So as I was on the train this morning, I was reading through my tweets and I came across this one by @MarsDominion (smart cat, you should follow him if you like tech/sysadmin type stuff) on twitter, under the hashtag #sysadmin:
This really got me thinking about what technical workers do for a living. I can’t speak for most, or anyone other than myself, but one of the major ways I’ve gotten to where I am is by learning how to fail. I know that this isn’t a new concept, nor am I the progenitor of it, just my thoughts on it.
Since I am largely self-taught, and mentored on the job, I learned early on that not only am I going to fail, but software is going to fail, hardware is going to fail, systems are going to fail, and people are going to fail. Once I accepted this truth, I realized what makes me good at what I do is actually the ability to fail; I fail, I try again, maybe I fail or maybe I succeed, but I learn from my failure and do it differently, or note what doesn’t work and continue to fail until I get it right. Then I go back and figure out why the failures happened, trying my best to understand the failures and incorporate both the successes and failures in my foundation of knowledge, so the next time I run across a similar issue, I have a good idea of what to try first.
I believe that this is one underlying skill needed by any good tech worker, whether you are a Systems Administrator, a Systems Engineer, Helpdesk, Programmer, Network Engineer or any other form of person that works in the trenches with technology on a daily basis.
To truly succeed in technology, one must first learn how to fail.