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IT Pro Day 2019: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

IT Pro Day 2019: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger

Even after all these years in technology, I remain in awe of IT pros. Watching my kids’ classes, it seems everyone—including elementary school students and other civilians—is practicing truly geeky, hands-on-keyboards arts. We’re also seeing more casual administrators—people with a keen interest in spending some time managing networks and applications on the way to another role. But IT pros are different.

Like teachers, firefighters, and healthcare workers, IT pros tend to go where help is most needed. They endure simultaneously cacophonous and freezing server rooms, suffer the indignities of cost center budget processes, juggle multiple business teams with competing priorities, and regularly work nights, weekends, and holidays, all while presenting calm to assure end users. IT pros don’t work jobs. They’re called to be helpful.

And today they’re doing something they haven’t done in a decade in response to external forces. They’re jumping with a net to fail fast, while learning new (and in some cases immature) solutions like hybrid, cloud-native, data science, automation, and more. They’re also accepting the push toward service-based licensing, even with the added specter of a career-limiting OpEx bill only a click—or API call—away.

And none of this would be possible, especially including the major changes business now demands in the pursuit of transformation, without IT professionals. These projects demand conviction, endurance, and creative thinking about how they’ll be maintained years from now. They drive new needs to engage business leaders and ask tough or politically unpopular questions as they modernize legacy apps. And these projects are cornucopias of unknowns and new risks only considerable experience and skill can mitigate.

That’s why I remain in awe of IT pros. And on IT Pro Day 2019, it’s important we recognize the people in tech who make the world work. Here’s to the dedicated men and women who’ve charted their careers by solving problems, enabling the business, and are always there for us whenever we need help.

Perhaps it’s IT pros who are the original five nines.

-Patrick Hubbard


Patrick Hubbard is a Head Geek and technical product marketing director at SolarWinds. With over 20 years of IT experience spanning network management, data center, storage networks, VoIP, virtualization, and more, Hubbard's broad knowledge and hands-on expertise affirm his IT generalist authority. Hubbard’s initial interest in technology began with a grade school dive into Assembly on the Apple II, and eventually to a half-decade of technogenesis in skunkworks IT at American Airlines. Since then, Hubbard’s career has involved product management and strategy, technical evangelism, sales engineering and software development, all with a focus on application and service delivery for startups and Fortune 500 companies alike that span high tech, transportation, financial services and telecom industries. Since joining SolarWinds in 2007, Hubbard has combined his technical expertise with his IT customer perspective to develop SolarWinds’ online demo platform, launch the Head Geek program and create helpful content that speaks to fellow networking and systems professionals. He runs SolarWinds’ customer education and training program to empower IT Pros to resolve their IT management problems quickly and easily with SolarWinds software. Hubbard is also a Cisco® NetVet and a regular speaker at technology conferences for Ethernet, IPv6 and SDN.