CXO

The Weekly Round-Up: Bugged by millennials and unloved IT

Plus: game rage incidents and why IT grads fail to make the grade...

You know that nobody loves the IT department.

Deep down you've always known it, too. That's why those invites to the office party always seem to get "stuck in the post". That's why they make you use a trapdoor round the back by the loading bay in the morning, rather the shiny corporate front entrance. And that's why the IT department got airbrushed out of the company photo and replaced with a row of pot plants.

While the suave charmers in sales may get invited onto the MD's yacht for bringing in another million quid deal, IT just gets told to do more with less.

Sound familiar? Well, my slightly paranoid friend: relax. You are not alone.

Nearly half of IT professionals believe they are treated worse than employees in other departments, according the survey of 200 techies by IT recruitment consultancy IntaPeople. A mere 14 per cent of dreamers with their heads in the clouds thought they were treated better than their peers.

The Round-Up would humbly suggest that the IT department's policy of letting the ever-charming helpdesk be its public face - "What do you mean your PC doesn't work? Why did you break it?" - probably hasn't helped its standing in the rest of the business.

Another gripe that IT pros have is that bosses are unwilling to upgrade their systems in line with the latest technologies. According to the survey, that's because IT workers know they work in a fast-moving industry, and want to keep their skills up to date. Also, the Round-Up suggests, because new hardware arrives in big cardboard boxes full of bubble wrap which are brilliant fun to play with in the server room when no one's looking.

It's all a matter of perspective.

Maybe these grumbling techies are in fact treated just well as the rest of the workforce and if they ever took a step outside the datacentre they might find out that things aren't too rosy in the real world either - "What do you mean I can't wear sandals and a Star Trek T-shirt to a customer meeting?"

Moaning about millennials
Of course, if there is one thing that most organisations moan about more than the IT department, then it's young people.

It's well known that young people only communicate by texting and updating their Facebook accounts, and spurn any corporately-sanctioned software application in favour of something they downloaded off the internet - breaching security and exposing your customer database to all your rivals in the process, naturally.

In fact, should you wish to, you can easily replicate the effect of hiring some of these so-called millennials by wandering around your office smashing up every third PC with a sledgehammer while listening to dubstep on your iPhone and tweeting "At work with all the boring old people LOL".

But hold on - what if millennials, rather than being strange beings bent on destruction, were... just like us?

That's the argument put forward in an article on silicon.com this week - written by a real-live millennial to boot - which aims to lay the millennial myths to rest.

After all, isn't this just the eternal standoff between age and youth recast for our digital age?

Bosses today might complain about the predilection of these bright young things for Twitter and Facebook, whereas in the past they might have complained about their love of rock and roll, scooters or flared trousers, depending on the era.

Isn't it just that, in the eyes of grizzled managers, everything that those wrinkle- free young people do is bad?

So go on, prove the Round-Up wrong. Grit your teeth and say something nice to a millennial. You'll feel much better for it, and you might even distract them for long enough to ruin their game of Angry Birds too.

Game rage outbursts
Talking of gaming, the Round-Up always thought the idea was that a bit of arcade action was a good way to wind down and work out some of the stresses of the day. But now it seems that gaming is a source of rage, not relaxation.

Half of gamers admit to getting angry while playing on their console and one in five confessed to breaking a console or nearby items during a game rage outburst, according to research out this week.

A volatile one in three of gamers admitted to throwing a controller, according to the survey by MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, with one in 10 of these admitting that it had broken. The rest were clearly not trying hard enough.

Seven per cent of those who had broken their console admitted that they had struck it with an object, with one respondent confessing to hitting the computer with a bat. By which the Round-Up assumes they mean cricket or baseball bat, rather than a small flying mammal.

IT grads fail to make the grade and BT's fibre techniques
That leaves just enough space for a quick look through the rest of the news out this week.

Find out why IT graduates aren't making the grade in business anymore - probably because they seem to know too much about IT.

silicon.com's story of BT's broadband splicing and blowing proved a huge success last week, so this week we thought we'd bring you another slice of the secret life of broadband, this time how broadband fibre-to-the-home gets from the exchange to your house.