Ten Things We Love About IT

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Now that, if you're lucky, you've spent St. Valentine's Day reminding your loved ones why you care about them, it might also be a good time to honestly remind yourself why you love IT even in the worst of times. With little ado or fanfare, here are 10 reasons IT professionals keep coming back for more no matter how shabbily they get treated or how unappreciated they might be:

Playing with the Cool Gear: We all know that IT in the enterprise is supposed to be about adding value to the business. But when you get right down to it, playing with all the cool gear is roughly the equivalent of a trip to the toy store every day.

Laughing at End Users: There isn't a day that goes by without some end user doing something completely moronic. Not to be mean about it, but it does make for colorful conversations over drinks and dinner.

The Inside View: There is no business process that in one way or another isn't touched by IT. The ability to have that inside perspective on everything going on in the company gets addictive.

Like Machines Better than People: Not to say that IT professionals hate people, but machines at least are more predictable.

Playing Charades with Business Executives: The people who hire IT usually have a vague idea of what they really want from IT, so most meetings wind up being an elaborate exercise in charades.

Spy versus Spy: There are unknown malevolent forces at work trying to steal your company's secrets. Part of you wishes they would all just go away; but another part of you enjoys the cat and mouse security game.

Playing Detective: For some unexplained reason, something always goes wrong with IT. Figuring out what exactly happened when can rival any good mystery novel.

Liar's Poker: Nothing in IT is priced as advertised, so negotiating with vendors winds up being an elaborate game of Liar's Poker where you get to play using somebody else's money.

Solving Puzzles: Making things that were never really designed to work together in the first place cooperate can be one of most satisfying things in the world.

Changing the Business: When everything comes together just right, IT can literally transform an entire business like nothing else.

Of course, if anybody asks, working in IT is one of the most frustrating jobs in the world; you are surrounded by idiots, poorly designed systems and software that for the most part is fundamentally broken. Despite all that, it's still kind of fun!