How working in IT changes you…

In the past, in relationships, I’ve been told that I’m a very negative person.  However, I don’t feel that I am.  I once had a neighbor that said, “Ben always has a smile on his face… except when he’s mowing the lawn!”  I know that I am an introvert, but that doesn’t make me a negative person, just that I like my alone time!  However, given a situation, I’m told I’m always pointing out the negative aspects. I feel that my working in IT is partially (if not ENTIRELY) to blame. 🙂

You see, when working in a production environment and making changes, we’re constantly asked…

“What is the worst case scenario?”

  • If I upgrade the BIOS for the vSphere hosts in my Production Environment, what is the potential impact? 
    Could the new BIOS version bring a new set of bugs with it?  Could the system crash in the middle of the upgrade, leaving the system unusable?
  • If I install patches on my staging vSphere hosts, what issues could I run into? 
    Also, potentially a new set of bugs to come along with the new patches.  Compatibility issues with the hardware and other software products we use.  Each of these could lead to crashes and/or Purple Screen errors.
  • If I reboot this server, what could go wrong? 
    Well, If it’s a physical server, the underlying hardware could fail.  There could be OS corruption.  The dreaded BSOD!

Because I’m constantly being asked this, I’ve basically been training my brain to live in the WORST CASE SCENARIO world!  Given any situation, I’m always thinking what the potential issues could be. This has extended into my personal life too.

  • Lets go to Bob’s house.
    Well, he lives in ABC town, we’ll need to take X highway, so we better make sure we have 60 minutes for the drive because Route 287 is always a parking lot!
  • Lets take a Caribbean Cruise!
    It’s going to be hot, the seas could be rough, the food could be crappy!
  • We need a new TV.
    This one is a smart tv, this one is 4k, they’re all connected to the INTERNET which means they’re susceptible to HACKERS!

My brain is now wired to live in that WORST CASE SCENARIO state.

Personally, I think it’s made me a better engineer!  Early in my IT career, people called me a cowboy.  I made changes on the fly, I didn’t worry about backups… about what could go wrong!  But now that I’ve been working in IT for around 20 years, my brain has been re-wired!  My management appreciates when I plan ahead and know what the impact could/will be!  I feel this has led me to make smarter decisions in my career overall!

What about you?  Do you end up doing the same thing in your personal life, like I have?  Do you also think it’s made you a better IT person?  Let me know in the comments!



Ben Liebowitz, VCP, vExpert
NJ VMUG Leader





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2 thoughts on “How working in IT changes you…

  1. Interesting effect Ben. I think the most significant impact IT has had on me (23 year veteran) is the binge and purge of knowledge. Over time, the rate of change in technology has increased. Whether I’m solving a new problem, or working on a large project, I learn as much as I can as fast as I can. Unfortunately, much of the knowledge is lost. I’m sure there are some freaks out there who can remember everything they learn, and I’m jealous. If I were to think of my mind having the components of a computer, I believe I have significantly upgraded the CPU, memory, and bus capacity, but it has come at a cost of reduced storage capacity! Google brain.

    1. I agree with you Mike. The amount of information I’ve had to learn over the years and the amount of info that I’ve lost from lack of use is mind boggling.

      I’m sure you can agree, it gets harder and harder to retain info as we get older. 🙂

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