Beware of these people working with IT

When talking to people working in the IT business, no matter their position (developer, sales, manager etc), there are some warning signs to look for.

Therefore, I thought I’d write a little list of things to beware of, which should make your spine start tingling as soon as you encounter it from anyone working in the IT business.

Things to watch out for

  • People not knowing where files they downloaded through their web browser will be saved.
  • People not knowing how to open a ZIP file (and developers not knowing how to open a RAR file).
  • People not knowing the difference between GIF and JPEG.
  • People e-mailing 1 GB-attachments and don’t understand that the recipient didn’t get it.
  • People thinking that the Netscape web browser is the other major player besides Internet Explorer.
  • People not knowing that Safari is a web browser.
  • People not knowing what an RSS feed is, and, even less, how to subscribe to one.

These are but just a few. What are your pet hates?

21 Comments

  • Or People don’t know that all the difference browsers outhere, don’t work identic. One typical question: Why does the page isn’t 100% identic in IE and Firefox?

  • Jules says:

    People who don't know where the any key is.

    (sorry, couldn't help it) πŸ™‚

  • "People not knowing that Safari is a web browser."

    That's a bit elitist. In NL, 99% of IT = Microsoft, and lots of IT people have never seen a mac up close. So how would they know about a minor piece of software on a less-then-linux marketshare platform?

    Webdevelopers not knowing about safari would indeed be silly. But generic IT people? i don't think so.

  • I'd in general terms be cautious with people who don't see the bug in this code;

    template struct Int2Type

    {

    T t;

    };

    // πŸ˜‰

    // .t

  • Megan says:

    I once had a manager who didn't know the difference between her "C" drive and the network drives! That has to take the cake.

    Anyone who ever says "everyone just uses Microsoft, don't they?" or anything to that effect.

    Not knowing how to do anything without official training would be a red flag too.

  • eugene says:

    Standards? What standards?

  • Senior Management types that thinks that a team of 4 can give an accurate estimate on a 1000+ hour job, in a matter of a couple of hours.

    Clueless Account managers that spend their time looking for houses, boats, concert tickets, cars, instead of spending their time making sure that our relationship with the clients is the best it can be, and that we're serving the clients needs, instead of just raking up billable hours building stuff that the client doesn't need.

    Publishers of Teach Yourself [insert random difficult technology] in 21 days / 21 hours / 21 seconds books, and people that actually believe that what you can read in these books really gives you the same qualifications and skills that others use years of their lives to master.

  • The last thing that drove me crazy: A coworker from the design department (we sell high quality jewelery, so design department is the place where the jewelery-designs come from) asked me if something is possible to do in html. The coworker shoewed me a small drawing/sketch of how it should look like. What disturbed me was that the sketch had a fixed witdh of 905 pixels, and was divided in 2 equal parts. Each part was 452,5 pixels width πŸ™‚

    That threw my entire view of the world into pieces… since then I am consulting a psy πŸ™‚

  • Steven Clark says:

    IT people (titled web developer / designer) with things on their resume like XHTML, CSS, PHP, Java Programmer – phone you and ask how they can change the title of their home page or want to know why they can't paste from MS Word to WordPress just because 'everyone does it'!

    IT people who hire you to create web standard pages then insist on chucking every junk bit of obtrusive non-validating whatsit on the pages so they don't validate – what's the trouble they say, it works doesn't it?!

    IT people who phone you at midnight on Friday night insisting to discuss some trivial 1px shift in Safari something or other because to them its the most important thing in the world so you must not sleep until this is fixed.

    The big one…

    IT people who ring you and the first thing they say is "the last developer i had was a total idiot so i fired him and need someone else" (see the red flag in that sentence anyone?).

    Oh i'm probably just jaded lol. πŸ™‚

  • That actually sounds like half of the IT team at were I work part time…

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Thanks for sharing! I think I should’ve written Web instead of IT to be more specific, but

    nevertheless I generally agree with your suggestions.

    Webstandard-Team,

    Oh, that’s too much to cover in detail here, how to present it and argue. πŸ™‚

    Jules,

    No problem, that is a totally valid one. πŸ™‚
    Hayo,

    In general, I’m on your side. But I think that if you are, say, a Project Manager for the

    building of web sites, I think it’s your obligation to know about a web browser that has 3-4% of the market, just

    as well as the other major web browsers.

    Thomas,

    Well, yes, but maybe not management people… πŸ™‚

    Megan,

    Hmm, driver confusion. It’s been a while since I encountered that!


    ΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ…β€œeveryone just uses Microsoft, donΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ’β€žΒ’t they?ΓƒΒ’Γ’β€šΒ¬Γ‚Β

    Quotes like that are actually the biggest threat to web interoperability and the whole future

    and idea of it. No matter the product, the web is not just one company.

    eugene,

    But of course!

    Georges,

    Γƒβ€šΓ‚Β½-pixels are indeed the new fashion. πŸ™‚

    Steven,

    Long time, no comment! πŸ™‚
    It sounds like you had some web developing suffering as of lately… πŸ™‚

    Jermayn,

    I feel your pain, I really do!

    Tommy,

    Well, it’s a hard one. Naturally I think everyone should know that it exists, especially in the mobile phone market. But if time should be set aside to ensure everything works in it? I don’t know…

    99% of the time, things that work in Safari and Firefox will work in Opera, but in cases when it doesn’t, Opera’s market share is so miniscule so it has to be a budget decision if extra time and money should be spent in Opera-specific work.

  • Tommy Olsson says:

    When people say,

    the other major player besides Internet Explorer.

    When they go to lengths making others aware of Firefox and Safari, but never mention Opera – the fastest and most secure browser available; the most configurable and the one with the most features built-in.

  • Love says:

    Clueless people putting down other clueless people to look good.

  • mahalie says:

    How bout people who say "I was a web developer in my last job", then say they don't want RSS on the firm's new site because it could cost a lot and no one uses it. Then they email you with a link to "cool feature" they'd like to include (could we use this?) and it's an IE-only javascript image swapper from 1998!

    No wonder some people think I just push magic buttons. Thanks for this thread, it was cathartic.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Love,

    Most definitely! But sadly that seems to go for all kinds of work and environments…

    mahalie,

    Ah, yes, wonderful, isn't it?

    <blockquote cite="http://www.robertnyman.com/2007/05/28/beware-of-these-people-working-with-it/#comment-64657"&gt;

    Thanks for this thread, it was cathartic.

    Sure, you're welcome! πŸ™‚

  • Chris says:

    Ha! Brilliant. I'm a web developer myself and prior to that I spent 4 months working on the Service Desk. I was amazed how many people from my own IT department would ring to ask the most obvious questions.

    The most shocking was when a guy in our network team – essentially the man in charge of the net connections, proxys and firewalls – saw my workmate with his IE favourites window open and asked if could "pop up sometime and install it on his machine".

    Mind you, they never taught me that at university either. I had to work it out for myself. πŸ˜‰

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Chris,

    Ha ha! πŸ™‚

  • Kris says:

    People who ask me to change an image in ‘Adobe’.

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Kris,

    Yes, that's a nice one. πŸ™‚

  • People who don't seem to realize that Mac OS is an operating system on which you may run different browsers, that among themselves may produce different results.

    Oddly enough I hear this a lot from people that actually do know. They just seem to forget that they know, and pretend that Mac is a browser, or that Mac OS runs one browser and one browser only.

    I often hear developers say: "So it works in Explorer and Firefox. How about Mac? Does it work on a Mac?"

    Adding to the frustration, it's very difficult to correct them without being condencending, explaining the difference between an OS and browser to a developer…

  • Robert Nyman says:

    Christopher,

    Ah, I wholeheartedly agree, I hear that phrase all the time too. Pretty sad, actually.

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