Big IT is BrokenBy Skip Stein | Posted 2010-11-17 Print
A rant about the state of corporate technology departments and the possibility of a career in other areas.
The economy is down, and many big companies don't want experienced professionals, they just want cheap labor. Quality of work matters less than working cheap and quick, no matter what the long term consequences may be.
And so too many seasoned computer professionals are stuck sitting on the sidelines, looking for employment instead of contributing to a recovery. Maybe it's time to look for another line of work.
Organizations used to understand that the true value of any company is with the knowledge and dedication of its workers. Companies planned strategic objectives years in advance and adjusted according to ongoing business demands. They utilized the skills and experience of their employees and business partners to make a profit in a highly competitive free marketplace.
Now, not so much. Experience and years of training are ignored for the sake of cheap local and off-shore workers. These workers are cranking out systems and processes with little or no quality assurance, security or readable documentation. There is a dramatic lack of oversight, testing and validation with systems developed and deployed outside of the USA.
And so systems and security fail. Operating systems are riddled with holes and are constantly compromised by hackers. Financial systems and government systems are penetrated by thieves and foreign agents. Business suffers losses, both financial and in customer confidence.
“Pay me now, or pay me later” is a phrase companies should heed. Unfortunately, the managers responsible for the choice, selection, budget and staffing of large corporate systems very often don't stick around for the end result of long implementation projects. They cash out before returns can be measured accurately, often moving on to infect other companies before the end result of their project failures can be linked to them.
Information Technology has been a business requirement for 50 years or so. There are many experienced business technologists who have been active for decades. Yet, are they valued? Do they teach on campuses or universities? Again, not so much, as they don't have advanced degrees or tenure with educational institutions.
These highly skilled professionals are forced to take early retirement due to lack of work. Meanwhile, our high schools and colleges crank out "students" who have difficulty with reading, math and science. The USA is being quickly surpassed by educational systems of competing countries who value experience, training and technology. We are squandering our experienced professional resources by not utilizing them in education, business training and professional career building.
It may be time for IT to switch professions. People live longer and work longer these days, so there is time for experienced professionals to develop new careers. Past hobbies or interests are now becoming new career paths. Combining avid interest with diverse experience, many professionals can now seek independent work in areas of environment, energy, technology, music, cooking and a host of other areas. Many individuals and small businesses still value experience and professionalism. It is unfortunate the the larger corporate business community does not.
Some will seek new careers because of financial need, while others to find meaningful work. Collect Social Security (well earned and paid for); develop an alternative 'semi-retirement' professional career. Enjoy another 50 years of life while working at a new rewarding career!
Live long and prosper.
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