What am I?

I’ve been this industry for 11 years now, 13 if you count those years I’ve freelanced as a system administrator during my university days. Which industry? High tech? Some include biotech in this so it’s too wide — nah. Infocomm? That’s what Singapore likes to call us though technically it also includes those people in the telco industry, and I don’t know why besides that the Infocomm Authority of Singapore (IDA) is a merger of the old NCB (National Computer Board) and TAS (Telecommunications Authority of Singapore). Software? Well, software developers like it or not can’t run away from the hardware, and where does that lead the system administrators and network engineers? Computer? Ditto — where does that lead the network guys? ICT? That’s information and communications technology, sounds like infocomm except more pretentious. Yucks. Information technology? That’s what I usually call it actually though it still doesn’t feel exactly right. I dunno.

So it’s IT? I’ve been doing IT for 11 years? I’m an IT professional, I just do IT?

What do you call it then?

So what does ‘IT’ cover? Software? Hardware? Firmware/embedded? Systems? PCs? MIS/EUC (for those uninitiated that’s Management Information System/End User Computing)? Internet? Network? Multimedia?

Which side are you on? Software vendor? Hardware vendor? System integrator? User advocate? System administration? Project management? User support? Research? Education? Consulting? Or none of the above?

Who do you work for? Multi-national? Small local company? Large local company? Start-up? Internet company? Government-related? Civil/public service? Military?

Which niche market(s) do you serve? Oh this is a tricky one. It could be multiple products to multiple markets (think IBM) or it could be specific product to specific market (think Corillian, who sells only Internet banking software to banks). Or it could sell a specific product to multiple markets (think Documentum, selling a document management software) or multiple products to a specific market (I tire of giving examples, you try).

How about your pecking order in the company? Do you do? Manage? Lead? (what’s the difference?) Strategize? Sell? Support?

I suppose a taxanomy is in order here. A large map showing the various spaces available in this ‘IT’ industry, something what these research companies like Gartner or Forrester often come up with. It would be a huge map though. Just say software and it’s a nightmare to classify already.

Ok, ok, so what am I? I manage a software development group in a multi-national, mid-sized payment software vendor company delivering a niche software product to bank for use in their card payment business. Phew! A mouthful. Software – check. Software vendor – check. Mid-sized multi-national company – check. Specific product to specific market – check. Manage – check.

What’s this blog entry about? Nothing — just a reality check on myself, and what the heck am I doing in an arbitration course with my final exams in the next two days! Argh! And it’s way past midnight and I have another exam tomorrow! Double argh! Go to sleep!

Hope I pass.

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