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Stories by Paul Glen

Paul Glen: Check your work, or else

We geeks must transform our eagerness to please users into eagerness to help. There's a big difference.

Written by Paul Glen10 Sept. 12 10:14

Paul Glen: Truth and project time estimates

Geeks are devoted to Truth, with a capital T. The question 'When will it be done?' feels like a request to lie. Insider; registration required)

Written by Paul Glen13 June 12 18:32

Edgy Communication

We techies need to take the edge off once in a while.

Written by Paul Glen22 May 12 00:37

Fixing the Technology Isn't Always Enough

Every IT person has had one of these situations. A user comes to you with a problem. You fix it and announce, "Problem solved" or "Case closed." But you're met with a long, uncomfortable silence or a blank stare. It's an awkward moment that you can end only by

Written by Paul Glen24 April 12 01:12

Words Are First Hurdle for New Tech Managers

New managers struggle. They also don't get much help -- or sympathy. My last column elicited a lot of heartfelt reader emails about the difficulty of, and lack of support for, the transition from technical work to management. My conversations with those

Written by Paul Glen27 March 12 00:52

Paul Glen: In Tech, Management Is Not a Promotion

Whenever I hear a technical person say, "I just got promoted into management," I know he's in for a rough ride. Because chances are he doesn't understand what he's gotten himself into, and whoever gave him the job hasn't prepared him well. Very rarely do they realize that in technical work, this new role isn't a promotion -- it's a career change.

Written by Paul Glen27 Feb. 12 22:09

Paul Glen: The 'Low Affect' Effect

In my exploration of the differences between technical and business people, nothing surprised me more than this: Business people tend to think that we don't care about anything. One of their biggest complaints is that we don't share their passion for the business. When-ever I hear this, I have an immediate, visceral reaction of outrage: "How could you possibly think I don't care about anything? I work like a dog to try to turn your visions into reality!"

Written by Paul Glen23 Jan. 12 22:11

Want to own the future? Build rich relationships

For more than 20 years, I've been hearing complaints, concerns and panicked hysteria about the end of the IT career as we know it. Just below the surface, we all seem to think that we're about to get the ax. And that's because we persistently misunderstand what our business partners want most from us. We think they just need the best technician, but they don't.

Written by Paul Glen20 Dec. 11 03:56

Talking to the Business: Our Problems, Their Visions

The first meeting for a project is a tense affair. There can be a lot of new things coming at you all at once. New co-workers. New technology. New processes. And, perhaps most problematic, new business partners.

Written by Paul Glen08 Nov. 11 02:22

When Techies Speak, the Devil's in the Details

Every IT professional has been here: A business person asks you a question, and your thorough answer just isn't good enough. You try to give more specific information in an attempt to break through the communication barrier. But the more you try, the worse things seem to get. In the end, the business person is seething with impatience, so you start to get confused and angry.

Written by Paul Glen11 Oct. 11 00:57

How to be a proactive task handler

Early in my career, I prided myself on my ability to follow orders well. But eventually, I realized that truly serving my boss required more than just doing as I was told -- or as I thought I'd been told.

Written by Paul Glen22 Feb. 11 04:51

What it takes to boost low morale

The morale of our people is just terrible," the CTO of a government agency recently confided in me. "What can I do about it?" he asked.

Written by Paul Glen23 Nov. 10 05:33

Why does IT have little influence in a company

A while back, I read a survey that showed that, other than directors of human resources, CIOs were considered the least influential senior executives in most organisations.

Written by Paul Glen26 Oct. 10 14:27

Processes and the people factor

As an IT management consultant, I look at a lot of processes. They're everywhere. And so are the misconceptions about what makes them useful.

Written by Paul Glen27 Sept. 10 23:40