Dirty IT job No. 7: Legacy systems archaeologist
Believe it or not, Cobol developers are still in demand, says Jim Lanzalotto, vice president of Yoh, a technology talent and outsourcing firm.
Dirty IT job No. 6: Help desk zombie
Here’s the job that every IT professional hates. Bruce Kane, senior consultant at a messaging consultancy in North Carolina, defines a dirty job as “anything where you have to visit or talk to end-users. Help desk, desk side support, etc. Icky! Users have cooties!”
Dirty IT job No. 5: On-site reboot specialist
Closely related to the help desk zombie, but even lower on the totem pole, is the on-site reboot specialist, says Scott Crawford, research director at Enterprise Management Associates in Boulder, Colo. Unlike help desk or support vampires, the on-site rebootnik must venture out into the physical world and deal with actual people.
Dirty IT job No. 4: Interdepartmental peace negotiator
Cats and dogs, Democrats and Republicans, Martians and Venutians — they’re downright chummy compared to warring departments within many enterprises. Unfortunately, at some point they’ve got to pull together for the good of the company. That’s when you call in the negotiator to smooth ruffled feathers and break up the fights.
Dirty IT job No. 3: Enterprise espionage engineer (black ops)
Social engineer, con artist, penetration tester, or white hat hacker — whatever you call it, Jim Stickley has a dirty job that actually sounds like fun. As VP of engineering and CTO of TraceSecurity in Baton Rouge, La., Stickley gets to talk his way into a client’s offices, sneak into their datacenters, make off with the company’s vitals, then come back later to show them where their internal security broke down.
Dirty IT job No. 2: Datacenter migration specialist
Moving a datacenter is a dirty job. Moving one halfway across the country in 48 hours — that’s a really dirty job. But that was the task facing Scott Wilson and his firm, Marathon Consulting, when one of its clients needed to close down its Chicago datacenter the day before Thanksgiving 2003 and open for business in New York the following Monday.
Dirty IT job No. 1: Sludge systems architect
Sometimes dirty jobs are just that — dirty. These days, technology goes everywhere: oil rigs, pulp mills, sewage plants, you name it. Somebody’s gotta clean up the mess and keep the lights on.