I work in Intel IT and run our IT Subject Matter Expert program. Often I am asked how to determine if an IT employee should be considered a Subject Matter Expert. There are many subjective measurements to figure this out. I have been documenting the often observed attributes of IT experts for a while now. If you are curious whether you’re an expert? take my “Are you an IT Expert?” quiz:
- Have you have been “on call” for the last ten years even though you don’t get call pay?
- Are you a member of the mysterious and elusive “fifth level of support?”
- Do you know too much history? For example, you don’t just know how the system runs, you know why management decided to buy the system. And you know that because you told management to buy the system.
- Is your schedule is so swamped that you actually block out your lunch, which typically gets double-booked?
- Do your peers in Asia assume that you work evenings? And do your peers in Europe assume that you start work at midnight? And, are your peers in the US concerned with how much coffee you drink?
- When someone calls you for help, do you realize after a few minutes that the caller is from some other company?
- Do you justify not backing up your own data at home because you know that the MTF for hard drives exceeds 100 years? However, you’re now familiar with disk recovery tools because you didn’t back up your own data when your own drive crashed.
- Do you actually enjoy reading technical papers, journals, and blogs?
- Will you pause a TV show if they show code on the screen so that you can critique its level of authenticity to your family?
- Do you know what a TRS-80 is?
If you answer Yes to more than three questions, you might be an IT Expert!
So that’s my take on it. How do you define what an IT Subject Matter Expert is?