Stories by Paul Glen

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

What Is a Job, Anyway?

With the economy ailing, the US presidential election in full swing and surveys showing cuts in next year's IT budgets, get ready to hear more and more about jobs. People will lose jobs. Evil corporations will export jobs. We will need more jobs. We will need better jobs. Not McJobs.