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.

  • I wanted to create a paragraph or two of sentences built solely from the month's words, if possible--but they're all verbs!  I like what you did, using them in intelligent sentences.

  • Thanks to adatole​ and all the contributors to this challenge it was fantastic reading all the entries. I hope that my contributions made some people think. I know theirs made me contemplate things differently. So here is my attempt to put all the words into one brief essay.

    What did I learn in the word-a-day challenge 2016?

    It is best to act on something once you have done a search and understand most of the relevant information available. This will make it easier for those around you to accept the change if they believe you choose to act in good faith. You should be open to hear dissenting opinions incase what you observed was not the whole story. You should not count on having the entire picture before taking action, so trust your experience and make an educated guess. Forgive yourself if you make a mistake. The fact that you recognize it as a mistake means you learned something not to do. If you remember this, then it will serve you well for the rest of your life. Accepting that you are not perfect can allow you to awaken to a new level of awareness. Ask for help where and when you need it. Compassionate and wise people around you will not judge your ignorance as a fault, but see it as an honor to help a fellow human being in fulfilling their quest for knowledge.

    The more you understand something the more likely you are to love what you do. You cannot wait for one project to end and the next to begin. Hoping each new challenge brings opportunities to use what you have learned. Intending to do your best and create the next best thing since sliced bread. Your customers will feel blessed knowing that you give all their requirements your best. They will believe they get an outstanding return on the investment they make in you. Thus providing you the resources to learn even more and be prepared for the next job. I pray someday to work in a place like that, because that would be worth celebrating.


    Day 1: LearnDay 11: TrustDay 21: LoveDay 2: ActDay 12: ForgiveDay 22: EndDay 3: SearchDay 13: RememberDay 23: BeginDay 4: UnderstandDay 14: RestDay 24: HopeDay 5: AcceptDay 15: ChangeDay 25: IntendDay 6: BelieveDay 16: PrayDay 26: CreateDay 7: ChooseDay 17: AwakenDay 27: BlessDay 8: HearDay 18: AskDay 28: GiveDay 9: ObserveDay 19: JudgeDay 29: ReturnDay 10: CountDay 20: FulfillDay 30: Celebrate
  • If you are not prepared to take risks, then you should expect results

  • Preparation, in IT, is crucial. Whether it's in the form of proper system design, determining what to monitor (and what to ignore), setting sane SLAs, or hiring the right people (in the right quantity.)

    Years ago I phone interviewed for a job with a company which was too busy to hire anyone. How backwards is this? Talk about lack of preparation. After hearing that from my recruiter, even if they had called back for an in-person interview, I'm pretty sure it's not the kind of place I wanted to be. They needed to get ahead of the game, because if you're playing catch-up that badly, you'll NEVER catch up.

  • Not sure why but once I saw that the word for this post was "prepare," I couldn't think of anything else. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father..