When Victory Baptist School, a small private school in Sherwood, Ark.,
was struggling to keep its computer network together last year, an
11-year-old student named Jon Penn stepped in as network manager.
Upon reflection I realized that this story is a big reason why IT
departments are looked down upon as less than professional in
organizations school districts today. For example, replace “network
manager” with “1st grade teacher”. Would this student receive accolades
or would the district be singled out as harming the educational
experience of their first graders? What would fellow teachers think of
an 11 year old attempting to do their job?
Unfortunately for IT people, if you’re doing your job well, it appears
that you’re not doing anything at all. Everything just works and people
question why you are getting paid.
Articles like the above do not help promote the professionalism of IT.
Your boss, upon reading that article, could believe that they could just
hire people off the streets and save money.
As IT professionals, we need to promote and market ourselves, separate
the wheat from the chaff. Anyone can install an Internet appliance, but
it takes a little more knowledge and experience to run the IT department
of a school district.
P.S. I don’t want to belittle Jon Penn’s accomplishments, I wish I
would’ve had the opportunity at his age.
“Up Close & Personal (False Color)”