A Poem for IT Professionals [blast from blog post past]

a poem for IT professionals

Back in December of 2004, as my first book was about to be published, Comdex (the previously monstrous tech conference) had cancelled it’s 2004 event and later announced it was ceasing to exist as an IT conference.

This was a particularly interesting time in IT as many were announcing the end of IT’s value to organizations. In fact, Nicholas Carr had written the article and then book, “IT Doesn’t Matter.”

At the time, I agreed with him sort of.. I said, “IT Doesn’t Matter… unless it matters. I had also been saying Comdex was mostly a waste of time and an excuse for bad behavior.. but clients sent me and a vendor had me present there, so, I went a few times. Believe me, NOT ON MY DIME!

As I am wont to do at times, I penned a poem. It was a end of year poem for the IT professional and with a specific bent on Comdex.

I just found it while archiving some past writing and you know what? It’s pretty funny… but it also has, at it’s core, the same message I’ve been giving to IT professionals since 1993.

I must believe it!

– by Matthew Moran

Twas the last night of Comdex
When the promoters they said,
“The economy is drained
The tech industry, dead”

They loaded their billboards
And their systems with care
Pulled the last of the slots
Some even pulled out their hair

Programmers and analysts
Sat glumly indeed
For the days of wild gambling
No more would be seen

And the show girls no longer
Viewed geeks with desire
Techies were no longer immortal
But mere humans for hire

And I with my laptop
Its monitor bright
Pondered these thoughts
I even stayed up all night

When what did I realize
In the dawn’s early light
That the end of Comdex
Might make everything right

For the focus at Comdex
Was often gadgets galore
The emphasis placed
On the large conference floor

And the after-hours parties
And stock that had split
And the next hot technology
And who had thought of it

But the promoters had forgotten
And many techs had too
Why businesses buy
The technology they do

For it is not processor speed
It’s not megapixel fine
It’s not the latest OS
It’s not your cert or mine

For many long years
The industry had neglected
The people whose money
We should have protected

And the CEO’s cried
And then they got mad
They suddenly awoke
A realized they’d been had

For the money they’d spent
They had little to show
Perhaps a raised floor and rack
Not really much for their dough

They stopped paying out
They stopped buying new
They stopped hiring your friends
They stopped hiring you

But a light at end
Of this dark tunnel can be seen
For in crisis there is
Opportunity to glean

Business is crying
for solutions I see
They want ROI
They want efficiency

They want to be heard
And to be understood
They want tech’s to speak business
Like they always have should (sorry, couldn’t’ get around that one)

And when they can see
What you can create
They’ll gladly hire you back
And now jobs generate

And to this wise end
I wrote my first book
Detailing how
A technologist should look

So buck up and smile
And get in control
Focus on business
And technology’s role

Don’t follow the latest
Vendor’s appeal
But evaluate all
For the value that’s real

And then speak to business
In terms they can grasp
You will find that they smile
And in surprise may even gasp

For you don’t want to be
Like a Saturday Night Live spoof
Nick Burns was funny
But it was humor bound in truth

So change their perception
And be geeky no more
Well, you can with your peers
Just not out on the floor

Your career you can grow
Your profits grow too
Your esteem at your company
And your esteem in you

And so as I head
To a new client site
I say, “Let’s have a great year”
“And let’s get IT right.”

Posted in career development.

What do you think?