10 ways you know you work in IT

Think Progress Team

Tuesday 19 May 2015

IT professionals: no one understands what you do and switch off when you try to explain, but then expect you to fix anything, anywhere, any time. For free. Frustrated, unappreciated, often isolated, you know you work in IT when…

1) People start sharing their troubleshooting issues with you at parties

You finally feel sympathy for GPs being shown old ladies’ bunions in Tesco. Now the cocktail conversation is whether you can fix someone’s smartphone – the one they smashed with a hammer and dropped into a lake.

2) Plumber friends ask you to fix their computers…

But you can’t respond, “only if you unclog my toilet”.

3) Your first response to any problem is, “have you tried turning it off and on?”

And your second response is, “is it actually plugged in?” And then you spend an hour trying to explain that you need an internet service provider (ISP) and a modem to get online, no matter what the guy in PC World allegedly said about the internet being “pre-installed”.

4) You sit up until 4am perfecting the most masterfully flawless code the universe has ever witnessed

But the rest of the world is asleep, so the only person watching you punch your fist in the air to celebrate its precision, grace and elegance, is your cat.

5) You can hand code HTML but have trouble choosing a nice shirt

It’s ok though, because ThinkGeek has a clothing section and you’ve already written a program to help you chose between the T-shirt with ‘Change your password’ emblazoned on it and the one with ‘Try another hole’.

6) You and a colleague have written an algorithm

It generates a foolproof strategy to pick up any female in your company. You now have to figure out how to get rich and profit from it.

7) You name your kids Ruby, Python and C++

Except you don’t have any kids yet, so your cat ends up called Linus Torvald Cat++.

8) None of your friends and family understand what you do

They describe it as “working with computers” even though this could describe anyone from Bill Gates to the guy in the local PC repair shop.

9) You crack a brilliant joke about Moore’s Law

Unfortunately everyone thinks you’re talking about Roger or Patrick.

10) There are three things in life that you hate:

Syntax errors and off-by-one errors.

Is your life a cross between a Dilbert cartoon and XKCD? Are you tired of spending family events cleaning malware from an ancient desktop? Vent some steam and let us know.