I.T. Confidential

C.D. Rahm (2013)
Review date: September 2013
Summary

This book is written in the style of a guide, the purpose of which is to introduce a presumptive IT employee to the profession and its peculiarities. It starts with the job interview and advances through managers, colleagues, projects and meetings, and consultants. I don't think it misses any important ingredients of a proper IT job.  

Opinion

The author has written this book under a pseudonym, which is perfectly understandable, because he (I guess it's a "he" because the language resembles "guy language", at least in my opinion) is very good at putting words and expressions on things that happen in an organization, which are not always very kind. In fact, this is the essence of this book, and it's what I'll remember it by. To rephrase; this book is very good at dissecting behaviors, management styles, people types, and other things we encounter at work. The author has a rather sharp pen, and he uses it very well. Actually, sometimes I found some statements to be on the border of being almost immature, but it makes the book even more fun to read.

Basically, the author takes shots at things most of us would like to say out loud about things happening at work. Let's take some examples. In the first chapter, job descriptions are discussed. There we learn that "fast-paced" means "hectic", "constantly changing priorities" means "disorganized", and "self-starter" means "skeleton crew". A few pages later, the reader learns that job titles are used by companies that want people to work harder, but don't want to give them a raise. And this goes on. Recruiters get their share, and so do command and control management and "Flamethrower management". Nobody is safe; managers, co-workers, company events, tech support, meetings, and consultants are all scrutinized through the author's many times too honest lens. 

In my opinion, the author is a keen observer, but tends to generalize too soon, which again makes reading more entertaining. As I said, sometimes the text is just on the border between cynical and childish, but I agree with most of the observations, and the book is an unbeatable quote machine.

So is it worth reading? Well... Reading this book is exactly like watching a comedy. It took me roughly two hours to read, and that's the amount of time one would spend watching a fun flick. During these two hours I was really entertained, but my take-aways were quite limited. I underlined some funny quotes and chuckled with agreement, but I won't consult this book for any of its wisdom, unless I want to find some cynical quotes.

So my recommendation is this: Read this one to be entertained, and stop at that. The book doesn't contain any advice anyway. It just describes things in a very amusing way. It doesn't take itself seriously and neither should you. Consider this a colleague's therapy text :)

Who should read this book

If you're tired of watching "Office Space" and want to read a book for a change. you're going to love this one!




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