It’s my turn for the Things You Know Now post thanks to Colin Stasiuk. The basic question asked at the beginning of the thread of posts is “What do you wish you knew when you started?”. Here are my answers.
1. People don’t like being shown up.
This was an issue for me mostly at the first IT job when I worked at Earthlink. While I had an IT job, and an IT function I didn’t work for the IT or MIS departments, I actually worked for the Customer Support department. This gave me some advantages and some disadvantages. The biggest advantage to getting things done for my customers was that I didn’t work in IT, so I didn’t have to follow the strict IT guidelines for getting stuff done. The downside was that I didn’t have the support or respect of pretty much anyone in the IT department for the company. On more than one occasion my customers would follow proper procedures and ask the IT group to build something, and they would get a crazy long time line like 12-18 months. Then they would come to my group and we’d give them a time line of 3 weeks, and we would deliver on that date. Needless to say the IT development teams didn’t like this very much at all, and in the long run it didn’t help me out very much when it came time for layoffs.
2. Knowing everything isn’t the key
When working in IT, knowing everything about every topic isn’t the most important thing. When I started in IT I tried to learn everything, and I mean everything. And while knowing at lot is important, knowing everything isn’t. The only time that you have to work in a vacuum is when you are at a job interview, other than that you have access to Google, Books, MSDN, etc and you can easily look information up if you don’t know it. I feel that while knowing a lot is important, knowing how to find the information is just as important.
3. User Groups are a great place to get information, and meet other admins
When I first started in IT (and for several years after that) I didn’t know about user groups. I wish that I had, because I haven’t known a whole lot of DBAs over my carrier until recently. I think it would have been great to know more DBAs earlier in my carrier, as well as get more information first hand from local senior level people. Recently I’ve been speaking at a lot of user groups and I’ve met a lot of great people at the meetings.
I’ll pass the fun onto a few friends (which as far as I know haven’t been tagged yet).