20 Requirements for Working in IT

What do you think should be some requirements for working in IT? What about just tools that you can use when your aunt wants you to work on something computer related for her? This was just a thought that popped up with me recently. This thought came to mind because a brother who works in IT doesn’t have a Twitter account but my sister does. Let it be clear that I’m not trying to shoot down my brother here, but rather just thinking about things an IT person can do to be at their best. Now some of these may be simple but all bases need to be covered here.

  1. Personal Email Address – Not having a personal email address is like being internet homeless. Don’t be internet homeless if you’re supposed to help others with technology.
  2. Sending a Calendar Invite – 
  3. Twitter Account – Not saying you need to actually tweet, but being able to use and understand it seems fundamental.
  4. Facebook Account – If email is internet homeless then not having a Facebook is like not having a name. Ok, that might be a stretch but you need to know and understand Facebook. How else can you argue with the rest of the world that the new changes are just part of software?
  5. Google Account – Some might say that’s only cause I’m a Google fan boy but I disagree. I appreciate Google products but I know when they make a crappy one. Google+ has it’s advantages over Facebook and the hangouts are by far the biggest one. Know about them and use them.
  6. LinkedIn – This is by far the best social media tool to connect you to a potential employer. Once you’ve made an account make sure you add contacts you know and join groups that interest you.
  7. Smartphone – One could argue that this is a life luxury that they can’t afford. While I can agree, to some degree, I still think it’s a huge asset. There is a lot to learn about the mobile space.
  8. eBay – Want to find that Barbie Christmas ornament? You’re probably going to need eBay. I did.
  9. PayPal – If you want to make purchases online and specifically eBay, you need PayPal. Period.
  10. RSS Reader – Do you enjoy reading sports news, tech blogs, comics, etc? You can either browse to every site you enjoy every day (my wife does for some reason) or you can add them to an RSS reader and keep up with them in one place.
  11. Understand a Popular Browser other than IE – It seems some have their opinion of IE and others of it’s users. All I’m saying is to understand the difference other browsers and have some of them installed in case you need to do some testing. Use what makes you happy. Firefox. Chrome. Opera. Safari.
  12. Text Editor other than Notepad – Windows Notepad is a sorry excuse for a text editor. I prefer Notepad++ but there are others out there. Just find something more functional.
  13. Screen Print and Crop – If you don’t know how to grab a screen print and crop out what you need, then you need to learn.
  14. FTP Client – I use FileZilla but there are many out there. I personally don’t like what is built into Windows.
  15. Screen Sharing – join.me. Hamachi. CrossLoop.
  16. Zip UtilityWinrar is my personal favorite but 7 Zip is another good choice.
  17. Hard Drive Space Issues – I admit I didn’t have a good bold name for this one but what do you do when your friend calls cause their computer says it is out of space? Any idea where to start? WinDirStat is a pretty good place. It will tell you everything on a drive and how the space is allocated. You can quickly find the issue, after you free up some space cause the hard drive is so full, of course.
  18. Tool to Manage Remote Desktop Connections – Working with 15 different servers on a regular basis and you need to remote into them? Microsoft has a tool that I use, is pretty handy, and very simply named Remote Desktop Connection Manager. There are other offerings.
  19. WiFi Analyzer Tool – If you are setting up a wireless router you need to know the best configuration. A tool I prefer to help find the info you need is inSSIDer.
  20. Linux – You don’t have to be a Linux guru but at least install it on a computer once in your life. For that matter, make sure you can install Windows too. You might learn something you didn’t know before.
There may be more that could be added here but most would agree that this is a good starting place. If you can do all of these then you are well on your way to being able to support Grandma every time she calls.
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