IT Mentality: Hire a problem solver

I have seen many variations of the same tweet over the years, and when I was younger, I’m sure I would of posted the same thing thinking I was cleaver. Only as I matured more, did my perception change on what this tweet really means. Younger me, was like I work in technology, which is why I don’t trust it, now I realize there’s a problem that needs a solution and while it may not be perfect that isn’t a reason not to use it. That’s a beauty of IT, is coming up with solutions to these problems in life, not to reject them.

I have some smart accessories in my house, and are they perfect all the time…absolutely not, but what IT has taught me, is to put in place controls if it does fail. That’s the big difference in how I see this thought process from when I was younger. For example, if my door lock was smart, then I have to make sure that if connectivity wasn’t there, I’d still have another way in, whether it’s Bluetooth, Physical Key or replacement battery. I have a smart speaker in my house, does it always understand me or, but I can still search on my phone if needed. Technology is often flawed, and because you know technology, isn’t a good reason to not use it. The real technology solution is what happens when it does fail, were you smart enough to plan ahead? I’m sure mechanics know why cars break, but doesn’t mean that don’t use them, when IT people post tweets like that, we look ridiculous.

If you are hiring someone for a technology, this is a good test to give them. Ask them if they were to buy a smart lock for their house, what would they look for, what happens if it stops working and how they’d troubleshoot issues with it. If they can tell you what they would or have done then it’s a good sign, if they say they’d never get it, then that’s how they’ll look at your projects. I’ve sometimes been asked to work on projects whose design I may not have loved, or how I would of designed it, but when the user called with an issue, I’d try to find a solution. Every piece of technology is flawed, but how you deal with it is what says the most about you. Don’t hate technology, work with it.

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