It's just like hardware, only softer, right?

IT/software manager is leaving this company, and that means an opportunity for someone who already understand the business's IT issues from the inside, reports a pilot fish on the scene.

"Some in the department put in for the position, believing they were qualified to be the next IT/software manager," fish says. "I didn't apply -- I loved what I was doing and didn't want the change or the hassle.

"But one of the network/hardware guys decided to apply, and received the promotion to IT/software manager based on his years with the company."

As part of the transition, the new boss begins interviewing his staff, and a couple weeks in, it's fish's turn.

Fish is a little puzzled when the boss begins by talking about his programming experience with Microsoft Access.

Then it's fish's turn, and she talks about her experience with large packaged software that takes many months to implement -- along with databases, upgrades, data conversion, customizations, interfaces, data loads and everything else involved in the many applications she has worked on through the years.

But once she has run through what she does, the boss doesn't ask her any questions about big enterprise applications. Instead, he again starts talking about Access and his programming experience.

"It was then I realized he didn't know what I was talking about," sighs fish. "He was attempting to relate it to Access. I think there was also a slight problem with understanding some of the terms I used.

"I asked what he thought about the systems he was managing, and he said they seemed 'involved.' I didn't ask what 'involved' meant, as I no longer assumed he understood what I was talking about -- or knew anything about software."

Sharky knows you've got a true tale of IT life, so send it to me at sharky@computerworld.com. I'll file off the identifying marks, and you'll score a sharp Shark shirt if I use it. Add your comments below, and read some great old tales in the Sharkives.

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