Gary Varga (8/4/2014)
sometimes we demand too much understanding.
Agree 100%. I have a customer for whom I produce statistical reports and I've given him a few administrative screens that he can use to manage various parts of the report suite.
The most common feedback I have from him is "In excel all I have to do is...."
This can be quite annoying for an IT guy who spends hundreds hours writing complex queries in T-SQL only to have the end result compared to an excel spreadsheet but at the end of the day IT is a service, one our customers want to use. If they want the system to operate in a certain way, don't argue that our way is better, or try to explain how much more complicated it really is, just get on with it and give them what they want. At the end of the day, if you tell them it will take 14 days of development time and they approve it, do it.
When a customer stops saying "can I have that in excel" and starts saying "can you work some of your sql magic" that's great.
As IT people who have our heads in code all day long it can be very easy to forget how to be a user and even easier to think our customers shouldn't want to be one either.
I'm 26 and struggle to work my smartphone because I'm too caught up in how I would make the device work rather than how the manufacturer chose to make it work. My customers, the same ones that compare my work to excel, can work their smartphones with ease and make me look like a dinosaur. So for me the biggest challenge with the wonderful world of IT, is not the volume of technology out there, it's volume of different implementations of that technology - I want to understand it all.
I come to the conclusion that I'm a terrible user of technology because I demand too much understanding myself. If I didn't care how something worked and just used it, I'd do better.
What I learn from this is that in order to be a good IT guy (in the eyes of my customers) I should not try to change their attitudes towards IT, because at the end of the day, if they shared my attitude, nothing I ever produced would be good enough in their eyes.
^ Thats me!
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