Just a quick couple of thoughts on the topic of Why IT……
One thing for me was that IT is an ever changing job and always provides new sets of challenges. I never felt that I was doing the same thing over and over again. And, for me, that is a good reason for IT as a career.
When I started out, as others have said, it wasn’t called IT. My career started out in telecommunications and data communications. I gradually evolved to IT because data processing and data communications became inseparable, and that hasn’t changed!
We are asked “what gets you through the daily grind” but that assumes that the day is actually a grind. That may be true when you are looking for a job or a contract, but it seldom is when you find the right job that challenges you sufficiently. IT jobs, just like any others, have their good days and their bad days.
Perhaps another benefit of IT is that it attracts many fine people. there are always others who enjoy problem solving, who enjoy figuring out the problems and who can feel comfortable as “geeks” among thei peers. But IT is also about working with other people, joining in teams and trying to be innovative (even if we aren’t currently doing well at it).
If I had to give “newbies” in IT any advice, it would be to get as many experiences and perspectives on IT as possible. Don’t stay in operations, don’t just be a coder, don’t do only project management, don’t stay on the user side forever - try to do it all!
And don’t assume your career will unfold on its own – you need to decide where and when you want to move around. This is no different than with any other career!
So, how different is IT from any other job, other than being a special technology?