In the world of IT, everything is driven by a deadline. It seems like projects that are in the "Gee wouldn't it be nice if..." phase are given a calendar deadline. However, the push to hit these arbitrary deadlines may affect the quality of the work.
From the beginning of time, humans have passed on knowledge of how to survive, from person to person. This knowledge includes where to go for certain foods, how to hunt certain animals, where to find water, and more. Even today, Aboriginal tribes around the world still pass on this information by mouth. This tribal knowledge is not usually written down, but relies heavily on the memory of the person passing it on.
When something breaks in the production environment, it is critical to find a solution quickly. When you receive that 2 a.m. phone call that a job failed, it's not always easy to think clearly in order to determine the cause of the failure.
Monday, May 31st is Memorial Day in the United States. It is a day that we should remember those who served our country defending our freedoms. It seems like more and more however that Memorial is becoming nothing more than a 3-day weekend, and a time for barbecue. I would like to take this opportunity to remember the heroes of our country, the men and women who are willing to sacrifice it all, even their lives, to defend the freedoms we enjoy.
I have written previously about the fact that I am a support analyst for a large data warehouse. This means that if something goes wrong with the data warehouse, my group is responsible for fixing it. Our database houses all the data for a very large brokerage and financial services firm. There are thousands of inbound and outbound connections to this data. If something goes wrong, it needs to be fixed, usually immediately.
There is a very good and long discussion going on in the CIOZone forums, called How to Motivate Workers in Tough Times, which is discussing ways employees can be motivated to perform without pay or financial incentives. Topics like relationships with co-workers and managers, frequent reviews, and recognition are all mentioned in that discussion. However, one thing I think may be overlooked is allowing IT employees to see the results of their work at the customer level.