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    • #3046053

      there is supposed to be a shortage?

      by jaqui ·

      In reply to Debunking the Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage

      here, the only shortage is in positions available.
      there are 30 thousand un-employed microsoft certified sales executives ( MCSE ) running around.

      and yes, all ms certifications mean is you know how to sell ms products.
      they do not mean you know anything about underlying technology.

      • #3046044

        That was exactly my point

        by jkameleon ·

        In reply to there is supposed to be a shortage?

        > here, the only shortage is in positions available.

        See my 1st link. Leading managers in industry start bellyaching about labour shortage the very moment they are unable to manage their workforce by intimidation, by layoff threats that is.

        Or, more poetically speaking- they start lamenting about labour shortage the very moment the number of desperate losers per job opening falls below 250.

      • #3045993

        MCSE stands for “Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers”

        by why me worry? ·

        In reply to there is supposed to be a shortage?

        Sales Executives? Nobody spends thousands of dollars on training classes and certification exams to become stinkin’ salesman of Microsoft products

        • #3045956

          Didn’t get it?

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to MCSE stands for “Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers”

          I think that was called “humor”.

        • #3045945

          Humor indeed!

          by jkameleon ·

          In reply to Didn’t get it?

          Don’t worry about oursourcing! It will actually create more jobs, more opportunities for you!

          . . .

          Can’t find a job? Tough, but it’s all your fault. Stop complaining, get some education, and all those jobs from overseas will mysteriously come back. Here, get a nice new certificate, it’s only $3999!

          Oh, and BTW, try to convince that brats of yours to study computer science, will ya?

        • #3045660

          convincing the brat

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Humor indeed!

          I’ve convinced mine to pursue a career in music, either as a concert flute player or music education.

          Better future for her than IT, I’ll tell ya.

        • #3044326


          by jkameleon ·

          In reply to convincing the brat

          Daughter is not a problem. Currently in high school, deciding between medicine & biology. My advice to her is gene splicing, but medicine is OK as well. Moreover, she absolutely, positively hates computers, as most of her gender. Computer science is 100% out of the question for her, I guess.

          Son is a problem incarnated, Bart Simpson style. Currently he’s finishing graphics art oriented high school. I hope he’ll be in advertising business someday. A long term money maker, 100% guaranteed. After reading your post last night, I decided to ask him, just in case, whether he would study computer science. Answer was pretty shocking: “Yea, why not! You are making good money aren’t you?”

          Yea, indeed. I’m making a decent money after a 10 year drudgery, and only until my job position goes south as well. But how could I communicate this to him without bellyaching? OK, let’s try…

          “But you are using your computer only for playing games & chatting with your girlfriends! You’d need to learn how to program, for starters. Shall I install dotnet on your machine and show you a couple of things?”

          “You mean… I would have to program? I thaught I’d just do things with Photoshop & Flash”

          “Yea, that’s the basic requirement. If you are interested in graphics, game programming, & such, you need to know some hard core mathematics & geometry as well. And I mean hard core, not that high school stuff you’re having problems with all the time.”


          “Well, OK, mathematics is not that necessary, but programming is not enough, mind you. I’m making money right now not just because of I know how to program, but primarily because I know what I’m programming. I’m working in financial institution, and I took pains to learn exactly what happens to the money in there. How it goes in, where it gets out, what happens in between, which administrator does what, rules, everything. Pure tedium, nobody wants to learn such things, and that’s why they are well paid. You don’t get paid for fancy stuff everybody wants to do.”


          Hope that does it.

        • #3116431

          not true

          by cburgess ·

          In reply to Humor indeed!

          The issue is salary levels as the chief motivation for offshoring jobs. There are other factors, but education level isn’t the real issue.

        • #3043619


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to MCSE stands for “Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers”

          all you have to do is pick answers in the exam that best sell ms and you pass the exam, getting your mcse.

          a university networking fellow coined the sales executive after he did exactly that in writing the exams.

          hmm answers that sell ms products will get you a certificate. guess that is selling ms products.

        • #3136319

          I agree

          by em dubyah ·

          In reply to MCSE stands for “Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers”

          First of all, it seems like the only people who crack on MCSE’s or any other certification for that matter, are the ones that aren’t certified. Not that they are incapable or untalented in the field, but it seems as if there is a jealousy that they aren’t certified. I hold 11 low to midlevel certifications and in the coming year will be upgrading my MCSA to MCSE & MCDBA. Why? Because it will open doors. And *YES* the training DEFINATELY teaches underlying technologies. My challenge to the person cracking on the cert: “TRAIN AND GET CERTIFIED and THENNNN, tell me what is or isn’t understood!”

      • #3130552

        No such title

        by swgoldwire2546 ·

        In reply to there is supposed to be a shortage?

        Microsoft Certified Sales Executives? Never heard of them, in fact there is no such thing as a Microsoft Certified Sales Executive!

        Now, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers, Microsoft Office User Specialist, Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator, and Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician. These ARE such things!!! 😀


    • #3046048

      There’s a shortage

      by tony hopkinson ·

      In reply to Debunking the Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage

      in some niches, particularly non ms ones.
      There’s a shortage of jobs that will pay enough to afford a house and something to eat.
      There’s a shortage of useful means to differentiate between qualified people and people with qualifications.
      There’s a massive shortage of people running things who can think further ahead than the next financial or electoral period.

      Address the last one and the rest will sort themselves out.

      • #3045995

        Oh so very true

        by ldyosng ·

        In reply to There’s a shortage

        A certificate does not a technician make, and managing a business with an eye to pleasing the shareholders rather than the people to whom one is trying to sell products or services isn’t such a hot idea either. Of course, not much will afford a house AND food here in Southern California where I live.

        • #3045985

          Global economy

          by mgordon ·

          In reply to Oh so very true

          My employer once suggested moving operations from northern Utah to San Diego. It would triple or quadruple the cost of living, but at least as far as the I.T. department was concerned, no obvious benefit existed to the move — the servers can be just about *anywhere* but they do need a few people close at hand. So, the service center has stayed in a community with superb qualities and considerably less cost of living as compared to San Diego county.

          This is inevitably going to drive jobs OUT of overpriced markets, if the job can move. Some cannot, but programming, network operations, hosting, these are things that can sometimes be moved to less expensive locations.

          So if you are employed in a “portable” occupation in an overpriced market, beware!

        • #3045954


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Oh so very true

          When I moved out of SoCal a few years back, I made a decision that I wouldn’t move back. Period.

          It was a good decision, and I stand by it, especially now that I’ve settled into the best place I’ve ever lived, as of August.

          It has been suggested that mediocrity is the only true Evil. If that’s the case, California is truly Hell on Earth.

      • #3045988

        Hey, you took my words!

        by mgordon ·

        In reply to There’s a shortage

        But you did it with style! You’d think with millions of unemployed IT workers left over from the dot-com bust that companies could pick and choose the best of the best. You said it well, discerning the excellent people is not easy.

        What is difficult to find is quiet, honest, scholarly types (MBTI typea INTP, ISTJ) for administrators. They are rarely the first pick of an executive, but this kind has great staying power — I.T. is not “exciting” but it doesn’t need to be!

        Something that can never go to India is the “hands-on helper”, also, networking WIRE guy. I program computers, but I also manage the helpdesk and carry around a Harris TS-30 telephone test set, scopemeter and punchdown tools. Others have said it here; in a smaller company the I.T. worker is seen as the handyman for anything that uses electricity. Be it! It’s quite enjoyable.

        • #3045979

          Still waiting for Dot-com re$pect.

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Hey, you took my words!

          For some reason all I got was “no thanks” during the dot-com era.

          Now that I have the certs and experience, I see not commesurate level of respect. I tend to tell the idiot online-resume trolls that I want to see the smae thing companies gave to the spikey-haired hot-shots in the dot-com days (including sign on bonus AND the company provided Porsche) or they can take my number out of their database. Especially if they want to talk about “flexibility” as equal to lower pay than what I’m making now.

        • #3043636

          Won’t happen until business’s

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Still waiting for Dot-com re$pect.

          take the plunge again. Not sure it will happen again, far too many got far too burnt. I know the money I was getting before the market slumped for what I was doing was just silly, nice but silly. I was getting 4 times the money for about a quarter of the work compared to six years earlier. Major cold shower to the lifestyle when it stopped I can tell you. Both issues were addressed rapidly, fortunately being an old fart I was skilled before the boom, so survived the slump. My main job as a contractor was trying to rescue some value from previous expenditures by the see thunder hear lightning merchants who went straight into the bin. They deserved it others just got taken out by vaalanche they caused.

          Quality is now getting serious consideration in software production again. Once it was a necessity because of short resources, now it’s for market advantage, a well written code base can halve your development costs and times, that’s a very valuable but hard to quantify asset. You don’t get it off someone with an an MCP who once wrote an excel macro during his media studies degree though.

        • #3046264

          Only labor shortage …

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Won’t happen until business’s

          … is of people with skills who (a) are willing to work for chicken feed; and (b) are willing to work for inexperienced or “keep IT in check” crappy managers; and (c) do not have the skills to drive four stakes in the ground and create their own business.

        • #3116523

          When is it my turn …

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Won’t happen until business’s

          … to get silly money for minimal work? I kinda got bypassed on all that, and yeah, I’m a little bitter.

          (I think I speak for every person who got bypassed pay-wise in the dot-com era, or who went from a 6-figure salary to selling programs at a minor league ball park afterwards:)

          Businesses got burned? Too bad, I didn’t get to participate in all that. Why should I have to suffer because of it? (Answer: I shouldn’t.)

          Software quality will never improve until corporate CxO’s see programming as something other than “entry level-outsource it anyway” work.

          For better or worse, I system admin / network admin rather than code. Break-fix too, but no one wants to pay serious money for that either.

        • #3045953

          You forgot one.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Hey, you took my words!

          Don’t forget the INTJs.

      • #3045959


        by jkameleon ·

        In reply to There’s a shortage

        There’s a shortage of everything but global IT workforce.

        > Address the last one and the rest will sort themselves out.

        With such abundance of cheap computer guys, there is no need to sort anything out.

        • #3043640

          Is there an abundance though ?

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to IOW…

          People with shiny badges and uncreased mortar boards abound. People with promising cvs abound. There’s a lot of wrong’uns out therethough , cvs the length of a toilet roll just of less practical use. Recruiter’s send us qualified candidates, we interview them and then wonder why we bothered.
          One of the biggest parts of the boom was business’s were so hot to get on the IT trail they’d take people who’s qualifications consisted of a bit of paper and basic literacy. I’m still cleaning up after them, seem to have got Hercule’s job in the augean stables sometimes.

          Don’t know what it’s like in the admin world, and even less about the real market in the states, but I know for definite there is a skills shortage in programming in the UK, just not a qualifications one.

        • #3043594


          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Is there an abundance though ?

          this actually ties in with the frequent discussions on what certs are recommended.

          instead of going through a time consuming interview for nothing, have one staffer administering “testing” as first step.
          have a few coding skills problems for applicants to solve. those that can, you actually interview.
          those that can’t solve them, you can choose to interview or not, depending on if they may fit other positions available.

          the real, on demand proof of the skills isn’t illegal, and weeds out those applicants who have the paper trail that lies.

        • #3046220

          Too Easy!

          by miles999 ·

          In reply to Tony,


          A perfectly logical no nonsense approach that I don’t see very much of anywhere. I have never had to “prove” my skills during an interview even when I offered to solve whatever they cared to throw at me. Is it time constraints? The fact they may discover that HR is only selecting 1 out of 10 applicants correctly? Fear of finding NO ONE during the process that can fill the position? I agree that testing makes perfect sense and I know in a few instances I would have made the final cut as the applicant selected turned out to be a “deer in the headlights.” Of course they had a shiny new MCSE certificate and little experience, but the focus was on paper, not experience. Oh well, I guess they got theirs.

        • #3046156

          Depends on the test

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Too Easy!

          I’ve failed a few in my time. Even after twenty years, I still need my big mates F1 and Google.
          I got one online quiz and it was name five properties specific to a particular class in Delphi. Didn’t even manage to pick one I’ve made a lot of use of. You just know the guy who set the test, wasn’t fit to wipe my arse.
          The ratio is more like 1 out of a 100, the recruitment agencies have already filtered out a lot of candidates, them being the experts of course.

        • #3045701

          no, when i say test

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Depends on the test

          I mean that everything needed to accomplish the tasts is available.
          if it includes research then the internet is available.
          if it’s about a specific funtion, or set of functions, then the ide is there -documentation, naturally, so those who know can pull the data from the code. ~g~

          the idea being to prove skills.

          recruitment agencies never enter into the picture.
          hr doesn’t get to screen, until after tests do the screening.
          passing test gets your resume up for review by the department head.
          ( since this is me, it’s not a problem. 🙂 )
          I haven’t needed to hire, but I have set the procedures for doing so out.

          the tests are designed to weed out those who can talk the talk, but not walk the walk.
          when I hire, it’s going to be people that can do the job with little or no training.
          ( at least to start )
          when I need to set up an hr department, then I’ll have the resources to train people.

          programmers get a second series of tests.
          they get to build their own systems linux from scratch.
          all required sources, and printout of instructions for doing so.
          enough to get them online with lynx.
          then they can get whichever gui they want.

          if they can’t perform this, then how would they code in a linux only enviroment?
          ( follow instructions, show familiarity with the os and tools used in the office, great chance to see what someone can do )

          I might be a hard taskmaker, but I don’t leave you without making sure that you have what you need.
          in both materials and skills

          with a system built by the end user, for them to use, they should have a system that fits them perfectly.

        • #3045673

          Tests, et al.

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Depends on the test

          I tend to take a different viewpoint to most tests:

          I’m 49, have 15 years as a systems admin with Microsoft products, and an honorbale discharge from the USMC as well.

          How many times do I have to recite both the A and B CAT-5 standards when you and I both know we are going to buy the patch cables pre-made, your cable guy is going to string the long stuff, and we aren’t going to be re-cabling anyway?

          You brought me in because you have a need for my Microsoft admin skills, so let’s ink the deal and let me get to work.

          (This is why I use the agencies to find me work: My “soft skills” aren’t soft enough to tolerate the technical skills of the average 22 year old newly graduated HR “pro”.)

        • #3045622

          ~lol~ naw, nothing like

          by jaqui ·

          In reply to Depends on the test

          reciting codes for a cable.
          ( if you can recite them you are doing better than me 🙂 )
          more like that router isn’t working, why?

          and nope, ms skills don’t have a demand in a linux only shop.
          they are a demerit in a linux only shop. 😛

        • #3116532

          Linux shop, et al.

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Depends on the test

          jacqui –

          Nothing like having a “screaming penguin” at a Project Managed / Corporate Governance / vetted from Here to Eternity / Just Do the stinkin’ WindowsXP & New Hardware rollout & deployment.

          “Linux on the Desktop!!! Linux on the Desktop!!! AWWWWWWKKK!!!”

        • #3043478

          Yes, there is an abundance

          by jkameleon ·

          In reply to Is there an abundance though ?

          In principle, count of heads is one thing, and count of brains that are able & willing to do the job another. As long we are not humans but human resources though, this difference doesn’t matter.

          There has been garganautan effort ever since the 1980s to organize programming in the factory production line style. Statistically, it was a huge success. Billions of lines of source are now produced. True, they don’t do anything useful, but nobody seems to care (except us resources maybe, but we don’t count). The only thing that can temporarily rock decicion makers from their bean counting mentality is a financially damaging IT quandary at a business across the street (‘across the street’ because if it happens to their business, they just blame their IT department, and go on in the same old way).

          In sum- there is no shortage of skills. If there is no real demand, there can be no shortage either. Skilled or not, motivated or not, enthusiastic or not- everybody can tighten theese bolts

          > I’m still cleaning up after them, seem to have got Hercule’s job in the augean stables sometimes.

          Don’t tell me, I’m doing it all the time. Since I’m paid by the hour, however, I can keep more positive outlook about such things. They do not make my job harder. They keep my job.

        • #3043432

          I just went back to permanent

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Yes, there is an abundance

          as I was seriously getting tired of it.

          In someways I think your perspective is bleaker than mine. My new employer’s principal reason for taking me and a few others on, is they were tired of being told it would take six days devlopment effort to change the icon on a button.

          How do certify a programmer anyway, academia and certifications provide skills and some sort of tick that they were remembered at exam time, that isn’t programming.

        • #3046368

          I did that 10 years ago

          by jkameleon ·

          In reply to I just went back to permanent

          For the time being, and I’m not sorry yet, despite of occasional office “idyls” and downsizings. Life is much less stressful if there’s a layer of bosses & CIOs between you and customers – if bosses do their job properly, of course. If that wouldn’t be the case, I’d go on my own again, I guess.

          > My new employer’s principal reason for taking me and a few others on, is they were tired of being told it would take six days devlopment effort to change the icon on a button.

          It’s the question of design goals. Roboustness and maintainability are usually not among them. Disregarding theese is like borrowing time, and borrowing time is like borrowing money – you have to return it later with interests. I always stress this when someone is rushing me. It’s an analogy financial guys understand very well.

          > How do certify a programmer anyway, academia and certifications provide skills and some sort of tick that they were remembered at exam time, that isn’t programming.

          It’s impossible. Programming is like disentangling a box of knotted string. You can’t grasp the extent of the problem until you acutally solve it- or at least begin solving it. No ammount of learning can help here. Talent and experience is much more important here than education, or keeping up with the latest tech fads.

          Shopping for a job candidate with proper set of certificates is a lunacy. IMHE, the best way to recruit programmers is to make them. Whisk computer literate young folks from whatever math/tech oriented college they are attending, and teach them on the job. They are usually worth the time invested in them.

        • #3046160

          Well now we are rowing the boat in the

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to I did that 10 years ago

          same direction. We’re in the same one too. I did six years in manufacturing operations. Robustness and maintainabililty are fundmanental requiremnents in that environment, still trying to get across the idea that making sure a function works now and will work in the future is more important than an eliptical splash screen in the business world. Circumstances are allowing me to make some headway though.
          I’m sure my code was terrible when I was a newbie, I got my start because I was keen and teaching myself, chances of someone like me getting a look in now are next to zero. Even discounting my massive ego, it makes you wonder how many good programmers have been displaced by some twit with a bit of paper who listened to their career officer.
          Takes a long time to make a good programmer, one week boot camp to make a bad one.

    • #3045947

      How typical!

      by jkameleon ·

      In reply to Debunking the Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage

      Computer World, October 17, 2005 (Requires registration):,10801,105481,00.html?from=story%5Fkc

      Gates urges students at Howard University to consider computer science, drivels about bright future, xboxes, personalized TV advertisements, and so on.

      Computer World, October 18, 2005:,10801,105516,00.html?from=story%5Fkc

      Tech sector job cuts up 18.8% so far in ’05

      ‘Job creation simply has not materialized,’ says John Challenger

    • #3116560

      They just don’t want to pay for IT

      by alangeek ·

      In reply to Debunking the Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage

      Big business just doesn’t want to pay for the talent they’re looking for, they want to pay for McDonalds and eat filet mignon at the Ritz.

      Did you notice they just bumped up the H-1B quotas for IT by another 30,000 to 95,000 for 2006? The present regime is simply government by the rich for the rich, and screw everybody else. We need to tell them where to put their policies!

      • #3116504

        2 sides

        by duckboxxer ·

        In reply to They just don’t want to pay for IT

        Yes there are companies that only want to pay for cheap labor. But there are also people that think we are still in the dot com boom and want those salaries, benefits and bonuses. We simply aren’t in that era anymore and businesses can’t give away those type packages anymore. Some people think that since they can’t get these huge packages anymore that jobs aren’t out there. No, they just don’t want them.

        • #3116459

          There is a middle ground.

          by apotheon ·

          In reply to 2 sides

          Doing sixty-hour work weeks (and more) for $30k/yr is not the only alternative to thirty-hour work weeks for $600k/yr. There is a happy medium.

          Unfortunately, those of us who are looking for the happy medium are finding ourselves in the unenviable position of not being able to find it most of the time. As previously suggested, CxO-types are demanding quality work for dirt pay. I, for one, am not dead-set on being a millionaire after four years of managing a network. I just want to be paid what I’m worth.

          Luckily for me, I found my way into employment that pays reasonably well. I did consulting for quite some time before getting this job, though, because jobs like this are so few and far between.

          I make roughly half as much as many of the algorithms and development guys here, but I’m paid (at the low end of) what my job is worth. That’s acceptable, and when combined with a good work environment and great benefits, as well as living in one of the best towns on the planet, I’m elated with my career situation.

          What about the guy that has twice the workload I’m doing and not much more than half my pay with crap-ass benefits and twice as much experience as me? He’s a far more common sight in today’s IT industry than I am.

        • #3116429

          You get only what you pay for…

          by cburgess ·

          In reply to 2 sides

          Cheap offshore labor is beginning to pay off in low quality products that will bite US companies who pursue offshore IT labor…bite them in their bottomline.

          Todays customers of software products are increasingly demanding higher quality…we are fed up with shoddy, buggy, high priced crapware coded in exlax.

      • #3130559

        Companies could have told you. . .

        by swgoldwire2546 ·

        In reply to They just don’t want to pay for IT

        My dear sir, AlanGeek. Organisations including big businesses could have told you that they are not looking to spend certain amounts of money for information technology. No company is making any demands for information technology professionals right now, not ever; because they are finding ways to cut back on info. tech. spending!

        I hate to put it to you bluntly, but it is the truth with this supply and demand thing here. 😀


    • #3116427

      The real shortage in IT labor is…

      by cburgess ·

      In reply to Debunking the Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage

      In the US, there is only one true shortage in IT labor: a skilled IT person who isn’t a prima dona.

      Not that I can identify anyone here with the PD syndrome, but it is all too common to have an IT person tell someone else (who isn’t IT) that they cannot understand the topic under discussion.

      The fundamental truth is that there is nothing in IT that cannot be understood by regular users…except for the nomenclature that was designed to be a version of Klingon dialect in an effort to increase job security in IT.

      Well, the effort has had a reverse effect. A condenscending prima dona IT people are being replaced by offshore labor.

      I do not hurl IT jargon at them just to see their eyes glaze over. As an IT consultant in the security specialty, it is my practice to use only use normal language when speaking to the head of companies…who make the decision to hire my firm or not.

      The dense IT jargon and prima dona attitudes are what prevent many in the IT field from getting US employment. The jargon and attitude marks you as not being a team player – period! If you want to keep your job – lose the jargon and the prima dona attitude, pronto.

      • #3116223

        Give me a break!

        by jkameleon ·

        In reply to The real shortage in IT labor is…

        Who cares about attitude. There’s only one thing that matters: $$$

        • #3114488

          Interpersonal communication skills…

          by cburgess ·

          In reply to Give me a break!

          $$$ is not the primary motivation for outsourcing or offshoring.

          Even though I am an IT consultant, I don’t use IT jargon very much, especially around non-IT personnel. Thus, I get to hear what the CEO and other management staff have to say about IT people when there are no IT people around to hear it.

        • #3114475

          I communicate with CEO only when I have to

          by jkameleon ·

          In reply to Interpersonal communication skills…

          That’s my boss’s job, that’s what he’s paid for. My CEO’s aversion towards computers is legendary, and I strictly avoid any IT talk when he’s nearby.

          As a matter of fact, there’s only 3 things I’ve communicated to my CEO so far

          1) “If we let the outsourcer capture our business process, write software, and keep the sources, he’s got us by the balls. All our organizational knowledge will be his, and our company will be reduced to a bunch of secretaries, typists, and ficuses”

          2) “Everybody notices downtime. Nobody notices uptime.”

          3) “Don’t trust consultants too much. They have their own interests.”

          I think he listened.

        • #3117104

          “Don’t Trust Consultants”

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to I communicate with CEO only when I have to

          Excellent comeback, especially when you check the profile for cburgess and see that he is a consultant. 🙂 You are absolutely right, consultants have their own agendas and can’t be trusted. Where I work, our most successfull projects were done in-house, and our projects that were outsourced, or had consultants brought in to do, went over-budget, missed deadlines, and we had to clean up the messes they left.

          And as far as people skills and communicating with pointy-hair boss types like CEOs and CFOs, that is why there are people like the guy in “Office Space” whose job was to get the requirements from the users and give them to the programmers. It was hilarious when he was being interviewed for the restructuring and he said emphatically “I have people skills!!!”.

        • #3136032


          by cburgess ·

          In reply to “Don’t Trust Consultants”

          In my field, computer/network security, I find that my agenda and that of the IT staff are very similar and that my work increases the value of the IT staff in the eyes of management.

          One of the points I have been trying to make is that I get to hear both sides of the “IT tension” issues. Each side seems to be at odds with the other. I find that niether side does very well in communicating with the other, and the result is the devaluation of the critical roles that each brings to the table upon which the company’s survival resides.

          Yes, sometimes the project takes longer than budgeted, but when it does it is on my dime…not my client’s. I make a quote and stick to it.

          During a security assessment, we have a phase where we engage in assisting the critical staff to bring a lot of security elements in-house.

          My professional perspective is that you cannot trust outsourcing or offshoring in matters of security…it is critical that security be an in-house function. The role my firm plays is as an independent auditor/validator of a company’s security posture. Without realistic testing, your security is only a theory.

          ASP..application service providers are a huge security risk in my opinion, thus I recommend to all my clients that the company’s applications need to be hosted and administered in-house.

        • #3136047

          Agree w/1&2..not 3

          by cburgess ·

          In reply to I communicate with CEO only when I have to

          Agree with your comments in 1 and 2…it takes a lot of work to develop the verbal skills to talk IT to a non-IT person.

          Some consultants are nothing more than snake oil peddlers, but you can say the same for most software vendors as well. Yet, I am an IT consultant (security field)…lol

        • #3136018

          Hehe, we just got security consultants in the house

          by jkameleon ·

          In reply to Agree w/1&2..not 3

          They did very good job, I must say. Checked everything, said that our (common IT grunts that is) proposals are OK, held a couple of courses, and concluded the most important one with: “OK, that’s as much as we can say or do about your security. From here on, it’s up to you. Let me conclude by emphasizing that the most important thing is to use your brains. Security equipment, no matter how expensive, will not solve your security problems. It’s all up to you. I emphasize again: Use your brains.”

          I almost choked sniggering at the horror-struck look on some of my coworker’s faces. Former CIO and former security guy visibly flinched.

        • #3114459


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Interpersonal communication skills…

          In another post, you said “the issue is salary levels” (direct quote). You just blatantly contradicted yourself, quite directly. It’s becoming pretty clear that your only purpose here is to disagree with anyone that suggests management isn’t just making decisions the IT professionals deserve when they cut down on domestic IT workforce.

          Maybe you’re a pointy-haired boss yourself, putting on an IT pro’s face to come in here and be insulting. Maybe you’re just a troll. Maybe you should rethink your tactics.

      • #3116199

        Your kidding right

        by tony hopkinson ·

        In reply to The real shortage in IT labor is…

        Anyone lucky enough to get a job with an attitude like that will have it beaten out of them in short order. As tech you’ll never get management onside and as a manager you never get the business onside.

        I’ve been known to bombard people with technical info, but only when they ask for it.

        As a PS you can be as good at IT as you like, if things are running smoothly you’ll be prime candidate for a cost cutting exercise.

        • #3114465

          fighting a stereotype

          by cburgess ·

          In reply to Your kidding right

          The majority of IT people are not prima donas…but the perception of IT people by non-IT people is that IT snobs predominate the field. The dense IT jargon, coupled with a prima dona attitude by a few, has generated an “IT stereotype” that all IT people get painted with.

          Non-IT people know that the business wouldn’t survive without the IT staff, but they hate to have their noses rubbed in the fact.

          A case in point, I was asked to respond to a security incident for a major software firm were the source code of thier nearly finished new product was stolen. The firm has their own IT security staff, and when management asked them about details, the response from the IT staff was that “you wouldn’t understand any of it if we told you”. To say the least management really bristled, and the IT security staff immediately became prime suspects of the theft.

        • #3137863

          I’ve only ever ran in to one

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to fighting a stereotype

          person who acted like you describe, he was my boss for four years and wanted a bigger empire than Caesar. As far as I’m concerned you are concentrating on entirely the wrong issue. Yes there’s a communication difficulty between IT and management. Communication is a two way process. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve spent hours explaining in business terms the cost of a decision being made in laymans terms to be overruled anyway because I’m from IT and don’t understand business. I suggest you target the right group of prima donnas, the ones with an MBA who once did an excel macro and became skilled IT professionals.

        • #3136024


          by cburgess ·

          In reply to I’ve only ever ran in to one

          Terminology is often the roadblock to understanding. A case in point:

          Astrophysics…blackholes…back when they used the term “singularity” the theoretical aspects of blackholes was extremely difficult for the leading scientists to get their minds around. It was only after the term “event horizon” that the fundatmental understanding of blackholes was possible.

          IT has a very dense jargon…as do the MBA’s. As such, either side has little chance to really understand each other’s roles that are critical to the function and survival of the business.

          Prima donas…you are blessed in not encountering them very often. It could be that being a consultant, I have the opportunity to run into them more ofter than you, as do the MBA’s I suspect.

        • #3135980

          As a consultant

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Terms

          Now we are getting somewhere, did any of these ‘prima donnas’ object to your brilliant plan or get pissed off by the fact that is was theirs but management wanted an ‘experts’ seal of approval on it.
          Come out with an idea that serves your interest more than mine and you might describe me as prima donna as well.
          I’m sure it’s different from your side, but that’s got bugger all to do with it unless you plan to build a long term relationship with your client. The other thing it might be wise to remember is that your job would be much easier and you would be perceived as being much more successful if you got the inplace IT function onside.

      • #3114471

        Death to the “Team Player” concept.

        by too old for it ·

        In reply to The real shortage in IT labor is…

        The real danger in having a bunch of team players on a project is amassed mediocrity.

        And the truth is, if the boss doesn’t have a clue, the boss doesn’t have a clue. Someone really should do him a favor and tell him.

        (I hate repeating myself, but:)
        The only real shortage is of people with skills who (a) are willing to work for chicken feed; and (b) are willing to work for inexperienced or “keep IT in check” crappy managers; and (c) do not have the skills to drive four stakes in the ground and create their own business.

        • #3117145

          True meaning of Team-Player

          by cburgess ·

          In reply to Death to the “Team Player” concept.

          If the boss hasn’t a clue, or any other team member, that creates a vulnerability that other team members are obligated to recitify ASAP. When I was in the US Navy, as a team member I watched the back of my team mates, and they mine, where not having a clue can be a matter of life and death. We trusted each other and looked after each other.

          The Japanese warrior ethic has been transferred to the business battlefield, and has excelled. Each business is considered to be at war with other businesses. The Daimyo and his samurai of the days of old is now the CEO and his staff. Trust, honor, and duty are key elements of their company environment.

          Every business is in a struggle for survival. Every employee has a function that is vital to the survival of the business. Everyone must realize this, from the boardroom to the stockroom. When any business looses the sense of value of their employees…that business is doomed.

        • #3117092

          “When any business looses the sense of value of their employees”

          by montgomery gator ·

          In reply to True meaning of Team-Player

          Everything you say here is true. I have read both Mushashi and Sun-Tzu. Yes, as you say, “When any business looses the sense of value of their employees…that business is doomed.”

          Therefore, when a company outsources, and/or brings in outside consultants to do work that was previously done in-house, they have lost the value of their own employees, and that business is doomed. I see this outsourcing trend as a short term problem, since the companies that rely on it will have problems competing due to poorer quality, budget overruns, and missed deadlines. Outsourcing is “penny wise and pound foolish”.

        • #3137616

          When we all are flipping burgers …

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to “When any business looses the sense of value of their employees”

          … becasue all the CxO’s have fianlly gotten the IT primadonnas under control, who will remain to buy the goods and services the CxO (allegedly)produces?

        • #3116952

          Basically, it’s a matter of trust.

          by jkameleon ·

          In reply to True meaning of Team-Player

          In the long years, I’ve seen it violated from both sides- tech (“let’s fool that clueless morons, they deserve it”), as well as management (“let’s get that IT primadonas under control”).

          Trust is like mineral oil- once it’s pumped out, turned to cash and burned, it’s gone. And, once it’s gone, it takes a couple of billions of years to form again. In the meantime, you just have to learn to get along without it.

          > Every employee has a function that is vital to the survival of the business. Everyone must realize this, from the boardroom to the stockroom. When any business looses the sense of value of their employees…that business is doomed.

          No, not employees. Resources. Human resources. Assets.

          Demotion of IT personell from employees to resources happened somewhere in the mid 80s. I can still remember the HR manager in charge of the transformation. She was a teacher for adults, that tried her luck in IT management. As a result of her efforts, anyone capable of doing any real work scrambled elsewhere, or got self employed. Back then, this was still possible, as there were many low hanging fruits to pick in computer business. Once fiorinized, my former company went under in less than a year, and our HR heroine returned to adult teaching. I ocassionally still see her on TV, arguing that old jobless farts should learn new skills, burger flipping, and such. Even after a couple of decades, I’m still dreaming about treading on her stupid neck.

        • #3137833


          by apotheon ·

          In reply to Basically, it’s a matter of trust.

          Clear, succinct, and to the point. Good work.

        • #3137649

          Human Asset Management

          by beads ·

          In reply to Basically, it’s a matter of trust.

          Nice ring to it – H.A.M. That pretty much sums up many HR types that we work with as well: HAMs. Big thick headed lumps of smoked meat.

          For the record my company is a web based HRIS set of benefits systems so I can empathise when dealing with HR types.

          – beads

        • #3137859

          Well I certainly

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to True meaning of Team-Player

          agree with the first paragraph.
          The second one would be very nice, but is complete bollox in reality
          The last is also true, but business’s that value their employees are a life form on their way to extinction. It’s far better to view them as cost, cut them, pay yourself a thundering great bonus and then move onto the next dumb ass cash cow, before the brown stuff hits the rotary impeller. Must be that’s what a lot of the so called business success stories are doing.

          Maximise shareholder valus is what it is about now, trust honour and duty my arse.

        • #3137617

          Maximise shareholder value my arse

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Well I certainly

          After you cut the employees, and offshore the rest (and move on) shareholder value only remains until the hard assests are sold at the bankruptcy auction.

          This does the shareholders any good how?

        • #3135979

          Think you may have took me too literally there

          by tony hopkinson ·

          In reply to Maximise shareholder value my arse

          You are talking about a long term issues. Maximising share holder value is about the next dividend to last the one before you take yours and piss off before it all goes nipples up.

          Stop thinking long term, makes you look like a propeller head who knows nothing about business.


        • #3136595

          Thinking Long Term.

          by too old for it ·

          In reply to Think you may have took me too literally there

          Of course, I remember back when the US Government, who never made a nickel of profit in it’s life, wanted to tell AT&T, who (up until then) had made a profit every year of its existance, how to run a business.

    • #3136001

      yes there is a shortage

      by jdmercha ·

      In reply to Debunking the Myth of a Desperate Software Labor Shortage

      A shortage of IT people with 5 years of expereince programing in COBOL plus 3 years of C#, plus Java, plus project management experience, having managed projects in excess of $5mil, with a top secret clearance, shoots 90% from 3-point range, and has four eyes.

      Or there’s a shortage of companies that won’t hire talented people and train them in the specific skills they need.

      • #3136591

        You forgot …

        by too old for it ·

        In reply to yes there is a shortage

        Office, OpenOffice, Oracle, SAP, SQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Alpha5, Access and a minimum of 5 years Windows Vista experience …

        Oh yeah, and be 22 or so with no medical problems to mess up the health insurance rates.

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