Evidence of the geek gap is all around us. I came across this blog entry called 10 Things Your IT Guy Wants You to Know
This blog is a terrific summary of what annoys technical support people and a perfect example of how the geek gap can be found in any workplace.
Framing this post in a humorous way makes it certain that it will be passed around – like I am doing. It also helps that the writer is astute in defining some of the common problems associated with supplying technical support to seemingly non-technical people. But if these are 10 things the IT guy wants you to know, who is the you? If it is the non-technical suits that create these problems, is this the best way of communicating those things? Is the writer looking to change behavior or just pick a fight? I’d say pick a fight.
And a fight is just what the writer gets. Just so this isn’t just picking on that geek, when you read the blog entry, please scroll down to the comments. A comment from Jordan responds with 10 equally snippy excuses why a suit does those 10 things to annoy the geek.
Notice how even something small, like whether they prefer email or the phone for communication, can point to fundamental differences in operating styles. And if you nodding your head in agreement when reading the post, you can see how easy it is to take sides. The focus becomes who is right, not if the right work is being done.
If these two people actually work together, too much of their time is going to be spent in this emotional, antagonistic war. That means less time spent actually working toward company objectives, you know, doing the job you’re paid to do.
They certainly don’t show respect for each other. They assume the worst of each other and neither understands how their own activities can affect the workload and productively of the other. It probably doesn’t help that they each answer to a different boss and their incentives or rewards probably don’t include supporting each other.
If you look at the next blog entry Help the IT Department Help You
The blogger writes the same 10 things but in a way that is much more subdued and gives some understanding of the writer’s perspective. It’s much more helpful, but I doubt this post will be as popular an entry with readers.