The Evolution of the IT Professional

[Cue Strauss’ Also Sprach Zarathustra] Out of the primordial ooze of the pre-computer age emerged the first IT professional.  Still slimy from the silicon and copper that fused and split to create him/her they set out to redefine the abacus; well, initially at least. Their newly formed fingers itched for a yet uninvited keyboard and their eyes watered, longing to see beautiful flickering pages of code. As the computer technology progressed, so did the IT Professional; let’s take a look at this beautiful creature’s rapid evolution.

In the 1990s, the still developing profession received an extreme evolutionary jump that would make even Poppa Darwin defecate his britches. The launch of Windows 3.0 made personal computing much more user-friendly and accessible, which in turn allowed us to bear witness to the miraculous birth of PC maintenance technicians, software architects, and application/software professionals.

In 1991, the world would see yet another miraculous birth in the form of the World Wide Web. Or, in the colloquialism of the day, “The information super highway” or “The Web”. Still covered in its afterbirth, the only way the infantile internet worked back then was for it to be connected via an umbilical cord called a ‘landline’ to the wall. It was a dark age indeed. This new baby internet needed to be nursed into the all-encompassing monstrous dragon we know today, and its wet-nurses were Installation/Maintenance Technicians, Web Software Developers, Webmasters, Network Administrators, Network Engineers, Interface Design Directors, and Mall Server Administrators. They kept the feeble being alive, feeding it from the teat of their expertise.

In 1992, the threat to all things Interwebs whipped everyone into a panic. A computer virus named Michelangelo surfaced threatening the child (when I say “child” I mean the Web; still the nineties, still going to call it that) that they had lovingly fed from their aforementioned teat. A class of hero emerged though Security Programmers, Data Security Analysts, System Security Analysts, and Data Security Supervisors and beat the virus into submission with their noble carpal-tunnel-wrist-brace wrapped hands. And all was again good with the world.

Now we move forward on the timeline and see the feeble internet grow into proportions that no mere computer or server could hold anymore. Smart devices started to emerge in 2007-8 and the Internet spread to every corner of our existence like the invasive species Dreissena polymorpha, or zebra mussels. Zebra mussels are a thing; trust me, look it up if you don’t believe me.  This created an elite group of IT Professionals, combative and lucrative, that created Apps for iOS and Android. This finally culminated in the glorious jubilant period of the Angry Birds and the invasion of the Candy Crush invitation.

By the two thousand twenties, we will see this noble species thrive and increase to 685.000 (which equates to an 18% growth in tech employment). With their own set of languages that they use to communicate with their “computers’”, they are indispensable to us mere lowly non-techs. Even more so in the year 2022.

In just 25 years, we have seen the IT professionals spread their seed all over everyday life. And there is plenty more where that came from.

Infographic source: Modis




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