What it takes to get into IT
The un-initiated often ask: I’ve been thinking of getting into IT, what does it take to get started?
Now, some IT junkies I’ve heard answer this question reply with some useless information like: “oh, Study XYZ, learn Linux this, or windows that. Get Certification A, or B, and then get started by trying to get a job as an X” And I’ve always thought: “Why would you tell these poor innocent people such a lie?” Because lets face it, NONE of that is good advice to the lonely dreamer who wants to sink his/her teeth into some of that epic Sysadmin glory.
My answer to that question is a bit different: “Whats it take to get into IT? You have to want to wake up every morning and bash your head into a brick wall until you pass out. You have to love being so frustrated that you want to end your own life, and the lives of everyone around you.” Which is some good solid TRUTH. THAT’S what it takes to be a true keyboard cowboy.
And why is that? Why is it we love being so frustrated that we want to die? Because we’re addicts. We’re addicted to those moments when you spend three weeks bashing your head against a wall in frustrating trying to figure out some ridiculously dumb IT problem but then suddenly…Did it…IT WORKED! OH EEEM GEE! It worked…And suddenly you are riding a rush of endorphin fueled bliss straight down to paradise. Oh yes, we poor IT Junkies will do just about anything for our next fix. Work Overtime? sure why not, Weekends? Meh, as long as the problem is interesting, I could come in on Saturday.
Now you may be thinking: But Brandon… I asked an IT guy to help fix my home computer the other day and he said no, if you guys are junkies, why didn’t he leap at the chance?
Well now little lamb, aren’t you cute. Here is the problem: You’re problem is to simple. You see we, like most addicts, develop a tolerance level increase over time. We don’t get the same buzz from re-configuring a home router as we did when we got started. Now it takes something a little more exciting to get our jimmies in a twist. You want exciting? I just spent six months trying to get a new openLDAP server up and running, and every step of the way was a new problem. When I cracked that sweet sweet melon open and drank of the juice of victory, I had to take a three hour break just to get my head right again. I didn’t feel safe to DRIVE.
There you have it. When you see a poor addicted computer guy/gal on the side of the road, hard on their luck, so desperate for another fix that they are willing to configure your iPod to sync with your iMac… Remember, its not their fault they are standing there. Before they got introduced to the addiction that would rule their life forever they probably wanted to grow up to be an astronaut or the president, or maybe even a chef.
Did you know that most IT abuse starts at home? Most of the time its even introduced by the parents. Poor Little Jimmy or Sally sitting there playing with LEGO minding their own business, when suddenly their dad calls: “Hey, the computer did a thing, why did it do the thing?” Come on mom and dad, wake up! Poor little guy never even stood a chance. Why didn’t you just hand the kid a lit crack pipe? It would have been kinder.