Living on the wire is an IT state of being. Connectivity, being connected and making sure packets are flowing is our way of life. These are the best of times for technology. It does not matter if you are going to school, going to work or going to play, communication and staying in touch with your favorite content has never been so attainable. In my last five years at NECO, I see that not only is the technology changing, but that technology is changing students, faculty and staff. This is a great time to be in my field because everyone is using it and it is has become a major part of everyone’s life.
Alright, I will admit it is kind of a drag at social events, having to always answer a lot of tech questions. Comes with the job, they say. When I first started at NECO, I was amazed at how little technology was being used. Flash forward five years and it is everywhere. This must be a great time to be a student, as you have all this information at your fingertips, which you can access from multiple devices, from anywhere and at any time.
One my proudest achievements during my time as director is being able to give students true email and collaboration tools though Google Apps for Education. Before Google mail, students had small, unusable mail accounts with a clunky interface. We have flipped that on its head by offering the power of Google to all NECO staff and faculty, but most importantly, the student body. It is these kinds of modifications that are for the greater good, making real change, and why this job is the best one I have ever had.
I was being interviewed during an audit once and was asked, “What is the best part of working at NECO?” I had always worked in a corporate environment and this was my first job in the education sector, so my answer was pretty easy. I had always worked at companies that either made some kind of widget or even just moved invoices around, buying from one vendor and selling it to someone else at a markup. I told the auditor, “We make doctors and doctors help people. What IT job can be better than that?” I still love September when the rotunda fills again with the doctors of tomorrow and I know that in our small way as a department, we are making the world a better place, one OD at a time.
As long as I am here, we are going to push the envelope. We never want to rest on our laurels or think we have everything covered. The new normal in IT is to be in a constant state of change, as the IT Department has turned a corner at NECO. Rather than having a “can’t or won’t do it” attitude, we ask how we can make it better for the students, faculty and staff. The challenges still remain, but each success builds on another. We are always ready to try the newest things, push the limit of our capabilities and stay unafraid of change as long as the goal is the greater good. As long as there is a wire, we are going to ride it and hope to pull you along.