Slideshow

In Pictures: The worst people you meet working in IT

You're definitely going to meet them. Hopefull you aren't one of them.

  • Every human being is a unique and special person who doesn't quite fit into any category, of course. That said, if you've worked in IT long enough, you've probably learned to identify certain ... types. Call them Jungian archetypes, but for people you don't like. Once you've started to recognize them, you see them everywhere. We asked a host of IT pros to describe the type of IT pro they like least, and we got some colorful answers. Have you ever dealt with some of these worst people in IT? Or worse: do you recognize yourself in these descriptions? It's not too late to take another path.

  • The Consultant Liam Kavanaugh has been upgrading Windows 2003 servers at his company, with "help" from The Consultant. "He turns up in a car far more expensive than any that the actual IT department can afford. You show him your setup and he looks confused. Any deviation from a lab environment and he can't cope. Eventually you end up doing all his work for them while he warns you that installing the software on a virtual server/physical server, a Windows/Linux server, one with no wallpaper/one with pretty wallpaper IS NOT STANDARD and he can't be held accountable." "Eventually, you get a £2,000 bill, and the managing director sends our a message thanking the 'consulting team' for doing a good job."

  • The Braggy Numbers Guy Chris Collision has had enough of The Braggy Numbers Guy, a "semi-literate 'marketing' dude. Everything that goes right is because he's great: everything that goes wrong is because nobody listens to him. (Those who have long memories may remember that he was in every meeting that led up to something going wrong, and that he had nothing to say in any of them.) Never responds to an email; never sends an email to do anything but throw somebody under the bus or take credit for someone else's work. Refuses to use the company's project managing tools. Likes to bark at people and stomp around like he's still in the army. No matter what you know, say, or have done, he's got a topper."

  • The Dumb Nerd Being a nerd is the core of a lot of techies' self-image, but as Nathan E. points out, not all nerds are created equal. Dumb Nerds "thinks that because they are a nerd, they're smart. They work with computers but are actually Really Bad with computers. They don't understand their mistakes, and in fact struggle to recognize them as mistakes. They cannot follow directions and do not have the technical skills to fix any problems that come from missing a step. They are often furries or Whovians with a dim grasp of the difference between fiction and reality. Quite often they are experimenting with polyamory and cannot shut up about it. Bonus points for stupid hats and sword collections."

  • The Underqualified Humanities Degree Middle Manager Is the Underqualified Humanities Degree Middle Manager your boss? Woe be unto you, explains Chris Collision: "No business background. No visible useful skills. Tends to assume that his general intelligence qualifies him as an understander of everything. No managerial experience, so he's constantly mad at his employees for not reading his mind. Bitterly resents and fights against any reduction of his responsibilities, but actually does almost no work and complains about what work he does (have to) do. Cracks jokes in meetings as his primary contribution to them. Sulks when any idea he has isn't instantly adopted/praised. Special flower who reserves the bulk of his contempt for people who act like they think they're special flowers."

  • The #Disruptor Boss The #Disruptor Boss would not get the irony of the hashtag in this slide's title. "A smart, generally worthwhile human whose critical faculties turn right off when confronted with any/all tech-type buzzwords. Particularly vulnerable to manipulation by the Braggy Numbers Guy. Wants to run with the big, big companies, and will drop every name he can think of, because he thinks that'll be helpful. Hobbies include vaguely describing nebulous aims and demonstrating zero follow-through. Will under no circumstances actually assign any resources to support the achievement of his nebulous aims. Springs for lunch a lot, though, so there's that."

  • The Political Theorist Nathan E. has had one too many arguments with The Political Theorist, who is "often blindingly smart but extremely undisciplined as a thinker. Makes the classic fallacy that because they are great at coding, their ideas about politics must be equally great. Often found saying 'If the government would just do X, then Y,' as if politics were as amenable to flow control as a Perl script. Usually Libertarian, which I find hilarious in light of the current wage theft lawsuits in Silicon Valley. Who could have foreseen that a group that thinks unions are all bad and the the market and business is always right and good would have the money colluded right out of their pockets?"

  • The QA Killjoy "Okay, I get that everybody hates QA," says Chris Collision: "All they ever do is point at things that are bad and broken and wrong and why can't they ever say that something works for a change." But the QA Killjoy is in a class of their own. "There's a specific type that gravitates toward the field, a type for whom it is very, personally, important to be right. Impossible to work with or have a human interaction with. (Unless you write a detailed user story for them to follow, I guess.)"

  • The Technologist You may work in technology, but even so, you might become very tired of dealing with The Technologist. "Technology is awful. I don't care about the iWatch or your mega-Tivo or how you ran Cat 6 in your house so you could stream TV to any of the possible places where you might go to the bathroom. I do this all day; I don't want to think about it when I go home and you shouldn't either."

  • The Impossible To Fire Gripe as you will about these types, but many of them will outlast you wherever you work. Liam Kavanaugh says The Impossible To Fire are particularly prevalent in countries with restrictive labor laws. "In 2006 I was in charge of imaging all the new PCs ready to go out. I checked how they did it at some of the other sites, thinking that they would know more and have better methods. One place in Germany deployed all their Windows XP machines by first installing Windows 98 and then upgrading them to Windows XP. In 2006. When I asked why, I was told that the guy who did it had been with the company 15 years, and why should he change?"

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