11 Jan

How I Found Myself In IT

I’ve been doing a lot of introspection about IT and what I want to do going forward and it reminded me of how I wound up in IT.

Many years ago I was working as an accountant. One of my jobs was preparing journal entries and the process typically went something like the following:

1. Run a report.
2. Copy data from the report into a spreadsheet.
3. Prepare a journal entry (some were prepared in the spreadsheet).
4. Get the journal entry approved.
5. Enter the journal entry into the system.

This used to drive me crazy. If you could run a report, why couldn’t you just automate the entire process. I don’t remember how my accounting manager reacted to this but I do remember spending enough time in IT bugging them that they eventually just said “come on down here and build it”, and I did.

I repeated this process dozens of times for this company and every time I loved doing it. The ability to create and develop something from scratch, and that actually helped someone, was always a fantastic part of IT.

What I think made me, maybe unique by today’s standards, is that I saw myself as a business problem solver and I brought the project home. I wonder if we still have that in companies today, or, have we walled off every function so completely that no one except our fearless leaders are allowed to grasp all of the nuances of what’s going on? Have we become so specialized and focused on a single skill set that we’ve lost the ability to go beyond that? Maybe that’s part of a business or field maturing but I wonder if it isn’t something more than that.

Anyways, I didn’t plan on going down that road, I just wanted a simple story of how I found my way into IT and it literally was as simple as being frustrated with how we did things.