Like many of you, I am a computer technologist. I spend my days managing networks and servers and routers and switches. I enjoy my work, especially when the network is running smoothly. It is often challenging, like when something complex doesn’t work as it should. But overall, it is a great career.

I’ve been doing this for thirty years now and claim the title of senior network engineer. That’s not because I’m the top technologist, but because I’m almost a senior citizen. My actual title is IT Manager, so I delegate a lot of tech work to others. The consulting work on the side keeps the hands-on tech skills current.

Keeping up with tech news

In order to keep up with the industry, I read a lot of tech journals and visit tech news sites. Over the years, I have been puzzled and amused by the focus of some of these stories. Reporters and columnists who watch the big technology companies are always trying to predict the financial future of the industry.

They like stories that open with questions like, “Can the U.S. tech industry continue to defy the overall economic downturn?” The reporter answers, “Leading IT companies say the weak economy hasn’t dragged down their global sales of everything from chips, software and storage devices to cell phones and online ads.”

Tech Republic – Tech news

As Jason Hiner pointed out in his post last week, the numbers from all but one of the top tech companies came in surprisingly strong. He also wrote previously, “Even though we’re supposed to be in a recession in the United States, there was a lot of good news reported, led by Google and IBM.”

Jason, who is the Executive Editor here at Tech Republic, is at Interop this week, talking to the techs who sell products to techs like me. I appreciate being able to read and listen to Jason’s podcasts from Interop. So far, I don’t get the impression that there is any doom or gloom in the industry over the state of the economy.

My own tech barometer

Tech journals and tech news sites earn their living by selling ads. They deliver readers to advertisers and ads to readers. Headlines and lead paragraphs are written to get you to read the story and may not necessarily reflect the true state of things. Throw in a few debatable phrases and you’re guaranteed a few more readers.

From where I sit, there is no economic downturn or weak economy. Recession? Sorry, I haven’t seen it yet. What I do see is inflation and lots of it. That usually means demand is high and resources are scarce. I am going to be replacing a dozen servers and fifty workstations in the next year. Should I expect prices to go up?