By John Sonmez April 6, 2017

Information Technology (IT): What Is It?

When I first received this question I must confess I thought it was a really silly question… C'mon, how in the earth would someone not know what IT is?

However, after reading the question, I became aware that it could really help a lot of people because I see a lot of developers making some confusion with this.

I find this definition to be exclusive and I must tell you why…

Transcript Of The Video

John Sonmez: Hey, what's up? John Sonmez here from simpleprogrammer.com. I got a question about Information Technology. What's that? I almost tossed this question out because I was like, “Really?” But then I realized that there's actually some value in this question. Let me read it here. This is from Ohad and he says—he's not sure about his name, he says, “Ohad pronounced Oad I guess.” Okay, well, I'll guess Oad too. He says, “Hi John, I tried to look after videos about IT at your channel and I found none. I hope you can share with others by posting a video about what your thoughts on this is. Jobs, what is IT, is it worth it?” He says, “No, I'm not lazy. I looked after information and I actually found some pretty OK stuff. I guess I just want to hear one of your stories and your experience (if there is any with this subject). Thank you very much for reading this email. Have a wonderful day!”

All right, so I don't mean—I don't mean to make fun of you. This is a valid question I think is—and the reason why this is a valid question, I mean because some of you are like, “Oh, that's kind of dumb. IT? What is that? Information Technology. What are you even talking about here?” That's the problem. I think it's pretty ambiguous. I was just thinking about this when I was thinking about tossing out the question and I said, “Well, wait a minute. What does IT actually mean today? What does it mean Information Technology?” We kind of just toss it around and we don't really know what it means. It was a little bit more distinct I think maybe 10 years ago, but now what does it involve, especially for those of you that are new software developers, some of you are confused. Honestly, I've gotten some emails, “What is the difference between IT and software development and what does it encompass?”

In the corporate world, we call it IT and we kind of just know what that is, but what does it actually mean? IT Information Technology, this is my definition of it. It's basically the entire scope of all the jobs and everything that's related to computers and technology in business. That has sort of changed a lot over the years because we used to have IT people and IT people were the people that would come and set up your computer at your corporate job and install Microsoft Windows on there and image your system and if your hard drive crashes they would fix it and they would set up your network and all that. I think there's still that part of IT, but IT is also now the dev ops people, the developer operations people who are part developer and part operations people who do the infrastructure and also make sure that the software gets deployed. IT is technically you as a software developer, right? You're IT as well because you're part of IT. I think that was always kind of part of it.

Information Technology is sort of that whole big scope of every single job role and responsibility that as to do with computers in the business setting. That's how I would define it. Some people might define it differently but that's really what it is. The IT industry is that entire industry and it's really big.

But a lot of things are changing, because again, we used to use the term to talk about the help desk people, the people that would set up your computer and networking and stuff, but a lot of times now we've got the cloud. We've got AWS where we're basically using virtual machines and we're using cloud based hosting and so a lot of companies aren't—they don't even really have IT, they're outsourcing IT essentially because that infrastructure, those guys that used to run those network wires and used to give you an IP address they're not needed anymore because we're able to solve that with technology. There are still plenty of those people around, but I'm just saying in general, a lot of companies where IT was sort of, when I was—earlier in my software development career, it was just like, “Duh?” Now it's actually—there's a lot of new software developers that are like, “Well, what is that? I don't understand it? Don't we just spin up a machine in the cloud? What is IT? I don't get it. They're software developers who write code and that's it and then we have dev ops guys and we deploy the code. That's it.” IT in some companies has been eliminated based on that. You don't necessarily have to have a network guy. You don't necessarily have to have a help desk guy because you've got this ability as technologies change.

That's really what it is and it's something that, like I said, is evolving. Hopefully that clears up. Some of you are like, “Oh, this is—what are you even talking about, John? This is dumb.” I get that if you've been in the industry for a while. I want to make this video for some of the newer developers that don't quite understand like this, because you might have never seen IT like we used to when you used to have to get a subnet address and split up the IP and put the subnet mask in and all this stuff. You had to have someone that knew how to do all that stuff, because now a lot of it is automatic or you don't need that or you're running wires and twisting cables nad all that kind of stuff. There'll still always be some of that, but a lot of companies can actually exist with everyone remote and you don't actually have a real IT department in the company and I think that the way for the future. I think that that kind of IT is going to disappear but the general IT that includes software developers and all of those other roles that's' always going to be around obviously.

All right, if you like this video, if you want to get more videos like this one where I answer questions and give you life advice and tell you all kinds of fun stuff and stories, go ahead and click that Subscribe button below if you haven't already and I'll talk to you next time. Take care.

About the author

John Sonmez

John Sonmez is the founder of Simple Programmer and a life coach for software developers. He is the best selling author of the book "Soft Skills: The Software Developer's Life Manual."