Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I had no idea they wrote a book about it but it's a great graphic

We take this for granted, but then we are techies, geeks and sometimes intelligent beings. This post presumes you sometimes get out of your comfort zone and that's okay.

But what if you were not so intelligent? What if you were not a geek?

Could you still do it?

Could you do LOTF?

What is LOTF? Learning On the Fly

Every IT person has had to do this at one time(or many times) or another. How they handle it will dictate how you work with them or see them. Interviewing question? Not exactly but if you were the only person available at 3am with a down server, what would you do? I like asking consultants and job interviewees that question as it tells me a lot about them and their abilities or lack of them.

Now customers reading this will say, we don't want you to learn on the job, we are paying you to be an expert. Sadly, no you aren't, in most cases so it appears een when you call us for help.

So while I understand your pain, you don't understand your pain which is what we are here for, to help. Sometimes that means we need to go beyond our knowledge and learn something, fast too. Try that with your average Microsoft admins and see what you get.

Do I know how to develop applications? No, but that doesn't stop me from editing or adjusting some agents and their functions if I feel they are impacting my/your servers.

Could I fix your Lotus Domino server in a foreign language? Yes, most languages which I can read and even some I can't, because like the characters in The Matrix I can get the information if required. Do I speak Russian, Portugese, Italian or Arabic? No, but that is not what is required is it?

Do I know your Operating System? Some better than others, but do I really need to? Sometimes, and if no one else is around, I will figure it out too, because that's my job, to beat the no-win scenario which many Microsoft admins get defeated by only to leave your servers dead for another day. Many of my fellow bloggers at do this too and I am happy to say we enjoy this challenge. Wouldn't everyone?

Have I failed, very rarely, delayed sometimes yes, but it's that innate ability to adjust to circumstances which makes the difference every time.

Whether it's troubleshooting, marketing, sales, consulting, advising or competitive discussions, work with what you have but don't remain too focused to miss that elusive piece of information which can save the day, the client and in the case of Star Trek, the ship.

So keep learning, your career demands it of you and it's fun sometimes too.


  1. When I saw the title, I was thinking "Lord of the Flies"

    Glad I was wrong :)

  2. Try this one: I've had to LOTFTTI (learn on the fly, then teach it)when an instructor was unavailable (this was many years ago)

    How's that for pressure? and in front of 15 students!!