The Problem With IT

I’m taking a break from my text/Business Speak Primer to blog about my concerns regarding IT and Project Management. I had to put the book down and get these thoughts out; otherwise, I’d go crazy.

I have heard, and read, very few good things about IT management. Every developer (and testers) I’ve talked to–about seven people whose opinions I trust–have said point blank that project managers have no idea what they are doing. This is the cleaned-up version. I think I figured out why. The text books are geared more towards business jargon than pratical understanding.

The text I’m currently reading for my pre-requisite courses reads more like an advert for Microsoft Project and Visio than a primer on the basic concepts of systems analysis. It’s redonkulous. If I want to see how a software package works, I’ll look at the demos.

While the text-ad is terrible, the company speak is worse. I fully recognize that working with Information Systems combines business memes and techy-speak. Ending every damn chapter with “every corporation…” does not help me get the necessary concepts.

Thank God that we’re applying the ideas behind “life cycle development” directly into practice with our weekly projects. Relying on this text would create an even bigger glut of project noobs.

A New Direction

As part of my vacation, I got to tour the Microsoft campus. I’ve written about this before, and I am still amazed at it’s beauty, function and generosity of service. Seriously, free coffee, tea, soda and milk? Healthy and cheap snacks? I’m sold!

More importantly though, I got to learn more about programming and application developement. My friend Sandy quickly summarized the difference between testing, developement and project management. I’ve know about the delegation of duties, but Sandy made them crystal clear. This quick summary helped me figure out exactly what I want from DePaul. I want to develop the skills to be a project manager.

I think it’s something I can do. Coding may not be my strong suit. Testing is not something I want to do full time. And yet, I think I can learn enough code to guide a project. I know I respond well to honest and direct feed back. I also have developed a skill set where I can work with damn near anybody. So I think this is what I need to focus on for DePaul.