I work in the I.T. department of a university. I came back to I.T. after studying sociology and it taught me a lot about the dynamics of the role of I.T. in a company:
A good I.T. department is virtually invisible!
I.T. is in its core about infrastructure. They build and maintain servers and networks that people in their company use to do their job. That means, the default state of this infrastructure is that it has to work. Nearly every single phone call is about what is not working and that it should be fixed immediately. To manage this structure is a lot of work and if they do a good job, the phone won’t ring. I literally see my colleagues tense up and sigh whenever the phone rings.
This means that doing a good job is measured by the amount of phone calls they are not getting. If you consider that people who are drawn into I.T. tend to be introverted and shy, having their only contact from people of other departments consisting of complaints puts a real stress on their psyche. You may think that nerds are sarcastic, condescending or just not listening to you. And you may be right.
I think somehow a culture of ungratefulness developed within a company structure towards I.T. and it’s hard to change considering the length nerds go to avoid contact and just get working.
Just so they are invisible and therefore good at their jobs.
Happy SysAdmin Appreciation Day (July 27th),