The IT Industry Needs A Slap

October 12 2005 05:45:51 PM Comments Disabled
Today and tomorrow are two of the most important days in the Jewish calendar.  Without diving into religion or my specific beliefs, I'll just say that they cause me to spend a lot of time "reflecting".  Those of you that know me understand that I am a very optimistic, good natured soul.  I've noticed that lately I've been having conversations with many of my friends, family, and coworkers about how our industry is really starting to "wear on me".   There are so many battles going on: IBM vs. Microsoft, Domino vs. Exchange, .Net vs J2EE, Mac vs. Windows vs. Linux, Google this, Sun that, employees "defecting", companies trying to steal each other partners, companies suing each other, executives bad mouthing the competition and spreading FUD instead of facts.  There is too much "bickering" going on!

With all the things that have happened around the world in the last few years, either via act of man or nature, I can't help but think our focus is off.  We're too much of a "National Inquirer" or "Slashdot" society.  We allow bad news to generate all the attention.  We like to tell anyone with a different opinion how wrong they are.  Guess what, in the grand scheme of things it does not matter what type of laptop you have, what OS you use, what client you read your email with, or what development platform and language you choose (but yes Notes/Domino rocks!).   What matters is the type of person you are.

Next time you start to get road rage, or want to flame someone in email or on a forum, stop and take three deep breaths, and just let it go.  Hold a door open for someone.  Say hello to strangers.  Learn the names of your office or apartment's cleaning staff.  Be nice to your waiters and taxi drivers.   Call an old friend.

I guess I should try and bring this back around to something vaguely "IT related"... I hope that in the coming years, our industry learns to play better together.   I hope the big players can gauge success more on customer satisfaction than on quarterly revenue.  I know that sounds crazy and perhaps naive, but I can hope.   As individuals, we can also help improve the "IT atmosphere" by each taking small positive actions.  Next time you start to get angry about something "IT related" react by doing something like answering a few questions in a technical forum, teach a coworker a new trick about Notes, or just send your mom an email.  Trust me, it will make you feel better than the flame you were about to send.

Thanks for listening... Alan