The distractions of an IT Pro

We are doing some work trying to understand the life of an IT pro both inside and outside of work. It would be great to hear from you on what you get up to on your lunch break, after work or at the weekend.

What websites do you go on? What magazines do you read? And one that I am really keen to know, what do you think about the IT Crowd programme on Channel 4?

Comments (24)

  1. Michael Hsu says:

    Hi Georgina

    Ahh the distractions of an IT pro are plentiful.  Let’s see, during lunch I actually manage to break away from the 3,600,000 pixels and head to lunch.  It’s after work and the weekends that I’m either checking out MS new beta software through TechNet or checking the latest RSS feeds.  Some of them include: technet, msexchangeteam, outlook blogs, msdn blogs,, slashdot,,, penny-arcade, tom’s hardware,, and

    Unfortunately I haven’t seen the IT Crowd programme on Channel 4.

    Hopefully this helps.


    Director of IT

    BLITZ Agency

  2. Peder Vendelbo Mikkelsen says:

    Michael, to sample The It Crowd you could try a popular torrent-site like Mininova:

    On Channel 4’s website you used to be able to watch the latest episode, but is has been restricted to IP-adresses inside Britain.

    I try to keep up by trying to follow the Technet RSS-feed:

    Sometimes its like drinking water from a firehose. A couple of years ago i tried to follow but that is even worse nowadays, and theres to much information i’m not interested in.

  3. Vijay Singh Riyait says:

    We have no life outside of Technology and if by some minor miracle we’ve managed to get a partner, our better halves are frustrated that we show more attention to our laptops than to them. Of course we can work on them and listen to what we’re being told at the same time 🙂

    My main distraction is Facebook which taken over reading my RSS Feeds (mainly blogs).

    As for the IT Crowd, funny and so true just like Dilbert! So, do you have a "pointy headed" boss!!

  4. Shawn Dickens says:

    If you missed the IT Crowd catch up from here.

    I watched some of the first series found it to close to work. I guess like working in an office and watching "the office".

  5. Andrew says:

    I could not imagine a friday night without the it crowd…. new series better than ever, roy in the wheelchair doing a high five in that voice makes me laugh whenever i think about it. 🙂

  6. Jonathan Noble says:

    Hey Georgina,

    My distractions usually involve keeping up with RSS feeds, Digg, watching tv shows (usually obtained from the States 6 months before they’re on here), playing the 360 and occasionally flicking through T3 and Edge (although gadget and game news is usually way out of date by the time it’s in a mag – Engadget and others see to that!).

    Realised recently that I spend WAY too much time staring at screens, so I’m trying to give my eyes a break, get outside more, read more books and listen to music/podcasts/audio books, and throw myself more into my basketball.

    Never seen the IT Crowd.


  7. Ian Collins says:

    I have to say this series is much better than the last series, though Friday night is for going out and not watching TV 🙂

    Nice to see on TV attrcative women in IT too.


  8. Ian Collins says:

    I have to say this series is much better than the last series, though Friday night is for going out and not watching TV 🙂

    Nice to see on TV attractive women in IT too.


  9. Lee Walters says:

    Have only ever seen the IT Crown once and turned off after about 5 minutes – bambino wanted to watch Fireman Sam!

    As for distractions: well lunch time is spent in the gym keeping my body as fit as my mind and outside of the wonderfull world of IT I referee the fotball on my local parks whenever the wife lets me – which to be fair is every weekend!  

    Other than that it’s CodeProject for my main read once a week in the world of programming, magazines – the lovely PC Pro for a giggle.  Web sites – lots of forum sites,,, MSDN, technet – way to many to list really.

  10. Neil Harding says:

    IT Crowd love it, using 4od to watch them as the girlfriend as run of the TV 80% of the time.

    Lunch times are usally reading what ever magazines have been left in the canteen by the female population of work, things like Hello, OK, Womens Own etc.  Other times it’s a quick 15mins to eat my lunch and back to the latest beta or test lab i’m working on.

    Distractions for me include feeding and changing nappies of my 11 week old baby girl 🙂

    blowing things up on games like Half Life series, Command and Conquer on PC and when i get access to my TV BioShock, Rainbow Six, Halo 3 (when out) on the 360.

  11. David Lowe says:

    The IT Crowd is absolutely brilliant. Even if you can’t stand this sort of thing, it’s well worth watching for Roy’s occasional novelty T-shirts! There’s not been too many IT related jokes in it so far … (I amy be a bit sad stating this!!!) but great comedy anyway.

    When I’m not distracted at work asking users to "try turning it off and on again" (I kid you not), I’m pleasurably distracted at home looking after my young 4-year old daughter.

  12. Stephen Gnarra says:


    Unfortunately due to the whip lashing management team at my work, I get very little time to do anything other than fix what they break. Which isn’t all bad. It gives me time to try new beta software, all I have to do is tell them it will fix everything, even the kettle.

    When I do finally get time to myself I unwind by playing games on both Vista (I’ve never seen any problems with it) and my 360, teach myself XNA (I’ll get started one day, honest), listening to music and cooking, oh and going to the gym if I can fit it in.

    As for the IT Crowd, it is very similar to my IT department, expect we do actually get some stuff done, and don’t have any funky T-Shirts.

    IT Dogsbody,


  13. Jayce says:

    Lunch breaks mainly consist of World Of Warcraft 🙂

    Being a games tester it’s hard to get away from them, even at home, but then again I guess don’t really want to. So I find nice ways to chill down a little that involve more WoW, a movie, lots of music, RSS feeds and some writing. But generally the ‘winding down’ usually always still consists of something computer related 🙂

    I do watch the IT Crowd when I can, unfortunately thats not too often though.


  14. John Sampson says:

    Just to echo a previous point, many MANY of my spare breaks are used playing World of Warcraft, aaltohugh unable to play it at work, it normally gets turned on the moment I walk in the door and throw my suit off!

    Other than playing WoW, I knock out the odd WoW video for you-tube and generally play about with my Mandriva Linux box seeing as I see enough of windows while i’m in the office :p

  15. Terence Rabe says:

    Lunch break – what’s that?

    After work or at the weekend – I help look after my 3 month old son, update my Facebook, watch telly and maintain my pet-project website.

    Magazines – just motorcycle mags

    Websites – The Register and eBuyer

    IT Crowd – Didn’t find the first series funny. It’s like it was written by someone who has friends in IT, but never worked in IT themselves. I’ll Sky+ some of the 2nd series and check it out…

  16. Chris says:

    Dont have the joys of a lunch break like some others , IT crowd the one’s i have seen have been funny , and any spare time i get tends to be spent out on my motorbike blowing the cobwebs away

  17. rade says:

    What do i think of the IT crowd? in a word genius!

    The hacked vibrating phone at the funeral: LOL

    Did anyone else notice that the company in the show uses XP/server 03, but the "IT guys" downstairs have got themselves copies of Vista! typical lol

  18. Ray Packham says:

    My lunch breaks are spent reading a book, as i spend so much time looking and dealing with my daily grind that i prefer the printed word nowadays, I do look at the news often though and regulary trawl through the BBC, CNN, Google News websites and when really really bored i google earth !. i have installed stumble on my laptop at work and sometimes stumble around the net looking around mostly at current affairs and tech websites. I work as a forensic investigator HI Tech Crime for a police force.

    Oh as for the IT Crowd sorry havnt seenit to be honest , too much like work I dont watch police programs either .

  19. Aik says:

    Lunchtime is Munchkins-time – a bit of competetive gaming between IT, HR, Marketing and client support makes for a nice break.

    The new series of the IT Crowd is excellent as always. The last episode is especially good – I watched it filming but no spoilers from me…

  20. Tim Genge says:

    I’m surprised that no ones mentioned games yet. Keen gamer here; great way to unwind and muck about with my mates. Consequently, I don’t get a lot of spare time (with the kids too) to keep a close track on new products or play with the new tech. However, I personally feel gaming tech is several years ahead of OS / App development – games push systems far more than any OS could.

    360 FTW! (Roll on Mass Effect and Halo 3!)

  21. chris freemantle says:

    Very strict about not doing anything techie away from work, so I sail, horse ride, travel and produce for a theatre group.  never play PC games.  I have spent hours upon sweaty hours restoring Exchange systems from various states of down and out!  True delight is the European CEO who arrives in the server room on their first ever visit to enquire "how long".  Love the IT crowd – uncomfortably close to home at times.  No one else in my house appreciates it in the same way.  But then a lawyer, employment consultant and civil service manager wouldnt’!  It just confirms their worst suspicions about my colleagues!

  22. Lance Mepsted says:


    I do watch the IT Crowd and enjoy it very much.  Moss is excellent.

    I tend to cycle a few miles to Canterbury, get a coffee and read a book at lunchtimes.  That way I dont have to join a gym to keep the weight down!

    I also cycle at weekends and go to church on Sunday with my family and friends.

    As for keeping up to date, it goes in fits and starts – I read PCPro magazine and also do MCPs from time to time.

  23. Derek Harmston says:

    Watched the first few episodes but my wife banned me from ever watching it again, she just didnt get it!!

    Try and keep away from IT at weekends as every waking moment during the week is spent looking after peoples networks, yes even dinner times, the joys of being a field engineer!!

  24. Ben Foster says:

    Lunch break??! I’ve heard of those – in fact many people say I should have one 😀

    My life in I.T. is made up of people not realising what I actually do and generally expecting everything yesterday. I think you have to have real passion for I.T. to want to work in it.

    As for what I do outside working hours. I do whatever any right minded person would do who has spent 12 hours sitting in front of a computer at work….

    …I go home and play with more computers, trying to convince myself that I do need a full domain, dns server and dedicated firewall at home so I can play games 🙂

    I.T. Crowd is a great laugh although in the second series there is less to do with I.T – which may dissapoint us real geeks.