day1.png

Preparation implies forethought, knowledge, information, capability, and (as I mentioned last year) choice.

 

Preparation is wonderful. Preparation is beautiful.  In the world of IT, preparation is the work we hope we get to do every day. It is the hope we hold in our hearts, as we drive to work each morning.

 

The idea of "prepare" has an ugly underbelly though.

 

To borrow a concept from "Stranger Things" , the "UpsideDowns" of preparation, where everything that we know and find familiar is a dark, twisted, and toxic mirror image, is "reaction".

 

And THAT is a term that IT pro's know all too well. Managers will chide us that "we're being too reactive". As if ignoring the system outage, network spike, or looming disk capacity issue is going to make it go away, or teach it a lesson that it needs to wait its turn.

 

"Prioritize this, please" is the phrase non-IT people say without realizing it translates to "Do what *I* want now and I don't care if the event punishes you doubly-hard later." Let me repeat that for clarity: Often in IT, if we put off something until later it's not just the task which we find waiting for us. It's the task plus 27 of that task's ugly cousins. Problems in IT don't fade away when we ignore them. They multiply.

 

So how do you avoid the demogorgon of the UpsideDown of IT?

 

Partly, by doing what the kids in the NetFlix show did - huddle up your posse of friends, identify the enemy for what it is, be relentless in saving each others' butt, and rising to the challenge no matter how tired or drained you feel.

 

But that's only part of the answer. The other answer is "I don't know". After almost 30 years in IT, I still find myself running full-tilt through horrifying architectural landscapes not of my choosing or design, trying to evade the ravenous tech-monster that gamely pursues me.

 

If there are better answers, I'm open to them. As are the comments below.