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  • Writer's pictureTerry

Dive Right In

After getting my first certification in scuba diving last year, I was hooked. :)

Continuing my diver education made me realize there are so many lessons that I learned in IT that are very similar.

Always have a backup! One of my first bosses drilled that into my consciousness. Many hours of work and valuable data have been saved in my experiences dealing with hardware failures or simply things not going as planned. In diving, this is literally a lifesaver when a failure at depth can have fatal consequences.

Trust your team. You have a team for a reason. Complimentary skills are just the beginning. Diversity brings great ideas to the table and with everyone pitching in, not only is the work more fun, but the results are exponentially better. Underwater, your dive buddy also plays a critical role. From checking your gear, assisting with any issues to sharing that "Shark!" moment with you.

Maintain your systems. Maintenance is never the fun part of technology, but it is such a critical duty. Making sure your software and hardware has the latest patches and firmware can save you from a catastrophic outage. Keeping your dive gear maintained may be a bit more fun but also can save your life.

Keep a watchful eye. The best problem is one that you avoided. In running a technology operation, that meant monitoring systems for those little signs that a failure was coming and taking steps to resolve it before it impacted anything. In diving, keep an eye on your gauges, your buddy, and be aware of what's around you.

But there are a couple of lesson from diving that I think needs to be brought more to IT (and business in general:)

Relax. In diving that means better buoyancy and less air consumption. In IT, it could lead to better outcomes as we don't rush to the new shiny object and we take more time to understand what the result is that we're trying to achieve. It doesn't mean less urgency, but less headlong rushing.

Help make a difference. We know that the oceans are a key to life and must take care of them. The dive community takes a serious stand to make a difference by acting. Whether it's picking up trash in a Dive Against Debris or planting more coral. Every action we take can have a beneficial affect on our future.

Wouldn't it be great if we all viewed our work the same way. Imagine the positive impact we could have on the people we mentor, our teams and the day to day interactions we have. And it would lead to better business outcomes too.

More dive training for me next week. Maybe the sea will inspire some more insight!

I'd love to hear your thoughts. Any other parallels you'd like to share?

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