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Posted Friday, January 23, 2009 7:50 AM

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Sorry I am so far behind on my reading, but the t-shirt question is a good tie-in (no pun intended, unfortunately) for another question. Have you ever fixed the water damage, appears to me as water damage anyway, in the wall behind you?

Livin' down on the cube farm. Left, left, then a right.
Post #642474
Posted Friday, February 13, 2009 1:21 PM


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I've been in IT for 25 years and worked at a lot of different place; both full time and contracted. Over those years, I've come to 2 conclusions:

1) IT managers who require a tie are generally (not always) trying to compensate for their lack of technical expertise. (i.e. I can't tell you to rebuild an index because I don't know what an index is, but I damn sure know what a tie is, so wear one!)

2) I'll wear what ever they tell me to as long as the paychecks keep coming. If they tell me to wear a tie, the paycheck better be big.

I met a contractor once that based his fee strictly on dress code. He got $300/hr. on one gig for wearing a 3 piece suit.

Post #656959
Posted Friday, October 25, 2013 3:19 AM



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I shall use this opportunity to post the famed Bursledon Consultants Dress Code. It's so quaint, I love to re-read it occasionally!

For me I would avoid a gig requiring full suit and tie these days, except on particular assignments etc. I do however have a different wardrobe for work - I am comfortable in a short sleeved shirt and 'smarter than jeans' legwear, although it is not required for my office and my boss often wears jeans.
Post #1508375
Posted Friday, October 25, 2013 3:46 AM
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Although we all would like it if the way we do our work is the only thing that counts, research shows this isn't true. If your first impression isn't good, you will not get the chance to prove you can do the job. Having said that, I must admit that I, also, am not a suits person. I once worked for a company where suits were demanded, so I complied.

At the moment I am working for the same employer for more than 10 years. People know they can rely on my work, so it doesn't really matter how I show up. Sometimes, when I am in a silly mood, I wear a long sleeved shirt, tie, and a suit. More often I wear jeans and a T-shirt. In summer, I show up in a sleeveless shirt and shorts. More often than not, I didn't shave for the last three days. As long as I take showers regularly and wear clean, untorn clothes, my boss and coworkers do not mind.

On the other hand, when I have to teach T-SQL to customers, I dress up. I will not cut off my pony tail, though. My wife would kill me if I did that. My boss objects to my pony tail; every know and then, customers are shocked that I have a pony tail, but that is where I draw the line.
Post #1508383
Posted Friday, October 25, 2013 6:25 AM
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Image is everything for sure, from how you dress, to how you conduct yourself in a business environment. But, I relate suit and tie work to salesmen and bankers who want to look the part. All else is irrelevant. I too will not be comfortable playing dress up for work daily, it's as if the main focus of the company is what you wear vs. "Wow, you solved all these problems..!" yes, neat is important, but dressy, blah.. PS. Most developers sit behind a computer all day and rarely move...
Post #1508432
Posted Friday, October 25, 2013 10:09 AM


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I wear jeans and a nice clean shirt with a collar. I met three weeks back with a lawyer representing a requestor in a Public Disclosure Request and I wore jeans and a blue oxford. I was dressed better then they were.

When I present locally I wear the same clothes I wear in the office, jeans and shirt with collar. When I present nationally I wear Kakis and blue oxford. I have presented to an audience with folks from both nations and tribes, and I did not wear a suit, neither did most of them.

Did I appear technically inadequate? I have been asked back, have severed on local, statewide, and national technical groups and no one, let me repeat no one has said one word about my jeans.

And to the point of being a business expert, I was considered for an honorary degree in one of the fields where I developed applications, and I have been instrumental in rewriting and reengineering business practices as the applied science of IT has been applied. And God forbid, it was done mostly while wearing jeans.

It is not what you wear, but what you are and do that matters.

And one last word to the major blather contained on this thread. The general idea of one line of reasoning is that if you dress well and attend to understanding the business you might be able to move into sales, HR, or another area of the business. What a joke! Dress well so I can leave IT and sell shoes? I have been there and done that and I am IT now and will stay that way by choice. I have no ambition to become a highly political schmuck dressed fit to kill who puts up a false front that he is not capable of living up to.

I am what I am by the grace of God, and I work in the area I am skilled in. I wear what I wear, if you do not like it I will work in another place and make them more successful then you are. I do not work for narrow-minded pinheads!

Apologies for the Friday Rant...


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Post #1508517
Posted Friday, October 25, 2013 11:38 AM

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The only times I am ever asked to wear khakis or slacks is when important clients are in the office being given a tour or something. In those instances management want to sell that image of professionalism to non-technical folks who equate professionalism to business attire. To an outsider, I can see how that might make an impact. If you're dressed up then it reduces the chance that the client will have a negative reaction based on what you're wearing alone. It's the old thought that if a person is dressed casually then they might take your business casually and not as a priority too. Or that if you don't take the time to dress up more for work than you do in your leisure time then you aren't that serious about your work.

Of course, as we all know, developers could be sitting there in suits surfing Facebook or writing horrible code but "gee" do they look sharp!

Post #1508550
Posted Friday, October 25, 2013 8:42 PM

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I didn't read all 32 pages, but when I was hired at my current company we were a subsidiary HQ, SW development, and support desk. Our sister company upstairs was more along the main line of business for our Fortune 250 parent company.

So it was suit and tie for the interview. When signing the HR docs I was in polo and khakis and the AVP there made a comment since I was hired in at a higher level try and dress that way all the time. That was in November so over the winter I did collared shirts and jeans. The rest of the support and dev teams were jeans and t-shirts. So when spring came I decided to "strike" back and started buying Hawaiian shirts. Since then during the warmer months it is Hawaiian shirts and jeans. Colder months are long sleeve collared and jeans.

By the time the warm months came, no one cared what I wore. They knew I could make their job easier. Since then I am the go to guy for just about any issue. They don't care what I'm wearing.

As a former British boss said to me: He didn't care if I showed up wearing cowboy boots and a kerchief around my pecker, just do the job the way I already am. Once you show competence and skill it no longer really matters.

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Post #1508633
Posted Saturday, October 26, 2013 3:41 PM
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I commented on this thread when it was originally posted and the discussion got ugly. High quality business casual clothes almost scream competent IT professional. Advising anyone new to the industry to wear anything else is a mistake.
Post #1508678
Posted Sunday, October 27, 2013 7:29 AM
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For me clothing is tool to be used at work just like any other. If I know I am going to be in a meeting with my most immediate peers, then it doesn't so much matter how I dress. They are well aware that I am a professional at all times and my clothing will not affect that. If it is a meeting with people outside that group, I will minimally dress in business casual. If I know upper management is in meeting, it will be more formal.

If anyone thinks that opinions of you and your work are not decided by how you dress, you are very much mistaken. I work with many millennials and they don't seem to pick up on this. I am an older Gen x and I can tell you that if you show up for an interview or a meeting the first time I meet you and you look like you slept in your car, I am going to form an opinion that your work will also be sloppy.

You can pretty much forget about being listened to at all by baby-boomer management types who left their sloppy hippy days a long time ago and didn't look back.

You need to dress and speak in a way that is appropriate to the audience in which you find yourself.
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