DuctTape and Popsicle Sticks

So I hear all the time from people how smart they think I am and how much value I bring. I will be honest I have a really hard time with this. I may not be what most would consider humble but I don’t blow sunshine up my own ass either. I am limited, I think we all are. I have so much to learn, I think we all do. I have no patience for stupidity and laziness and that is something I need to work on more, because not everyone is wired like me. But back to the core issue am I really as good as people keep telling me I am? The answer is no.

What I have discovered about myself from 24 years old to 34 years old is that I am really good at connecting dots, DuctTaping a one million dollar product to a five dollar product to accomplish my goals and jamming popsicle sticks into things to re-enforce them and make them work even it it ends up being one of those stupid and lazy peoples asses so they get done what I need done. So no I am not the smartest kid in class just ask any teacher I ever had.

But IT tolerates people like me calling ourselves engineers (even if it is with a small e) when we did not even finish college. I would even go as far as to say that we are often rewarded for not being a capitol E engineer because we are not saddled with the constraints of what can an cannot be done either in general or with a product. I don’t know how many times I have talked to Engineers and said I love that I can do this with your product and I get the response of “You can’t do that with our product.” Clearly they designed it better than they thought.

Brandon Carrol put up a post You Might Not Belong in IT, and one of the central tenants of this post was “IT is a about exploration” This is so true!  if you are not exploring the solutions that are available then you are just taking what the vendors tell you as fact and you won’t learn, innovate or create real value for yourself and your services.  I think this is what defines what I do best.  I explore then I put together the things I discover and build what my clients, employers, family or I need.  I will admit there was a time really not all that long ago that I limited myself to what one or two main vendors offered but I don’t think that is all that unique in this industry.  I think we learn the core principles of our industry from one vendor or the other and then hopefully we grow enough to feel comfortable braining out to find the right solutions.

I was thrilled to be given the chance to take part in Network Field Day 3 hosted by GestaltIT.  The amazing and cool things that we were shown really sparked my whole connect the dots gene.  I found myself leaving one presentation and walking into the next and saying “Hey have you guys talked to these guys?  I really think you could do amazing things together!”  Some of the vendors love the ideas a few others did not.  But that sure as heck won’t stop me from strapping them together with DuctTape in future designs and or blogposts.  Stay tuned.

Repair

 

About Josh O'Brien

Josh is the CTO of Language Access Network in Columbus, Ohio. Over his career he as had extensive experience in networking environments. These experiences have led him to design and implement hundreds of customer networks as a consultant. Currently Josh focuses growing nationwide medical networks and providing cutting edge video services to the medical community.