The IT Crowd, Not Rooney, Are Our Heroes

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IT people will fix problems rather than watch football. That’s no surprise to Peter Judge, as IT problems are less tedious than this year’s World Cup

The IT staff of Britain can raise a cheer because the IT Crowd is back, prompting us to remember that, despite the poor performance of our sporting heroes, we can be proud of our nerds, and celebrate the IT staff who make this country great.

The cult Channel 4 TV sit-com, the IT Crowd is returning to our screens – while the creation of a movie about Facebook is also gathering pace. Meanwhile, surveys about IT staff are clumsily attempting the unecessary task of proclaiming IT staff as heroes.

Unsung heroes of business

According to a study of 241 IT professionals in the UK, 87 percent of them would fix a serious IT problem, even if it occurred during the final of the World Cup.

Well, that’s amazing isn’t it? How very dedicated! One of those surveyed pointed out – probably in the deadpan voice of the IT Crowd’s Moss – that “the score will not change if you’re not watching it”.

Actually, of course, the score will change (unless England are playing). It’s just that the score is not influenced by whether you are watching it or not.

Others probably pointed out to the survey team that England has no chance at all of appearing in the final, limiting its appeal. Still others would have pointed out that, given the dismal quality of the football on offer in the tournament so far, an IT disaster is certain to be more interesting than even the final.

Most matches so far have been so completely lacking in interest that any IT staff worth its salt, could easily fix the whole IT services of a major company while still watching the match – and would welcome the chance to do so.

It is even possible that this year’s World Cup may even be more boring than the products which the survey was supposed to promote – security management stuff produced by Tufin – though I’m sure it’s a close run thing.

Playback matches at double speed!

Tufin’s finding is a contrast to other findings, of course. Service provider Star has predicted a crippling net surge during England’s desperate game against Estonia tomorrow. Others have predicted a net loss of a £1 billion worth of productivity during the tournament (although it might equally be that businesses actually benefit from the temporary absence of the less able players in their corporate team).

IT staff, of course, contain as many football fans as the rest of society, but they are likely to find better ways to indulge their passion. We have already heard one inventive and very efficient solution to the “boring match” problem. Ignore the results, record the matches, and play them back in double or quadruple time.

Meanwhile, those IT staff with no interest in football, could spend some of their downtime catching up on the IT Crowd. As well as downloads from Channel 4, Youtube offers a wealth of c lips and episodes.

These include one of the best versions of how to deal with support calls, the series’ brilliant Facebook parody, “Friendface“, and its gruesome take on content piracy. Moss reports a fire here, and meets an Internet cannibal here.

Perhaps the most useful IT Crowd episode, during World Cup season, would probably be series 3’s Are We Not Men?, in which manage to pass as “proper men” through the use of a football website.

The fourth series of the IT Crowd starts on Friday 25th June on Channel Four.

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