Feeds

Asperger's and IT: Why my prejudices are great for your business

But don't expect me to remember little Johnny's name

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Column Recently, Trevor Pott posted an article discussing prejudices in IT. I’ve been thinking hard about this exact problem for several months now. As a consultant to the SME market, every single prejudice I have directly affects my clients' IT infrastructure, potentially for 10 years.

Like Trevor, I have a disability. I live every day with Asperger's Syndrome.

The problem with Asperger’s is that those with it display (to quote Wikipedia) "intense preoccupation with a narrow subject, one-sided verbosity, restricted prosody, and physical clumsiness … as well as a lack of functional empathy”.

To explain, I’m a living breathing walking encyclopedia on a few, narrow and extremely limited topics. If I care about something, I care about it to the point of minutiae. If I don’t care, then as far as I'm concerned it may as well not even exist.

On a professional level this might seem to be a massive boon, but as a result of my lack of functional empathy it is like juggling chainsaws over a pit filled with crocodiles while it rains acid. Every day I force myself into situations that I’m not cut out to deal with socially.

One of the reasons that I am so damned good at what I do in IT is that computers don’t talk. They don’t expect me to know that they have three kids, two in high school and one in primary, or to remember to ask about them during my weekly, fortnightly or monthly site visit.

They don’t ask me how my day is going and expect me to realise that it's not an invitation for an in-depth discussion on what I learnt about Nutanix.

So how does this relate to my prejudices and why should this matter to my clients? Frankly, my prejudices matter because what I recommend to my clients must be the absolute best solution for their needs. Point blank, no excuses, period.

If it's not, then it can drive their business into the ground. They matter because clients often don’t have the skills to decide whether the solution I offer them is the best solution possible. My clients have to trust my word.

I’m painfully aware of my shortcomings. My Asperger’s means that sometimes I will get bogged down over the slightest detail. It means that I will agonise, long after it’s implemented and running like a well-oiled machine, over parts of your solution design.

It also means that I have systems in place to deal with the prejudices that I have developed during my years in IT. Know this: regardless of my prejudices, I will always, ALWAYS, do what is best for you and your business. I know my shortcomings, and if you’ve made it this far, now you do too.

I will design for you, and assist you in implementing, the best IT infrastructure that I can. This is what you pay me to do. Just please don’t be too upset if I forget little Johnny’s name. ®

Aaron Milne supplies IT system architecture, R&D, sysadmin and contract evaluation services to SMEs. He lives in Brisbane, Australia.

Reg-note

Somewhere on the autistic spectrum or just interested in joining the discussion? Head over to the Forums...

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
SAVE ME, NASA system builder, from my DEAD WORKSTATION
Anal-retentive hardware nerd in paws-on workstation crisis
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.