The two types of IT worker

Last week I published this post about something a colleague noticed when playing around with a SQL Server instance running on Linux. Fairly innocuous and I was chuffed when I saw that the guys over at had linked to it in their weekly newsletter.

As the day wore on, the post attracted a couple of *ahem* interesting comments about how Linux works. A couple were helpful and a couple were, well not so helpful.

I’m not going into the overall tone of the comments as William Durkin (b|t) pretty but sums it up here but it did remind me of something I used to think when I first started out learning my trade as a SQL Server DBA.

I firmly believe that there are two types of IT worker, which become apparent when they/we are asked for help. One will respond along the lines of “I can’t possibly explain to you now, it’s rather complicated” whereas the second group will say something like “Ah it’s not too hard. Here, let me show you”.

I’ve always tried to be of the latter type, in fact it’s why I started writing this blog. I admit there have been times when I’ve been busy that I haven’t been able to show a colleague what they were asking about, but I’ve always tried to make that up as soon as I possibly could.

My advice? Drop the ones that you meet who fall into the first group and cultivate relationships with members of the second. The only other thing to think about is, which group do you fall into?

Thanks for reading!

5 thoughts on “The two types of IT worker

  1. I have found the same thankfully, I’ve been the latter. I’ve found workers who want to share their skills with you and help you learn and ones who want to have job security where they are the only one who knows it all. I’ve always had SQL come easy for me. I’ve learned over the years that there are some people who don’t find it easy. They don’t pick it up as quickly. I’ve also found some workers who are not willing to learn from someone else whether it be ego or stubbornness. šŸ™‚ The last type are those who want to be rebels and do things their own way, not following standards. I prefer to work with team players – it just makes life easier and you get so much more work done!

  2. I’d suggest there is a third. I lean towards the second, but I don’t like to make promises up front I can’t keep. So my default position in most everything is, “I’ll look into it and get back to you.” Especially depending on how complex a potential issue it is. The PM’s love me for it, I know. That’s sarcasm.

  3. While I try to be the later, I often find myself being the former, depending upon who is asking. I work for a .org where most of my co-workers are not technical and have little interest in technology – they just want their computer to work. With this “toaster” mentality (bread in, minimal interaction leading to toast out) , any attempt to explain or show a work-around is met with glazed-over eyes.

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