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IT Olympics

We’re a little more than a week into the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics. As usual, it’s been a stirring display of athleticism (and a great excuse to sit around watching TV instead of doing any exercise) but my favorite part of the Olympics is that it shines a light on the sports we don’t usually think about.

While watching rugby sevens, it hit me that athletes aren’t the only ones who could benefit from a little extra exposure. I’ve seen Prophet’s IT team pull off miracles that rival Penny Oleksiak’s gold medal in the 100M Freestyle, so I think it’s time we put the talents of IT professionals on display for the world to see.

With that in mind, I’m proposing the Games of the 1st Information Technology Olympiad be held in Winnipeg in 2017. I’ve also prepared an inaugural slate of events which will be contested by IT professionals from around the world.

4 x 100GB Recovery Relay

Each four member team is given a dead 100GB hard drive and it’s a straight-up race to see which team can recover the data fastest. Deductions are made for incomplete recovery or corrupted files. In lieu of the baton hand-off, each team member would be required to send the drive to the next team member via budget courier.

Parallel Progress Bars

This judged competition would demonstrate the variety of coping mechanisms IT professionals develop to fill the time while watching loading bars during patch downloads, Windows updates and software installs. Required elements would include: getting coffee, bathroom breaks and checking email.

Greco-Roman Malware Wrestling

Each competitor will be paired with a malware infected workstation and will have to diagnose the issue, remove the malware and return the PC to working condition. Instead of weight classes, the divisions will be adware, Trojans, ransomware and viruses. Unitards will be optional, but encouraged.

Helpdesk Marathon

The most grueling event on the schedule will involve working an IT help desk alone for a full 8-hour shift. Competitors will need to triage, assess and resolve as many tickets as possible in the time allotted. Volunteers will provide coffee sponges every 30 minutes.

Printer Throw

Printers are every IT professional’s worst nightmare. This event is primarily an excuse to let them vent their frustrations while throwing USB printers as far as possible onto a concrete slab.

Personally, I can’t wait to see who becomes the Michael Phelps of malware or the Usain Bolt of backups. Now I just have to get the IOC to sign on. 


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