The IT field is huge. Not everybody in it does the same thing. There are software engineers, hardware engineers, those who specialize in computer networks, support IT… the list goes on.
IT professionals are sometimes mistaken to be miracle workers in anything tech-related. Here are some IT misconceptions that I’ve experienced and other software engineers around me have experienced.
Anyone in IT can work any electronic gadget ever created
Okay, this one is very common and downright annoying. Most times, I am as clueless as the person asking me how to work a printer that I have actually never seen before. Gadgets come with user manuals and if they don’t, then google how to use it. For instance, if a new printer comes into the office, instead of following the instructions on it, someone goes looking for someone in the IT department and expects them to know how it works because, well, they’re in IT. Here’s a tip, they are as clueless as you are. We will read the instructions and or google, just like anyone else.
Anyone in IT can fix a broken gadget
If your laptop mysteriously goes off and doesn’t come on again, take it back to the shop you got it from because that’s where you are most likely to get the best help. The professionals in the shop deal with laptops and they know more than the developer sitting in the office with you does. Chances are they do not fix laptops and or phones and have no experience in it whatsoever. If you spill a liquid on your laptop, put it out to dry or google what to do. If it doesn’t come back on after that, then take it to an IT professional who specialises in fixing damaged laptops.
IT professionals understand all applications known to man
If I have never used it, I don’t know how it works. Whenever you are required to use a new application, the best way to go about it is to watch a few tutorials first. You are sure to find one or two on Youtube. Expecting someone in IT to know how everything works is crazy. You wouldn’t ask a dentist to perform brain surgery, would you?
IT professionals always have a solution to any error
Sometimes errors come and go on their own, for instance, if you update the software on your phone or laptop and it causes some feature to malfunction one morning and by the next it’s fine, then yay! The IT guy you took it to didn’t do anything ‘behind the scenes’.
IT professionals have jobs other than providing support
This applies to developers mostly. When you see an IT person at their desk, alone, that doesn’t mean they are free. Developers have tasks assigned to them that have nothing to do with helping someone restart their laptop, log in to the system, change their password, or fix their email. They were hired to be developers.
Some people think emails from IT are not necessary
When the IT team in a company sends out an email, read it. Going to the department a few days later because you can’t do something in the system is annoying and yet communication was provided.
Everybody in IT knows what any error means
If you are experiencing any sort of error, give a clear description of the error when reporting it. Most errors come with error messages, so the least you could do is just read that message or better yet take a screenshot of it and send it to whomever you are asking for assistance.
All problems are IT related
Don’t install apps from shady sites, don’t download movies or music from shady sites and don’t click on any ad you come across. Sometimes users cause their own problems.
IT does not need to be consulted
When a company is procuring devices to be used, e.g laptops, cables, chargers, etc, it’s always advisable to ask for advice from the IT department. They know what specs are good enough. This saves a lot of back and forth when the devices acquired aren’t working as expected because somebody got crappy specs.
All IT professionals are skilled differently. It helps to remember that.