Dirty IT Jobs

July 29, 2008

As an IT Manager at a small business, as I’m sure many of you know, I have many responsibilities.  Some of them I really enjoy, some of them….not so much.  So, when I stumbled across this article about Dirty IT Jobs, I found it very interesting and could relate to quite a few of them.  I do think, the unfortunate thing here is that, in many cases (I have seen it many times myself) the more talented individuals are the ones that get assigned some of these dirty jobs.  This is mainly because, since they are so talented, they can figure it out quick and, many times, still manage to continue forward progress on not so dirty jobs.

Personally, I think the worst job is inheriting a poorly designed, poorly written, and not at all documented application.  I myself had one of these in a previous job at a manufacturing site.  They used a statistical process control application that interfaced with many gauges and accepted many different types of inputs.  A lot of these inputs required at least a small amount of custom “glue” code to take the output from the machine and put it in a format the application liked.  These little pieces of “glue” code were spread throughout the factory floor.  Not only were the pieces of “glue” code not documented, but not even all the locations the application was used at were documented.  I had one instance where maintenance had cut a long cable because they didn’t know what it was.  You guessed it, it was a serial cable from a gauge used for this application.  Being in a machine shop environment, this also was sometimes quite literally a dirty job as well, which just made it all the worse since we were excepted to wear slacks and nice shirts to work.

I’d be interested to hear of other dirty jobs out there or your experience with ones listed on this list.