Lessons Learned from Working in IT

In the following article I will try to extract the most notable lessons learned from my experience in the IT field for the past few years.

A quick overview for my dear readers who don’t know my background, I studied Computer Science(CMPS) at the American University of Beirut(AUB) while working at the Computing and Networking Services (CNS) on campus. Following my graduation I worked in IT development at a banking/financial institution while doing some free lance web-development and IT related consultancies.

Overall, I had my share of working on both hardware and software…and the lessons learned all fit in together and I will be pinpointing them as briefly as possible  in the below lines:

  • No problem is too complex. The key to success in this is to decompose the complexity of the issue into smaller manageable parts. Afterwards one only needs to resolve a group of simpler issues that fit in together.
  • Automation is the key to ongoing growth and sustainability of many companies. This is due to the fact that any requested behavior can be mimicked and coded accordingly, with as many exceptions as needed, replacing the need for human interaction with machines.
  • Technology is advancing faster than we expect. The rate at which technology is evolving allows for sophisticated solutions to be designed and implemented with growing speed and ease. What was nearly impossible 10 years ago can be developed in a week today.
  • IT team leaders can make or break the company. One of the keys for successful IT teams is a team leader who knows how to leverage the expertise of the team, provide enough autonomy while still closely overseeing the work.
  • Programming in multiple languages is becoming a must. Knowing one programming language …in our times…is no longer enough to keep with the pace of advancement and to develop the solutions the best fit the needs.
  • GUI is king. Graphical user interface and packaging became as important as the actual functionality of the solutions requested as users demand the simplest and most intuitive tools they can have. People want eye-candy with minimal intellectual effort to use the applications.

In this context, and after checking the above with some of my friends and colleagues, the same lessons apply in most fields and I will definitely be taking those lessons with me in my consultancy and management work from now on.

I hope they help you in one way or another in your career…and I’m open for your comments and suggestions as always. 🙂

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My Addiction: Volunteerism


Day in day out I find myself more and more indulged in volunteer work. For years now I’ve volunteered in numerous organizations, clubs, campaigns and on some personal initiatives. Yet I wonder sometimes: What makes me volunteer? What makes so many people around me volunteer as well? And how come so many others don’t even find sense and logic in why we volunteer…

At 12 years old, I started my first volunteering role in a student based organization at my school called “Student Life Organization” (SLO). I took the first step in my life-long volunteering journey but never knew that it will a life changing experience back then.

During my school years, I took several roles in the “SLO”, joined clubs and a varsity team…but I never really thought I will go this far from university and on.

University too was full of “extra curricular activities” and so I joined clubs, committees, groups, organizations and didn’t stop there…I launched even more clubs and organizations myself…and I still serve in them day after day.

Some ask me why do I put so much time and effort? How come I don’t get bored of all those meetings, activities, workshops and projects? How come all those trainings and activities are for free and we even all pay to do them?

My answer is simple, it’s an addiction. It’s both a hobby and a conviction.

Moreover I believe it abides by Newton’s Laws of Motion (I know it isn’t meant for humans but humor me here). According to Newton’s First Law of Motion, an object at rest tends to stay at rest. Without force acting on an object, nothing will change. So if I may compare, a person at rest tends to stay at rest so we could say that all people need then is a little push, some “force”, to get them going. And once in motion, people tend to stay in motion.

That is exactly why I constantly try to motivate or “push” people to volunteer, to do something, to join me or others in some organization/activity/campaign. You never know when this small thing you volunteer in becomes a life changing experience.

The beauty of it is that unlike regular work or chores, it’s not tiring but rather refreshing and invigorating. It fills you up with so much happiness and energy to know that you have helped someone, served your community or saved something in the environment. For me it has been the sole source of optimism and motivation to do everything else in my life.

If so many millions around the world volunteer everyday …and they keep doing it..then there should be something to it.

On a final note, I believe if you haven’t volunteered in something yet..take the first step and do something and do it now! 😀