In response to a blog entry by Euan Semple :
Since I have moved jobs my relative profile has increased, through press releases and now because I have stuck my oar in on DigitalSpy to correct some speculation about my companies future products.
I have always been a prolific tart when it comes to socialising (especially on-line), but recently I was ‘found’ on Facebook by someone who is an avid user of our products. I decided that, although this person is known to me, I would deny this ‘friend’ request just because by many measures I don`t actually know them.
Euan and I have met only very rarely in person and in our previous lives interacted on-line as part of his now famous community at the BBC. This makes me comfortable considering hm one of the loose social network of on-line friends that I have, but without some personal connection or professional relationship, if the association is too loose I don’t feel I can ‘friend’ someone.
I invite comment…
I recall when I was in college, in my first year I was one of the few people who owned a computer and that was fine. People used my computer occasionally and that was fine. Then in my second year I moved into a new halls of residence and more people had computers. I found myself being called upon to fix these machines and it began to get a bit tedious. Luckily a friend of mine was studying computing and had a machine of his own. He had learnt a lot quickly and when we lived in halls together in the third year I vowed to play dumb. Whenever anyone asked about computers I pointed at my friend and let him deal with it. I would follow along and when he got stuck he would look at me and I would step in and offer my sagely advice. It was like a plot from some modern Kurosawa film.
I have continued in this vein for some time now, despite knowing a heck of a lot about IT I choose to avoid IT responsibilities. I offer advice, I step in where required but as I put it to anyone who from my childhood who said they had expected me to go into IT:
"I want computers to work for me, I don't want to work for computers."
I started at my new company two weeks ago exactly, it is a small branch office which co-ordinates a great deal. But there are less than a dozen people here. IT is co-ordinated from greatly afar and this arrangement has so far just about worked. The guy who sorts things out does his best, but there is only so much someone can do when they aren't on the same land-mass as you and it isn't really their job to do IT. The result is that things here aren't as slick in the IT domain as they could be. So I have stepped up and said that for the time being I will gently increase my responsibilities and improve the services here.
My hope is that I won't get stuck as "the it guy" and I will be able to get on with my real job as the technology expert for our products. Sometimes I hate computers and sometimes I enjoy them, so I have to be in a position to say 'no' and thus I have promised no SLA for this task I have undertaken. The advantage, however, is that I think I can build it in my image and get things working right!