When I first started my career as an IT professional, it was supporting both PC’s and Apple Macs. Next role moved me into a support/consultant role where I worked with customers running PC’s connected to an application running on either AIX, Solaris, SCO or NT4 (shudder). The job after that brought me wholly into a Microsoft environment (Windows2000 servers & upgraded PC’s from Win2K to WinXP). Since then, my career has almost exclusively had me supporting MS software on various vendor’s hardware.
I will admit to spending some time during the first decade of the 21st century being a massive Microsoft fanboy. If they didn’t make it, I didn’t want to know about it. I religiously purchased Windows Mobile device after device; I strongly & loudly advocated Windows XP as *THE* operating system to run on your PC, at work and at home (not hard, given what had come before); I transformed the companies I worked for by implementing SMS, Exchange & Windows 2003 – all of this in my role as an infrastructure support specialist. If someone came at me with a Macintosh, they got one of two responses: either I gave them the standard quizzical look and stated “sorry, we don’t support that here”, or screamed and ran in the other direction. Or both. Don’t even start me if people asked me about Linux.
I am proud to out myself now, however, as an agnostic geek. I’ve seen the light. I am someone that looks for the best solution to the problem, rather than leverage a product to solve it, or make the problem fit the solution. A person who works hard to understand where the pressure points are and deliver a solution (technology-related or otherwise) that means the problem does not exist and will not recur. It doesn’t matter what the platform or solution – if there’s a good geek way to do it (and often there are many), I’ll do it. A Geek Evangelist.
Evangelist gets bandied around a lot by a lot of people these days. Often just to be different, or to show that you’re strong/enthusiastic/competent on that idea/belief system/technology. It’s cool to be a (insert product here) evangelist because you know that person will know a lot about that idea, will be working to convert you to it, will be someone that is unapologetic in their fanaticism for said idea. They’ll preach about it. That’s why I see being a geek, and being platform/solution independent about it, so important. WE NEED GEEKS of all shapes, sizes & beliefs to implement technical solutions for people. We need people to be the fanboys so that, whatever the technology, people are excited about delivering and promoting ‘their’ solution.
That’s why, for the last 3 years, I’ve been a geek agnostic. You want an iPhone to get your e-mail on the run? We can make that happen. Want a WinMo phone to do the same? No worries. BlackBerry? Sure. Android? Here, give us a look. There may be corporate guidelines we need to follow, or existing spend we’ve committed to, so we’ll do our best to fit with them to give you the solution.
Geeks take a battering from time to time, even from people like me. We all need reminding from time to time what we need to be/should be doing. We all need reminding what our job is and where it fits within the organisation. We all need to know that as soon as we say to someone at a party that we work in IT, they’ll ask us about a problem they’re having. We all know that our families and friends will look to us as the trusted experts to assist them with their technological questions/problems. We all need to know that what we do is important, and people depend on us.
That’s why I’m a Geek Evangelist. We all need geeks. We all need you.
Come here, you… (*hugs*)
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