable until something breaks. When it does, there's a crisis. Everyone is willing to work on it until it's USABLE...not until it's FIXED. Once the crisis is over, there are piecrust promises to make things better, but those things never materialize. IT workers are taught to fix it...and are left frustrated when the attention wanes. There has to be some information somewhere about how to maintain interest in the problem until it's fixed rather than until it's no longer "hot."

Another soft skill that's needed is How to Calculate ROI on IT items. The hardest part is the calculation on intangible items. But, some accountant somewhere I'm sure has already come up with that information. We need to be able to know, use and present it.

How to know when you're in over your head and how to find help. IT deals with numerous legal issues. There needs to be a course on how to make "right" decisions that need to be made immediately that don't jeopardize your legal standing later. Example -- rebooting a system that has been hacked...destroying the evidence that perhaps a computer forensics guru could recover. Breaking chain of custody -- and not being able to later prosecute. You should also know when to get legal advice and where in your company to do so. It could make the difference. Being told to do something illegal and refusing ...and getting canned. Being told to do something questionable, but legal and refusing ...and getting canned for stupidity and being difficult. Keeping the company from a lawsuit >> priceless.

What about being in over your head technically? You need to know when to seek outside help. You can't do this all the time or you'll be seen as incompetent. You can't do this "never" or you'll botch something up or make it take longer than necessary. How do you know when it's time to call in backup?

Posted by BlueWolf on December 17, 2004 11:17 PM