The theory of puppets in IT, or are IT people interchangeable?

There is a managerial theory that says: “every IT person could do anything”.

Yes, is true, but you are confusing potential with capability.

Let me explain better with an example: a computer engineer at the start of his career could do virtually everything, unfortunately there are wills and moods to take into account but let’s imagine that you can mould the new employee as you like.

The new person begins to work in a programmer role, programmers usually write code, write analysis, design and so on, have a limited knowledge of DB and concentrate on using the DB than installation and optimizations.

One day, three years after, someone, usually in a managerial role, ask to the programmer, we call him Mike:

Manager “Hi Mike may you install an Oracle server for me? We need it for a new project”.

Mike: “I’ve installed Oracle for development but I’ve no idea on optimizing it or securing it”.

Manager: “Don’t care Mike, it is only a test install for a small internal project”.

Mike: “Ok, I’ll do it I need two days for doing it and need a Server with these resources”.

Manager:” talk with systems about the server, you have my authorization”.

Systems guy are very busy, Mike ask for a server, they cannot help with configuration but can create the server on VMware ESX with a suitable operating system.

Mike invest one day on putting the server online, installing oracle, Mike has no idea on securing it or optimizing it; Mike thinks “it is only a test install, I can live with it”.

Mike thinks that he has another full day on testing the new installed Oracle, he notices that the newly installed machine is very slow and Oracle is not so responsive; Mike thinks “it is only a test install, I can live with it”.

Mike try to speed up the server, failing he is not a system guy in the end.

Another day is gone.

Mike is not happy with the installation and goes to talk with the manager.

Mike: “The installed server is very slow and Oracle is slow too”.

Manager: ”Slow? But is usable?”.

Mike:” Maybe for an internal project could work”.

Manager, picking up the phone: “Hi Jason (System guy), I need your help for the server installed by Mike, may you come to my office?”.

Jason, entering the room where Mike and Manager are talking: “How can I help?”.

Manager: “Mike have installed a server for my group, but he says is rather slow”.

Jason: “Give me the configuration logbook.”

Mike: “What? I’ve a text file with the admin password, what I’ve installed and the domain”

Jason:” Isn’t enough but will try to use it, send to my email, we will meet in the afternoon”.

Jason move back to his office, Mike is a bit discouraged, Manager thinks that Mike wasn’t the best choice to do the server installation.

In the afternoon….

Jason:” The server wasn’t installed right, I’ve to work on it, I need 2 days to correct it”.

Mike: “I’ve done my best” but feel discouraged and demotivated.

Manager now is sure that using the wrong guy to do other person work is a nonsense.

What the manager have got:

Jason that have to do some work not planned, not happy.

Mike that has done something that have to be thrown away and something that not making him proud.

Money spent, people discouraged.

No IT guys are not puppets.

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