Recognition. I've been busy, as you can probably tell from my not posting at all yesterday, but something that I've been thinking a lot about is the “mystery” of technology work. I'm reminded of something my driver's education instructor told me many, many years ago. He said the goal of good driving was never to make someone notice how good you are, it was to make the drive as uneventful as possible. A good driver is someone who can transport people without them having to even notice the trip.
IT is a lot like that. Oh don't get me wrong, when things happen like that server's power source conking out while I was on vacation, and I come riding in to save the day, I certainly appreciate the recognition of my coworkers, but that's not really the goal I should be shooting for. I need to remember that the things that make me good at my job are the things they never see, and never have to think about. It's the patching of a server to keep it from crashing, it's the reading of tech sites to keep informed of things and deal with them before they become a problem, it's the anti-virus updates being spread out across the network without any end user involvement, and it's the database work that keeps our accounting and billing stuff running every month. The queries and modifications that are all just done, without any one else understanding how it gets done. It's the “magic” stuff that gets done behind the scenes that makes for a good IT worker, even if no one else recognizes it. [Life of a one-man IT department]