I spent many years of my life testing software, trying to figure out how to break things. Eventually it affected many aspects of my life: “What happens if you press TWO buttons on the Coke machine?” “Hmm, I’d try that, but probably no one ever tested it, so maybe not”. No ability to actually fix anything in that job mind you, just documenting that it was broken.

Next I was lab admin, where I set things up for other people to help them find things that were broken. I got to plan for that, and try to come up with the best / most efficient ways for them do to so, but still things would be broken and I couldn’t really do anything about it.  When things needed to change, I planned and implemented those changes. I integrated that experience back into my house, which is a mesh of interactive computer systems.

Then my role switched to security, which effectively translated to finding things that were broken, and then telling people they needed to fix them. Under IBM’s model, mostly ineffective, because no one was required to actually fix anything. I got to complain, they got to complain, and generally everyone was unhappy. That also still has me looking for things that could go wrong.

Now I am an infrastructure person. My job is to figure out what might break, and come up with a plan that either avoids them breaking, has them break in the least painful way, or at the very least has a plan to recover in the fastest most efficient way possible.  And then responding to issues as they arise (proactively and reactively).

I also am responsible for finding business and application processes that are inefficient or not effective, but now my job ALSO includes coming up with a way to improve them, and then actually implementing (or at least managing) that change.

In other words, I now get to FIX things, using all the skills I developed finding things broken.  Much better.

Of course, when I go kayaking I now tend to take two of everything (helmet, paddle, etc.), just in case.